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As a tribal citizen of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Sonya Monk embraces her Choctaw teachings as it adds a unique perspective to her relationships, professional endeavors, leisure time, and civic activities. It is a source of strength and motivation that inspires Sonya to actively support, celebrate, and preserve the cultural heritage of her Choctaw people. This driving force also extends to the Native American and Indigenous Communities as well.

In her personal life, Sonya is blessed to be married to Delvin Monk for over 27 years and they have two adult children together —one pursuing higher education to become a Native Entrepreneur and the other actively serving as a Nuclear Engineer within the US Navy. Having served in the US Navy herself, Sonya is a proud veteran and continues her service in uniform as a Navy Reservist today. Her family is Christian, and she and Delvin actively serve as Officers in the First Indian Baptist Church (Ripley, Tennessee).

Education is a cornerstone of Sonya’s journey, holding degrees from National University in San Diego, CA. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational leadership, a Master’s in Business Administration, and a Master’s in Accounting that helped prepare her for employment with the US Department of Energy as an accountant.

Through her multifaceted contributions, Sonya lists a few of her contributions to demonstrate her commitment toward advancing Native American causes: (2009) Co-Founder of the University of Southern Mississippi – Center for American Indian Research and Studies with a minor degree in American Indian Studies. (2023) Co-Founder of Warriors Helping to Educate and Empower Lives, an employee resource group advocating for Native Americans and allies employed with the US Department of Energy. In her community, Sonya serves as a Treasurer for her church. She is a chairwoman for an Economic Development Committee for a Native American non-profit group in West Tennessee. And, during Tax Season, she does pro bono work annually to help low-income families with their taxes.

Proud of her Mississippi Choctaw heritage, Sonya embraces the cultural teachings passed down by her family and her late grandmother, Rosalie Steve—a beloved medicine woman and former tribal council woman. In her personal time, Sonya enjoys writing, beading, sewing, cooking traditional dishes, creating Choctaw Corn Shuck Dolls, and conducting research.

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