Alannah Hurley

Alannah Hurley has worked extensively in community development and environmental justice and is dedicated to helping make self-determination a reality for Alaska’s indigenous people.

She is the executive director of United Tribes of Bristol Bay, a tribally chartered consortium of 15 federally recognized tribes opposed to the Pebble Mine in Alaska, and can provide insight on the environmental and Alaska Native opposition to the project.

The proposed mine has long been controversial due to its location in the headwaters of Bristol Bay, home to the world’s largest wild sockeye salmon fishery. Opponents say the massive gold and copper complex will likely pollute the bay and harm the salmon runs.

The Obama administration agreed, and blocked the project, but the Trump administration reversed course — last month’s environmental review said it would pose no major harm.

But the project still faces bipartisan opposition, including from the President’s son Donald Trump Jr., so it’s unclear if the Army Corps of Engineers will give the final federal go-ahead.

Hurley is Yup’ik, and was born, raised and currently lives in the Bristol Bay Region. She graduated from the University of New Mexico with a B.A. in Native American studies and a minor in political science.

Location: Dillingham, AK

Expertise Field: Alaska Native opposition to the Pebble Mine, environmental conservation and activism

Contact information:

Email: ahurley@utbb.org 

Phone: 907-843-1633 or 907-842-1687

Twitter: @UnitedTribes_BB

Listen to Alannah Hurley testifying at the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure:

Last updated August 13, 2020

Carla Fredericks

Carla Fredericks is the director of the American Indian Law Clinic at the University of Colorado Law School and of the indigenous advocacy organization First Peoples Worldwide. She’s an expert on Native American law, rights and tribal sovereignty.

As part of the broader movement for racial justice following George Floyd’s death — and after years of resistance — Washington’s NFL team is finally considering a name change following pressure from corporate sponsors like FedEx.

But Fredericks says that’s not the whole story: FedEx did not turn on a dime. Instead, native activists have been pressuring investors and business partners of the NFL team for more than a decade. And the push isn’t over — the Cleveland Indians are also considering a name change, while the Atlanta Braves are not.

Fredericks can provide context on the long campaign by Native activists to change the name of the D.C. team and how Native Americans and the fight for tribal sovereignty fit into the broader movement for racial justice.

Before joining the University of Colorado, Fredericks was a partner at Milberg LLP in New York. She maintains a pro bono practice, and provided legal counsel to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe during and after the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

She’s also published many studies and papers including Social Cost and Material Loss: The Dakota Access Pipeline, which found that backers lost at least $12 billion due to the legal battles and controversy surrounding the project.

Fredericks is an enrolled citizen of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of North Dakota.

Location: Boulder, CO

Expertise: Native American law, rights and sovereignty

Contact information:

Email: Carla.Fredericks@Colorado.EDU 

Phone: (303) 492-7079

Listen to Carla Fredericks on Colorado Public Radio:

Last updated July 9, 2020

Dean Seneca

Dean Seneca is CEO of Seneca Scientific Solutions, a consulting agency that provides tribal nations and other clients with assistance in economic and community development. The agency’s services include strategic planning, epidemiology and health research.

Seneca has been interviewed by Indian Country Today and Democracy Now!, among other news outlets, about how COVID-19 is impacting Indian Country. 

With over 20 years of experience with infectious disease outbreaks, Seneca has worked to combat Anthrax, H1N1, Ebola, Zika and COVID-19. Seneca was previously a senior health scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Center for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, where he was responsible for building the CDC’s ability to support health departments across the country.

Prior to his time at the CDC, Seneca was the tribal planning director for the Seneca Nation of Indians, which is based in western New York.

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Location: Cattaraugus, N.Y.

Expertise: Chronic and infectious diseases, emergency preparedness and response, environmental health, toxicology and maternal/child health, American Indian/Alaska Native health

Contact info:

Phone number: (678) 524-5177

Email: thundereagle1042@gmail.com 

Listen to Dean Seneca on Democracy Now!:

Last updated: May 17, 2020

Rose Elizondo

Rose Elizondo is a restorative justice expert and advocate for peaceful prison reform. Her work focuses on indigenous peacemaking, community building and finding healing alternatives to the criminal justice system.

Elizondo has worked as a restorative justice organizer in the Northern California region for nearly 15 years. In 2005 she co-founded the San Quentin Prison Restorative Justice Interfaith Roundtable, which is now one of the largest grassroots prison restorative justice initiatives in the United States. As a 2017 Soros Fellow, she plans to continue to work with Navajo community leaders in creating alternatives to the justice system in through the use of cultural traditions and practices.

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2017 Soros Justice Fellow and Prison Reform Advocate

Areas of Expertise: Restorative Justice, Indigenous Peacemaking, Racial Equity and its intersections of Mass Incarceration, Restorative Economics and Food Justice.

Location: Crownpoint, NM and San Francisco, CA

Contact Info:

E-mail: Rose4peacemaking@gmail.com

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Matthew Fletcher

Matthew L.M. Fletcher is a Professor of Law at Michigan State University College of Law, and Director of the Indigenous Law and Policy Center. He is the primary editor and author of the leading law blog on American Indian law and policy, Turtle Talk.

In addition to his academic work, he is an appellate judge for the Hoopa Valley Tribal Court of Appeals, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians Appellate Court, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians Tribal Court of Appeals, and the Chief Appellate Judge for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Supreme Court.

Fletcher specializes in a number of areas of law, especially pertaining to federal law and Indian Tribes, Indian law and policy, and has written a number of scholarly papers. He has authored several books; American Indian Education: Counternarratives in Racism, Struggle, and the Law; American Indian Tribal Law; and edited Facing the Future: the Indian Child Welfare Act at 30.

Fletcher is a citizen of the Grand Traverse Band, located in Peshawbestown, Michigan.

He has appeared on Wyoming Public Radio, and The Fronteras Changing America Desk.

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Michigan State University College of Law Professor, and Director of the Indigenous Law & Policy Center

Areas of Expertise: Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), Federal Law, Federal Indian Law, Tribal Law, Indian Law & Policy, Land Claims, Tribal Indian Gaming

Location: East Lansing, MI

Contact Information:

Email: matthew.fletcher@law.msu.edu

Phone: (517) 432-6909

Heard on The Fronteras Desk SCOTUS Rules On Native American Child Custody

Kimberly TallBear

Kim TallBear is an Associate Professor of Native Studies at the University of Alberta in Canada and Research Chair in its department of Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience and Environment. An enrolled member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate tribe in South Dakota, her research focuses on the relationship between science and race/identity among Native American peoples.

TallBear’s most recent book, Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science, examines the scientific premise behind Native Americans’ ownership (or former ownership) of lands and natural resources. She has traveled to the United States, Canada and United Kingdom to share her commentary on issues related to indigenous peoples, science and technology.

Associate Professor of Native Studies and Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience & Environment, University of Alberta

Location: Edmonton, Canada

Areas of Expertise: Indigenous peoples, environmental science, genetics, native studies, sexuality, race/identity

Contact Information

E-mail: tallbear@ualberta.ca

Listen to Kim TallBear here:

Dina Gilio-Walker

Dina Gilio-Walker is Policy Director and Senior Research Associate at the Center for World Indigenous Studies. A member of the Colville Confederated Tribes, her research interests include political autonomy among indigenous nations and the complex relationship between Native American communities and  modern America. Additionally, she has completed research in critical sports studies, specifically as it relates to the intersection of indigenous culture and the sport of surfing.

Walker’s latest book, “All the Real Indians Died Off” and 20 Other Myths About Native Americans examines the most commonly-held myths and commonly-held beliefs about Native American culture and history. She is a frequent contributor to the Indian Country Media Network and her commentary has been featured by a number of news outlets including the Boston Globe, Mic.com and CSPAN Book Talk.

Whitaker
Policy Director and Senior Research Associate, Center for World Indigenous Studies

Location: San Clemente, CA

Areas of Expertise: Native American culture, critical sports studies, indigenous peoples, surfing, Native American history, higher education

Contact Information:
E-mail:
dinagwhitaker@gmail.com
Phone: (949) 612-5276
Twitter: @DinaGWhit

Dennis Smith

Dennis Smith is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where he primarily teaches Native American History. His research focuses on the cultures of Assiniboine and Sioux Plains Tribes as well as the salmon traditions of Pacific Northwest Native American and British Columbia First Nations tribes. His most extensive research has been on the oral traditions of the Dakota and Assiniboine tribes. He is of Assiniboine descent.

Smith is currently in the process of publishing a book consisting of a series of historical essays with a focus on the cultures of Dakota and Assiniboine tribal leaders, to be published in May 2018. The essays are intended to place their experiences in a modern context, specifically as it relates to current developments at Standing Rock. His goal, he says, is to advance the knowledge and teaching of Native American history in both society and Higher Education.

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Associate Professor of History, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Areas of Expertise: Native American History, American History, Native American Oral Traditions, Standing Rock, Assiniboine Tribe, Dakota Tribe,  Higher Education

Contact Information:

E-mail: dennissmith@unomaha.edu
Phone: (712) 204-1822

Manley Begay

Navajo Nation citizen Manley Begay is an expert in tribal economic development and indigenous governance. He is the faculty chair of the Native Nations Institute at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy and Senior Lecturer in the American Indian Studies Program at the University of Arizona.

He serves as co-director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, as well as on a number of national boards focusing on Native American development and wellness.

Begay’s research focuses on Native American education, tribal governance and law. His work has appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Manley Begay

Senior Lecturer of American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona

Areas of Expertise: Tribal Economic Development, Educational Leadership, Indigenous Governance, Native American Issues

Location: Tucson, AZ

Contact Information:

Email: mbegay@email.arizona.edu
Phone: (520) 626-8629

Heard at the Native Nations Institute: Rebuilding Native Nations: “The Importance of Cultural Match”

Added February 2015

Sarah Deer

2014 MacArthur Fellow and Professor of Law Sarah Deer, studies domestic and sexual violence on reservations. She is a board member of the American Bar Association’s commission on Domestic Violence, the National Alliance to end Sexual Violence, and was a Federal Advisory Committee chair for the National Coordination Committee on the American Indian/Alaska Native Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner- Sexual Assault Response Team Initiative. Deer is a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

Deer has specialized in victim rights and advocacy,and authored an Amnesty International report titled “Maze of Injustice:The failure to protect Indigenous women from sexual violence in the USA.” For 15 years, she advised for reform to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that passed in 2013, which allows tribes to press charges against non-tribal members who inflict violence against native women while on tribal land.

Deer has discussed domestic violence on reservations and VAWA in reports by Laura Sullivan and Hansi Lo Wang. She has also been on Minnesota Public Radio, PRI’s The World, Al Jazeera and MSNBC.

Sarah Deer

Assistant Professor at the William Mitchell College of Law
Areas of Expertise: Tribal Law, Domestic Assault and Sexual Violence, Victim Rights, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

Location: Saint Paul, MN

Contact Information:
Email: sarah.deer@wmitchell.edu
Phone: (651) 290-6309

To schedule an interview, contact
Lynette Fraction: (651) 290-6431
Steve Linders: (651) 290-6360

Featured on PRI’s The World: How Borders Affect Native American Women’s Rights

Added September 2014