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Indigenous Peoples Day Speakers Panel

Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, 1-2:30 p.m. - Recording Available 

An engaging discussion of contemporary issues facing indigenous communities moderated by Professor Carla Fredericks (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation), director of First Peoples Worldwide and director of the American Indian Law Clinic at the University of Colorado Law School. A panel of distinguished leaders including Jodi Archambault (Hunkpapa and Oglala Lakota), former special assistant to President Obama for Native American Affairs for the White House Domestic Policy Council; Elizabeth Carr (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians), senior native affairs advisor for the National Indigenous Women's Resource Center; Alvin Warren, (Santa Clara Pueblo) former cabinet secretary of Indian Affairs for the State of New Mexico; and Dr. Siobhan Wescott (Athabascan), Assistant Director of Indians Into Medicine at the University of North Dakota. These panelists will discuss such issues as natural resource concerns, the impact of COVID-19, and the missing and murdered indigenous women crisis as well as the way forward for tribal communities.

Carla F. Fredericks (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation) is Director of First Peoples Worldwide and Director of the American Indian Law Clinic at the University of Colorado Law School. Her areas of expertise include Indigenous Peoples law, federal Indian law, human rights, development, finance, and business and human rights. Ms. Fredericks has significant practice experience in securities litigation and was previously a partner at Milberg LLP in New York, where she also founded Milberg's Native American practice and directed the firm's civil/human rights litigation. She maintains an active pro bono practice focused on complex and appellate litigation and Native American affairs, representing Indian tribes and organizations in a variety of litigation and policy matters. Ms. Fredericks is a graduate of the University of Colorado and Columbia Law School. She is chair of the Board of Trustees for the Mashantucket Pequot (Western) Endowment Trust, and a proud enrolled citizen of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation of North Dakota.

Jodi Archambault (Hunkpapa and Oglala Lakota) currently serves as a strategic advisor at the Bush Foundation and is the Director of Indigenous Peoples Initiatives at Wend Collective. Prior to that role, she worked for the D.C. law firm of Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Edreson and Perry in 2015 after serving as a political appointee under the Administration of President Barack Obama. During her tenure under the Administration, Jodi served as the Special Assistant to the President for Native American Affairs for the White House Domestic Policy Council, Deputy Assistant Secretary to the Assistant-Secretary Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior and separately as the White House Associate Director of Intergovernmental Affairs.  

Jodi served as the executive director of the Native American Training Institute in Bismarck, N.D., a non profit offering technical assistance and training to tribal, state and local governments in human service delivery systems.  

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Native American Studies from Dartmouth College and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. 

Senior Native Affairs Advisor, NIWRC 

Elizabeth Carr (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians) most recently served as the Associate Director for Tribal Affairs in the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  While at USHHS she was responsible for providing expert analysis, advice, and guidance to senior and political leadership on policy, regulatory and legislative issues that have a significant and direct impact on tribal governments and tribal organizations administering HHS programs. She brings to NIWRC extensive knowledge in managing and improving federal-tribal relations and experience dedicated to the analysis, development, and implementation of federal policy related to tribal governments. 

The NIWRC is engaged in on-going national strategic policy and legislative reform efforts to enhance the sovereign authority of Indian nations to protect Native women.  Elizabeth Carr’s experience and expertise will significantly contribute to the national public policy and educational efforts of NIWRC. It is perfect timing for Elizbeth Carr to join NIWRC as preparations for the 2019 VAWA mandated annual consultation are underway. Ms. Carr brings to NIWRC nearly ten years of experience in the implementation of Federal Executive Order 13175 Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments and carrying out consultation responsibilities to ensure that the consultation process is meaningful and offers tribal governments the opportunity to provide timely input. 

“I am excited to begin working at NIWRC during this very pivotal time.  It is an honor to have the opportunity to continue working on tribal issues and one as important as protecting Native women.”—Elizabeth Carr, Senior Native Affairs Advisor, NIWRC 

Elizabeth is an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and lives in Washington. 

Alvin is a member of Santa Clara Pueblo where he lives with his wife Pamela, an Isleta Pueblo tribal member, and their three children. He’s vice president of Career Pathways and Advocacy for the LANL Foundation. Alvin is a former cabinet secretary of Indian Affairs for the State of New Mexico, lieutenant governor of Santa Clara, program officer for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, national Tribal Lands Program director for The Trust for Public Lands and land claims / water rights coordinator for Santa Clara. During his career Alvin has helped: tribes across the United States regain and protect traditional lands; ensure over $120 million in state dollars flowed to tribes to build essential infrastructure; enact state legislation establishing a framework for collaborative state-tribal governmental relations; develop and sustain tribal immersion and dual language schools and positively transform public narratives about indigenous peoples. Alvin is the president of the Khap’o Community School Board and serves on Dartmouth College’s Native American Visiting Committee, the New Mexico Census 2020 Complete Count Commission, the Native American Relief Fund’s advisory committee, the New Mexico Census Funders’ executive committee and the International Funders for Indigenous Peoples’ Board of Directors. He’s also actively involved in the cultural life of his community and a longtime farmer.

Siobhan Wescott, MD, MPH is an Athabascan Indian from Fairbanks, Alaska. She earned her undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College, an MPH at UCLA, and an MD at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Wescott is currently Assistant Director of Indians Into Medicine at the University of North Dakota. She is a past member of the Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) board of directors, the AAIP representative to the American Medical Association (AMA), and Chair of the AMA Minority Affairs Section Governing Council.

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