Emily McDonnell is an enrolled member of the Navajo (Diné) Nation. She was raised and educated in the reservation town of Kayenta, Arizona. Like many of her peers she has family that attended the local boarding school in her community, and this inspired her to intern at the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona. As an undergraduate student Emily became passionate about educational equity, which she continues to study. Her main areas of interest include the effects of culturally responsive curriculum, the use of Indigenous languages in the classroom, and how the boarding school era continues to influence the modern Native American educational experience. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in Public Administration at Arizona State University. Upon graduation, she hopes to pursue a law degree with the goal of working on education reform and issues of tribal sovereignty. She is also a research assistant at the American Indian Policy Institute at Arizona State University.