2020 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship Advisory Council
Clockwise from left: Sean Buffington, Cynthia Lindquist, Jordan Dresser, Michael Roberts, Carnell Chosa, Teresa Peterson, Rosalyn LaPier, and Elvera Sargent. (Not pictured: Jon Osorio and Brenda Child)
Sean Buffington: Prior to joining the Luce Foundation as Vice President in 2015, Sean served as President of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. 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 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. 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 (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, Carnell 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, 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 serves as a founding board member of the New Mexico State Library Foundation and Three Sisters Kitchen. In October of 2018, Carnell 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.
Jordan Dresser, Producer of The Art of Home: A Wind River Story, is a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe located on the Wind River Indian Reservation in central Wyoming. In 2008, he graduated from the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and worked as a reporter for the Lincoln Journal Star, the Salt Lake Tribune, the Forum and The Denver Post. Questions of who owns tribal artifacts and the role tribal members play in these decisions prompted Dresser to leave Wind River and enroll in a Museum Studies graduate program at the University of San Francisco. In 2016 he co-produced the documentary film What Was Ours. The film touches on the lives of three individuals from the Wind River Indian Reservation and their journey to The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois. Dresser currently serves as the Collections Manager for the Northern Arapaho Tribal Historic Preservation Office in Riverton, Wyoming.
Rosalyn LaPier is an award-winning Indigenous writer, ethnobotanist and environmental justice activist with a BA in physics and Ph.D. in environmental history. She works collaboratively with Indigenous communities to promote positive change. Her longtime passions include revitalizing Indigenous languages and strengthening traditional knowledge within Indigenous communities. She is a traditionally trained ethnobotanist. She apprenticed with her maternal grandmother Annie Mad Plume Wall and with her aunt Theresa Still Smoking. She is working on her third book. She has written two award-winning books, a Blackfeet language lexicon, and dozens of articles and commentaries. Her writing has appeared in The Conversation, Washington Post, High Country News, The Montana Naturalist and other places. She splits her time between living in the heart of Salish country in Missoula, Montana and the Blackfeet reservation. She is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana and Métis. Rosalyn is an Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Montana and a Research Associate at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.
Cynthia Lindquist, Ph.D., whose Dakota name is “Star Horse Woman,” serves as the president of Cankdeska Cikana Community College in North Dakota and is the current chair of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) Board of Directors in Alexandria, VA. AIHEC is the member organization for the 37 tribal colleges and universities in the United States with one located in Canada. As a Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow, she earned a doctorate in educational leadership at the University of North Dakota in 2006. She began responsibilities as president of Cankdeska Cikana (Little Hoop) Community College in October 2003, which serves the Spirit Lake Dakota community and is her home reservation. She is a founding member of the National Indian Women’s Health Resource Center, a nonprofit advocacy organization. Lindquist served as a member of the Council of Public Representatives (COPR), an advisory council to the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and is a former executive director of the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the American Indian College Fund which is the scholarship fundraising organization for tribal colleges and universities. Dr. Lindquist served for six years on the Board of Trustees for the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Dr. Jonathan Kay Kamakawiwoʻole Osorio is Dean of Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge. Dr. Osorio received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Hawaiʻi. At Kamakakūokalani, he has developed and taught classes in history, literature, law as culture, music as historical texts, and research methodologies for and from indigenous peoples. His recent publications include The Value of Hawaiʻi: Knowing the Past and Shaping the Future, which he co-edited and authored, and Dismembering Lāhui: A History of the Hawaiian Nation to 1887. He is also a composer and singer and has been a Hawaiian music recording artist since 1975.
Teresa Peterson, “Utuhu Cistinna Win,” of the Upper Sioux Community was recently elected to the Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) Board of Directors. Peterson is a tribal member of the Upper Sioux Community, where she serves as Tribal Planner. Prior, she worked as the Tribal Planner for the Lower Sioux Indian Community. Peterson is an adjunct faculty in the Indigenous Nations and Dakota Studies for Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall and a founder of Dakota Wicohan, a Native nonprofit whose work is in Dakota language and lifeways revitalization. Peterson is a 2011 Bush Leadership Fellow and was recently selected as a Native Nation Rebuilder through the Native Governance Center. She is an Americans for Indian Opportunity Ambassador and board member and Blandin Indian Reservation Leadership alumna. Peterson was Vice Chairwoman of the Upper Sioux Community from 2003 to 2007 and a past Tribal Government Official awardee of the Minnesota Indian Education Association. In 2001, she earned a Dakota language apprenticeship where she could study and record Dakota language from her grandmother and father-in-law.
Michael Roberts is President, CEO and also serves on the Board of First Nations Development Institute and is chairman of the Board of First Nations Oweesta Corporation. He is also a Steering Committee member of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders Network, and on the Investment Committee for the Three Affiliated Tribes. His past service includes board positions for Native Americans in Philanthropy and The Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), as well as on the Advisory Council of the Center for Native American Public Radio, and on the National Advisory Committee for the National Center for Family Philanthropy. Most recently, in 2019 Mike was named a 2019-2020 fellow in the “Philanthropy Forward: Leadership for Change Fellowship” program of Neighborhood Funders Group and The Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions. And in 2018, he was appointed as one of 14 trustees of the new $266 million Native American Agriculture Fund that was created as an outgrowth of the Keepseagle v. Vilsack case. Its mission is to fund the provision of business assistance, agricultural education, technical support, and advocacy services to Native American farmers and ranchers to support and promote their continued engagement in agriculture. The new Native American Agriculture Fund is the largest philanthropic organization solely devoted to serving the Native American community.
Elvera Sargent is a Kanienkehaka woman who has dedicated over 25 years of her life to nonprofit organizational management, organizing and fund raising for Onkwehonwe organizations that are dedicated to lifeways, language and culture of the Haudenosaunee people. She has managed the Friends of the Akwesasne Freedom School in Hogansburg, NY since 1998. In 2012, she received the Fire Keepers Award from the Seventh Generation Fund in recognition of her work on behalf of the Freedom School.