Native American History Month Spotlight: Tamarah Begay

Native American History Month Spotlight: Tamarah Begay

Posted on November 8, 2022

Tamarah Begay, AIA, NCARB, AICAE, LEED AP BD+C is the founder of Indigenous Design Studio + Architecture (IDS+A), a Navajo Woman Owned firm who celebrated 10 years of business on July 13, 2022. Ms. Begay is a member of the Navajo Nation, trailblazing the industry as the first Navajo woman licensed architect. She has over 10 years of experience working with Native American Tribes on public safety, judicial, education, housing projects, and her recent work for the Navajo Nation has focused on Feasibility Studies and Master Planning. She is a high-level LEED Accredited Professional experienced in incorporating current sustainable practices into her innovative planning and design work. As a founding member of the American Indian Council of Architects and Engineers, Tamarah has long been committed to mentoring junior Native American office staff and students.

In an interview with the American Institute of Architecture Tennessee, when asked what advice she would share to younger architects or those new to architecture about the profession and the process of design, Tamarah responded “Architecture is also about finding your voice and where you belong. If a company does not fit your design style and beliefs, then go find a firm or start your own firm that you can feel passionate about doing design for rather than just another job. To find your niche, it can take some time, so exploring your design options is key for your professional development.” 

For more information about Tamarah and her firm, go to or to for Tamarah’s episodes with PBS New Mexico.

For more information on Native American History Month here at UNCG, head over to to learn more about the event happening this month. We acknowledge UNC Greensboro is located on land that has long served as the site of meeting and exchange amongst a number of Indigenous peoples, specifically the Keyauwee and Saura.