Growing up in western South Dakota, Jacob had the opportunity to learn about the culture and values of Native communities, including their strengths and their struggles. Because of this experience, he developed a deep interest in working with Indigenous people. Jacob has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota in biochemistry and genetics, cell biology and development, and a minor in American Indian studies. He obtained his Juris Doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law with the intent of working to support Native people. Jacob previously worked at the Indian Child Welfare Law Center in Minneapolis, the Native law firm Swanson, Drobnick & Tousey, PC, and as a tribal attorney for the White Earth Band of Ojibwe representing survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assaults.
At the age of 23, he was diagnosed with brain cancer and has first-hand knowledge of the anxiety and fear associated with having cancer. Through this experience, Jacob learned the importance of the support given by relatives and the community. It is his commitment to work with Indigenous people and his personal connection to cancer that drew him to work at the American Indian Cancer Foundation (AICAF). Jacob hopes to support AICAF’s community partners and work towards eliminating this disease for all people.
Pilamaya and Chi Miigwech!