Native American Indian Commission

History of the Commission

1977 Native American Commissioners

Camille Cash (left), Deputy Executive Officer for the Board of Supervisors, conducts the swearing-in ceremonies for four of the five elected members of the City/County Indian Commission. The four are (from left) Howard Yackus, Rudy Ortega, Sr. Lila Lewis and Clifton Roman Nose. The fifth elected member, Delores Hitman, was not present for the ceremonies.

The Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission was created through a joint effort of members of the Los Angeles Native American community, Los Angeles City, and Los Angeles County governments. The Native American Commission was officially established by the County of Los Angeles on June 25, 1976. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors then established the Commission via Ordinance No. 11409, adopted September 7, 1976, and effective October 8. 1976.

The primary purpose of the Commission is to increase the acquisition and application of funding resources to the socioeconomic problems of American Indians in Los Angeles City and County without duplication of any service or activity provided by any other County officer or department.

The first the Los Angeles City and County government officials made their respected appointments, among are, Tim Wapato, Chairman; David Lester, Vice Chairman; Al Juneau, Shirley Fiske, Emmett Sarracino, Lincoln Billedeaux, Iron Eyes Cody, Pat Patterson, Sanford Smith and William Connolly.

Following the governmental appointments of 1976, the commission held its first county-wide election for the five community elected members. Among the five elected members in 1977 are, Rudy Ortega, Sr., District 1, Lila Lewis, District 2, Clifton Roman Nose, District 3, Howard Yackus, District 4, and Delores Hitman, District 5.

The Los Angeles City-County Indian Commission, first of its kind in the United States, took their first official meeting on June 20, 1977, held at the County (Hahn) Hall of Administration. The Commission established Personnel Budget, By-laws, Planning, Legislative and Administrative Committees. In addition the commission voted to support the creation of the Indian Health Services Liaison Officer in the County of Department of Health Services.

Past Commissioners

Rev. Marvin Abrams
Seneca

Zoie Adkins-Dungee*

Daron Ahhaity
Cherokee

Glenda Ahhaitty
Cherokee

Karen Allen

Iris Allrunner
Fort Peck Sioux

Corrine Beckwith Garbani
Pechanga

Angie Behrns
Gabrielino

Lincoln B. Billedeaux
Piegan-Blackfeet

Richard Bouchard

Violet Brown

Sharon Buckley
Lakota

Michael Burgess
Comanche

Roxanne Burgess
Hupa

Tonantzin Carmelo
Gabrielino

John Castillo
Apache

Dr. Duane Champagne*
Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa

Iron Eyes Cody (Espera Oscar de Corti)

Colleen J. Colson
Cherokee

William Connolly

Juanita Connors

Sallie Cuaresma
Muskogee Creek/Cherokee

Vincent D’Averso
Lakota

Rusty Deer

Sarah Deer
Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma

Sandra A. Dooley
Osage/Seneca-Cayuga

Carolyn Echeveria
Gabrielino

Ira Englander

Ramon Enriquez
Tewa – Nambe Pueblo

Tessa Evans-Campbell
Snohomish Tribe

Shirley Jeanette Fiske

Hannah Fixico
Rosebud Sioux Tribe

Joan Freeman
Seminole

Fred William Gabourie
Seneca

Michelle L. Garcia Holiday
Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma

Danielle Glenn-Rivera
Osage

Toni Goodin

Walter Hare
Yankton Sioux

Shirley Hendricks

Delores Hinman

Janet Honanie
Hopi

Cecile Johnson
Creek

Suzanne Johnson

Andy Jones
Tohono O’odham

Alfred Juneau

Maxine Judkins
Apache/Cherokee

Patsy A. Kruse

Ronald Leos
Luiseno

A. David Lester
Muscogee Creek

Kevin Lewis
Navajo

Lila Lewis

Kathryn Manness Grandstaff
Huron (Wyandot) Tribe

Chuck Marshall
Muskogee Creek

Eugene Martinez
Choctaw

Robert E. Mele
Seneca

Mitch Mitchell
Comanche

Kimberly Morales Johnson
Gabrielino

Mitch Murdock
Navajo-Laguna

Charles Nacho
Maricopa & Tohono O’odham

Father Paul Ojibway
Fond du Luc Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

Edward “Rudy” Ortega, Sr.
Fernandeno Tataviam

Yvonne Paradise

Patricia M. Patterson

Kathy Pena

Katherine Pollock

Sister Grace Rabideaux
Chippewa

David Rambeau
Paiute

Carol Ramirez
Gabrielino

Betty Ransom

Lois Red Elk
Fort Peck Sioux

Melvin Anthony Rice
Luiseno

Clifton Roman Nose
Southern Cheyenne

Rev. Emmett D. Sarracino
Laguna-Pueblo

Jack Shakely*
Muscogee Creek

Ian Skorodin
Choctaw

Edward Stewart Sloan

Sanford K. Smith
Ute

Steven Stallings*
Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians

Dr. Lenore Stiffer
Gros Ventre

Robert Sundance
Hunkpapa Sioux

Beverly Sweetwater

Dennis A. Tafoya*
Santa Clara Pueblo

Charles Toledo
Navajo

Tanya Torres
Chiricahua Apache

Timothy J. Turner, Esq.
Luiseno

Karina Walters
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

Sherman Timothy Wapato*
Colville Confederated

Rose Clark Weahkee
Navajo

Lucy Wilson
Choctaw

Ben Lucero Wolf
Kiowa

Howard Yackytooanipah “Yackus”
Comanche

Mary York
Chiricahua Apache

*Chairperson

Past Executive Assistants

Tom Sellers, Northern Montana Blackfeet

Glenda Ahhiatty, Cherokee

Ron Andrade, La Jolla Luiseno

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