Liz La quen náay Medicine Crow (Haida/Tlingit) is from Kéex’ Kwáan (Kake), Alaska. She is an enrolled Tribal Citizen of the Organized Village of Kake. On her Haida side she is Eagle, Tíits G’itanée, Hummingbird. On her Tlingit side she is Raven Kaach.ádi, Fresh Water-marked Sockeye Salmon, of the Kutís Hít House. Her maternal grandparents were Mona & Thomas Jackson, Sr. of Haida Gwaii/Hydaburg and Kake, respectively. Her paternal grandparents were Lillian and Charles Cheney of Washington. Her parents are Della and William Cheney of Kake. La quen náay’s heart is always at home in the village with her family and people. Integrating Native knowledge and values into organizations, governance mechanisms, and everyday life is a primary passion and responsibility she has pursued through her education and career.
La quen náay received her BA (BFA Equivalency) from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, and her law degree from Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, graduating with a Juris Doctorate and a Certificate in Indian Law. Since coming to First Alaskans Institute, La quen náay has served as the Director of the Alaska Native Policy Center and Vice-President, and she now serves as the President/CEO, providing a direct path for service to our Native peoples.
La quen náay serves as the President/CEO of First Alaskans Institute, having formerly served as the organization’s Vice President and before that as the Director of the Alaska Native Policy Center. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Sealaska Corporation, Spruce Root, Philanthropy Northwest, Perseverance Theater, ACLU- Alaska, Vision Maker Media, and Get Out the Native Vote (GOTNV). Her current affiliations include: US Civil Rights Commission – Alaska Advisory Committee; University of Alaska System Alaska Native Recruitment & Success Initiative Steering Committee; Chair, Elections Policy Working Group, Alaska Lt. Governor’s Office/Division of Elections; Native Peoples Action Steering Committee; Philanthropy Northwest Nominations & Governance Committee; University of Alaska Strategic Planning Groups – Alignment and DEI; AFN Climate Change Task Force; AFN Council for the Advancement of Alaska Natives (CAAN); Co-Chair, Alaska Resilience Initiative Steering Committee; Anchorage Vaccine Advisory Committee; US Truth, Racial Healing, & Transformation Coalition; Mariculture Task Force Alaska Native Advisory Committee; Fort Lewis College’s President’s Tribal Advisory Committee; Kake Tribal Corporation shareholder; Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp #10, Kake; Kéex’ Kwáan Dancers. She is on a learning journey with both her Xaad kil and Lingit languages.