Winoka Begay is a fourth year doctoral candidate in the Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies program at the University of New Mexico with a graduate minor in museum studies. Her focuses are Indigenous education, Indigenous identity development, postcolonial and tribal critical race theory, and museum interpretation. Of Diné (Navajo) heritage, Winoka Begay was born and raised on the Navajo reservation in Shiprock, New Mexico. She is a semi-fluent speaker of her Navajo language, an advocate for the sustainability and revitalization of Indigenous cultures and languages, and a strong supporter for the arts and arts education. Winoka currently holds two degrees; a Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Law and Native American Studies from the University of New Mexico and a Masters of Arts in American Indian Studies with a concentration in Indigenous education.
Winoka currently works at SITE Santa Fe as an Indigenous Outreach Coordinator, in which she is responsible for connecting SITE with various Indigenous communities in the Southwest through art-related programming and outreach. Winoka is currently in the process of working on her dissertation research which aims to identify alternative and new representations of Indigenous identity from a post-colonial perspective through storytelling and discussion, while also identifying how art-based practices impact the development of identity for Indigenous youth. Most of her work is directed toward young Indigenous people, as a means of helping them develop their own voice within their community, to establish a space for artistic and personal expression, and to inspire the youth to take action in their communities, whether that is through activism, policymaking, self- expression, or creating new learning opportunities for future generations.