Chas Laila Tso

Programs & Tribal Initiatives Manager

Yá'át'ééh, Chas Laila Tso (she/her) is an Indigenous Trans Woman from the Diné (Navajo) Tribe. She is from the Towering House People clan and was born for the Bitter Water People clan. Her maternal grandfathers are the Salt People, and her paternal grandfathers are the Sage Brush Hill People Clan. She is from Thoreau, N.M, on the Eastern Agency of the Navajo Nation. Chas resides in Albuquerque and has been active in the Trans community since 2009. She is a powerful advocate for the Native Trans community, including providing meals to the Trans community during the Holidays. She takes and learns from her leaders, such as Mattee Jim, whom she calls her Mother (Shi ma'), her Trans sister (Sha’di)  Bunnie Cruse and Elton Naswood, her Great Aunt Eartha. They have helped and guided Chas through her most challenging years when unhoused and unemployed. She is a resilient, unapologetic Native Trans person; with her fierceness, she feels it is only the beginning of great things to come and be done. Inclusion is happening but making it known needs to be consistent.

Affiliations: Native entrepreneur participant with American Indian Business Enterprise, NMSU Arrowhead Center, Current Chair for the Transgender Resource of New Mexico, Former Human Rights Committee with Liferoots Inc. and COI Inc., Former Student Government Association President RJCC.