Jessica Smith

Survivors' Leadership Council member

Sovereign Bodies Institute

Jessica Gidagakoons Smith is a survivor leader, researcher, student, Mcnair scholar, and legal advocate for MMIWG2 families. She is a proud two-spirit member of The Bois Forte Band of The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and a proud member of Sovereign Bodies Institute Survivor Leadership Council. Jessica speaks nationally on Indigenous issues and fights for justice for all Indigenous people by taking steps towards systemic change. Jessica is a member of the Ochichidaa-Namana Campaign through MN350 and provides educational videos on the dangers of online grooming, human trafficking, and how to protect your children online. Jessica is a dean's list student and her education has been her greatest support throughout her personal healing journey.

As a survivor, she is using her voice in and out of academia to be supportive of other survivors throughout their healing journeys. She has done national training on issues of violence against Indigenous people, including training the judicial council of California on how to better support Native LGBTQ2S victims. Jessica has received numerous leadership scholarships and awards, and is the 2021-21 Newman Civic Fellow for the University of Wisconsin-Superior. She is a newly inducted member of the Alpha Phi Sigma Criminal Justice Honor Society. Jessica has been accepted into the Masters in Tribal Administration and Governance at UMD which she will be simultaneously starting while finishing her bachelors in Legal Studies and First Nations Studies at UWS in Fall, 2021.