Celebrating Our Native American Alumni


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In honor of Native American Heritage Month, the Notre Dame Alumni Association looks back at some of our outstanding Native American alumni who have dedicated their professional and personal lives towards being a force for good in the world.

We Are ND Native American Alumni Collection 

Embracing Identity Through Art by Meg Pryor ’22
Authenticity promotes connection to others, and Kellen Lewis ’09 creates (he)artwork — traditional Native American artwork that melds his heritage with modern culture — to uniquely communicate his identity and to encourage others to do the same.


Navajo Architect Builds Future on Heritage by Maura Sullivan Hill ’11
Not only does Deswood Etsitty ’93 want to have a hand in guiding the future of Navajo architecture, but he also wants to open doors for Native American students at Notre Dame.

Lakota Researcher Supports Her Community Through Epidemiology by Amanda Pilarski ’19
Otakuye Conroy-Ben ’98 mends relationships between native tribes and researchers, while addressing tribal health concerns through wastewater epidemiology.

Serving the Cherokee Nation by Jack Rooney ’16
Tralynna Scott ’06 graduated with an accounting degree and had offers at big accounting firms in Chicago. She decided to return home to northeast Oklahoma to serve as treasurer for her tribe, the Cherokee Nation.


Rector Mentors Rising Generations of ND Alumni by Josh Stowe
Several years ago, Elaine DeBassige ’92 was looking for a new way to make a difference when a late-night chat with the rector of her former residence hall changed the course of her life.