Joni Kitmiiq Spiess is an Iñupiaq woman born in Nome, Alaska, who has been a traditional games competitor, coach, and encourager to many. After studies in Anchorage, Joni returned to Nome and taught physical education to elementary school children from 2005–2012. She also began demonstrating the Native games to her students and soon was coaching a team. Now in Anchorage, she’s involved in health education for young children through the Southcentral Foundation. Joni is married and the mother of two young boys.