In 2022, GAO began the process of forming its first-ever Tribal and Indigenous Advisory Council to provide insights and recommendations on issues affecting Tribal Nations and their citizens. The Council will help guide GAO’s future work on vital and emerging issues affecting Tribal Nations, their citizens, and Indigenous people more broadly. Among other things, this may include informing GAO of emerging topics of interest or concern, helping identify relevant stakeholders to ensure GAO work includes a diverse range of tribal and indigenous perspectives, and providing advice to GAO on its processes for working with Tribes.
The Council is comprised of 16 members, including leaders from federally recognized Tribal Nations; a leader of a state recognized Tribe; a leader of a Native Hawaiian organization; and experts on topics relevant to Tribal Nations and Indigenous people. GAO is committed to ensuring it hears from leaders and representatives of federally recognized Tribes with whom GAO has a government-to-government relationship. Given the broad design of federal programs, GAO also seeks perspectives from representatives of other Indigenous people served by federal programs.
So that future terms will be staggered, individuals selected for initial appointment to the Council will be invited to serve terms of two or three years. GAO looks forward to working collaboratively with the Council to identify priority issues, as well as protocols and procedures for working together.
Read our Announcement of First Appointments
Tribal and Indigenous Advisory Council Members (as of 04/17/23)
Cheryl Andrews-Maltais, Chairwoman, Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head Aquinnah
Tehassi tasi Hill, Chairman, Oneida Nation
John Lowery, Chairman, Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina
Sheila Carl, Tribal Council Member, Akiak Native Community
Myra Pickering, Second Member, Tribal Council, Otoe-Missouria Tribe
Corinne Sams, Member at Large, Board of Trustees, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
Kip Spotted Eagle, Councilman, Yankton Sioux Tribe
Elizabeth (Lisa) White Pipe, Bull Creek Tribal Representative, Rosebud Sioux Tribe
Brenda Smith, Secretary, Kenaitze Indian Tribe
Sarah Curtis, CEO and President, Choctaw Global, LLC, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
Virginia “Ginger” Fuata, Consumer Board Member, Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, Native Hawaiian Communities
Rhonda Harjo, Attorney and former Deputy Chief Counsel (retired), U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians/Mvskoke Nation
Sarah Lukin, Chief Strategy Officer, Cook Inlet Region, Inc.
Kasie Nichols, Director, Office of Self-Governance, Citizen Potawatomi Nation
Christopher Adam Red, Auditor, Internal Audit Department, Southern Ute Indian Tribe
Justin Ahasteen, Executive Director Navajo Nation Washington Office, Navajo Nation
For more information, Paige Gilbreath of GAO’s Natural Resources and Environment team at (214) 777-5724 or email@example.com or Chuck Young in GAO’s Office of Public Affairs at (202) 512-4800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.