Native American Indian Commission

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of the Commission has the authority to take any action when necessary in behalf of the Commission between regular meetings of the Commission. It has the general supervision of the affairs of the Commission and may prepare any recommendations for its review and action. In addition the Executive Committee provides direction to the Executive Assistant in the conduct of the affairs of the Commission when required.

  • Rudy Ortega, Jr.

    Chairman

    Rudy Ortega Jr. (Fernandeño Tataviam) is the Chairman of the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission and has served on the Commission since 2004. He is the Tribal President of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, a native sovereign nation of northern Los Angeles County. As the current elected Tribal President of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians Ortega Jr. oversees his Tribe’s governmental body and manages affairs pertaining to the rights of all Fernandeño Tataviam people.

    Since 2004, Ortega Jr. has served as the Executive Director of Pukúu Cultural Community Services the FTBMI’s non-profit that serves the greater Los Angeles County American Indian community. Through Pukúu, Ortega Jr. also oversees Haramokngna American Indian Cultural Center located 14 miles up the Angeles Crest Highway.

  • Chrissie Castro

    Chrissie Castro

    Vice Chair

    Chrissie Castro (Diné & Chicana) is the Vice-chair of the Los Angeles City and County Native American Indian Commission, and co-led the change to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day in the city and County of Los Angeles; She was a co-founder of Indigenous Women Rise, which organized the Indigenous women’s contingent of 1,000 Indigenous Women at the Women’s March in DC. She is the Network Weaver of the Native Voice Network, a national network of 35+ Native-led organizations that mobilize through indigenous cultural values; and recently launched two projects to build community and political power of Native communities – locally, the California Native Vote Project and nationally, Advance Native Political Leadership

  • Shawn Imitates Dog (Lakota)

    Treasurer

  • Tracy M. Perez

    Secretary

    Tracy M. Perez (Diné) is the Secretary of the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission and current Chair of Self Governance Board. Tracy is an active member of Los Angeles Native American community volunteering and participating with many community programs and activities. Tracy started working as a Community Liaison for the LA Urban Indian Health program, United American Indian Involvement (UAII) for native families with the Veteran Affairs program in Long Beach. Passionate for the community, Tracy has sat as board member for several organizations such as American Indian Community Council (AICC), APLA-Red Circle Projects and a member of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) taskforce of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.

  • Clementine Minnie Bordeaux

    Clementine Minnie Bordeaux (Sicangu Lakota Oyate) was raised on the Pine Ridge Reservation. From 2011-2017 she worked as the Academic Coordinator for the American Indian Studies Interdepartmental program at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Prior to working at UCLA she received a graduate degree from the University of Washington, Seattle, through the Native Voices Indigenous documentary film program and an undergraduate degree in Theatre from Carthage College (Kenosha, Wisconsin). Currently, she is a doctoral student in the Culture and Performance program which is in the World Arts and Culture Department at UCLA. In Clementine’s spare time, she sits on the Board for Cornerstone Theatre Company and co-curates/produces art and digital media with Racing Magpie located in Rapid City, SD.

  • Dr. Andrea Garcia

    Dr. Andrea Garcia (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara) recently assumed the position of Director of Community Centered Initiatives with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. She completed a fellowship in research and policy with the National Clinician Scholars Program at UCLA, and she trained in General and Preventive Medicine with the California Department of Public Health. She is a proud graduate of the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program where she obtained her master’s degree in health and medical sciences from UC Berkeley, and her medical degree from UCSF. Her current work focuses on research and systems improvement pertaining to urban Native American health and wellbeing, leveraging technology and partnerships to improve care, and improving workforce diversity. She is a Board Member for the United American Indian Involvement, We Are Healers, Building the Next Generation of Academic Physicians, and is proud to serve as a Mayoral Appointee for the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission.

  • Dawn Jackson

    Dawn Jackson (Saginaw Chippewa) has been an active member of the Los Angeles American Indian community since 1990. Dawn has served as a community elected commissioner for the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission since 1994. Over the past two decades she has worked in the entertainment industry in many roles, from production executive, project manager, artist to an independent producer. Throughout her career she has served as a liaison to the native community, both locally as well as nationally. During this time she also worked with many organizations to create opportunities for Native people interested in pursuing careers in entertainment.


    In 2010 Dawn was able to return to being an artist and dedicating a majority of her time to painting. Over the past four years she showed her paintings in major art markets throughout the US, including Santa Fe Indian Market, The Heard Museum Marketplace and the Autry Art Marketplace. In March 2014 she was part of exhibit of Ojibwe women artists at the Gustave Heye Museum (Smithsonian) in New York City.

  • Robert Judkins

    Robert Judkins (Apache & Cherokee) Robert Judkins descends from several generations of proud Native Americans. His focus has been in raising awareness of the plight of Native Americans on Reservations and in urban areas across the US. Robert’s passion for the game of football has been enhanced by the knowledge and contacts gained during his 11-year tenure as an employee of the NFL. As the applications specialist, he supports and focuses primarily on the development and deployment of software systems for production.

  • Pat Lopez

    Pat Lopez (Taos Pueblo & Tiwa) is a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP) at the United American Indian Involvement (UAII) and specializes in women’s health. Working at UAII she has many opportunities to interact and mentor youth and parents. She is passionate about educating and forming relationships with her patients. Before working at UAII Pat worked at Los Angeles County’s General Hospital, the East Los Angeles Community Health Foundation and Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles. Pat and her husband mentor and teach drumming to the patients at Changing Spirits. She has previously worked with the incarcerated you at California Youth Authority.

  • Randall Murphy

    Randall Murphy (Choctaw & Lakota) grew up in Nebraska and graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1985 and the Yale Law School in 1989. While at UN-L he served as Chairmen of the Native American Student Association for several years and as the University Program Council Chair for Native American Cultural Events. At Yale he served on the Steering Committee of the Latino/Asian/Native American Student organization and the American Indian Law Students Association.


    He currently sits on the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission as a mayoral appointee and is a Director of the Wawokiye Foundation, which serves the Native Community of Los Angeles, particularly during the holiday season, focusing on Native children in the foster care system and TANF recipients.


    He is employed as a Deputy Attorney General with the California Department of Justice.

  • Joseph Quintana

    Joseph Quintana (Kewa Pueblo) joined the commission as a LA City Mayoral appointee in early 2018 and previously served as a community elected commissioner in 2017. Professionally, Mr. Quintana serves at the United American Indian Involvement where he leads the organizations new development projects. During this time he has increased the visibility of the organization, developed new- and maintained existing partnerships, and been involved in diversification of funding sources. Over the past 15 years Mr. Quintana has served Indian Country with a focus on Economic Development, Workforce Training, Marketing and Community Outreach, along with increasing access to Health and Wellness. Joseph has served 3 Native Nations and worked on projects funded by Federal and State awards such as the Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Indian Health Service, and Housing and Urban Development. Joseph has also managed a non-profit publication with subscriptions across the U.S., including foreign countries: Germany, France, and Australia. Joseph plans on continuing to serve the needs of the American Indian community, and is an active participant in many of the cultural and family orientated activities in Los Angeles.

  • Paula Starr

    Paula Starr, (Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes from the state of Oklahoma) is a direct descendent of Chief Black Kettle. Paula is the Executive Director for Southern California Indian Center, Inc. (SCIC). SCIC is a non-profit grassroots organization that serves the American Indian and Alaska Natives in Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside Counties (off reservation tribes) for the past 50 years. The last three years, Paula was also the co-chair for the National Indian and Native American Employment and Training Conference that provides Training for over 180 Indian and Native grantees across the country annually.


    As an Executive Producer, for SCIC’s InterTribal Entertainment, Paula has produced over nine short films, documentary, several public service commercials and a DVD for Department of Labor on Success Stories in Indian Country, as well as SCIC projects. Paula supports Native people  writing and telling their own stories, which naturally leads to filming their own stories. Native filmmaking is linked to storytelling, which is an integral and traditional aspect of Native life.


    She is also a commissioner for the Los Angeles County/City Native American Indian Commission that provides resources to the socioeconomic problems of American Indians in Los Angeles City and County. Paula continues to serve as a commissioner for the Los Angeles City Workforce Development Board that oversees the expenditure of public funds annually through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).


    Paula is an activist, an educator, advocate, parent, grandparent and wife. She enjoys filmmaking, sewing, and humor. Paula is also very passionate about providing an opportunity for Native people to thrive and become self-sufficient.

  • Cheri Thomas

    Cheri Thomas (Quinault & Yurok,) has been a Los Angeles resident since 1987 and actively participates with her tribes. Ms. Thomas supports American Indian constituents and events throughout Los Angeles County and District 2. She has spoken on behalf of the Commission as a panelist at Harvard University, the World Indigenous Peoples Conference and the California Department of Education. Ms. Thomas graduated from USC with a BA in Journalism and Masters of Public Administration and works for the Los Angeles Unified School District as a Principal Administrative Analyst.

  • Alexandra Valdes

    Event Director

    Alexandra Valdes (Tlingit & Athabascan) has dedicated her career to working for organizations that empower American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. Prior to joining the Los Angeles City-County Native American Indian Commission as the Executive Director she worked for her Alaska Native Regional Corporation, Sealaska. In her role she developed, implemented and managed educational and professional development programs and opportunities for tribal member shareholders and descendants. Previously, she served as a project assistant at the Seattle Indian Health Board’s Urban Indian Health Institute, a tribal epidemiology center that focuses on the nationwide urban AI/AN population. In her role she provided support to various Native specific public health projects that affect the nation’s urban AI/AN population and the network of Urban Indian Health Programs. During her graduate studies she interned for Haa Aani, a Southeast Alaska based non-profit Community Development Financial Institution committed to creating sustainable economic opportunities for Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people. Alexandra previously was a First Nations Futures Fellow at Stanford University and a Barbara Jordan Health Policy Fellow with the Kaiser Family Foundation. She holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Brown University.

  • Fred Leaf

    Event Director

    Fred Leaf (Potawatomi) was appointed Interim Director of the Los Angeles County Health Agency by the Board of Supervisors in January 2018.  The Health Agency structure was created in 2015 to foster stronger integration between the Departments of Health Services, Public Health and Mental Health.


    Leaf brings over 35 years of professional experience to the role, including executive management experience in the Department of Health Services, the second largest public health system in the country and a leader in developing services for at-risk and vulnerable populations.


    Most recently, he worked in the Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office, representing the County on a statewide health policy framework to preserve gains made under the Affordable Care Act and the expansion of affordable health care coverage.


    Earlier, he served as Supervisor Michael Antonovich’s Senior Health Policy Advisor, a highly visible role where he coordinated all policy matters related to the Department of Health Services, Public Health, Mental Health, and Homelessness.


    Prior to joining the office of Supervisor Antonovich, he served as the Chief Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Department of Health Services, directing administration of an integrated system of hospitals, health centers and private, nonprofit clinic partners that together ensured delivery of a broad array of essential health services to County residents.


    He also served as the Acting Director of Health Services, where he was responsible for the overall management and operations of the department that has a current annual operating budget of $4.3 billion and employs over 21,000 employees.


    During his long tenure with the County, Leaf also served in management positions in the Departments of Mental Health and Public Health.

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