Crystal Echo Hawk

Founder and executive director, IllumiNative

Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States


“I believe we can empower people to be the authors and champions of their own stories.”

Leadership: Crystal Echo Hawk is an indigenous leader working to advance authentic, contemporary stories of Native Americans in an effort to shift public perception and increase support for Native peoples and issues.

Crystal directs IllumiNative, an organization that is turning research into action and building a movement of Native leaders and non-Native allies working to drive narrative change around Native Americans. She previously co-led the Reclaiming Narrative Truth project, the largest public opinion research and strategy-setting initiative led by and for Native peoples on harmful Native Americans narratives. Crystal has dedicated her career to shaping the perspectives of influential institutions and industry leaders in media, pop culture, and K-12 education.

Vision: Today, the majority of Americans know little to nothing about Native peoples, and Crystal’s work aims to address that. She seeks a world where Native histories and contemporary contributions are taught in all schools and Native peoples have increased representation in television and film, a world where they are authors of their own stories, able to build awareness and power to advance self-determination and equity for all Native peoples.