NAVAEP co-founder steps down; New executive director welcomed

Dear Friends,


Laurie Weahkee

Laurie Weahkee

I’ve decided to step down from the Executive Director position for both the Native American Voters Alliance Education Project and NM Native Vote. I’ve been doing this type of work for several decades now and it’s time to let a new, energetic and highly competent team take over. I’m very excited to welcome Ahtza Chavez as the new Executive Director.  Her resume is quite awesome; but it is her courage and respect for people and our cultures, as well as the holy creation, that makes her a great choice to be our new Executive Director! We’re so glad to have her onboard.

I want to thank everyone for all the work that we’ve accomplished together. I’m grateful that so many people have worked with us to protect our families and to fight for a better life.  We need each and every one of you to continue to pay attention to what is occurring in this country. We must demand fairness by calling on our elected leaders to stop the destruction, abuses and rampant deregulation that is affecting our homelands, our environment and our grandchildren’s heritage.  We must continue to challenge ourselves to do the best that we can.  I believe Ahtza has what it will take to forge our pathway forward. I ask that each of you offer her encouragement and help to continue building an active and informed Native American community. Please join us for our “Welcome Ahtza” reception on January 30 from 6-8pm. If you follow the link to RSVP we’ll send you details of the event.  

With love and respect,

Laurie Weahkee 


Welcome Ahtza Dawn Chavez as our new Executive Director!


Ahtza Dawn Chavez

Ahtza Dawn Chavez

Ahtza Dawn Chavez is a member of the Kewa Pueblo and Diné Nations. She is the proud mother to seventeen-year-old son, Hunter and daughter of Cari W. and Everett F. Chavez.

As NAVA’s newest member, Ms. Chavez brings over ten years of professional fiduciary and investment experience responsible for over 90 million-dollars of investments within the financial industry. She has worked as the operations manager for a home health provider on Navajo and Pueblo lands while establishing NM regulatory processes to improve healthcare for tribal elders. She has worked on various GOTV campaigns in Indian Country and with Urban populations. As a student and single-mother, Ms. Chavez was nominated to the Middle Rio Grande Pueblo Tribal Consortium working to bring fiber optic broadband to six Pueblo nations to improve internet and voting access on tribal lands. She is also an esteemed professional photojournalist &; owner of IndigeLens Media, which focuses on showcasing indigenous voices, enhancing tribal community, promoting social entrepreneurship and increasing visibility of authentic representations of indigenous culture and language.

She began her undergraduate career at Stanford University and transferred to the University of New Mexico (UNM) in her Senior year where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in 2017, her Masters of Business Administration from the Anderson School of Business in 2019, and will receive her Masters of Studies in Law from the UNM Law School with a concentration in federal Indian law in 2020.

Her vision will include focusing on increasing civic engagement within Native American communities, continuing to collaborate and unify voter blocs, to strengthen indigenous sovereignty and control over our sacred lands, and to reinvigorate our powers as Native tribal leaders.

Join us for a welcoming reception for Ahtza Dawn Chavez on Thursday, Jan 30 from 6-8pm. Please RSVP here and we’ll send you details.