Lori Windle is Anishinaabe, and is a citizen of the White Earth Nation enrolled in the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. She was instrumental in the development of SAIGE from an idea to a working organization and was the first Chairperson of the founding Board of Directors. She has served one term as Chair, three terms as Vice-Chair, four non-consecutive terms as Secretary and most recently, one term as a board member. Lori was a Co-Chair of planning the SAIGE National Training Programs in 2008, 2012, 2018 and 2021. She is a Lifetime SAIGE Member.
She has worked at the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) Western Regional Office as a video producer and as American Indian Special Emphasis Program Manager for 30 years. From 2012-2015 she was part of the DOI team that created a training course for the Department of the Interior’s Tribal Consultation Policy. In previous years she has worked in environmental justice, trust responsibility and sacred sites education for federal agencies. Lori has received several career awards including the Secretary of the Interior’s Equal Opportunity Award, the OSMRE Director’s Award, an Excellence in Government Award from the Denver Federal Executive Board, and a DOI Diversity Champion Award (largely for her work with SAIGE).
She was raised in the Denver, Colorado area where she still resides. Lori earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Metropolitan State University in Denver, and a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has also done post-graduate work in Tribal Sovereignty and Federal Indian Law, and won awards for her documentaries. In 2004, she organized the Native Peoples’ Political Alliance, a volunteer non-partisan get-out-the-vote effort to increase American Indian registration and voting in the Denver/Boulder area. In 2006, Lori was given the Inspiration Award by Boulder’s Safe House Alliance for Non-Violence for her work in the community.