Sonya Rosario

If you're going to help your people,
do it now, don't wait!
Amy Trice, Kootenai Woman Warrior

My Story/Biography

Sonya Rosario was born in San Antonio, Texas; also grew up in Italy, Holland and Terceira, Azores, as a military brat.  Living and growing up in different cultures has been an incredible asset to relationship building and taught me the value of community.   In 1994, Sonya moved to Idaho and in 1995, worked for Head Start in a small agricultural community.  In 1998, she would work for a political watch dog organization focused on Campaign Finance Reform and social justice.  In 1999, Sonya would create the Women of Color Alliance (WOCA) focusing on race and gender.  In 2002, she would interview Native sisters throughout Idaho on the historical impact of the word squaw, and create the film, the “S Word.”  In 2006, she would film Amy Trice and the Kootenai Tribe on their declaration of war on the US Government in 1974 and be accepted to the San Francisco Native American Film Festival.  Sonya’s film career began with a family Panasonic VHS camcorder; she has not looked back since. 

Sonya is a multidimensional woman with a cultured experience and enriching history as an activist, artist, creator, leader, and public speaker. Her visions transcend both activism and film; founder of the Women of Color Alliance, a non-profit that encourages the entrepreneurial spirit in women living on Reservations and rural Idaho by placing their handcrafted items on store shelves in Dunia Market Place, giving them a first or second income. It is through this work and journey of growth, Sonya, witnessed the work of other women in her community that surround her, and the possibilities for them to leave their legacy of their work through film.  

Sonya is a grassroots organizer and filmmaker and her creative endeavors give voice to people who deserve to be recognized for their struggle to advance their communities. Her work is an intersection at the identities of gender, ethnicity, indigeneity, environment, and relationship. She is known for her films Idaho’s Forgotten War, Duck Valley Boys & Girls Club, The Sofa Diaries, Who’s in Your Corner, and the Historical Impact of the S Word.  

  • The Idaho Historical Museum, screens, “Idaho’s Forgotten War” at its Grand Opening, 2018
  • Geena Davis, Bentonville Film Festival; First Place for Short Feature, 2016
  • Idaho Hometown Hero Award, JRM Foundation, 2016
  • Sofa Diaries Awarded Grant, Idaho Film Commission, 2015
  • Nominated, Trail Blazer, National Association Women’s Business Organization, 2013
  • Awarded Zion’s Cultural Grant; Women of Color Alliance, 2011
  • Idaho’s Forgotten War” Smithsonian Selection: “Journey Stories,” Bonners Ferry Museum, 2010
  • “Idaho’s Forgotten War,”  Idaho PBS, 2010
  • Nominated, HERO Award Boise State University, Cultural Center, 2010
  • Women of Color Alliance Achievement Award, 2009
  • Legacy of Leadership Award, Spelman College, 2007
  • Profiled by the Idaho Statesman Newspaper, “Woman Making Change in Idaho,” 2004
  • Special Invitation, United Nations Kofi Annan, Secretary General, 2003
  • Women’s Campaign School at Yale University, 2003