Exploring Rights and Solidarity in Self-Governing Territories
Thursday, June 27, 2024 – 2:00 EDT


Dr. Timothy Begaye

Dr. Timothy Begaye (Diné) is a citizen of the Navajo Nation and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute. Throughout his career he has taken on roles that allowed him to explore the need for educational sovereignty in rebuilding Native nations. These roles include working as an Education Program Specialist (Native Language, History, and Culture) from the BIE Associate Deputy Director’s Office in Minneapolis, a Director of Education Programs at Navajo Technical University, and a professor of Education, Leadership, & Policy Studies at the University of Arizona. Dr. Begaye’s research experience centers on studying social movements, policy, and leadership. He consults numerous nonprofit organizations in the USA and other countries, education institutions, and tribal schools. He also conducts professional development training for teachers, administrators, and school board members

Christopher Peters

Christopher Peters

Christopher Peters (Puhlik-lah/Karuk) is the President of Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples with more than 50 years of experience in grassroots community organizing. He was first employed with Seventh Generation Fund in 1989 as a Senior Program Officer. He later became the Executive Director in 1990, and subsequently, in 1999, he was appointed as SGF’s President and CEO. For over 31 years he has served the organization and remains its President. His work is especially focused on climate change, sacred sites protection, and the renaissance of sacred knowledge and Earth Renewal ceremonies of Northern California Tribal Peoples.

Chris is also the owner and Principal Consultant for Red Deer Consulting; an independent firm that provides identity based cultural advising, mentoring and capacity building services for tribal communities. He has earned a BS degree from the University of California at Davis in Native American Studies, and a MA degree in Counseling Psychology from Stanford University.

Robert Odawi Porter

Robert Odawi Porter

Robert Odawi Porter is a former President of the Seneca Nation of Indians who has devoted his 30-year career to advancing the rights of sovereign American Indian nations in the United States. President Porter was raised in the Nation’s Allegany Territory and earned his education from Syracuse University and Harvard Law School. He served two terms as the Attorney General of the Seneca Nation and in 2010 was elected for a term as the Seneca Nation’s 67th President. For 15 years, President Porter was also a tenured law professor at the University of Kansas, the University of Iowa, and Syracuse University, and has written numerous academic articles and books relating to the law and policy governing Indigenous nations and peoples.

A proven advocate, he has helped resolve major conflicts against the U.S. Federal and state governments to protect tribal sovereignty and treaty rights, including efforts to stop New York State from taxing Seneca commerce, protection of Seneca gaming and land rights, and lobbying for the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2014, which ended the practice of IRS auditing of Indians for benefits received from their tribal governments. Currently, he provides legal and lobbying services to Indigenous tribal governments, Native-owned businesses, and companies doing business in Indian Country through his law firm, Odawi Law PLLC, and his Federal government relations firm, the Capitol Hill Policy Group LLC.

Ja-no’s—Janine Bowen

Ja:no’s—Janine Bowen

Ja:no’s—Janine Bowen is a member of the Beaver clan of the Seneca Nation and a Faith Keeper of the Cold Spring Longhouse. She has centered her career on Seneca language revitalization efforts. In 2002, she began teaching  Seneca language and culture to elementary and junior high school students on the Allegany Territory of the Seneca Nation. In 2007, at the request of the Allegany Education Director, Ja:no’s became a Seneca language Instructor for Buffalo State College. In 2015, the Seneca Nation Chief of Staff encouraged her to take on the role of Allegany Territory Language Director at the Seneca Nation. Ja:no’s received an Ed.M. from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, as well as an M.P.P. from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.

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