Travel + Leisure (USA)
With her high cheekbones and facial tattoos, Quannah Chasinghorse is undeniably striking, but it was the model’s advocacy work that clinched her first big job. In Calvin Klein’s 2020 CK One campaign spotlighting young voters, she was featured (in a pair of the label’s jeans) for her stance on Indigenous sovereignty and the climate crisis, saying, “I see myself as a protector.” Two years later, Chasinghorse, who is both Hän Gwich’in and Oglala Lakota, has walked the runway for Chloé and Gabriela Hearst and is the first Indigenous woman to appear in a Chanel campaign. Now 19, she is using her fame and social media presence to advocate for a range of Indigenous issues, from equal representation in the media to oil drilling in her home state of Alaska. Over the past year she has been traveling across the U.S. with her mother, activist Jody Potts, calling for legislation to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a sacred Hän Gwich’in land and a habitat for gray wolves, caribou, and polar bears. Her next mission is to open summer camps for Indigenous youth to celebrate their heritage, much of which has been erased. “I want future generations to practice our culture and traditional ways,” she says.
“We can’t just sit back and watch what happens. We need to take action.”
— Gisela Williams