Fellow Feature: Aurora Conley

aurora-conleyLeadership Wisconsin Group XVII Fellow Feature

My name is Aurora Conley and I am Anishinaabe from the Bad River Band of Lake Superior where I work as the Litigation Support Specialist for Bad River Tribe’s Legal Department. My community life extends beyond my professional work, however; where I serve as Vice-Chair on the Anishinaabe Environmental Protection Alliance, I am a First Responder for the Bad River Volunteer Fire Department, and I co-coordinate a Harm Reduction Needle Exchange in the region.

I hold my Associate’s Degree from LCO Community College in Liberal Arts and am in pursuit of my Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. In an effort to continue my learning, I graduated from the Ashland/Bayfield County Leadership Program. It was this experience that inspired me to participate in Leadership Wisconsin’s Signature Program to learn more about self and community.

I have a passion for resiliency and perseverance and hope to inspire those ideals in others. More specifically, I am dedicated to addressing issues related to education, poverty and addiction recovery. I hope to work on these issues by serving Native communities, especially youth, in order to link us to the bigger Wisconsin, national and international scope of our identities. As I have begun to strengthen my own voice, I hope to help others find their voice so we may all advocate for our families and communities to address people’s needs and celebrate their value.

I did not set out to be a leader. I merely wanted to gain the skills necessary to help me cope with different situations, environments and people. As I have grown, I have needed to believe not only in myself, but also my peers and the future of Wisconsin Native leaders. My goal is to be part of something bigger, not the biggest part of something and I will continue on that path of leadership as I try to empower Native communities.

Leadership Wisconsin has introduced me to many facets of self and state by teaching me critical skills necessary for effective leadership. I now look at how we influence the processes and systems that exist and recognize my own power to change them. With this understanding, I hope to work toward more safe and sustainable communities where my family, my community and my people can thrive.

Assist Aurora’s Leadership Journey by becoming a Tuition Sponsor. Contact Leadership Wisconsin at 608-263-0817.

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