Growing up in Canada’s Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, Ms. Barnes at the age of 13 recognized a lack of educational resources available in her small community – specifically a library. In response, she launched a media campaign that resulted in the soliciting of 30,000 books from across Canada, the United States and Australia. A now fully established library bears her name in her home community. This initiative drew national attention and she was awarded the title of Cosmo Girl of the year in 2002.
Upon high school graduation, Ms. Barnes was awarded the Governor General’s Medal for highest academic average in the graduating class of 2005. Her academic success resulted in acceptance with full scholarships from Yale, Princeton, Harvard and Dartmouth.
In her final year at Yale for Political Science and International Studies, Ms. Barnes has continued her incredible involvement in the community. She is currently responsible for developing alumni relations (Alumni Outreach) and serves on the Advisory Board at the Native America Cultural Center at Yale, and has travelled as a delegate of Yale to China meeting political leaders and students. In addition Skawenniio Barnes in an active member of the Board of Directors of the National Indian Education Association, which is the largest and oldest Indian education association in the United States.
Recently Ms. Barnes has been named one of 80 Amazing Canadian Women to Watch in Chatelaine Magazine, as well she received the John C. Shroeder Award from the Council of Masters.