Iyona Freeland is a member of the Diné tribe. She identifies as Tsi’naajinii (Black Streaked Wood people), born for Bit’anii (Under His Cover/Leaf clan). Iyona grew up on the Navajo Nation; in her hometown St. Michaels, Arizona.
Iyona graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University with a B.A. in Political Science and American Indian Studies with a certificate in American Indian Governance. Her undergraduate studies focused on Native American perspectives and ideologies, law and society, and throughout her years of schooling, also concentrated on embracing her Diné language.
Iyona has previously worked as an administrative/legal assistant while living in New Mexico where she worked on environmental law, often assisting attorneys and researching cases. She also participated in the Native American Management Program with the Town of Gilbert as an Intergovernmental Relations Intern. During her time in Gilbert, she conducted research for town projects, communicated with different departments to accomplish tasks and assisted with community assignments including nonprofit undertakings and the observation of town council meetings. She also gave various presentations throughout her internship that centered around the contributions of Native American identity as well as a comprehensive understanding of diversity and inclusion.