Eugenia Charles-Newton, Dinè (Navajo), currently serves as a Council Delegate on the 25th Navajo Nation Council. She was elected to be the Chairwoman of the Law and Order Committee where she leads it in overseeing the Navajo Nation Judicial Branch, Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, Navajo Nation Department of Justice, Ethics and Rules, and other Divisions and Departments that deal with law. She also serves as the Chairwoman of the Gaming Subcommittee working to renegotiate a gaming compact with the State of Arizona.
In addition to serving the Nation, she also co-chairs the Public Safety and Justice Subcommittee at the Tribal Interior Budget Council (TIBC) working alongside the Department of Interior as a tribal leader to help appropriate funds across Indian Country.
Eugenia holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Kansas School of Law and a Certificate for Tribal Law and Policy. She’s currently working on her Ph.D. at Texas Tech University School of Education in Secondary Education, with an emphasis on policy writing.
Her varied career includes working as a Burger King cashier, a jet welder building 6’ suction tanks for oil fields, a law librarian, a college professor and a prosecutor for the Navajo Nation.
Eugenie has been married for 26 years, has one son and lives on a small farm in Shiprock, New Mexico where she raises 11 sheep, 5 dogs, 3 cats, 2 geese, a llama and donkey named Brand-E.
Teresa, also known as Sh-Girl, is a citizen of the Tohono O'odham Nation in southern Arizona. Teresa performs stand-up comedy and is part of the all-female comedy group, "The Ladies of Native Comedy:" Teresa promotes culture and language in her community. She is part of a group dedicated to reviving traditional pottery making in her Nation. She lives with her family Where the Turtle is Wedged (Sells, Arizona) where she is currently employed by the Tohono O'odham Utility Authority.
As the Director of Learning and Development, Lisa Riggleman is responsible for leading the design and delivery process of culturally-appropriate, business related training initiatives for Falmouth Institute. She has worked and traveled extensively in Indian Country for nearly 30 years. Lisa has decades of experience in the nonprofit, education and gaming professions. Most recently, she held senior leadership positions with The Mob Museum and The Neon Museum-both in Las Vegas. She is an avid volunteer and serves on the board of various Las Vegas nonprofits. She earned a Master of Arts in journalism and telecommunications from the University of Wyoming and a Bachelor of Science in journalism and broadcasting from West Texas A&M University as well as post graduate studies and a human resources certification at The University of Nevada Las Vegas.
As a long-time Las Vegas local, Brian Pearson has spent the last 30 years working with technology to get the most out of office automation. Brian earned his Bachelor’s degree and Master's degree from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. He has been instructing classes in Microsoft Office, Network Security, Records Retention and Electronic Document Management for Falmouth for the past 15 years. He is a devoted husband and father of three children. He enjoys spending time with his children, volunteering with youth baseball programs and working with computers.
Patina Park, J.D. serves as a senior advisor and Executive Director of Tribal State Relations in the Office of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan where she directs the government-to-government relationship between the Governor’s office and Tribal Nations, and works closely with staff across the Enterprise to advise on issues affecting policy and legislative affairs impacting the Tribal Nations and tribal communities. Over the past 20 years, she has worked with both tribal and state governments, and with urban Native communities in various roles. She has represented Native families in state and tribal courts as an ICWA attorney and served a tribal court appellate judge. She has taught Federal Indian Law as an adjunct law professor and held leadership positions with the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center, Minneapolis Division of Indian Work, and the Ho-Chunk Nation Department of Justice. Ms. Park has been faculty with the Falmouth Institute for over 12 years.
Ms. Park is Mnicoujou Lakota, her biological family comes from the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Sioux Tribes and her adoptive family is Osage. She graduated from Arizona State University with an undergraduate in Psychology and obtained her Juris Doctorate from Hamline University School of Law. Ms. Park is married and the mother of 3 boys. She also has 2 demanding cats and a very naughty but adorable dog.
Wes was born in Pittsburgh, PA and raised in northeast Ohio. He moved to Las Vegas for economic reasons, meaning he needed a job and Vegas was hiring. He has managed the Learning and Development function for various hotel/casinos on the Las Vegas Strip and has been proudly facililtating training sessions for the Falmouth Institute since 1994.
He earned his BA in Business Administration/HR and a Master’s in Education for Instructional Design.
Wes is also an experienced mediator and was appointed by the Nevada Supreme Court as a Foreclosure Mediator during the financial crisis from 2009-2015. He taught a 40 hour mediation certification program at UNLV during that time and still makes occasional guest appearances for current classes. He is passionate about restorative justice practices and other conflict resolution training. He volunteers with the Nevada Mediation Group to offer conflict resolution training for the Las Vegas community.
At this point, Wes has done both training delivery and instructional design for more than half his life. He knew from a young age this is what he wanted to do and has had the great fortune of loving his work. He lives by the mantra “Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life.”
Lesley Moore brings more than 20 years’ experience in grant writing, fund and organizational development, nonprofit management, and community organizing. She earned her undergraduate degree in communications and theatre, and dual MBA and MSW degrees in business and social work. She provides instruction and facilitation, consulting and coaching to individuals and organizations at all levels with particular expertise in grassroots groups and those newer to grant writing. She has content expertise and experience in the arts, social justice, environment and sustainability, emergency preparedness, human services and mental health, adult education, and youth work. She holds a permaculture design certificate (PDC) and continues to study in an advanced regenerative land management program.
Lisa Harjo works as the Executive Director for Native American Cancer Research. She is the Principal Investigator on a project with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and provides administrative leadership and oversight for the organization. She supervises staff and maintains all corporate documents and standards. She also provides health education, training, recruits American Indians for cancer screening, and supports cancer survivors through education and outreach in the Denver Metro Area.
After receiving her Bachelors of Science in Native American Education and Child Development in 1974, Ms. Harjo spent the next twenty years teaching all ages from preschool through higher education. She also worked for many years in the field of non-profit organization management and development. She received her Masters of Education in Elementary Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado at Denver in the early nineties. She co-authored several books in the field of education. She has worked for decades with American Indian tribes and other organizations, facilitating group meetings and trainings, and assisting communities in building consensus and unity of visions.
Ms. Harjo lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, three daughters, grandson, and three granddaughters.
Marissa J. Gehley is the founder of KNOW consulting, Kids Need Our Wisdom. She has more than 30 years of experience in education as a former teacher, counselor, child welfare and attendance specialist and coordinator of school safety and the Burbank OutReach Center. Additionally she is a trainer for the California School/Law Enforcement Partnership.
Ms. Gehley is proud to have contributed to several articles published in the nationally syndicated column “A+ Advice for Parents” by Leanna Landsmann. She has presented hundreds of workshops for community leaders, educators, parents and students in areas such as bully awareness/prevention, suicide prevention, effective communication techniques, school and neighborhood safety, diversity, relationship violence, child abuse and neglect and developing effective community partnerships. She holds a BS in history and social science and an MA in counseling.
Karla Bylund, a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, founded Soaring Bird Solutions in 2015. Soaring Bird Solutions is a Native American Woman-owned consulting firm which provides professional Human Resource consulting services including HR outsourcing and special projects such as compensation and organizational analysis, human resource audit and assistance, policy review, employee relations investigations, engagement surveys, career development and customized training.
She has over 25 years’ experience in Human Resources and has worked with over 30 Tribal Nations. Her credentials include:
Dr. Greg Gunderson is the Chief Financial Officer for the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska and has more than 35 years of executive and financial leadership experience. Gunderson has expertise in many traditional financial areas, including accounting, purchasing, accounts payable, and internal audit. He also has experience in broader organizational management, including strategic planning, building construction and renovation, facility maintenance, asset acquisition including bond financing, people management, and public safety. After graduating with his Bachelor of Science degree, Gunderson began his career as a tax accountant. He later received his Master’s degree in Finance while simultaneously working full-time. After receiving his Doctorate degree in Educational Administration, he served as Vice President and CFO for Webster University in St. Louis and then as President of Park University in Kansas City and Seward County Community College in Liberal, Kansas. Throughout his career, Dr. Gunderson has recognized the importance of bringing humor to the workplace and maintaining a focus on finding solutions. Greg is married to his high school debate partner, Laurie, and they raised two sons and now reside near their extended family in Omaha, Nebraska.
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In 2023, David Montoya joined Falmouth Institute as our Senior Law & Governance Analyst. David is an enrolled member of the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo and has been serving Indian Country as an attorney and consultant for over 10 years. David graduated from UCLA School of Law’s Federal Indian Law joint degree program in 2009, earning a J.D. and Masters in American Indian Studies. He has worked as an in-house attorney for several tribes across California including the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, and the Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria. Major successful projects David has managed include the following: building the Bear River Tribal Court and Public Safety Departments, negotiating settlement agreements with school districts to resolve discriminatory treatment of Native students, successfully managing multi-million dollar tribal government grant portfolios, developing multiple tribal private enterprises as part of economic development initiatives, and training local government agencies to successfully work with tribal communities.
David has also worked within higher education, serving as head of human resources for Cal Poly Pomona and Pomona Community College and, additionally, served on the Native Advisory Committees for both these institutions. David worked extensively with college administrators regarding NAGPRA compliance, cultural consideration when working with Native students, and working directly with tribal leadership to find joint solutions to resolve barriers to education.
David currently serves as an Appellate Court Justice for the Northern California Tribal Court Coalition, serving as an appellate judge for several tribes in Northern California. In December 2023, he was sworn in as an Appellate Court Justice for the Sauk Suiattle Tribe in Washington.
Evelina Y-Maho is Co-Owner/Founder of YM Solutions, LLC, a native women-own consulting firm. Worked many years in the public health and healthcare arena. Holds a Masters Degree in Administration with an emphasis in Health Sciences and an undergraduate degree in Clinical Dietetics and Chemistry from Northern Arizona University. Early in her career, much of her work focused on Prevention and Management of Chronic Disease among American Indian populations. Experienced and skilled in project design, implementation, evaluation, and fiscal management. Much of her work entails collaborative work with Tribal Health Programs, Hospitals (IHS/638) Facilities and Urban Indian Health Centers. Currently, Evelina works with the National Council of Urban Indian Health and continues to support AI/AN programs. At Falmouth Institute, she serves as an Adjunct Faculty Member.
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Adam Bailey, an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, joined the law firm Hobbs Straus as an associate in February 2013. He is a 2011 graduate of the UCLA School of Law, where he received his J.D. with a specialization in Critical Race Studies. During law school, Mr. Bailey was an active member and officer of NALSA. He worked on UCLA’s Journal of Environmental Law and Policy and the Dukeminier Awards Journal on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and the Law. Mr. Bailey was a term-time clerk for the Hualapai Court of Appeals and the Hopi Tribal Appeals Court. He was also a member of the UCLA Law Review, where he was selected to be a Senior Editor. He authored his student note entitled Threading the Needle: The Fort Peck Tribe’s Associate Membership: A Modern Model for Tribal Affiliation.
Mr. Bailey has returned to Hobbs Straus, having worked for four years in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office as a legislative specialist before enrolling in law school. Prior to his previous work at the firm he served as a legislative associate for the National Congress of American Indians. Immediately after graduation from the UCLA School of Law, Mr. Bailey practiced labor and employment law for Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton.
Mr. Bailey graduated with honors from Harvard University. His thesis exploring President Clinton’s executive order on tribal consultation received magna cum laude.
Mr. Bailey enjoys fishing and hunting, hiking, cooking, traveling, keeping current on news and politics.
John Friel, CPA, is Director of Financial Services with the Falmouth Institute, where he provides a wide range of financial management services to tribal governments. Mr. Friel leads the team that prepares and negotiates indirect cost proposals for hundreds of Falmouth IDC clients. Other services include: training, internal controls analysis, cost allocation policy facilitation and corrective action plans in response to audit findings issued in accordance with single audits.
Mr. Friel achieved the status of master trainer due to his outstanding achievements in workshop presentation and methodology. He has consistently demonstrated an understanding and sensitivity to the issues faced by attendees in the workshops he conducts.
Julia Coates is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Born in Pryor, Oklahoma and raised in northern California, she holds BAs in Anthropology and English from San Francisco State University, and a PhD in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. She has worked for Native American non-profits, tribal governments, and non-governmental organizations. Dr. Coates was a delegate to the Cherokee Nation Constitutional convention, was the Project Director for the award-winning Cherokee Nation History Course, and served two terms on the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council. She has worked on research, grant writing, and conference production for the American Indian Studies Center at UCLA, and presently is an adjunct professor of American Indian subject courses in the Social Sciences division at Pasadena City College. She also co-founded the Cherokee PINS Project: Education and Engagement for Sovereignty, a non-profit dedicated to building civic engagement within Cherokee communities and bridging the divides between the Cherokee citizens within and outside the tribal boundary.
Mr. Bantum is the President of Bantum Consulting Services, which specializes in providing Information Technology consulting services to faith based, non-profit, for profit, governmental and healthcare organizations. He has over 25 years of accounting and technology consulting experience, including experience in providing consulting, database and forensic accounting services to the healthcare industry. Mr. Bantum is a CPA, a CITP (Certified Information Technology Professional) and a CMC (Certified Management Consultant). He has served in the U.S. Air Force and received a Top Secret Security clearance while in service to his country. He was also an auditor with the accounting firm of Deloitte and Touche. He is a member of the AICPA, the Maryland Association of CPA’s, and the National Association of Black Accountants.