Cecily joined the First Peoples Fund in 2018. She grew up in southeast South Dakota, split between the small college town of Vermillion and the muddy banks of the Missouri River in Greenwood on the Yankton Sioux Reservation.
She attended the University of South Dakota, graduating with her BA in American Indian Studies & a minor in Women's Studies. She then received her Postgraduate Diploma from The University of Auckland while studying as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar in Auckland, New Zealand. In 2015 she graduated with her Masters Degree in Social Documentation from the University of California, Santa Cruz.