Nikki Santos is the Executive Director of the Aspen Institute's Center for Native American Youth. She was appointed Mountain Partnership Goodwill Ambassador during the Sixth Global Meeting in Aspen, Colorado in September 2022 in recognition of her passion to support and uplift Indigenous Peoples culture and ways of life.

Nikki is a member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and is of the Red Bird Clan. A direct descendant of Chief Spokane, Chief Ignace, Chief Kamayakin and Chief Leschi, Nikki takes pride standing on the shoulders of her ancestors and honouring the foundations they have laid. Dedicated to supporting Native youth and youth-led programming, Nikki currently serves as the Executive Director at the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute.

Within this role, Nikki leads advocacy, communications, partnership development and collaborative strategies to promote greater inclusion of Native American youth. Her biggest inspiration comes from her daughter, Aplnmarimn’tsu’tn (Carries the Medicine) and being a vessel for her grandmothers to uplift the next generation. Nikki maintains her culture through language, ceremony, powwows and honouring teachings passed on to her.

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