2021 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship Advisory Committee
Sean Buffington served as President of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia before joining the Luce Foundation as Vice President in 2015. During his tenure, the University developed and introduced an innovative interdisciplinary curriculum, launched a number of new degrees, and established a program for creative entrepreneurs. Before moving to Philadelphia, Sean was a senior administrator at Harvard University, initially overseeing inter-faculty initiatives in neuroscience, health policy and environmental studies on behalf of the Provost, and then managing Harvard’s arts and culture activities as Associate Provost. Sean received the A.B. summa cum laude from Harvard College and an M.A. in American Culture from the University of Michigan. Sean served as an ex officio member of the selection committee.
Brenda Child, PhD, is Northrop professor and chair of the Department of American Studies at the University of Minnesota, and former chair of the Department of American Indian Studies. She is the author of several books on American Indian history, including Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900-1940 (1998), which won the North American Indian Prose Award; Holding Our World Together: Ojibwe Women and the Survival of Community (2012); Indian Subjects: Hemispheric Perspectives on the History of Indigenous Education (with Brian Klopotek, 2014). Her 2014 book, My Grandfather’s Knocking Sticks: Ojibwe Family Life and Labor on the Reservation, won the American Indian Book Award and the Best Book in Midwestern History Award. She is a member of the board of trustees of the National Museum of the American Indian-Smithsonian and past president of the Native American & Indigenous Studies Association. Dr. Child was born on the Red Lake Ojibwe Reservation in northern Minnesota where she is a member of a committee writing a new constitution for the 12,000-member nation.
Carnell Chosa, PhD, (Jemez Pueblo) is Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Santa Fe Indian School Leadership Institute. He received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, his Master’s degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, and a doctorate from Arizona State University’s School of Social Transformation. After four years as a planner for the New Mexico Office of Indian Affairs, Dr. Chosa assisted a friend to start a business that created educational programs for Indian Elders across the country. He apprenticed at the Chamiza Foundation as a fellow under the First Nations LEAD program. He was a founding board member of the Walatowa Charter High School in Jemez Pueblo and has served on the board of the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market and the Chamiza Foundation, as an Advisory Member on the Native American Advised Fund at the Santa Fe Community Foundation, and on the Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship. Currently, he serves on the Cornerstones Community Partnerships Board and the New Mexico State Library Foundation and Three Sisters Kitchen. In October 2018, Dr. Chosa fulfilled a college dream and founded the Attach Your Heart Foundation, a result of his dissertation to support meaningful Pueblo youth engagement in higher education, program development, and the arts.
Wayne Ducheneaux II is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. He grew up on his parents’ cattle ranch on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation. His work for his Tribe included running the Cheyenne River Motel, a tribal enterprise; serving two years as Tribal Administrative Officer; and serving the people of Cheyenne River as a District 4 Council Representative. He was selected for a two-year term as Vice-Chairman of the Tribe from 2012-2014. He is an alumnus of the Native Nation Rebuilders program from Cohort 3. Ducheneaux started his employment with the Native Governance Center in January 2016 as Executive Director.
Montgomery Hill, PhD, belongs to the Tuscarora Indian Nation Beaver clan, one of the nations of the Haudenosaunee confederacy. Dr. Hill grew up on the Tuscarora Indian Nation reservation in New York. He continues to contribute to the language revitalization efforts and longhouse ceremonies in his community as a speaker and teacher. Dr. Hill received his Ph.D. in linguistics from the University at Buffalo. In addition, he is a member of the 2020 cohort of Luce Indigenous Knowledge fellows. His current research/creative projects include a translation of the Great Law of Peace into Tuscarora, Tuscarora language instructions, and a partnership with McMaster University developing a decentralized network of Indigenous language revitalization efforts. Dr. Hill honors and recognizes all his relatives, friends and mentors who have helped bring these projects into creation.
Janine Ledford, Makah, is the Executive Director of the Makah Cultural and Research Center, a position she has held since 1995. Residing in Neah Bay, Washington, on the Makah Indian Reservation, Ledford is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association for Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, the Burke Museum Advisory Board, and the Cape Flattery School District, and she is chair of the Makah Tribe’s Higher Education Committee. She formerly served on the Governor’s Advisory Council for Historic Preservation. Ledford learned to replicate Ozette basketry at a young age and is now involved in developing programs to ensure others learn these older styles and techniques. Under her leadership, the Makah Tribe created its Tribal Historic Preservation Office. In addition, Ledford has been involved with the development and implementation of a collections management system, which incorporates traditional Makah values and language.
Cynthia Lindquist, PhD, has been president of Cankdeska Cikana (Little Hoop) Community College since 2003. The college serves the Spirit Lake Dakota Reservation community, employs about 120 people, averages 200 students per semester with a general fund budget of approximately $12 million. Dr. Lindquist is a member of Spirit Lake Dakota Nation, Fort Totten, North Dakota, whose Dakota name is Star Horse Woman (Ta’Sunka Wicahpi Win). As a Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow, Dr. Lindquist earned a PhD in educational leadership from the University of North Dakota; a Master’s in Public Administration with an emphasis on tribal health systems from the University of South Dakota; and a bachelor’s in Indian Studies/English from the University of North Dakota.
Jessica R. Metcalfe, PhD, (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Arizona who wrote her doctoral dissertation on Native designers of high fashion. She is the owner of Beyond Buckskin, which is based out of the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. The Beyond Buckskin Boutique sells Native American-made couture, streetwear, jewelry, and accessories, and the Beyond Buckskin website focuses on Native fashion, including contemporary design, historical adornment, and issues related to cultural appropriation in the fashion industry. Dr. Metcalfe has taught courses in American Indian studies, studio art, art history, and literature at tribal colleges and state universities. She has presented at numerous national conferences, lectured at museums, and co-curated exhibitions. Her current work focuses on Native American art, clothing, and design from all time periods, with an emphasis on contemporary artists.
Michael Roberts is the president and CEO of First Nations Development Institute, a position he was appointed to in 2005 after having served as a research officer and chief operating officer for the organization from 1992 to 1997 and returning to First Nations in 2002. In the interim, Mike spent five years in private equity, during which he advised angel investors and worked for a $500 million telecommunications fund and for an early-stage Midwest venture capital firm. Mike also worked at Alaska Native corporations and for local IRA councils, primarily in accounting and finance. Mike serves on the Board of First Nations Development Institute and is chairman of the Board of First Nations Oweesta Corporation. He is on the Steering Committee of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders Network and the Investment Committee for the Three Affiliated Tribes. Mike also serves on the Board of Directors for Native Ways Federation. Read Mike’s full bio here.
Lance Twitchell, PhD, is of Tlingit, Haida, Yupʼik, and Sami heritage with the Tlingit names X̱ʼunei and Du Aaní Kawdinook, and the Haida name Ḵʼeijáakw. Dr. Twitchell is an Associate Professor of Alaska Native Languages at the University of Alaska Southeast and is a multimedia artist who works in Northwest Coast Design, poetry, screenwriting, audio, film, and photography. A 2020 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow, Dr. Twitchell spent his fellowship year creating and increasing access to Tlingit language learning materials, and collaborating with Indigenous organizations to increase communication within the Tlingit language. Dr. Twitchell holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Minnesota, an MFA from the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, and a doctorate in Hawaiian and Indigenous Language and Culture Revitalization from Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. His studies are in creating safe language acquisition spaces and achieving revitalization through counter-hegemonic transformation, which means a rejection of external definitions and fragmentation and a promotion of the thought world of the ancestors of language movements.
Trisha Kehaulani Watson-Sproat, JD, PhD, is owner and CEO of Honua Consulting, the largest Hawaiian-owned cultural resource management and community planning company in Hawai‘i, which she founded in 2004. Born and raised on the Island of O‘ahu, she completed her master’s degree in American Studies at Washington State University, where she studied environmental justice and ecofeminism. She completed her JD and the Environmental Law Program at the William S. Richardson School of Law. She then earned a PhD in American Studies, focusing on Indigenous epistemologies in the Pacific before continuing into a career in historic preservation, community planning, and resource management. In 2017, she helped found ‘Āina Momona, an Indigenous-led community organization dedicated to restoration efforts in rural communities. She is president of the Kalihi-Palama Culture and Arts Society, and her writings on community, culture, and conservation have appeared in numerous publications around the world. She has received multiple awards and recognitions for her community work, and she is married to award-winning Hawaiian musician Matthew Kawaiola Sproat.