In The Know Honors: Charitie Ropati

Advocate for Native students
Age: 20
Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska

Charitie Ropati, a member of the Native Village of Kongiganak who is fighting against Native American erasure from history books, is an advocate for Indigenous students’ education. According to the National Congress of American Indians, Native youth face some of the lowest high school graduation rates nationwide, with even fewer continuing on to enroll in and graduate from college. Education, as well as accurate historical representation, is crucial for the future of Native American communities. Ropati is combating this educational issue by developing a new curriculum that is more inclusive of the Indigenous perspective, acknowledging the violence and atrocities they have faced throughout history. 

“It is no longer OK to accept classes that refuse to acknowledge the histories of Indigenous people,” she wrote in an essay for the Malala Fund. “Native students must speak out, and educators must listen to our voices.”

Instagram: @charitieropati
Twitter: @charitieropati
Photo credit: Chase B. Guerin 

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, In The Know is highlighting changemakers who are impacting the world through cultural advancement, community leadership and entrepreneurial innovation. See all of our honorees here.

Listen to the latest episode of our pop culture podcast, We Should Talk: