Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism

Covering Native Americans in the 21st Century

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   (804) 370-5249 (cell)
  avkadams@yahoo.com
Kenneth Adams was elected Chief of the Upper Mattaponni in January 2001. He grew up in King William County, Va., home of two of the oldest Indian reservations in America and also home of the Upper Mattaponni Indian Tribe. Adams attended Sharon Indian School in King William County and was the first Indian to graduate from King William County High School in 1965. He spent 24 years in the United States Air Force, retiring in 1990. Adams received his B.S. from Southern Illinois University.

   (928) 871-7359
  tomarviso@thenavajotimes.com
Tom Arviso Jr. (Navajo) is the publisher of The Navajo Times, a tribally owned publication of the Navajo Nation, located in Window Rock, Ariz. He is also the chief executive officer of the newly created Navajo Times Publishing Company, Inc. The Navajo Times, a weekly publication, is the largest Native American owned newspaper with a circulation of 21,400 and over 100,000 readers each week. The Navajo Times' primary readership lies within the Navajo Nation and all of its border towns and communities. It also has 1,500 mail subscriptions from all over the world. Arviso was hired as the editor of The Navajo Times in October 1988 and assumed the duties of editor and publisher in 1993. He is an advocate for freedom of the press and has fought many battles with tribal government leaders and officials over editorial control and censorship. To seek independence from tribal government ownership, Arviso recently convinced the Navajo Nation Council to approve the incorporation of The Navajo Times. Beginning January 1, 2004, the Navajo Times Publishing Company, Inc. officially began operation.. Arviso previous experience includes working as a sports writer and news reporter with The Navajo Times TODAY, the first and only Native American owned daily newspaper, from 1984 to 1986. Prior to that, Arviso wrote for The Arizona Indian, a monthly publication based out of Phoenix, Ariz. He is a former board vice president and treasurer of the Native American Journalists Association and is currently a member of the Arizona Newspapers Association Board of Directors. In 1997, Arviso was awarded NAJA’s prestigious “Wassaja Award” for “extraordinary service to Native journalism.” In 1998, he was honored by the Arizona Newspapers Association with the “Freedom of Information Award.” Arviso received a John S. Knight Fellowship in Journalism in 2000-2001 and studied newspaper management at Stanford University. He was the first Native American to have been selected for a Knight Fellowship. Arviso majored in journalism at Arizona State University and Mesa Community College.

   (415) 338-2083
  cazocar@sfsu.edu
Christina L. Azocar (Upper Mattaponni Tribe of the Powhatan Nation) is the director of the Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism (CIIJ) and an adjunct assistant professor of journalism at San Francisco State University. Her research and teaching focuses on portrayals of people of color in the news. Azocar's interest in diversity in the news media spans more than 10 years, and began with her concern about negative representations about Native Americans. Azocar serves on the boards of the Native American Journalism Association, the California Society of Newspaper Editors, Grade the News and the Sequoyah Research Center. She is also on the task force for diversity for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. The Journalism Association of Community Colleges has chosen her as the Journalism Educator of the Year for 2005. She received her master's degree in Ethnic Studies and her bachelor's degree in Journalism from San Francisco State University and earned her doctorate in Communication Studies at the University of Michigan.

Duane Beyal is the editor of The Navajo Times.

   (608) 263-6570
  bull@wpr.org
Brian Bull is the assistant news director for Wisconsin Public Radio in Madison, WI. Before coming to Wisconsin Public Radio, Bull was news director for South Dakota Public Radio, and for National Public Radio's Morning Edition. The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association recently honored Bull for “Best Feature of 2005” for large market radio. He also has won numerous Native American Journalists Association awards, the Edward R. Murrow award for Best Writing (Regional) and for Best Documentary (National), and many others. Bull has attended many workshops including the Poynter Institute's newsroom leadership training, NPR's diversity initiative and PublicRadio News Directors Incorporated's Talk Show conference. He is a member of the Native American Journalists Association, the Radio-Television News Directors Association, NPR's Next Generation Project, and the Nez Perce tribe. Bull received his bachelor's degree in Psychology from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN.

Conroy Chino is New Mexico’s Secretary for the Department of Labor, responsible for managing over 650 employees in the New Mexico Department of Labor, which houses four divisions; Human Rights, Labor and Industrial, Employment Security and Administrative Services. Conroy is currently the highest-ranking Native American in state government. Prior to his appointment, Conroy worked in television news for more than 24 years; most of that time spent in the Albuquerque market as an investigative reporter and a television anchor for a daily newscast. Conroy recently create an independent video production company. He also helped narrate and produce a number of documentaries, including the nationally acclaimed PBS documentary called “Surviving Columbus,” detailing the historic contact between Europeans and the Pueblo People of New Mexico. He is currently finishing up another feature length PBS documentary on “Urban Indians.” He was the voice behind the Smithsonian and the Museum of the American Indian radio series, “Living Voices.” Finally, he has hosted several one-hour PBS talk shows on Erasing Hate, Racism, and Prejudice. Conroy is from Acoma and has strong ties to his pueblo and his people. Conroy was raised on the reservation, attended schools nearby, and was sent away to boarding school at age 13. He attended the University of New Mexico, Princeton University Graduate School, and Harvard University on a journalism fellowship. His B.A. degree is in English, with a specialty in early 20th century American Literature.

   (918) 631-2542
  John-coward@utulsa.edu
John M. Coward is associate professor and chair of the communication faculty at The University of Tulsa. A former newspaper reporter and editor in Tennessee, he has published articles and book chapters on Native American representations in 19th and 20th century media. His book, The Newspaper Indian: Native American Identity in the Press, 1820-1890, was published in 1999 by the University of Illinois Press. He also reviews books for The Tulsa World, specializing in history and contemporary affairs. He earned a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Texas at Austin.

   (909) 880-5735
  jdelator@csusb.edu
Joely de la Torre (Pechanga Band of Luiseño Mission Indians) is an associate professor of public administration at California State University, San Bernardino. She specializes in tribal gaming, American Indian federal law, government and policy, power studies and political development, California Indian political and contemporary issues, education, mass media, tribal telecommunications and social justice issues. She has published numerous essays and articles, including "In the Trenches: A Critical Look at the Isolation of American Indian Political Practices in a Non-empirical Social Science," in the book Indigenizing the Academy; "Native American Gaming in California," Congressional Quarterly Press, American Political History Series Native Americans, and "From Activism to Academics: The Evolution of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State 1968-2001," in Indigenous Nations Studies Journal. De La Torre is currently working on a forthcoming book, published by the University of Texas Press, on American Indian Political Power in the New Millennium. De La Torre previously served as the department chair and professor of the American Indian Studies Department at San Francisco State University. In addition to her academic positions, De La Torre also served as the special advisor to the California Lieutenant Governor Cruz M. Bustamante for California Indian Sovereign Nations in 2002. She is also a lecturer of American Politics for the Department of Political Science at the University of San Diego. De La Torre is the owner and founder of Naqmayam Communications, an independent, full service California Indian owned and operated public relations agency. Naqmayam Communications, also known as Naqcom, promotes socially conscious marketing and consumer and cultural education. De La Torre also serves as the executive producer for the upcoming documentary entitled, "I is not for Indian," which explores the controversy of how Native American curriculum is taught in public schools. She has also been interviewed on National Public Radio, television and news specials on issues relating to tribal gaming, social justice issues, American Indian political development, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation, and California Indian issues. De La Torre holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science with emphasis in Public Policy and American Indian Studies from Northern Arizona University and a B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in Public Law from California State University, Long Beach.

R. Lee Flemming is the director of the Office of Federal Acknowledgment, Office of the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs, US Department of the Interior.

   (202)-547-5531
  sharjo@cris.com
Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee) is a poet, writer, lecturer, curator and policy advocate, who has been involved in the recovery of more than one million acres of land and numerous Native American sacred places. She also is a columnist for Indian Country Today, and received the Native American Journalists Association’s 2004 First Place Award for Best Column Writing. During the last 30 years, she was involved in the development of key federal Indian law, including the 1996 Executive Order on Indian Sacred Sites; 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act; 1989 National Museum of the American Indian Act; and 1978 American Indian Religious Freedom Act. Harjo also is president and executive director of The Morning Star Institute, a national Native rights organization founded in 1984 for Native Peoples’ traditional and cultural advocacy, arts promotion and research. A leader in cultural property protection and stereotype busting, Morning Star sponsors the Just Good Sports project, organized the first National Day of Prayer to Protect Native American Sacred Places (2003) and coordinated The 1992 Alliance (1990-1993). Harjo was one of seven Native Americans who filed the Morning Star-sponsored lawsuit, Harjo et al v. Pro Football, Inc., challenging the name of Washington’s professional football team, before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Board in 1992. Harjo’s essay on the case, “Fighting Name-Calling: Challenging ‘Redskins’ in Court,” is published in Team Spirits: The Native American Mascots Controversy (University of Nebraska Press, 2001). Founding Co-Chair of The Howard Simons Fund for American Indian Journalists, she was news director of the American Indian Press Association and drama and literature director and “Seeing Red” producer for WBAI-FM Radio in New York City. Her essay, “Redskins, Savages and Other Indian Enemies: An Historical Overview of American Indian Media Coverage of Native Peoples,” is in Images of Color: Images of Crime (Roxbury, 1998 and 2001). The School of American Research’s 2004 Dobkin Artist Fellow, Harjo also was a SAR Summer Scholar for 2004. Executive director of the National Congress of American Indians from 1984-1989, she also was special assistant for Indian legislation and liaison in the Carter Administration and principal author of the 1979 President’s Report to Congress on American Indian Religious Freedom.

   (520) 615-5300
  ehenson@lexecon.com
Eric Conrad Henson (Chickasaw) is a director for the economic consulting firm of Lexecon, Inc. and a research fellow for The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. In his role with Lexecon, Henson provides economic and financial analysis in the areas of oil and gas valuation, antitrust claims, and market structures. He also plays a key role in Lexecon’s special services in support of Native American economic development and governmental design. Recent work on behalf of Native Americans has included lease negotiations for a Band with an industrial facility located on-reservation, as well as participation in a project assessing environmental mitigation efforts and impacts on salmon. In addition, he is a frequent speaker at conferences and symposia on issues relating to sustainable economic development in Indian Country. At Harvard, Henson focuses on the interaction of government and business. His thesis examined the importance of a Uniform Commercial Code for economic development on Native American Reservations. He was the Kennedy School’s Christian A. Johnson Native American Fellow for 1996-98. He earned his B.B.A. in Business Economics from the University of Texas at San Antonio, an M.A in Economics from Southern Methodist University and a Master in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, at Harvard University.

Emil Her Many Horses (Oglala Lakota) is an associate curator in the office of Cultural Recourses at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, specializing in the Northern and Southern Plains culture. Her Many Horses is an accomplished beadwork artist and winner of the 2001 Best of Show category for his tribute to the Lakota Sioux Vietnam Veterans at the Northern Plains Tribal Art Show. Her Many Horses was lead curator for the inaugural permanent exhibition, “Our Universes: Traditional Knowledge Shapes Our World,” which focuses on indigenous cosmologies – world views and philosophies related to the creation and the order of the universe – and the spiritual relationship between humankind and the natural world.

   (202) 466-7767
  jjohnson@ncai.org
Jacqueline Johnson (Tlingit) is the executive director of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), which was founded in 1944 and is the oldest and largest tribal government organization in the United States. NCAI serves to inform the public and the federal government on a broad range of federal policy issues affecting tribal governments. NCAI also coordinates communications among all tribal governments and serves as a forum for consensus-based policy development among its membership of more than 250 tribal governments in the United States. Besides her duties at NCAI, Johnson serves on a variety of national executive committees, including the executive board for the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; the National Conference for Community and Justice and National Voices. She is also a board member of Sealaska Corporation, an Alaska Native regional corporation. In her commitment to American Indian youth development, Johnson sits on the Native American Advisory Council for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Prior to joining NCAI in June 2001, Johnson served as deputy assistant secretary for Native American Programs of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Office of Native American Programs (ONAP) administers programs throughout the United States, which provide affordable housing for Native Americans. Previously, Johnson served as the executive director of the Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority headquartered in Juneau, Alaska and she is a former Vice-Chair of the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation. She served as chairperson of the National American Indian Housing Council and was appointed to the National Commission on American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Housing. She also has served on the National Community Development Financial Institution Fund Advisory Board, an advisory board to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. She is a member of the Raven/Sockeye Clan of the Tlingit Tribe and is a former member of the Central Council of the Tlingit-Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.

Richard Kontz is the executive director of the Navajo Partnership for Housing.

  dlewerenz@ap.org
Dan Lewerenz (Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska) is correspondent for The Associated Press in Cheyenne, Wyo., and president of the Native American Journalists Association. Dan joined the AP in Kansas City, Mo., after graduating from Kansas State University; he worked as a reporter in AP bureaus in Helena, Mont., and Columbia, S.C., and was correspondent in State College, Pa., for four years before moving to Wyoming. Dan was elected to NAJA's board of directors in 2002, and served as chairman of the education committee and vice president before being elected president in August 2004.

   (202) 708-0950
  Michael_M._Liu@hud.gov
Michael Minoru Fawn Liu assumed his duties as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing (PIH) September 2001, overseeing the administration of all public housing, Housing Choice Voucher/Section 8 rental assistance, and Native American housing programs. The scope of his authority comprises well over $20 billion or 60 percent of HUD’s annual operating budget. Notable achievements under Liu’s tenure include, successful implementation of the Section 8 Homeownership Program resulting in over 2,200 new homeowners; reduction by half or $1 billion annually in subsidy overpayments; more than doubling mortgage production using the Native American Section 184 single family loan guarantee program; and development of the Public Housing Capital Fund Financing Program which has brought in $2 billion in private sector investment for public housing. Prior to his Presidential appointment as assistant secretary, Liu served as senior vice president for Community Investment and Managing Committee Member for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago. Liu also served as deputy under secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1991 to 1993. Liu is from Hawaii where he has practiced law, been a vice-president for Bank of America, and spent 10 years in the Hawaii legislature. Liu received his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, and is a graduate of the University of Hawaii’s Richardson School of Law.

   (916) 321-1072
  smagagnini@sacbee.com
Steve Magagnini has covered ethnic affairs and race relations for The Sacramento Bee since 1994. His projects, "Orphans of History" (about Hmong refugees) and "Mending The Past" (on reparations) appear in the anthologies, Best Newspaper Writing 2001 and 2002. In 2001, "Orphans of History" won an American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing award, and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism gave Magagnini a Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding coverage of race and ethnicity in America. He also has been honored for his coverage of South Africa's free elections in 1994, the tragic modern history of California Indians, the impact of immigrants Sacramento, and a CIA front in Honolulu that bilked investors out of $20 million. Before joining The Bee as a Sunday magazine writer in November 1995, he covered breaking news and investigations for The San Francisco Chronicle. Magagnini has been a Freedom Forum Fellow and a Jefferson Fellow in Asian Studies, and in 2002 completed a Stanford Knight fellowship. Magagnini is a graduate of Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass.

   (505) 552-6451
Lee Marmon was born on the Laguna reservation in New Mexico in 1925 and has lived there for most of his life. His book, “The Pueblo Imagination," was voted best art book of the year in the Mountains and Plains Book Sellers’ Association 2004 regional book awards contest. It also took a first place award from Independent Publisher Online in 2004. The 159-page book features a collection of Marmon’s best-known tribal photographs and landscape images, dating back to 1949. Collectively, they chronicle the last generation of the Laguna and Acoma tribes to live by their traditional ways and values. Marmon’s images are interwoven with native poetry and prose by his daughter, Leslie Marmon Silko, as well as poet Joy Harjo and poet Simon Ortiz.

   (406) 243-2191
  dmcauliffe@reznetnews.org
Dennis McAuliffe, Jr. (Osage Tribe of Oklahoma) directs the Reznet project (www.reznetnews.org) at the University of Montana as the Native American Journalist in Residence. Funded by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Reznet is an online newspaper written by Native American students at tribal colleges. The program is intended to increase the number of Native Americans pursuing journalism careers. In 2000 and 2001, McAuliffe also was one of four Freedom Forum Diversity Fellows, who traveled across the country to colleges and universities with high minority enrollments to identify talented students of color for careers in print journalism. The fellowship was part of the Freedom Forum's national effort to increase diversity in newspaper newsrooms. McAuliffe visited 65 colleges, many with high enrollments of American Indians. McAuliffe also helped create and teaches at the Freedom Forum’s American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota each summer, and is a former board member of the Native American Journalists Association. A Freedom Forum grant brought McAuliffe to the University of Montana School of Journalism from The Washington Post, where he worked for 16 years, mostly as a foreign desk editor. He has continued his relationship with The Post by occasionally “stringing” news stories from Montana. He is the author of "The Deaths of Sybil Bolton: An American History," an account of the murder of his Osage grandmother during the Reign of Terror against the Osage Indians in the 1920s (republished in paperback as "Bloodland: A Family Story of Oil, Greed and Murder on the Osage Reservation"). He is a U.S. Army veteran, and winner of the 1995 Oklahoma Book Award for Non-Fiction, and of Vanderbilt University's 1968 Grantland Rice Memorial Scholarship for Sportswriting.

John McCain U.S. Senator (R-AZ), has a long career of public service. After graduating from the Naval Academy in 1958, McCain began his career as a Naval aviator. In 1982, he was elected to Congress representing what was then the First Congressional district of Arizona. In 1986, he was elected to the U.S. Senate to take the place of Arizona’s Senator Barry Goldwater. McCain is currently the senior senator from Arizona. In 2000, McCain ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for President of the United States. He is currently the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and serves on the Armed Services, and Commerce, Science, and Transportation committees.

   (303) 447-8760
  mmccoy@narf.org
Melody L. McCoy (Cherokee) joined the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) as a staff attorney in 1986. At NARF, McCoy works primarily in the areas of jurisdiction in Indian Country, tribal rights in education, tribal trust funds, and tribal intellectual property rights. McCoy is a past co-chair of the Federal Bar Association’s Indian Law Conference, 1990-1992. She served as president of the Colorado Indian Bar Association from 1990-1992, and a board member of the American Indian Bar Association (now the National Native American Bar Association) from 1990-1991. She was a member of NARF's Litigation Management Committee from 1992-1995. She is admitted to practice law in Colorado and Massachusetts. She has practiced before all levels of tribal and federal courts, including arguing a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and law degree from the University of Michigan.

   (510) 757-4212
  victor@merina.net
Victor Merina is a senior fellow at the University of Southern California Annenberg Institute for Justice and Journalism and is serving as senior fellow for WKC on the Covering Indian Country seminar. He also is an editor for reznetnews.org that showcases stories and photo essays about Native Americans. A former Los Angeles Times reporter, he was a member of the paper's investigative projects team that was a finalist for the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for its series “And Justice for Some: Homicides in Los Angeles County.” He also shared in the paper’s 1993 Pulitzer for spot news coverage of the L.A. riots following the Rodney King verdict. A former fellow at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center, Merina has led writing workshops in South Africa and taught at the American Indian Journalism Institute in South Dakota, as well as the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute in Nashville. Merina has spoken at the Harvard Nieman Narrative Writing Conference and at various National Writers Workshops and journalism conventions including those organized by the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the UNITY consortium of minority journalist organizations. He also was a teaching fellow at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and a University of California Regents Lecturer. He has presented at the University of Hawaii, University of Alaska at Anchorage, the University of Missouri, Columbia University and other colleges. Merina writes occasionally for the Los Angeles Times Magazine and Sunday Opinion section. He is a member of the Asian American Journalists Association. He has a B.A. in political science from UCLA and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

   (760) 325-3400
  lydiavortexpr@aol.com
Richard Milanovich just completed his 20th anniversary as chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in Southern California. His service on the Tribal Council started as a member in 1978. He then served as secretary from 1981 until 1984 when he was elected as Tribal Council Chairman. Among the tribal and community projects undertaken during his tenure are: the Tahquitz Flood Control; Palm Springs Convention Center; purchase of the Spa Hotel in 1992; the addition of the Spa Resort Casino in 1995; development and construction of the Agua Caliente Casino in 2001, as well as the opening of the new $90 million Spa Resort Casino in 2003 and the Spa Hotel’s Well Center Fitness Center in 2004. In addition to his duties as Tribal Chairman, Milanovich has been active in a number of community organizations. In 2004, he was appointed to the Native American Stewardship Committee for the Autry National Center. In 1990, he was appointed to the State Historical Resources Commission and was re-appointed in 1994. In addition, Milanovich has served as a member of the Bureau of Land Management’s California Desert Advisory Council, and the Native American Heritage Commission. He is also a lifetime honorary member of the Desert Riders; the Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy; a founding member of the Santa Rosa Scenic Committee; and an appointed member to the National Monument Advisory Board for the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto National monument. Milanovich also serves on the Department of Interior’s Advisory Committee to the Office of Special Trustee; and represents the tribe as their voting member on the Coachella Valley Association of Governments Executive Committee. Milanovich served in the United States Army from 1960 to 1963. In 1994, He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business and Management from the University of Redlands.

   (916) 448-8706
  Susan@cniga.com
Anthony Miranda (Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians) was elected in 2003 to lead the 64-member California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA), a statewide organization devoted to advancing the lives of Indian peoples economically, socially and politically. Miranda also serves as chairman of the CNIGA Technical Standards Committee and the Conference Committee. Prior to being elected chairman, Miranda served as CNIGA secretary. Miranda has devoted more than a decade of his life to bringing economic development to the Pechanga Indian Reservation. From 1991-1993, he was chairman of the Pechanga Economic Development Committee, the precursor tribal government organization that led to the formation of the Pechanga Development Corporation (PDC). The four-member corporation oversees and manages all tribally-owned businesses, including the Pechanga Resort & Casino. Miranda was elected to the first PDC in 1994 by the Pechanga General Council and is serving his sixth consecutive term on the board. Miranda also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Council on Problem Gambling, an organization committed to increasing public awareness of pathological gambling and ensuring the widespread availability of treatment for problem gamblers and their families. During his tenure, the Pechanga Resort & Casino grew from a modest bingo hall to one of the major Indian gaming facilities in the United States, employing more than 4,500 people. A recognized expert in the Indian gaming industry, Miranda is regularly invited to address forums by the International Gaming and Business Expo, the World Congress of Gaming, the National Indian Gaming Association, the Nevada Society of CPAs and other gaming related organizations, trade shows and seminars. Miranda earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of California, Riverside.

Marty Kreipe de Montano of the Prairie Band Potawatomi is manager of the Resources Center, National Museum of the American Indian.

   (760) 323-8299
  RonO@ci.palm-springs.ca.us
Ron Oden was elected mayor of Palm Springs, Calif., in November 2003, after having served on the Palm Springs City Council for nine years. Oden’s private sector experience has centered on education and social issues. He has worked with Desert Career College, College of the Desert, Chapman University and he has served as pastoral care consultant at the Betty Ford Center. As a community leader, Oden’s involvement has included such organizations as the Palm Springs Human Rights Task Force; former Palm Springs Human Rights Commission (former Chairperson);United Way of the Desert Board of Directors; Riverside County Community Action Commission; board of directors of Shelter from the Storm (Board of Directors); political action coordinator for the local chapter of the NAACP; Education Alert Committee of the Coachella Valley; Coachella Valley Counseling (Board of Directors);African-American Student Association of College of the Desert (Co-Advisor); Negro Academic Scholarship Fund Mentor Program; Palm Springs High School African-American Advisory Committee; College of the Desert Faculty and Staff Diversity Task Force; Desert Sun Futurist Panelist; Palm Springs Unified School District Intergroup Relations Committee; Community Care Council; and board of directors of the Inland Empire Lenders Community Development Corporation. He holds a B.A. in history, sociology, and theology and M.A. in theology and ethics studies, with post-graduate courses in marriage, family and child counseling.

   (619) 445-3810
  rbeasley@viejas-nsn.gov
Anthony R. Pico was reelected to the leadership of the Viejas Band in December 2002 after having stepped down in from the chairmanship in 2000 following 18 consecutive years in the post. Under his leadership, the Viejas Band set a state and national example for economic development and diversification. Operators and owners of the multi-million dollar Viejas Casino, Viejas Outlet Center, an RV Park located on the reservation in Alpine, Calif., and another RV Park nearby, the tribe is also the majority shareholder of Borrego Springs Bank and a partner with three other tribes in the $43 million Residence Inn by Marriott, located near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Pico served as co-chair of the successful Proposition 1A campaign initiative, giving California Indians the constitutional right to engage in casino gaming on tribal land. He is a former chairman of the California Nevada Indian Gaming Association, now the California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA), having served for many years as chair of the association’s Public Relations Committee. Pico also served many years on the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) Executive Committee and the NIGA/NCAI (National Congress of American Indians) Tribal Leader Task Force on Indian Gaming. Today, he serves as co-chairman of the Education Committee for the Tribal Governance and Economic Enhancement Initiative. He was named NIGA’s Man of the Year in 1997, and received the organization’s 1999 Award for Outstanding Spokesman for Indian Gaming. Pico also received the Indian Leader of the Year Award from the National Indian Business Association, and the 2000 Golden Achievement Award from the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Diego. A requested speaker and writer, Pico founded and served two years as chairman of the National Inter-Tribal Relations Network, providing public relations support for NIGA and NCAI. In 1998, Chairman Pico received the Jay Silverheels Achievement Award from the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. Pico has an Associate of Arts Degree from Grossmont College and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Long Island University, New York.

   (406) 523-5299
  Jodi.Rave@missoulian.com
Jodi Rave reporter and columnist, covers Native American issues for 58 newspapers in 22 states for Lee Enterprise newspapers, the nation’s fourth largest daily newspaper group. She is based at the Missoulian in Missoula, Mont., where she started working after completing a 2004 Nieman fellowship at Harvard University. Her prior work had been at the Lincoln Journal Star in Nebraska. Rave also has worked as a business reporter at the Idaho Statesman and for the Salt Lake Tribune. She’s been with Lee Enterprises since 1998. During that time, she’s won several journalism awards, including top honors from the Nebraska Associated Press, Native American Journalists Association, the University of Nebraska, and the U.S. Army. She has twice been honored by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism for her reporting on race and ethnicity. Additionally, she has been a visiting faculty member of the Poynter Institute, where she’s led discussions on covering race in news stories. She is also a featured monthly “Journalism with a Difference” column for Poynter.org. Rave graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

   (505) 552-6008, ext. 25
  g.sanchez@lagunaed.net
Gilbert Sanchez (Laguna/Jemez Pueblo) is the executive director of the Laguna Department of Education. His professional career path has been focused on working within Indian Education programs for the last 28 years. He has been a teacher, coach, academic coordinator, community school coordinator, assistant principal, and superintendent. During the last 12 years he has worked to establish a tribal department of education for the Pueblo of Laguna. The program has grown from a $1.2 million annual program to a $14 million tribal system of education. He holds a bachelor degree in Physical Education and a Master degree in Education Administration.

Helen Maynor Scheirbeck (Lumbee) is the assistant director for Public Programs at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Scheirbeck is responsible for educating museum visitors about the history and cultural expression of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, including Native Hawaiians, through performances, film, lectures and other special events. She oversees the museum’s publication and education departments as well as the film and video center located in the George Gustav Heye Center in New York City. Scheirbeck is a former member of the Museum’s first Board of Trustees where she served as the Secretary to the Board for two terms. She has worked for the U. S. Senate, the departments of Health and Human Services and Education and in the private sector with numerous national Indian organizations and foundations. She has long been an advocate of American Indian and Alaska Native cultural institutions and worked to encourage use, preservation and enhancement of Indian languages and cultures. Scheirbeck has organized cultural festivals, pow-wows, curated Museum exhibits, conducted cultural symposia with traditional Indian leaders and scholars, organized arts and crafts co-ops, encouraged and developed marketing outlets for Indian artists and craftsmen. Scheirbeck’s entire career has been devoted to advocating Indian rights and self-determination and encouraging the growth and organizing Indian educational institutions.

   (310) 825-1744
  sekaquaptewa@law.ucla.edu
Pat Sekaquaptewa (Hopi) is the director of the Native Nations Law and Policy Center which houses the Tribal Legal Development Clinic and the Hopi Appellate Project at the University of California Los Angeles School of Law. She also teaches the Tribal Legal Development course and the Nation Building course in the American Indian Studies department at UCLA. In 1998, she worked for the law firm of Alexander & Karshmer, which represents American Indian tribes, Alaska Native villages, and inter-tribal organizations. She is co-founder and Associate Director of the Tribal Law and Policy Institute formerly located in San Francisco and now located in West Hollywood. The Institute is committed to the development of tribal justice systems and, among other things, coordinates conferences on national policy and law affecting tribal courts, tribal-federal and tribal-state relationships, and comparative tribal law. The Institute is also engaged in providing on-site technical assistance to tribes setting up or enhancing their tribal courts and related systems. She earned her B.A. from Stanford and her law degree from University of California at Berkeley.

Marley Shebala is a reporter at The Navajo Times.

Joe Shirley, Jr. is president of the Navajo Nation.

Ron Solimon is the presaident and CEO of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.

   (202) 633-6611
  sweeneyt@si.edu
Thomas W. Sweeney (Citizen Potawatomi Nation) is the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian’s Director of Public Affairs. He served previously as the public affairs director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior. He is a former senior editor of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and communications manager for the National Park Service cultural resources division. His journalism career includes work as editor and staff writer of San Francisco Business Magazine, senior editor of Garden Design Magazine, and as a reporter for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. He is a member of the Native American Journalists Association and the NBC-4 Community Advisory Board in Washington, D.C. Established in 1989, through an Act of Congress, the National Museum of the American Indian is an institution of living cultures dedicated to the life, languages, literature, history and arts of the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere. The museum includes the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall, the George Gustav Heye Center, a permanent exhibition and education facility in New York City and the Cultural Resources Center, a research and collections facility in Suitland, Md. Sweeney is a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Journalism and attended Trinity College Dublin and the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.

   (202) 208-4866
Ross O. Swimmer (Cherokee) was named the Special Trustee for American Indians in April 2003, the first Native American to be nominated for the position which was created by Congress in the 1994 American Indian Trust Fund Management Reform Act. The Special Trustee ensures that the policies, procedures, practices, and systems of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Minerals Management Service, and the Bureau of Land Management related to the discharge of the Secretary's trust responsibilities are coordinated, consistent, and integrated. The Special Trustee also accounts for the daily and annual balance of all funds held in trust by the United States for the benefit of an Indian tribe or individual Indians and has direct fiduciary responsibility for these assets. Before being named Special Trustee, Swimmer was director of the office of Indian Trust Transition which was established to create an organization within the Department of the Interior to manage trust assets on behalf of Indian Tribes and people. Prior to joining the department, Swimmer had a legal and consulting practice in Tulsa, Okla., that was engaged in law, banking and other businesses. He also served as Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs from 1985 to 1989 under the Reagan administration where he was responsible for the general policy regarding Indian affairs and oversight of Indian activities. He had direct experience with the management of tribal trust funds and settlement of tribal water right claims in the West. Swimmer served as president of the Cherokee Group L.L.C., from 1995 to 2000. The Group is a consulting firm that represents Indian clients engaged in government issues at the state and federal level and supports the development of businesses on Indian lands. Swimmer also served as principal chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, where he was elected to three successive terms. With his roots in Oklahoma, Swimmer attended Oklahoma University, where he received both his Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees.

   (505) 277-9180
  witespider@aol.com
Patty Talahongva (Hopi) is an award winning producer who has long been an independent journalist, working in print, radio and television news. In January of 2002, she was named co-anchor of “Village America,” a national news program that airs on PBS stations. In 1998, Talahongva started White Spider Communications, a company dedicated to covering news about Indian tribes, people and organizations. Earlier in her career Talahongva served as Newscast Producer at KTVK-TV and KSAZ-TV, both in Phoenix, Ariz. For four years Talahongva also reported for “21st Century Native American,” a Native American Public Affairs show which airs in Phoenix on KTVK-TV, Channel 3. In addition to her ongoing wok as a journalist, Talahongva also served as president of the Native American Journalist Association. Talahongva is full-blooded Hopi from Polacca (First Mesa), Ariz. She comes from the Water and Corn Clans and her Hopi name is Qotsakookyangw Mana, which means White Spider Girl.

Bill Thorne, Jr. is the CEO of the Acoma-Coanconcito-Laguna Health Center.

   (202) 260-7485
  Indian.education@ed.gov
Victoria Vasques (Diegueno of the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians) is the Assistant Deputy Secretary of Education and Director of the Office of Indian Education at the U.S. Department of Education. In this position, Vasques serves as the principal point of contact within the federal government for Indian education and for the 32 tribal colleges and universities across the nation. The mission of the Office of Indian Education is to support the efforts of local education agencies, Indian tribes and organizations, postsecondary institutions, and other entities to meet the unique academic and culturally related needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives so that these students can achieve to the same challenging state standards as all students. Vasques has more than two decades of experience in education and American Indian issues, having served as executive director of the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities, director of Indian Affairs at the Department of Energy, as an education program specialist in the Office of Indian Education, on the President’s Commission on Indian Reservation Economics, and on the Presidential Commission on the HIV Epidemic in the Reagan administration. Her experience with Indian issues outside the federal government includes serving as a technical assistant specialist at the National Congress of American Indians, and as tribal liaison at The Committee for the 50th Presidential Inaugural. She was named American Indian Woman of the Year in 1986. She is also a member of the Decade Society, a non-profit organization of young Washington-area professionals dedicated to supporting local charities involved in areas such as literacy, health care, child safety, after-school enrichment and education. Vasques received her Bachelor of Science degree from California State University at Fullerton, and received teaching credentials from the University of California at Irvine.

   (847) 491-4635
  m-a-weston@northwestern.edu
Mary Ann Weston is an associate professor at the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, where she teaches courses in history and issues of journalism, reporting on race, and reporting and writing. She has written and spoken widely on diversity and the news. Her book on portrayals of Native Americans in the 20th century press titled Native Americans in the News was published in 1996 by Greenwood Press. She was co-editor and co-writer of U.S. News Coverage of Racial Minorities 1934-1996: A Sourcebook, published in 1997 by Greenwood Press. Other research and publication has focused on newspaper portrayals of Arab Americans, on 20th century Chicago journalism, on portrayals of women in newspaper editorials, and on newspaper comic strips. She has contributed to the Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives, Dictionary of American Biography, Dictionary of Literary Biography, Journalism History, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly and Newspaper Research Journal. In 1998 she received a Northwestern Alumnae Association grant to develop a course titled “Reporting Across Race and Culture,” which was first offered in spring 1999. In 1997 and 2003 she was the faculty member in charge of the Medill School of Journalism’s Global Journalism program. She served as associate dean from 1998 to 2001. A former newspaper reporter and free lance writer, she has reported for newspapers in England and for the Detroit Free Press, among others. She was a member of the Detroit Free Press staff that won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the 1967 riots there. She also is a former assistant curator of the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Evanston, Ill. Her professional and research interests include news coverage of racial and ethnic groups, women in journalism, Chicago newspapers and newspaper comic strips. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Medill School of Journalism.

   (703) 768-3640
Patricia Zell (Navajo/Arapahoe) recently left her position as Democratic staff director and chief counsel of U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs as well as her duties as editor of Indian Law Review. Zell’s involvement in Indian Affairs issues began when she worked for the American Indian Policy Review Commission from 1975 to 1977, serving as the research director for the Task Force on Tribal Government and later as a member of the staff that prepared the Commission's final report. In 1977, she joined the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, where she worked on the Investigation into the Administration of Justice by the State of Washington as it affects Native Americans and was a contributor to the Commission's 1981 publication entitled Indian Tribes: A Continuing Quest for Survival. In 1978, Zell joined the staff of the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs as a professional staff member and also began her legal studies at Georgetown University, earning a Juris Doctor in 1981. After graduation from Georgetown, she worked for a year as a staff attorney with the American Indian Lawyer Training Program before returning in 1982 to the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs to serve as a staff attorney. In 1985, she began serving as the editor of the Indian Law Reporter. In 1986, the then new Chairman of the Committee, Senator Daniel Inouye, appointed Zell as Chief Counsel to the Committee. In December 1990, she also assumed the duties of Staff Director. During her career her work on behalf of Native Americans has been recognized by a number of organizations including receiving the 1992 Distinguished Service Award from American Indian Resources Institute.

 
What fellows have to say about past seminars:
"I want to say I've been to three census trainings in under two years and this was by far the most interesting, most useful and the most fun... Thank you for this amazing opportunity. You step in where may news organizations fall short, and provide tools most reporters would not otherwise have access to. You do journalism and readers a great service! "
- Natalie Singer, Palm Springs Desert Sun
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