Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship Advisory Committee – 2024

2024 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship Advisory Committee

Gimiwan Dustin Burnette (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe) is an Ojibwe language immersion educator and nonprofit entrepreneur committed to revitalizing the Ojibwe language. Since 2009, Gimiwan Dustin has worked at several Ojibwe language immersion schools across Minnesota and Wisconsin. He is the founder of the Midwest Indigenous Immersion Network (MIIN), a community-based organization that promotes collaboration and curriculum development among Ojibwe educators. This network allows Ojibwe language instructors and administrators to share resources.

Karl Duncan (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, San Carlos Apache) is the executive director for the Poeh Cultural Center at the Pueblo of Pojoaque. A graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts, Karl received a BA in Museum Studies and is currently part of the first cohort for the MFA program in Cultural Administration at IAIA. He has worked as the curator for the Buffalo Thunder Resort Art Collection, serves as vice-president of the Continuous Pathways Foundation and as a board member of Buffalo Thunder Incorporated and Silver Bullet Productions.

Sarah Hernandez (Sicangu Lakota) is an assistant professor of Native American Literature and the director of the Institute for American Indian Research at the University of New Mexico. She is a member of the Oak Lake Writers Society, an Oceti Sakowin-led nonprofit for Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota writers. Together they launched #NativeReads, a community-based reading campaign and podcast series that seeks to increase knowledge and appreciation of the Oceti Sakowin literary tradition. Sarah is also the author of We Are the Stars: Colonizing and Decolonizing the Oceti Sakowin Literary Tradition, a literary study that recovers the literary work of Dakota women and furthers discussions on settler colonialism, literature, nationalism, and gender.

Charles Aulii Mitchell (Native Hawaiian) is a third-generation Kumu Hula of Hula Ki’i , a dance that was passed down to him through oral tradition by his grandfather Charles Cash and his mother Harriet Aana Cash Mitchell. By the time he was 12 years old, Charles earned the title of a Kumu Hula and was considered a kumu level hula teacher and knowledge keeper under his mother. He is one of only three family tradition holders of Hula Ki’i. What’s more, he is committed to creating, preserving, and perpetuating the practice of carving and dressing images for the ritual dancing of Hula Ki’i closest to the oldest written accounts. Charles earned an associate degree and bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Hawai’i at Hilo, and a master’s in applied Indigenous knowledge from the Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in New Zealand, as their first international student.

Jacki Rand (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma) is the associate vice chancellor for Native Affairs at the University of Illinois. Her research interests center on federal Indian law and policy, settler colonialism, and global indigenous histories.  Jackie teaches courses on the history of Native North America, federal Indian law and policy, museums, and human rights in addition to public history.  Jacki; sits on the editorial board of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association Journal. She was one of the co-founders of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (the academic version of the Big Ten) American Indian Studies Consortium (CIC AIS), and she served on the executive committee from 2000-2006.

Hillary Renick (Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians) is Tribal Liaison Officer for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Hillary received her B.A. in anthropology from American University in Washington, DC. She studied public health at George Washington University researching Native American health problems associated with exposure to agricultural pesticides, while studying data associated with artifact repatriation. She has an M.S. in cultural resource management and a J.D. from the University of the Oregon School of Law, with certificates in Environmental and Natural Resources, Ocean and Coastal Law, Pro Bono, and Public Service. She also has an LL.M. from the University of Arkansas School of Law Indigenous Food Initiative writing about subsistence and traditional foods. Hillary is co-founder of California Indian Land Institute, a nonprofit to steward the land, air, water, cultural, and natural resources in a manner that aligns with California Indian ethics, morals, and religious customs, respecting generations of landscape reciprocity.

Theresa Secord (Penobscot Nation) is a traditional basket maker and the founding director of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance (MIBA). During Theresa’s 21 years of leadership, MIBA was credited with saving the endangered art of ash and sweet grass basketry. Theresa has received a lifetime achievement award for artistic excellence from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Prize for Creativity in Rural Life from the Women’s World Summit Foundation at the UN, for helping basket makers rise out of poverty. Theresa works with artists to help them achieve their own goals of art and economic self-sufficiency through a long association with First Peoples Fund. She is a member of the governing board of Colby College Art Museum and a trustee at the Portland Museum of Art in Maine, where she continues to advocate for Indigenous and under-represented artists. Theresa is a 2021 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow working to help strengthen the Indigenous language terminology of Wabanaki basketry.

Valerie Segrest (Muckleshoot) is the cofounder of Tahoma Peak Solutions. Before this, she was the regional director for Native Food and Knowledge Systems at the Native American Agriculture Fund. For more than a decade, Valerie has dedicated her work toward the food sovereignty movement and catalyzing food security strategies rooted in education, awareness, and overcoming barriers to accessing traditional foods for tribal communities throughout North America. Valerie earned her bachelor’s degree in human nutrition and health sciences from Bastyr University and her master of arts degree in environment and community from Antioch University. She is currently enrolled at the University of Washington in the Ph.D. program at the College of Built Environment. She has earned several certifications in advanced herbal studies and has extensively researched the subject of historical and traditional food and medicine systems of the Coast Salish tribes of Western Washington.

Lynda Teller Pete (Diné/Navajo) is a Navajo tapestry weaver and member of the 2022 cohort of the Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship. Originally from the Two Grey Hills, Newcomb, New Mexico, areas of the Navajo Nation, Lynda lives in Denver with her husband Belvin Pete. Weaving is a legacy in the Teller family. For over seven generations, her family has produced award-winning rugs in the traditional Two Grey Hills regional style. Along with her weaving, Lynda collaborates with fiber art centers, museums, universities, fiber guilds and other art venues to educate the public about Navajo history and the preservation of Navajo weaving traditions. Lynda and her sister Barbara wrote Spider Woman’s Children, Navajo Weavers Today in 2018. Lynda has also collaborated with three authors on the book, Navajo Textiles: The Crane Collection at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in 2016. Lynda has a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice in public programs from Arizona State University.

Sean Buffington (Advisor to Committee) 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.

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.

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