Wil Gover

Program Associate

Pawnee, Tohono O’odham, Cherokee Program Associate

Wil Gover joined First Nations as a Program Associate for the Stewarding Native Lands program in May 2023. He is a citizen of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma. His clan is Pâhukstâtü (Pumpkin Vine) of the Skidi band, and he is also of the South bands of the Pawnee: the Pitâhâwirâtâ, Kitkehķâhkî, and Chauî. Wil is Tohono O’odham on his father’s side, and Cherokee on his mother’s.

Wil graduated from the University of New Mexico, receiving his B.A. in Native American Studies with a concentration on leadership and building Native nations, and a minor in management, in December 2022.

Prior to attending UNM, Wil received his A.A.S. in accounting from Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) in 2013, and was involved in student activities and community outreach. He served as the vice president of a student organization, and then president of the Student Senate, bringing students together to share cultural activities. Leaning on his background as hirüskâ, Wil regularly shared songs and stories with the student community, as well as conducted beading sessions, round dances, and other events to bring a “home” feeling to the SIPI campus.

Wil is currently pursuing his M.A. in Native American Studies at UNM and spends his free time with his partner and daughter, traveling, movie going, and taco truck hunting. He is a hirüskâ dancer, and can be found stomping away at local powwows and events. He is the head singer for his family drum group, Shield Chief, and they can be found at both the UNM and SIPI campuses, sharing songs, stories, and food to all those who stop by for a visit.

Nawa irî!