Maia grew up in Philadelphia, where the impact of pollution and environmental degradation affected her life directly. From a young age, Maia cherished the outdoors and developed a special appreciation for conserving precious ecosystems. Her love for the outdoors inspired a move to Colorado, where she graduated from Colorado College with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. Her undergraduate thesis focused on cross-cultural communication as a civic skill for cross-cultural alliances in Indigenous rights movements.
Her continued advocacy for indigenous and human rights, land stewardship, and community engagement has extended to various organizing, academic, and community involvements. While working in Washington D.C, at the Office of Native Affairs for the ACHP, Maia developed and proposed a youth program in land preservation as a part of UNDRIP and Generation Indigenous initiatives. Maia was an organizer for Uplift, a SHiFT youth-award winning conference to empower youth leadership in climate action on the Colorado Plateau.
In British Columbia, Maia founded the film series in Vancouver called ‘350 Films for Justice,’ and served as Assistant Director for Community Eats, a food waste and community lunch initiative. She is currently working on her Master’s degree in Anthropology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. Maia’s research focus is to understand how communities utilize memory as a tool of resilience following forced displacements due to mega resource development projects and climate change. Last November, Maia attended the UN Climate Talks in Bonn, Germany as a youth delegate with SustainUS. She recently was awarded the CC Faces of Innovation for her work to identify the challenges of climate change.
Maia is a published writer, her most recent work appears in the book, Colorado’s Emerging Writers: An Anthology of Fiction. Maia seeks to connect dynamic and diverse audiences on issues of climate justice and forced displacements through multiple mediums including academia, film, writing and community organizing.