Pearl Walker-Swaney

Pearl is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and is also affiliated with White Earth. She is Eagle Clan. Pearl grew up in the Bemidji area where she graduated from high school and went to college. Pearl ran on the Women’s Track & Field and Cross Country teams throughout college at Bemidji State University where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, in Indian Studies with minors in Chemistry and Ojibwe Language in 2011. Pearl went on to complete a Master’s in Public Health with a specialization in Health Management and Policy from the University of North Dakota in 2014. She was a Project Manager for INBRE at North Dakota State University and worked with Tribal colleges to build research capacity from 2015 to 2018. She transitioned to a Program Manager with Native Governance Center in 2018, a Native-led nonprofit based in St.Paul, Minnesota. Her role is to oversee and support the leadership area of the organization through the Native Nation Rebuilders Program. Pearl is an alumna of the Native Nation Rebuilders program from Cohort 7. Pearl also is passionate about birthwork. She is a certified doula and lactation counselor, has received traditional birthing training, is active in the Ninde Doula Coalition based in the Twin Cities, and a member of Nitamising Mashkikikaan, a grassroots organization led in partnership with four other indigenous doulas and lactation counselors. Pearl believes in providing full spectrum support from pregnancy, birthing, postpartum care, to parenting that is grounded in indigenous practices and love to heal and respect the sacredness of birth and babies. She shares her passion for birthwork on her social media and her personal blog. In her downtime Pearl enjoys writing, organizing, reading books, listening to podcasts, instagram, being outside, kettlebells, and spending time with her family.