My family is originally from Southwest Oklahoma (Comanche and Kiowa allotted lands). I was raised in Dallas, Texas due to my grandfather being a part of the Relocation Act of the 1950's.
My grandparents have had a great impact on my childhood and instilled in me the importance of obtaining a higher level of education through all their hard work and dedication to the native community of Dallas. My grandparents are the co-founders of the Dallas Inter-Tribal Center, Dallas-Ft. Worth Inter-Tribal Association and served as a liaison to the Dallas public school system and Dallas Police Department. Having grandparents as mentors, I learned the value of dedication, commitment and serving others.
I'm an only child, however, I have a large family on both sides. I have eleven aunts and uncles on my father's side and six on my mother's side.
In addition, I have a lot of cousins (who are like my brothers and sisters) and I have many "adopted" (Indian way) relatives in Oklahoma, Montana, and Canada. My interests and hobbies include dancing at powwows, sewing, beading, seeing a good movie, or anything where I'm spending quality time with my family.
I am a 7th generation descendant of Kiowa Chief White Bear (Sa-tan-ta) from my maternal grandmother. I am also a descendant of Comanche Chief Ten Bears from my maternal grandfather and I belong to the Kwaharu (Antelope) Band and the Penatuka (Honey Eaters) band of the Comanche.
I received an Associate in Arts degree from Seminole State College in Seminole, Oklahoma. After that I received a BA in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma (BOOMER SOONERS!!) in Norman, Oklahoma.
From Northern Arizona University I got a master of education degree in Human Relations and I am currently working on my second master's degree Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. In the future I see that a possible doctorate degree from ASU, NAU, or OU might be a possibility.
When I first moved out to Arizona I definitely wanted to work with American Indian students in education.
I began my career working with Mesa Public Schools Native American Program as an Instructional Assistant. Although I liked working with K-12, I saw an opportunity at Mesa Community College working as a Program Advisor in the American Indian Center so I made a choice to come to higher education.
Currently, I am serving as the interim coordinator of the American Indian Center/American Indian Institute and am grateful to be working with the largest population of native students in the Maricopa District.
Yvonne was recently married to Chris Dinehdeal and together with their family, they live in Mesa.