Valerie Phillips is of Cherokee and African American descent. She has been a Baha’i since 1989. She has an urban Indian background, having been born and raised in Chicago, Illinois where she also attended her first powwow at Navy Pier. A graduate of Wellesley College and the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, Valerie has worked primarily as an attorney (Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Attorney’s Office and solo practice) a business law professor (Washington State University – College of Business and Economics) and a law professor (University of Tulsa College of Law). She has published in scholarly journals, primarily on the subject of indigenous peoples. While an academic, she was able to participate in meetings before the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Peoples in Geneva, Switzerland and New York City. She has also traveled widely within Indian Country (U.S.A., Canada and Guatemala) as well as met many indigenous activists. Currently, she is embarking on a second career as a mathematics and chemistry teacher while retaining ties to the legal field.