Tanaya Winder is an author, singer / songwriter, poet, motivational speaker and educator who comes from an intertribal lineage of Southern Ute, Pyramid Lake Paiute, Diné, and Duckwater Shoshone Nations where she is an enrolled citizen. Tanaya’s performances and talks emphasize the importance of “heartwork” – the life path one is meant to follow by using his/her/their gifts and passions. She blends storytelling, singing, and spoken word to teach about different expressions of love (self love, intimate love, social love, community love, and universal love).
She is the Director of the University of Colorado Boulder’s Upward Bound program; during her 10 years there she has served hundreds of Indigenous youth. She also co-founded Sing Our Rivers Red’s MMIW earring exhibit. Tanaya believes everyone has a gift they’ve been placed on this earth to share. Her specialties include: youth & women empowerment, healing trauma through art, creative writing workshops, and mental wellness advocacy.
She writes about love, loss, longing, grief, and coping mechanisms. Her poetry is an act of survival and resistance.
Tanaya spends her free time writing music and playing guitar. She is an acoustic singer/songwriter who is currently working on her first album. She also loves musicals and watching movies to decompress.
Some of her favorite authors include: Joy Harjo, Heid Erdrich, Benjamin Garcia, Billy Ray Belcourt , Leanne Simpson, Cherrie Moraga, Layli Longsoldier, Natalie Scenters-Zapico, Michael Wasson.
Right now she is reading Sabrina & Corina by Colorado author, Kali Fajardo-Anstin.
- Why Storms are Never After People and Bullets Remain Nameless
- Love Lessons in a Time of Settler Colonialism in Poetry Foundation
- Missing More Than a Word in Poetry Foundation
- My brother asks to teach him how to pray in Wildness