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:
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

Walter Lamar

Former FBI agent Walter Lamar is a federal law enforcement specialist. He has served as Deputy Director to the the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Law Enforcement, and Senior Adviser to the Department of the Interior’s Office of Law Enforcement and Security.

In his 19 years as an FBI agent, Lamar received the FBI Shield of Bravery twice, and worked on high profile cases such as the Zodiac Killer, the Oklahoma City Federal Building Bombing, and the Branch Davidian standoff near Waco, Texas.

In the past, Lamar has been an overseer to the Tribal Juvenile Alternatives to Detention report to Congress. He is a citizen of the Blackfeet Nation of Montana and descendant of the Wichita Tribe of Oklahoma.

Lamar is the founder and President of Lamar Associates LLC, a security consulting firm that provides professional services for emergency preparedness, risk management, drug/gang awareness and prevention, and law enforcement training attuned to Native American tribal communities and organizations.

Lamar has appeared on NPR member station KUNM and Native America Calling.

Walter Lamar
Former FBI and BIA Deputy Director of Law Enforcement

Areas of Expertise: Security, Law Enforcement and Training, Drug and Gang Awareness, Community Policing, Tribal Law Enforcement, Risk Management

Location: Washington, DC

Contact Information:
Phone: 202 230-8741

Featured on KUNM All Things Considered: New Mexico’s Sequester, What Does It Look Like So Far? Law Enforcement in Indian Country

Added September 2014

Mark Trahant

Columnist Mark Trahant has over 30 years of experience in journalism, editing and reporting on a wide range of topics, as well as specializing in Indian Country news. He’s a former President of the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA), and is the Atwood Chair of Journalism at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

In the past he’s been the Chairman of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, a columnist for The Seattle Times, an editor and publisher at the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, an executive news editor at The Salt Lake Tribune, and a reporter at the Arizona Republic. He was a Kaiser Media Fellow in 2009 and 2010, writing about health care reform focused on existing programs such as the Indian Health Service (IHS).

His work recently appeared on the PBS series Frontline, in a story called “The Silence”, about sexual abuse by clergy in Alaska. He also keeps a blog at

Trahant is a citizen of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.

Mark Trahant

Columnist and Atwood Chair of Journalism at the University of Alaska Anchorage

Areas of Expertise: Native American & Alaska Native news and policy, Health Policy, Affordable Care Act in Indian Country, Journalism

Location:Fort Hall, ID

Contact Information:

Phone: (206) 200-8213

Heard on NPR’s Talk of the Nation: Do Border Fences Curb Illegal Crossings?

Added September 2014

Venida Chenault

Dr. Venida S. Chenault is an educator, administrator, and author of “Weaving Strength Weaving Power: Violence and Abuse Against Indigenous Women” published by Carolina Academic Press, in 2011. She is Haskell Indian Nations University President, a Tribal College University (TCU).

Chenault is an expert on the tribal college system, and violence against Native American women. She is a citizen of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation.

Venida Chenault

President of Haskell Indian Nations University

Areas of Expertise: Domestic Violence, Tribal College, Education

Location: Lawrence, KS

Contact Information:

Phone: (785) 830-2798

Featured on Koahnic Broadcast Corporation’s “Native America Calling”: Chenault Discusses Her Role As Haskell Indian Nations University President

Added September 2014

Tiya Miles

Tiya Miles is chair of the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan, where she is professor of history, American culture, Native American studies and women’s studies. Her work looking at the interrelationships between African and Cherokee people in colonial America earned her a 2011 MacArthur Foundation fellowship.

Miles has written two prize-winning books, Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom” and “The House on Diamond Hill: A Cherokee Plantation Story,” as well as numerous articles on women’s history and the black and Native interrelated experience. She has been a frequent guest on NPR’s Tell Me More.

Chair of the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, Elsa Barkley Brown Collegiate Professor and Professor of History, American Culture, Native American Studies and Women’s Studies at University of Michigan

Areas of Expertise: History, American History, Native American Issues, African American Studies, Interrelationship Between Native Americans and African Americans, Women’s Issues

Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Contact Info:


Office: (734) 764-5513

Heard on NPR: For a full list, click here.

Tell Me More: Who Gets To Decide Who Is Native American?

Ted Van Alst

Ted Van Alst is assistant professor of Native American Studies at the University of Montana. Previously, he spent four years as an assistant dean at Yale College and served as director of the Yale University Native American Cultural Center. He is a widely-read author whose work includes two chapters (“Navajo Joe” and “The Savage Innocents”) in the 2013 book “Seeing Red—Hollywood’s Pixeled Skins: American Indians and Film.”

Van Alst has been heard on NPR’s Morning Edition and Weekend Edition Sunday, and has been featured in the Washington Post, Canadian Broadcast Corporation, Native American Calling, Smithsonian Magazine and Al Jazeera America for his expertise in Native American culture.

Assistant Professor of Native American Studies at the University of Montana

Areas of Expertise: Native American History and Culture

Location: Missoula, Montana

Contact Information:

Heard on Canadian Broadcast Corporation:

First Nations appropriation


Patty Loew

Patty Loew is a journalism professor and director of the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research at Northwestern University. As a member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe, she focuses primarily on indigenous rights, sovereignty and the role of Native media.

Loew is a former broadcast journalist and has produced numerous documentaries and pieces for public and commercial television examining Native issues and culture. Her award-winning documentary Way of the Warrior premiered nationally on PBS in 2007.

Journalism professor and director of the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research at Northwestern University

Areas of Expertise: Ojibwe Treaty Rights, Indigenous Sovereignty, Role of Native Media in Communication Indigenous World Views, Social Media, Indigenous Cultural Expression

Location: Evanston, IL

Contact Information:
Phone: 847-491-4837

Heard on WUWM: The Lake Effect: “Professor: State Will ‘Drive a Wedge’ Between Indian Nations Over Casino”

Last updated August 12, 2020

Jacqueline Pata

Jacqueline Pata is executive director of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the oldest tribal government organization in the United States. She previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Native American Programs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development where she worked to provide affordable housing for Native Americans.

Pata is a member of the Raven/Sockeye clan of the Tlingit (KLING-get) Tribe and the Central Council of the Tlingit-Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.

Executive Director, National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)

Areas of Expertise: Native American Issues, Tribal Government, Homeownership & Housing Policy

Location: Washington, DC

Contact Information:

For interviews and media opportunities, please contact Thom Wallace, the NCAI Communications Director:

Office: (202) 466-7767 ext.207

Mobile: (202) 630-1094


Jacqueline’s Email:

Twitter: @NCAI1944 

Heard on NPR: For a complete list, click here.

Tell Me More: The State of Indian Country: Global Tribes?

Anton Treuer

Anton Treuer is a professor at Bemidji State University in Minnesota and a staff member of its American Indian Resource Center. He is editor of the Oshkaabewis Native Journal, the only academic journal of the Ojibwe language.

Treuer is also the author of 19 books. His published works include Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians but were Afraid to Ask, which answers “more than one hundred stereotype-debunking questions.” His most recent publications are Warrior Nation: A History of the Red Lake Ojibwe in 2015 and The Indian Wars: Battles, Bloodshed, and the Fight for Freedom on the American Frontier in 2016. He’s a great resource if you’re looking for a thoughtful conversation on the political and cultural issues important to Native American communities.


Professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University, Editor of the Oshkaabewis Native Journal

Areas of Expertise: Ojibwe Language and Culture, Native American Issues, Cultural Competence, Equity, Educational Achievement Gap

Location: Bemidji, MN


Contact Info:

Phone: 218-755-2032 (office), (218) 368-2805 (website listing)
Twitter: @antontreuer
Heard on NPR: For a complete list, click here.

NPR Tell Me More: Everything You Wanted To Know About ‘Indians’

Added January 2013. Last verified January 2021.