Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship Advisory Committee – 2022

One of the initial virtual meetings of the 2022 Luce Advisory Committee. Pictured here: First Nations’ Kendall Tallmadge and Autumn Romero, Bryan Brayboy, Trisha Kehaulani Watson-Sproat, Jessica R. Metcalfe, Trisha L. Moquino, Cheryl Ellenwood, Brittani Orona, Heather Ahtone, First Nations’ Michael Roberts and Leiloni Begaye, and Danielle Hill. Not pictured: Lance Twitchell, Wayne Ducheneaux II, and Sean Buffington.


2022 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 MA in American Culture from the University of Michigan. Sean served as an ex officio member of the selection committee.

Brittani R. Orona (Hupa) is a Board Advisor for Save California Salmon, a grassroots organization dedicated to protecting and restoring watersheds and fisheries across California. She is currently a PhD Candidate in Native American Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Human Rights at UC Davis. Brittani has more than 15 years of experience working with state, local, and federal government on Tribal Affairs issues, including repatriation, collections care, land management, traditional ecological knowledge, and Indigenous history. Her PhD dissertation research focuses on Hupa, Yurok, and Karuk perspectives of visual sovereignty, memory, human and water rights on the Klamath River Basin. Brittani has an MA in Native American Studies from UC Davis, an MA in Public History from California State University-Sacramento, and a BA in History from Humboldt State University. She is a 2021-2022 Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellow and will join the American Indian Studies Department at San Diego State University as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2022.

Bryan Brayboy, PhD, (Lumbee) is President’s Professor in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University. At ASU, he is senior advisor to the president, director of the Center for Indian Education, and co-editor of the Journal of American Indian Education. He is the author of more than 95 scholarly documents, and his research focuses on the role of race and diversity in higher education, and the experiences of Indigenous students, staff, and faculty in institutions of higher education. Dr. Brayboy has been a visiting and noted scholar in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Norway. He and his team have, over the past 17 years, prepared more than 165 Native teachers to work in American Indian communities and more than 21 American Indian PhDs. He is a fellow of the American Educational Research Association and a member of the National Academy of Education. He has a PhD from University of Pennsylvania, an MS in intercultural communication also from University of Pennsylvania, and a BA in political science from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Cheryl Ellenwood (Nez Perce) is a Scholarly Assistant Professor at Washington State University. She is a PhD Candidate in the School of Government and Public Policy. Her major subfield is Public Administration and Management. She has research interests in philanthropy, nonprofit management, social enterprises and hybrid organization forms. Her research examines the relationships between funding entities and social enterprises and the role of legitimacy in diverse resource acquisition. She has worked with Native-led organizations in both the public and private sector and maintains an interest in minority-led nonprofits and community-based nonprofits in traditionally underserved communities. She is a former development officer for a national Native nonprofit and has worked with several Native-led organizations and views organizations in both broad and narrow terms depending on the research purpose and context. She has a MA in American Indian Studies with a focus on Indian Law and Policy from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Danielle Hill (Mashpee Wampanoag) is the founder of Heron-Hill, LLC, a consulting organization that offers strategic planning, curriculum development and food sovereignty assessments for tribes, schools and non-profits. She is currently a guest lecturer at UMass Amherst and UMass Boston for Native Food Systems and Indigenous Studies courses. Danielle is also a student midwife and Doula and is passionate about the intersections of Birthwork and Plant Midwifery. Most recently, Danielle and her business partner opened the doors to the Wampanoag Trading Post and Gallery, an eastern woodlands art Gallery. She is also a board member on the Native Land Conservancy and a member of the Wampanoag Nation Singers and Dancers. Danielle earned an MPA in Sustainable Development from the (SIT) World Learning Graduate Institute.

heather ahtone, PhD, (Choctaw/Chickasaw) is the Senior Curator at First Americans Museum (FAM) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She has worked in the Native arts community since 1993 and has established a career as a curator, arts writer, and cultural researcher. She has held positions at the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, the Southwestern Association of Indian Arts, with Ralph Appelbaum Associates, and several positions at the University of Oklahoma (OU), including as a researcher in the School of Geology and Geophysics and as curator at OU’s art museum. She earned degrees at the Institute of American Indian Arts and OU, completing her formal education with a doctoral degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Art History, Anthropology, Native American Studies). Her current research explores the intersection between Indigenous cultural knowledge and contemporary arts. She continues to seek opportunities to broaden discourse on global contemporary Indigenous arts, especially as it fosters an understanding of the diverse tribes in Oklahoma.

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.

Trisha L. Moquino (Cochiti/Kewa/Ohkay Owingeh) (wife, mama, daughter) is the co-founder of the Keres Children’s Learning Center (KCLC), a not for profit Indigenous Language Immersion Montessori school that houses a Keres immersion early childhood classroom and a dual-language (Keres/English) elementary classroom. The vision for a school supporting Keres language/cultural learning and academic development came largely from Moquino’s master’s thesis in bilingual education at the University of New Mexico. For the last four years, Moquino has been working with her KCLC colleagues and Montessori partners to build the Indigenous Montessori Institute (IMI), a teacher training program that uses a Philosophy of Indigenous Education (PIE) and Montessori philosophy to approach teacher education reform. Before KCLC and IMI, Moquino taught in public, private, and Bureau of Indian Education schools, but realized she was perpetuating an educational system that didn’t work for many Indigenous children, propelling her to develop a different approach to education for her own and other Pueblo children. Moquino is a founding board member of Montessori for Social Justice and was in the inaugural cohort of the Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship. Trisha is grateful to be the Keres Speaking Montessori Guide in the elementary classroom at KCLC as she gets to work with beautiful children from her tribal community every day in their language of love, Keres.

Michael Roberts (Tlinget) 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, (Tlingit, Haida, Yupʼik, Sami) has 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, (Native Hawaiian) 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.

Wayne Ducheneaux II (Cheyenne River Sioux) 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.

Back to Luce Indigenous Fellowship page