Michael E. Bird, MSW, MPH

(KEWA and ohkay owingeh pueblos)

Mr. Bird is a Kewa and Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo Indian from New Mexico. Mr. Bird has over 25 years of public health experience in the areas of medical social work, substance abuse prevention, health promotion and disease prevention, HIV/AIDS prevention, behavioral health, and health care administration.

Mr. Bird most recently served as the Director of Region 6 for Native Americans with ValueOptions-New Mexico (VONM), a national for-profit behavioral health company. From 2001 to 2005, he served as Executive Director of the National Native American AIDS Prevention Center (NNAAPC). At NNAAPC, he increased and strengthened the provision of technical assistance in HIV prevention programs for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities.

For 20 years, Mr. Bird was with the United States Public Health Service (USPHS), Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to leaving IHS, Mr. Bird was the Director of Preventive Health Programs for the Santa Fe Service Unit and the Albuquerque Area office. He also served with the Office of Tribal Activities and Office of Planning and Evaluation.

Mr. Bird was President of the American Public Health Association from 2000 to 2001. He is the first American Indian, and social worker, to serve as President in APHA’s history. He is also Past President of the New Mexico Public Health Association, and was a fellow in the USPHS Primary Care Policy Fellowship.

He has also been involved in numerous health disparities projects and programs on a local, tribal, national and international level. Most recently, he was named to serve on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Urban Indian Health Commission.

Mr. Bird earned his Master’s in Social Work (MSW) degree from the University of Utah, and Master’s in Public Health (MPH) at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Rose Graham

522011164025751Vice president

Rose Graham is the Director of the Office of Navajo Nation Scholarship and Financial Assistance (ONNSFA) in Window Rock, Arizona. ONNSFA is one of 12 programs under the Department of Dine Education, the Navajo Nation’s education regulatory agency. ONNSFA serves more than 10,000 Navajo students pursuing postsecondary education. It is largely funded by a P.L. 93-638 contract with the BIA/DOI. Approximately 35 percent of its funds come from the Navajo Nation, corporate and private donations.

Prior to her work with ONNSFA, Rose worked with the Navajo Nation Council for 9 years as Legislative Services Director, Legislative Advisor and Interpreter during Council sessions.

Rose was appointed to serve on the Board of the American Indian Graduate Center because of her significant experience and dedication to education issues. Accepting the appoinment, she said, “I believe our young people will inherit a society, environment and world that will be increasingly and wonderfully challenging, competitive and complex. To meet the challenges of this future society, our young people need higher education. I am honored to be appointed to this distinguished board and I will strive to help AIGC with its mission to prepare our young Native people for this future.”

Rose received a B.A. in Humanities from Fort Lewis College. She is also a Certified Navajo Court Interpreter.

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Joel Frank

Joel Frank_webMember
(Seminole Tribe of Florida)

Joel Frank has dedicated his career to further economic prosperity and ensure the protection of stable government for American Indians. as a national figure in American Indian affairs, Mr. Frank has earned a reputation for integrity and accomplishment, as an advocate and spokesman for indigenous people around the world. Joel was one of the first American Indians to attend college, at both Dade Community College and St. Thomas University. Mr. Frank is the Big Cyprus Representative and serves on the Board of Directors for the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

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Danna R. Jackson, Esq.

(Confederated Tribes of Salish & Kootenai)

Danna Jackson received her J.D. from the University of Montana in 1996, and is a member of the bar in both Montana and Washington, DC.

Ms. Jackson is the Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Montana. She also serves as a Visiting Professor to the University of Montana Indian Law Summer Program teaching Indian Gaming, Contemporary Issues in Indian Policy and Indian Education Law.

Prior to Danna’s employment with her current firm, she served as Legislative Assistant to Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) and advised the Senator on all legislative issues relevant to the Indian Affairs and Judiciary committees. She also drafted legislation, Congressional Record Statements and oversaw the appropriations process for all tribal appropriation projects.

In the past, Danna has also worked with the National Indian Gaming Commission, serving as advisor/attorney to the Commission regarding all Indian gaming issues.

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Walter Lamar

Walt Lamar_webMember
(Blackfeet Nation of Montana)

Walter Lamar is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Lamar Associates, a professional services firm specializing in risk management, law enforcement training, drug/gang awareness and community policing, with a special focus on Indian Country. Prior to retiring and opening his own firm, Mr. Lamar spent twenty-five years in the law enforcement field, as a Special Agent for the FBI, Deputy Director of the BIA Office of Law Enforcement and Senior Advisor to the Department of Interior’s Office of Law Enforcement and Security. Walter is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Nation of Montana and a descendant of the Wichita Tribe of Oklahoma.

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Stacy Leeds

Stacy LeedsMember

Stacy Leeds has served as dean and professor of law at the University of Arkansas School of Law since 2001.

Dean Leeds came to Arkansas from the University of Kansas where she served as Interim Associate Dean, Professor of Law and Director of the Tribal Law and Government Center. While at KU, she received the annual teacher of the year recognition, the Howard M. and Susan Immel Award for Teaching Excellence. Prior to that, she taught at the University of North Dakota where she served as the Director of the Northern Plains Indian Law Center. She began her career in higher education at the University of Wisconsin where she was a William H. Hastie Fellow.

Among her many honors, Leeds is a 2013 recipient of the American Bar Association’s Spirit of Excellence Award, an elected member of the American Law Institute, and a former Alphonse Fletcher, Sr. Fellow with a 2008-2009 affiliation to the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University.

Dean Leeds has a strong record of public service. From 2011-2013, she served on National Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform. The Commission conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the Department’s management and administration of nearly $4 billion in American Indian trust assets and published recommendations for systematic reform. She is currently serving a three-year term as Chairperson of the Cherokee Nation Gaming Commission. In addition to being a former Justice on the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court, Leeds has served as judge for seven Indigenous nations and was the inaugural recipient of the National American Indian Court Judges Association’s Annual Outstanding Service Award. She is frequently tapped to serve as a mediator or arbitrator to resolve conflicts in government and higher education sectors.

At Arkansas, she teaches Property and American Indian Law and contributes to projects of the Indigenous Food and Agricultural Initiative.

As a scholar, she has published more than twenty articles, essays and book chapters including the new book Mastering American Indian Law, with Professor Angelique Townsend EagleWoman.

She received her master of laws degree from the University of Wisconsin, her juris doctor from the University of Tulsa, her master of business administration from the University of Tennessee and her bachelor of arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis.

Leeds, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, is currently the only American Indian law school dean.

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Steve Stallings

Steve StallingsMember
(Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians)

Steve Stallings is an elected Tribal Council Member of the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians, where he serves on the Tribe’s Investment Committee. Steve is the Council Delegate to the Tribal Enterprise Board overseeing Harrah’s Southern California Resort, the largest tribal resort hotel in California with 1064 rooms. Steve also represents the Tribal Council on the Tribe’s private equity fund, First Nations Capital Partners, the nation’s only tribally controlled intertribal fund.

For nearly 45 years Steve has served Indian Country in banking, developing Indian businesses and expanding economic development opportunities for Indian people. He is the former Director of Native American Banking Services at Wells Fargo, where for the last 20 years he pioneered the expansion of financial services to Indian Country making Wells Fargo the leading provider to tribal governments. While at Wells Fargo, Steve started Native Peoples, an internal support group for Native American employees at Wells Fargo.

Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Steve was president of the National Center For American Indian Enterprise Development and its predecessor organization, the United Indian Development Association (UIDA). During his 20 year tenure, Steve helped hundreds of emerging Indian entrepreneurs and developed the original Reservation Economic Summit (REZ) trade show and conference.

Long interested in Native American higher education, Steve recently rejoined the Board of Directors of the American Indian Graduate Center in Albuquerque where he was honored for his contributions to scholarship programs in the business fields. Steve was also recently honored by the Phoenix Indian Community with the Kent Ware Sr. Life Time Achievement Award for his service to the Indian Community.

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Dana Arviso


Dana Arviso became the Executive Director of Potlatch Fund in June 2011, after working for the organization since July 2007. Inspired by the ask at the 2006 Potlatch Fund Gala, she became a volunteer and then a staff member, working her way from being a Data Administrator to Bookkeeper to Finance and Evaluation Manager. She is a 2008 graduate of First Nations Development Institute’s Seattle LEAD Program and participated in Leadership Tomorrow’s Class of 2011.

Dana is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, but grew up both on the Navajo Nation and the Bishop Paiute-Shoshone Indian Reservation in California. She earned her bachelor’s degree from California State University, Sacramento, in Child Development and earned her Masters of Education degree in 2006 from the University of Washington with an emphasis on Language, Literacy, and Culture. Dana’s past work experiences include working as an early childhood educator within her Tribe’s family literacy program as well as working within higher education as a graduate staff assistant within the Office of Minority Recruitment & Retention at the University of Washington’s College of Education. Dana has been a past scholarship recipient of the American Indian Graduate Center, including been selected as a 2006 Accenture fellow.

While primarily focused on the needs of Native Americans, Dana has dedicated her life to combating the social and economic disparities that affect all communities of color in the Pacific Northwest. She has represented the needs of Native peoples and communities within the Pacific Northwest by serving on regional and national boards. Dana served on the Board of Directors of Social Justice Fund Northwest from August 2010 – February 2013 and currently serves on the board of Native Americans in Philanthropy. She is honored to join the board of American Indian Graduate Center, where she offers the perspectives of being an AIGC scholarship recipient and knowledge of the funding opportunities within the field of Native education.

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Holly Cook Macarro

Member (Red Lake Band of Ojibwe)

Ms. Cook Macarro is a partner at Ietan Consulting, LLC. Holly has served as the Director of the Office of Native American Affairs at the Democratic National Committee and in the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (Clinton Administration). During her time at the Democratic National Committee, Ms. Cook Macarro coordinated the national tribal outreach and organizing efforts on behalf of the Democratic party. While at the White House, Holly focused specifically on tribal intergovernmental affairs matters and coordinated the first-ever tribal economic development conference hosted by the White House and several federal agencies in 1998. Holly has served as the national co-chair of the Native Vote initiative at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and in GOTV and strategic capacities for several Congressional and Senate candidates. Holly has also played a key tribal role in advising Democratic Presidential campaigns – helping to develop candidate policies on Indian Country issues, providing guidance to the campaigns regarding tribal outreach, and assisting in various organizing efforts.

Holly has successfully secured client appropriations for several projects, secured legislation protecting culturally significant tribal lands from development by a major energy company, secured legislation transferring BLM lands to tribal trust lands, and played a key role in the landmark reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Holly has represented clients on such lobbying matters as tribal gaming issues, self-governance, law enforcement matters and several client-specific legislative initiatives.

Ms. Cook Macarro is a frequent speaker and presenter at tribal conferences and events, including the National Congress of American Indians, the National Indian Gaming Association, the California Nations Indian Gaming Association, Women Empowering Women for Indian Nations, Native America Calling, the Tribal Association of Sovereign Indian Nations, United National Indian Tribal Youth, and has been an invited contributor to Indian Country Today.

Ms. Cook Macarro is an enrolled member of the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe and a graduate of the University of North Dakota with a BBA and the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN) with an MBA. Holly is married and has two sons.

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