Headwaters Board Member, Nikki Pieratos / Waasegiizhigokwe (Bright Up the Sky Woman)

Nikki is Anishinaabe from the Bois Forte Nation and Executive Director of Tiwahe Foundation. Her background is in community development finance and research. Her experience includes establishing and running a federal credit union for the Bois Forte community, research and engagement on capital access for Native communities at the Minneapolis Fed, and new models for lending and investing in Indian Country at NDN Collective. She is a recognized thought leader, speaker, and writer on changing systems within philanthropy and impact investing to align and support racial, social, economic, and climate justice. Nikki has an MPP from the University of Chicago after her time as a high school teacher.

Nikki believes in Indigenous excellence and is passionate about proliferating our knowledge and practices, because the world needs what we have to offer. Philanthropy and the non-profit sectors desperately need our teachings on generosity, reciprocity, and future-planning.

Nikki relocated to Minneapolis from Bois Forte a few years ago and enjoys visiting home often with her two young children. In the city, she enjoys a good comedy show or lake walk. Personal motto – “How we do things is as important as what we do.”