Who's Who of Professional Women


Mitchelene BigMan

Mitchelene BigMan is a staunch advocate for veterans and Native Americans. Attributing her success to her ambition, she is proud of having the courage to speak up for others in need. During her childhood, she lived intermittently on a Native American reservation. As a woman, Ms. BigMan has always faced challenges with fitting in. To get to where she is today, she has worked relentlessly to prove herself and continues to pursue vital goals aimed at helping her fellow Native Americans. In this vein, Ms. BigMan is the founder and treasurer of the The Native American Women Warriors Association, based in Florida. Given Native Americans’ high rate of representation in the armed forces, The Native American Women Warriors Association exists to support Native American women, the United States’ fastest-growing population of veterans.

As a veteran, Ms. BigMan is retired from the U.S. Army, in which she served for 22 years beginning in 1987. She was employed at the Army Community Service from 2009 to 2010 and worked for the U.S. Department of Defense as a civilian from 2009 to 2019, after which she transferred to the U.S. Department of the Interior, where she remains today. Now a member of the Non Commissioned Officers Association, Ms. BigMan has never been too timid to voice her feelings and share her passions. She first enlisted after a brief period of collegiate study, where she focused on business and music, specifically violin and viola performance. During her service, she also was a diesel mechanic in a combat arms unit and served in the artillery and combat engineering divisions, defying gender stereotypes.

Ms. BigMan holds a master’s degree in legal studies in Indigenous peoples law from the University of Oklahoma. Further, she earned a Master of Business Administration and a bachelor’s degree in business management, both from the University of Phoenix. Outside of her accomplishments in academia and advocacy, she co-authored “Her War Too!” and “Her War Too! Volume II: From TRAILS to TRIUMPHS.” Among her ongoing achievements, in 2012, Ms. BigMan received the Society of American Indian Government Employees Award, known as SAIGE. In 2013, she ran for Miss Veteran America, and the same year she marched in the inauguration parade for President Barack Obama. Impressively, in 2014, Ms. BigMan was named White House Champion of Change. Then in 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, she participated in the in the virtual “Parade Across America” as part of the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

The Native American Women Warriors Association is the first all-female Native American Color Guard, which brings Ms. BigMan great pride. She has always taken any opportunity to uplift and advocate for veterans and Native Americans. To this end, she participated in the Miss Veteran America pageant to use it as a platform to advocate for Native Americans and fellow veterans. Ms. BigMan proudly identifies as a member of the Apsáalooke Nation and has welcomed four adoptive Native American children, her nieces, and nephews, into her family. To aspiring advocates and professionals of all stripes facing discrimination or obstacles, she advises maintaining a thick skin and transcending stereotypes. When she isn’t working, Ms. BigMan enjoys exercising, listening to music and podcasts, walking, and making Native American outfits for members of The Native American Women Warriors Association.


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