Natalie Nicholson headshot.

Natalie Nicholson

Bush Fellowship
24 months

Bemidji, MN — Natalie Nicholson (Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation) understands the persistence required to achieve a dream. The former Olympian and world champion curler was also a first-generation college student. As a nurse, she co-leads the Indigenous Breastfeeding Coalition in Minnesota to help re-establish a strong, traditional breastfeeding support network for Indigenous families and caregivers, and to help health care providers understand how to help improve rates of breastfeeding in Native communities. She wants to address health disparities in Native populations by providing culturally specific health care services for Indigenous people. She seeks to blend Western medicine and traditional Native American healing practices with her community members. To advance her vision, she will study with Indigenous advisors and healers, complete her doctorate in nursing practice, and take the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant exam in the future, which will make her one of only a dozen Native Americans in the country to hold this lactation certification. She will also seek training in leading complex systems through change.