Staff

Who We Are

We are committed to social, economic and environmental justice principles that advance healthy and sustainable communities for Native families living in New Mexico.

Only the Best

Working to improve the quality of life for Native American communities and protect the continuity of Native American cultures

Our Staff

Ahtza Dawn Chavez

Ahtza Dawn Chavez

Executive Director

Ahtza (Ahh-ttsaa) D. Chavez is a two-spirit asdzą́ą́ member of the Diné Nation born for Kewa Pueblo. She is the proud mother to a son and the daughter of Cari W. (Diné) and Everett F. Chavez (Kewa Pueblo). As the Executive Director of Naeva (501c3) and NM Native Vote (501c4), she oversees partner organizations tasked with educating and creating an indigenous voting bloc in New Mexico working with key organizations and governance within the state.

She is the small business owner of IndigeLens Media, which focuses on showcasing Indigenous voices, enhancing tribal community, promoting social entrepreneurship, and increasing visibility of authentic representations of Indigenous culture and language.

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Aaron Lee

Aaron Lee

Climate & Energy Policy Fellow

Aaron Lee is a Navajo, Cochiti Pueblo, and Oglala Lakota person from Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is a recent graduate from Dartmouth College with a major in Environmental Studies and a minor in Native American Studies. Prior to joining Naeva and NM Native Vote, Aaron served as a K-8 th grade horticulturalist teacher for Bernalillo Public Schools, a forest conservationist for Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, and program site manager for Story Riders.

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Joseph Hernandez

Joseph Hernandez

Indigenous Energy Organizer

Joseph Hernandez grew up in Pueblo, Colorado in the Bessemer Community and graduated from Shiprock High School in 2006. Joseph worked as support staff for the Youth Opportunity Program with the Navajo Nation Office of Youth Development, Shiprock agency.  He was a Field Organize for Anthony Allison campaign for New Mexico House of Representatives, House District 4 as well as former Committee President, Gadii’ahi-To’koi Chapter Community Land Use Planning Committee.

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Wendy Atcitty

Wendy Atcitty

Diné Energy Organizer

Wendy Atcitty is a Navajo Nation tribal member, born for the Bitter Water clan and Salt Clan. From 1996 to 2007, Wendy achieved various research projects with science degrees in Earth and Environmental Science and Chemistry. From 2007 to 2018, she has been an educator in schools on Native American reservations teaching a cultural-based science curriculum in physics, chemistry, environmental science, and business. In 2018, a Master’s in Sustainable Business from Presidio Graduate School established an entrepreneurship journey in sustainable business. Current work is with non-profit organizations like Naeva to highlight, organize, and advocate clean energy issues and a regenerative economy on tribal land.

Petyr Xyst

Petyr Xyst

Interim Communications Director

Petyr Xyst is a Laguna Pueblo human who started at Naeva and NM Native Vote in the summer of 2022. He graduated with a BFA in film from the University of New Mexico in May of 2022 and has been involved in political organizing since he was in high school for local and national campaigns as well as movements in environmentalism, gun violence, and policing. He is an alum of Sundance’s Indigenous Program and was nominated for Rolex’s Mentor and Protégé initiative.

Charlotte Little

Charlotte Little

Naeva Deputy Director

Charlotte joined Naeva/NM Native Vote in April 2022 as the Deputy Director. She previously contributed to the NAVA Education team as a small business owner, hired to lead Get-Out-The-Vote efforts for elections and campaigns in targeted tribal communities, coordinating the Native Census Coalition during the 2020 Decennial Census, and the 2021 Redistricting efforts. Born in Albuquerque and raised in San Felipe Pueblo, Charlotte received a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico and previously worked in Government Relations, Tribal Administration, Human Resources, and as an Administrative Officer in the Indian Health Service. Charlotte has most recently served as Vice-Chair of New Mexico Voices for Children, President of Emerge New Mexico, and Chair of the San Felipe Pueblo Health Board. She lives in Albuquerque with her husband, Joseph (Mescalero Apache/Ohkay Owingeh). They are the proud parents of a blended family: Victoria, Daniel and Christopher and 10 grandchildren.

In the 2022 General Election, Charlotte Little became Representative for NM House District 68, representing northwest Albuquerque.

Reyaun Francisco

Reyaun Francisco

Diné Elections Organizer

Reyaun Francisco is of the Naakai Dine’e (Mexican People Clan), born for Kinya’aanii (Towering House People Clan), and maternal grandfather of the Maii Deeshgiizhnii (Coyote Pass People Clan). Born an environmentalist/conservationist, generations of stories, songs and prayers were passed onto Reyaun that have guided him to ensure we protect our land, air and water for future generations. After graduating from New Mexico State University, Reyaun has diversified his knowledge in voter outreach, food insecurity, and land management. After learning about the 1979 Churchrock Uranium Mine spill in his community, he has been a vocal advocate for a just transition that incorporates Indigenous voices, lifeways, and communities.

Bernadette Hardy

Bernadette Hardy

Albuquerque Organizer

Bernadette Hardy is from Albuquerque New Mexico. Bernadette is a member of the Diné Nation and Jemez Pueblo. She is the proud mother to one teenage son. Bernadette holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of New Mexico. Being an Urban Native herself she has experienced and witnessed the disenfranchisement and inequities of urban Natives striving to achieve and live a good heathy life in our urban city.  Bernadette has several years experiences as a mentor, mentor trainer and supervisor of several mentoring programs. Bernadette has more than fourteen years experience in grassroots organizing in the Albuquerque area as co-coordinator of the International District Healthy Communities Coalition. With the support of many partners, family and community, Bernadette continues to be an advocate for our Native families who deserve access to housing, healthy food, safer infrastructure and the right to live a long healthy, prosperous life.
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Audrianna Wehakee

Audrianna Wehakee

Election Protection Fellow

Audrianna Weahkee is from the first cohort of the Native Youth Organizing Council (NYOC) She now works as the Election protection fellow at Naeva. She is a mother of one baby girl. She is Dine, Cochiti and Zuni. She comes from a long line of Community organizers and Educators. Being an urban Native she cares about urban native communities and their youth. She wants to make change big or small and help her fellows wherever she can. She wants to make communities better for her daughter to grow up in.

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Maiyah King

Maiyah King

Data Fellow

Maiyah King is from the Navajo Nation and the Pueblos of Acoma and Laguna. Maiyah analyzes and organizes C4 data for NM Native Vote. She is a UNM Undergraduate majoring in Native American studies. She loves creating art, writing, playing music and loves cats.

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