After 28 years owning and running her own hair salon, Tonya stepped away from the business to pursue a career where she could immerse herself in her culture and share it with others. Prior to joining the Department of Indian Work, she served as the American Indian Education Advisor in Anoka Hennepin School District, supporting more than 250 American Indian youth and 13 elementary schools. She met regularly with students, planned age-appropriate lessons and curriculum, and developed extra-curricular events for families.
Tonya is an enrolled member of the Red Lake Nation. She is the proud mother of two children, and enjoys, shopping, listening to music, traveling, and attending cultural events. She is also continuing her education at Eastern Gateway Community College.