Shay L. Downey, Cherokee Nation
Tribal Public Policy
Shay Downey, a member of the Cherokee Nation of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, is a cognitive science major at Swarthmore College with concentrations in music and theatre. She chairs the Native American Heritage Month Committee and is involved in the Swarthmore Indigenous Students Association. As a Lang Opportunity Scholar, Shay is developing a project that aims to promote advocacy for missing and murdered Indigenous women and increase accessibility to resources for survivors. Her goal is to assist in the reform of Tribal policies to better defend the rights of Native women who have historically been oppressed and silenced. Shay hopes to attend law school to become a children’s advocacy attorney.