Indigenous Women Climb (IWC) began at the kitchen table.
Between conversations, dreams and rants about the need for more Indigenous cultural knowledge and representation in rock-climbing and Land-relations.
A growing collective of Indigenous women (non-binary, queer, trans, Two-Spirit and femme) climbers, IWC believes that Indigenous leadership is necessary in order to restore and transform our relations to the Land and Waters.
IWC is a volunteer-based collective that runs Youth and Family programming for Indigenous and BIPOC communities in service to safe, accessible and culturally grounded climbing.
Ashleigh Thompson (she/hers) is a member of the Red Lake Ojibwe Nation and a PhD Candidate in anthropology at the University of Arizona. She is passionate about all things Indigenous, especially food sovereignty, cultural revitalization, and education. Ashleigh believes being outside is paramount to healing and happiness, which she promotes through her writing and work as a sponsored athlete for Ultimate Direction and La Sportiva. She has given many presentations about Indigenous archaeology, recreating respectfully on Native lands, and creating outdoor spaces that are welcoming to everyone. Find Ashleigh trail running among ancient saguaros with her dog, Benson, or hanging off a rope on Mount Lemmon granite in Tucson, Arizona.
Cassie is a proud Niitsitapi from Siksika Nation, AB, Canada. She takes pride in giving back to her community through her career choices and hobbies. She currently works with Siksika EMS as a Primary Care Paramedic. In addition to her primary job, Cassie has been in the Canadian Armed Forces for 8 years serving as a medic. She also had a key role in the establishment of Blackfoot Fitness, an initiative that brought fitness classes to Siksika in 2014. When she is not at work, you can find her rock climbing, summiting mountains and biking. Climbing has given her the opportunity to explore and connect with her ancestral lands. Cassie's relationship with climbing has grown to become both a teacher and a healer. Her experiences in the mountains have tested her physical and mental fortitude and has taught her that she is capable of conquering her fears. She believes "Change begins at the end of your comfort zone".
Erynne Gilpin is a mixed Michif, (Red River Métis [The Pás/Duck Bay, MB], MMF) Filipina and Celtic rock climber, educator (Ph,D), and film-maker based in Canada and Brazil.
A climbing mama dedicated to land-based wellness, place-based knowledge, decolonization and healed futures.
Shaandiin Cedar (she/her) is a Diné (Navajo) Tribal member originally
from Northern Arizona. She is a sustainability professional and a
proud Native activist working to elevate and celebrate Native and Indigenous people in the outdoors.
A NativesOutdoors ambassador
for the past four years, she is passionate about her Diné people
and accelerating climate action in every facet of her work.
She’s a published writer, a rock climber, and an outspoken advocate for justice work embedded into environmental, social, and