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People: Kinlichee join’s National Center’s team; Ethel Branch adds to list of honors

MESA, Ariz.

Shelby Kinlichee

The National Center for American Indian Development welcomes Shelby Kinlichee to its team.

Kinlchee joins the team as an export business development specialist.

She has a bachelor’s degree in public health with an emphasis in biostatistics, epidemiology, nutrition and American Indian studies with the University of Arizona.

She is a proud member of the Nazlini, Arizona, community.

Her previous work includes business development and giving back to her tribe, the Navajo Nation.

Prior to NCAIED, Kinlichee was a part of the Navajo Nation COPE as a training coordinator where she helped train the workforce to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through contact tracing, data collection, and expanding resources to rural areas of the Nation.

Ethel Branch adds to list of honors

Ethel Branch

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Transformative and disability justice activist Mia Mingus and Ethel Branch, interim executive director of the Navajo and Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund, were honored by Phillips Brooks House Association on Oct. 15.

Mingus was awarded the 15th Annual Robert Coles “Call of Service” Award.

The award is named for Robert Coles, class of 1950, a civil rights activist, Pulitzer Prize winner, and retired Harvard professor.

Mingus’ work on disability justice, ableism, and access has elevated disability rights dialogue across the country.

Branch (class of 2001, law degree 2008, master’s in 2008), former attorney general of the Navajo Nation, was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award for her work leading several tribal rights and environmental advocacy cases on behalf of Indigenous people.

Branch estimated in an interview with Harvard Law Today that half of her work as attorney general involved suing the U.S. government to enforce treaties and agreements.

At Harvard, Branch was a Zuckerman Fellow and a Nationbuilding Fellow.

She also served as a senior editor and article editor on the Harvard Environmental Law Review.

Branch is an elected director of Harvard Alumni Affairs and currently serves as a member of Kanji & Katzen in Arizona.

Maria Dominguez Gray (master’s in education, 1994) who serves as the Class of 1955 executive director of PBHA, said, “Ethel represents the best of PBHA and the best of Harvard. We are all in admiration of her work for equality and representation for Indigenous people and we are honored to celebrate her as this year’s outstanding alumni.”

Branch, founder of the Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund, was named Woman of the Year by the Phoenix Indian Center for her work with the fund.


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