Check out the talented and empowering Indigenous artists who comprise the Dream Warriors team. Learn more about each of our artists by clicking on the links below.
Noah Blue Elk Hotchkiss
Noah Blue Elk Hotchkiss was born August 18th 1998. He is Southern Ute on his maternal side and Southern Cheyenne and Caddo on his Maternal Grandfather’s side. Noah was active in soccer, football, snowboarding and kayaking as a youth. On Nov. 16th 2009, a young man that had fallen asleep at the wheel struck Noah and his family head-on. His Stepmother and primary caregiver, Cassandra Yazzie was killed instantly, and Noah was no longer able to walk. After months of Rehab, Noah began to learn a new way to recreate and compete in earnest. He quickly became a proficient Mono-skier. In 2015 Noah became the first Native American national champion in downhill ski racing. Noah also became the first paraplegic to complete the grueling seven-day mountain bike ride from Telluride, CO to Moab UT with the famous blind climber Eric Weihenmayer. In 2015 Noah was also selected by Billy Mills’ program Running Strong for Native American Youth to be a part of the Inaugural class of DreamStarters. Noah continues to break barriers by participating in other adaptive sports as well including river rafting, tennis and most recently surfing. As the Native American Ambassador for Disabled Sports USA Noah is looking forward to developing the Tribal Adaptive Organization and being a part of a larger movement of inclusivity in Native America. His next goals are to pursue a Law Degree and represent both his tribes and the USA in Para-Olympic competition. In July 2015 Sports and Spokes Magazine, the nations premier magazine for adapted athletics, named Noah the 2015 Jr. Athlete of the year. He is the first Native American to be named in the 29-year history of the award. Administrative post to President Obama’s National Advisory Council on Indian Education. Most recently Noah was named a 2016 “Champion for Change” through a White House Initiative and Senator Byron Dorgen’s Center for Native American Youth.
Visit noahhotchkiss.com for more information.
Mic Jordan is Anishinaabe from the Turtle Mountain Reservation, where music heavily influenced his childhood. As a Hip Hop artist and speaker, Mic Jordan speaks about his passion for life and where he came from. In addition to his musical endeavors, Mic also travels to communities and universities speaking directly to youth by using his voice to address issues of alcoholism, suicide, and the negative effects of Native mascots. He also shares his life story and how he overcame adversity. Mic spreads a positive message in hopes of a better understanding of the hip hop genre by continuing to change the minds of those who believe hip hop is only a form of verbal violence. Follow him on Twitter at @MicJordanMusic
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Joey Montoya is Lipan Apache from Texas, but was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. He started his own company called Urban Native Era which focuses on reclaiming who we are as Indigenous people of the 21st century by showing and bringing awareness not only on our culture, but issues that our Indigenous people are still facing today. He attends San Jose State University where he founded N.A.S.O. (Native American Student Organization). Throughout his time at SJSU he was able to discover his passion for art and is studying graphic design and advertising. He currently lives in San Jose, CA where he is finishing up his last year at SJSU. Follow him @UrbanNativeEra & @HiawathaSmalls
Tall Paul is an Anishinaabe and Oneida Hip-Hop artist enrolled on the Leech Lake reservation in Minnesota. Born and raised in Minneapolis, his music strongly reflects his inner-city upbringing. From personal expressions of self, to thought provoking commentary on issues affecting Indigenous and diverse communities as a whole, Tall Paul’s music evokes a wide variety of substance and soul. Check out his website: Soundcloud.com/tallpaul612 and follow him on Twitter @tallpaul612
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Frank Waln is an award winning Sicangu Lakota Hip Hop artist, producer, and performer from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. A receipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship, Waln attended Columbia College where he received a BA in Audio Arts and Acoustics. Waln’s awards include three Native American Music Awards, a 3Arts Award, the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development 2014 Native American 40 Under 40, and the 2014 Chicago Mayor’s Award for Civic Engagement. He has been featured in many publications, including USA Today, The Hollywood Reporter, Buzzfeed, The Chicago Tribune, and on MTV’s Rebel Music Native America episode. Frank Waln travels the world spreading hope and inspiration through performance and workshops focusing on self-empowerment and the pursual of dreams. Frank currently lives in Chicago, IL. Follow him on Twitter @frankwaln
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Tanaya Winder is a writer, educator, motivational speaker, and spoken word poet from the Southern Ute, Duckwater Shoshone, and Pyramid Lake Paiute Nations. She grew up on the Southern Ute Indian reservation and attended college at Stanford University where she earned a BA in English. After college, she pursued her passion of poetry and received her graduate degree a MFA in creative writing from the University of New Mexico. Since then she has co-founded As/Us: A Space for Women of the World. Tanaya guest lectures, teaches creative writing workshops, and speaks at high schools, universities, and communities internationally. View her TED talk here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF1z5XHEMaM You can follow her on Twitter at @tanayawinder
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Kelly Holmes, Lakota from the Cheyenne River reservation in South Dakota, is the Founder and CEO of Native Max & Other Media Ventures. Native Max first launched as a magazine in 2012 and has experienced phenomenal growth. A self-taught graphic designer at heart and by training, Holmes contributes heavily to the architecture and implementation of Native Max’s operations.
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Gunner Jules (Sicangu Lakota) is an Alternative R&B recording and performing artist. He grew up with his family on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. The music scene was almost nonexistent on the reservation and there wasn’t a path to follow as a recording artist. Aside from playing sports, Gunner picked up music production in high school and began to spend his time singing and rapping over his own beats. “The second song I ever created, as a sophomore in high school, is called ‘Lonely Nights & Days.’ I wrote the song for my best friend who committed suicide at the age of 17,” Gunner says. “That traumatic event brought me to the realization that music, for me, could be healing and a way to relieve emotional stress. From then on, music was my passion, medicine, and a means to express myself and to share my story and art with others. My music has evolved over the past ten years and my knowledge, experience, relationships, and connections put me in a place to potentially be successful in the music industry. I never imagined I’d make a career out of it (music). What has started as hopes and dreams is becoming a reality.” Gunner is working on a project that includes writing, recording and producing his first official recorded album that is scheduled to be released early next year, 2018.
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John Little is from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. He was born and raised in Denver, Colorado and South Dakota. He graduated with his BA from South Dakota State and MA in history from the University of South Dakota. His goals are to write Indigenous people into the historical narrative and help Native students into higher education. His main focus is Native American veterans, music, cultural appropriation, and mascots. He is currently a PhD student at the University of Minnesota.