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 Coast. 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.