Gail Small

Headshot of Gail Small

Gail Small is Executive Director of the non-profit Native Action. A member of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Tribe from Lame Deer, Montana, Gail is a mother of four whose Cheyenne name is “Head Chief Woman.” Gail graduated from the University of Montana with her BA, and from the University of Oregon School of Law with a Juris Doctorate Degree and a Certificate of Completion in Environmental & Natural Resource Law. With a team of Cheyenne leaders, Gail founded Native Action in 1984 as one of the first non-profit organizations on an Indian Reservation. Native Action’s work has led to national precedents in environmental policy, federal banking law, Indian voter discrimination, youth law and resulted in getting the first bank, the first public high school and the first Chamber of Commerce on the Reservation. Long-term alliances with non-Indian ranchers, labor unions, universities, non-partisan political leaders, and Tribes is key to Native Action’s success. Gail’s honors include Ms. Magazine’s 1995 Gloria Steinem Women of Vision Award, A Territory Resource Foundation’s 1997 Jeanette Rankin Award and in 1995 Montana Magazine as one of Montana’s most influential leaders in the past 25 years.

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