One of the celebrities that caught our attention and that instantly sparked viral curiosity at this year’s Met Gala is Indigenous model and activist Quannah Chasinghorse, who attended her first Met this year. The theme of this year’s Met Gala, which took place on September 13, was “American Independence.” And if there’s one person who got it right, with elegant makeup and luminously detailed accessories, it was Chasinghorse herself. But, what do we know about this rising role model?

Quannah Chasinghorse is Indigenous.

Chasinghorse was born on Navajo Nation in Tuba City, Arizona. She is both Hän Gwich’in from her mother’s side and Sicangu-Oglala Lakota from her father’s side.

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She’s only 19 years old.

Chasinghorse was born on June 7, 2002, and is currently based in Fairbanks, Alaska.

She dedicates her life as a land protector alongside her mother.

As a land protector, Chasinghorse advocates for her Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that is part of the Alaska Wilderness League. According to Teen Vogue, “she [Chasinghorse] has traveled coast to coast, advocating to protect her homelands from the desecration of oil drilling, with her mother, Jody Potts.” Additionally, her mother is a tribal member of the Native Village of Eagle and serves as the regional director.

Her intention is to preserve her land for future generations.

Based on the same Teen Vogue interview, Chasinghorse says: “I’m not an environmentalist; I’m an Indigenous youth trying to stick up for our ways of life. They’re just tearing up more land, destroying more water, and in the end, when all of the oil is extracted out of Alaska, what are they going to do? We need to reconnect and rebuild our relationship to the land. If all of this were to be destroyed from drilling and oil spills, I don’t know how I would feel connected anymore. I don’t want that taken from us.”

Her Navajo-based outfit was put together by fashion designer Peter Dundas, fashion stylist Tabitha Simmons, make-up artist Gucci Westman, and Chasinghorse’s very own aunt Jocelyn Billy-Upshaw.

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A post shared by Quannah Chasinghorse (@quannah.rose)

She curated this beautifully inspired look as a tribute to her Navajo roots, and went one step further to include her aunt’s personal silver and turquoise piece collection that she has collected from Navajo artists in the southwest.

Her pride is her culture.

During this appearance at the Met Gala, she spoke with Vogue about the importance of wearing her culture: “It’s extremely important to represent and bring authentic and true American culture to this year’s theme, as Native American culture has been appropriated and misrepresented in fashion so many times. Reclaiming our culture is key—we need to show the world that we are still here, and that the land that everyone occupies is stolen Native land.”

She started off modeling for Calvin Klein.

Yes, Quannah Chasinghorse was a Calvin girl. Soon after, she was signed to IMG Models.

Her Instagram documents her passions as both a model and an activist.

From gorgeous modeling photos to showing her protests, Chasinghorse documents all aspects of her life, including being an inspirational activist. This is encouraged by the necessity of protecting her land for future life. “This is for my future generations, lands, waters, animals, plants and ways of life,” she posted on a caption.

She was on the cover of Vogue Mexico of May 2021.

Needless to say, she is also changing the perceptions of beauty and opening doors for people of color.