Natalie Harjo was raised in a small community known as Vamoosa, Oklahoma, and was raised in a traditional Seminole home with her paternal grandparents. Fortunate to have been exposed to her culture and ceremonies from a young age, Natalie seeks out every opportunity to incorporate her culture and traditional teachings into her daily life. She credits her work ethic to her grandparents’ modeling their dedication to providing for a large family by working full-time and still having the time to show her how to hunt, process and prepare food, cut and gather wood, and haul hay. She also credits her fearlessness to her uncle—he taught her how to hand-fish, commonly referred to in Seminole County as “noodling,” when she was a child.
Natalie is Oklahoma Seminole and Mvskoke (Creek), of the Raccoon clan, and is a proud member of the Rewalke Band of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. She is not only a dedicated advocate for Indigenous rights, sacred sites, cultural preservation, and language revitalization, but also advocates for raising awareness and providing treatment options that are essential to the behavioral health of Native people in Indian Country.
Natalie has an associate’s degree in behavioral sciences from Seminole State College, and is currently working toward her bachelor’s degree in social psychology. She previously worked as a registered medical assistant/office assistant for Heartland Hospice. She came to Southern Plains Tribal Health Board from the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, after eight years, where she worked as the tribal historic preservation/NAGPRA program director.