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Join Us For a Panel Discussion With Indigenous Athletes and Activists

Learn how Indigenous athletes have shaped trail running in our virtual panel.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Join Trail Runner and Rising Hearts for a panel discussion about the past, present and future contributions of Indigenous peoples to trail running.

The discussion will include Verna Volker, Dinée Dorame, Guarina Lopez, Jordan Marie Daniel and Dustin Martin. We will dissect and discuss harms caused by erasing the Indigenous foundations of trail running, and highlight the many ways that Indigenous athletes have changed and continue to lead the sport. The event will also spotlight specific ways runners can decolonize trail running.

Indigenous Peoples are still here. And thriving. Join us for a conversation that is sure to challenge, educate, and inspire.

WHEN: November 16, at 5 p.m. MST.

Use the form below to sign up for our free discussion on Zoom. You will be e-mailed a link to join our panel the day before our conversation.

Meet The Panel:

Verna Volker: She/her/hers. Mom, Wife, Founder of Native Women Running, Hoka Global Ambassador and Suunto Ambassador. 

I am from the Navajo Nation. My clans are Tódích’íi’nii (Bitterwater) nishlíi, Hashtl’ishnii (Mud People) bashishchiin,  Ta’neesz ahnii (Tangle) dashicheii, and Tó’ áheedlíinii (Water Flows Together) dashinalí.

In 2009, I started my running journey to lose weight, but it has turned into a quest to find out who I am internally. This journey has taken me from a newbie runner to a marathoner and ultramarathoner.  I want to use running to inspire others.

I created Native Women Running three years ago to increase the visibility of Indigenous runners.  It has become a place for our women to find inspiration, motivation and community in a virtual setting. 


Dustin Q. Martin: I grew up hiking, camping, riding, skiing and running the vast outdoor sanctuaries surrounding Gallup, NM. Distance running led me to New York City, where I earned an

undergraduate degree in anthropology from Columbia University. In 2011, I returned to the southwest to serve as program director for Wings of America, a not-for-profit organization that empowers Tribal youth and their families by introducing them to the cultural, spiritual and competitive legacy of Native runners. The organization provides elite-level opportunities for talented Native runners while making an effort to create new programs for harriers of all abilities. Moving forward,

I hope to continue promoting the achievements of Native runners while helping foster and test new models for acquainting Native youth with their ancestral homelands.


Dinée Dorame: I am a citizen of the Navajo Nation and the Tábąąhá (Water’s Edge clan) born for Naakai Dine’é (Mexican People clan). My maternal grandfather’s clan is Tótsohníí (Big Water clan) and my paternal grandfather’s clan is Naakai Dine’é. I graduated from Yale University in 2015 with a B.A. in Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. I am currently the Associate Director of College Horizons, a national non-profit supporting Native students on their paths to higher education.

I am also the Host of the Grounded Podcast with Dinée Dorame, which explores the intersection of running, community, land, and culture with athletes of all backgrounds. Prior to these roles, I worked as an

Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Yale University where I coordinated Native American Outreach & Recruitment. I enjoy finding ways to blend my work in higher education with running and movement by serving as an advocate for Indigenous land recognition and representation in the running industry.


Jordan Marie Daniel: Kul Wičasa Lakota, I am a citizen of Kul Wicasa Oyate (Lower Brule Sioux Tribe) and an advocate for Indian Country and all people. I have engaged in advocacy and organization for anti-pipelines/climate justice efforts, change the name/not your mascot, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives (MMIR), and native youth initiatives.

I am the founder and organizer of Rising Hearts, an Indigenous-led grassroots group devoted to elevating Indigenous voices and promoting intersectional collaborative efforts with the goals of racial, social, climate, and economic justice. I sit on the Board of Directors with the PowerShift Network and ReNew Earth Running, working with passionate individuals to influence change in addressing the climate crisis and to help increase Indigenous visibility and support the #landback movement. In 2019, I served on the Womxn’s March – Ending Violence Against Womxn and Femmes Policy Committee with other Native womxn.

I am using my running platform to raise awareness of MMIR by dedicating the miles I run to a missing or murdered Indigenous person, relatives stolen and forced into boarding schools, and advocacy efforts. This work, called #RunningForJustice, is now intersecting with prayers for Black lives, Asian lives, and other lives impacted by white supremacy and systems of oppression, racism, and police brutality.

I am continuing this journey and advocacy as a professional runner with Altra Team Elite and Rabbit Pro. I launched Mitakuye Oyasin (We Are All Related), a COVID-19 relief program, in June 2020 to provide masks and protective equipment to  Indigenous communities and organize virtual running and wellness events to expand community through intersectional allyship with Rising Hearts.

I am a consultant on documentaries; a producer on films focused on Indigenous Earth Protectors, runners engaging in social justice, and supporting families impacted by MMIR; and executive producer and co-director of #WithPurpose. I consult with outdoor organizations to develop social media content protecting sacred lands and promoting health and wellness across Indian Country. I am an outreach and project manager with UCLA, supporting researchers in COVID-related studies and clinical trials, and I continue to organize in the community I live in, homelands to the Tongva, Chumash and Kizh peoples, also known as Los Angeles, CA.


Guarina Lopez: She/her/hers. A member of the Yoeme/Pascua Yaqui nation of Arizona, I am a visual artist, storyteller, runner, cyclist, mother, Indigenous rights activist and educator living on the traditional lands of the Piscataway and Nanticoke in Washington, D.C.