Sage Honda, a 22-year-old from Peach Springs, Arizona, wears a handmade dress at the Grand Canyon, a sacred site of the Hualapai people. Since appearing in Miss Native American USA, she has been encouraging Native youth to travel off the reservation to explore more opportunities. "I want to be a role model to show my community and youth that it is possible to come off our land and do big things," she said in the "Red Road" photo series.
Evereta Thinn, 30, is a Navajo woman from Shonto, Arizona. An administrator at a Shonto school district, she aspires to start a
language and cultural immersion school for her people.
Tanksi Morning Star Clairmont, 33, grew up off-reservation in Denver. But she credits her grandmother and mother for keeping her grounded and teaching her the Lakota language, ceremonies and traditional ways.
Juliana Brown Eyes, 23, is from Oglala, South Dakota. She and her husband, Scotti Clifford, formed a band, "Scatter Their Own," that writes songs about Mother Earth, social justice and the Native American culture.
Thipiziwin Young, 33, is a teacher on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. She has dedicated her life to learning and teaching the Lakota language, a language that has been dying over the last generations. She and some of her students sang Lakota songs to President Barack Obama and the first lady when they visited the reservation in June.
Danielle Finn, 23, is a law student who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She represented the Hunkpapa Lakota tribe at the 2014 Miss Indian World pageant. She also visits reservations on behalf of the Center for Native American Youth's "Champion for Change" program, discussing topics such as teen pregnancy, alcohol abuse and the importance of Native culture.
Juanita Toledo, 28, works for the community wellness program on her reservation in New Mexico. Here, she wears traditional dress and moccasins made by her family.
Heather Abeita, 23, is photographed by the Catholic church in her New Mexico village. She is trying to pass a land and wildlife preservation bill on the Isleta Reservation. "Agriculture is extremely important in my tribe not only for sustainability, but also for religious purposes," she said in "Red Road." "The corn is very sacred to us, and we need a place to grow it and provide it to our own people."
Carisa Gonzalez, 37, began her career in the U.S. Army, in which she served for 11 years. She comes from a military family, and she was the first female in her clan to join. "Native women veterans often get overlooked, there are so few of us," she said. "So we formed the Sister Nations Color Guard, a group of Native American females from various tribes that come together to represent our women warriors."