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Tribal and Indigenous Advisory Council

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New Member Nominations

GAO is now accepting nominations for five Tribal and Indigenous Advisory Council (TIAC) positions to be effective September 2024. Nominations must be submitted to no later than May 31, 2024. Required nomination materials for each position are listed below:

  • Federally Recognized Tribal Nations: Nominees who are elected or appointed leaders or representatives of Federally Recognized Tribal Nations should provide evidence of their nomination by their Tribal government. This could include, but is not limited to, nomination via Tribal resolution, a letter of nomination from the senior Tribal executive leader or Tribal council on official letterhead, or self-nomination on official letterhead (in the case of elected or appointed senior Tribal leaders).
  • State-Recognized Tribes: Nominees who are representatives of state-recognized tribes should provide evidence of their nomination via a resolution, a letter of nomination from the senior executive leader on official letterhead, or self-nomination on official letterhead.
  • Alaska Native Corporations: Nominees who are representatives of Alaska Native Corporations should obtain a signed letter on official letterhead transmitting their nomination from their organization.
  • Native Hawaiian Communities: Nominees who are representatives of organizations serving Native Hawaiian communities should obtain a signed letter on official letterhead transmitting their nomination from their organization.

Individuals selected for appointment to the TIAC will be invited to serve terms of 3 years. Subject to availability of federal funding, the TIAC will meet two to three times annually, in person and virtually, though GAO may periodically ask members to provide information or perspectives on selected issues between TIAC meetings. Appointed TIAC members will receive per diem and reimbursement for eligible travel expenses incurred for attending TIAC meetings.

GAO will endeavor to ensure that the membership of the TIAC is balanced in terms of points of view, demographics, geographics, and other characteristics of Tribes and Indigenous communities represented. Appointments shall be made without discrimination on the basis of age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or cultural, religious, or socioeconomic status. 

Read our April 15 Announcement


GAO’s Tribal and Indigenous Advisory Council is composed of 16 tribal and indigenous leaders who provide advice to GAO in carrying out its mission to support Congress. Given the broad design of federal programs, in addition to leaders of federally recognized Tribal Nations, GAO also seeks perspectives from representatives of other Indigenous people served by federal programs. This includes a representative of a state-recognized tribe, an Alaska Native Corporation, and an organization representing Native Hawaiian communities.

GAO conducts reviews of federal agencies and programs, including those that serve Tribes, their citizens, and descendants. (GAO generally does not audit Tribes' activities.) GAO reviews span a broad range of topics of concern to Tribes, including health care, education, economic development, environmental protection, justice, and infrastructure, among others.

The TIAC advises GAO on vital and emerging issues affecting Tribal Nations and their citizens and informs GAO’s strategic goals and priorities with respect to the agency’s related work. Among other things, this may include:

  • Alerting GAO to emerging factors or circumstances of interest or concern;
  • Providing advice to GAO on building its internal capacity for tribal work and GAO’s processes for working with Tribes;
  • Providing advice on GAO’s development of strategic goals and objectives regarding its tribal work;
  • Helping identify relevant tribal stakeholders to ensure GAO tribal work includes a diverse range of tribal perspectives; and
  • Providing perspectives on new and ongoing GAO tribal work.

Council Members (as of 02/05/24)

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

Brenda Smith, Secretary, Kenaitze Indian Tribe

Kip Spotted Eagle, Councilman, Yankton Sioux Tribe

Elizabeth (Lisa) White Pipe, Bull Creek Tribal Representative, Rosebud Sioux Tribe

Justin Ahasteen, Executive Director, Navajo Nation Washington Office, Navajo Nation

Scott Freeny, Senior Legal Director, Division of Commerce, 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, President, 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


Contact, Paige Gilbreath ( or 214-777-5724), or Estelle Bowman ( or 202-512-9220) with questions.

Visit GAO’s Tribal and Native American Issues web page for more information.