Our history is pretty simple, it started out like so many good things usually do…good people wanting to do good work. We're a group of women who have a passion for helping our Native women.
The conversation began about five years ago when Katreena Hayes-Wood owner of Career Services Network and Bridget Blixt of the Phoenix Indian Center met for lunch. During their luncheon they discovered they shared a mutual love for conference planning and believed that there was a true need for a convention that focused on Native American Women, one that was easy and affordable to attend and packed with good information that would benefit, inspire and motivate attendees to take their lives to the next level.
After a couple of false starts and stops, mostly due to the lack of funding to get the conference off the ground, the first Native American Women's Conference became a reality in November 2016, thanks, in part, to a small inheritance Katreena received from her mother, Kleo Goforth (see Kleo's Kloset).
With money for the deposits and necessary funding to get the ball rolling the NAWC Planning Committee began the preparations for the first NAWC Conference, hosted at the Ft. McDowell Yavapai Nation's We-Ko-Pa Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona on Thursday, November 3, 2016.
The planning committee decided to do something unique and distinctive with the NAWC Conference, instead of a multi-day conference we designed a one-day, packed full of wonderful, convention.
We planned our speakers in the morning, something fun and engaging during our luncheon and left the afternoon for interactive roundtables with information that matched the theme of the conference. One attendee told us it was like, "Speed dating for conferences!"
Our goal has always been to offer something worth attending, a day that leaves attendees refreshed and motivated about their lives and journey. We believe that women raise the world, we solve problems, raise children, run companies, manage our time and priorities and we need to take out to honor our journey and to bond and connect with like-minded women.
That's what the Native American Women's Conference (NAWC) is all about…lifting our Native sisters up, empowering one other and helping those who need a helping hand, an encouraging word, a second chance and someone to believe in their dreams too.
We believe in this dream of ours and we hope you will too!
Get to know our planning committee…
Ron Trusley, Conference Chair
Bridget Blixt, Program Manager, Phoenix Indian Center Native Workforce Services
Lana Chanda, Director Employment and Training, Gila River Indian Community