The Atlantic

Mentoring With a Time Horizon of Seven Generations

Jodi Gillette, formerly an adviser for Native American affairs under President Obama, on how her worldview is built into her career.
Source: Edward S. Curtis / Historical Picture Archive / Getty

Suzan Shown Harjo, a Cheyenne-Creek elder, has been one of the most public faces in the campaign urging Washington’s NFL team to change its name, and for other high school, college, and pro teams across the country to do the same. Harjo’s activism has much deeper roots: She has been fighting to advance the rights of Native Americans for five decades, having worked with both President Carter and President Obama.

Over the years, Harjo has also been a mentor to Jodi Gillette, who is Lakota and a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. Gillette served as senior policy adviser for Native American affairs under President Obama—a position she credits Harjo

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