Samara Almonte is part of the Michoacan diaspora, raised between the lakes and tierra caliente regions of Michoacan and occupied Coast Salish territory or the Pacific Northwest. Samara identifies as a P’urhepecha descendant reconnecting with her ancestors, which has greatly influenced her work as storyteller and urban planner. She grounds her work in a decolonial framework that uplifts Indigenous self-determination. Samara holds a B.A in Urban Planning and Sustainability Development, with a specialization in Environmental Justice and Education, from Western Washington University. Samara is also a 2018-2019 Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program alumni, from the University of Michigan.