INDIGENOUS RISING | VOICE, VOTE, ACTION

Moderator and Panelists Bios

Loris Taylor

Loris Taylor is a member of the Hopi and Acoma Nations and President/CEO of Native Public Media Inc., representing the interests of Native Americans in radio, television, journalism, and public policy -- both domestically and internationally. Fifty-nine radio and three television stations are in the NPM network serving Indian Country.

Taylor is the only Native American representative on the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). She served on the FCC's Diversity in a Digital Age Committee and chaired the Economic, Finance and Economic Development and Technology and Telecommunications Committees of the National Congress of American Indians. In 2008, Taylor represented Native Americans in briefing the Obama-Biden Transition Team on telecommunications.

Taylor's leadership resulted in the first "Digital Journalism and Storytelling" curriculum for Tribal college credit, publication of the first seminal study on broadband "New Media, Technology and Internet Use in Indian Country," and assisting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in creating the Tribal Priority for broadcasting and establishing the Office of Native Affairs and Policy. Taylor was a contributor to the Aspen Institute and Knight Commission's report on the "Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy" and "New Cities: The Next Generation of Healthy Informed Communities."


Chef Sean Sherman

Chef Sean Sherman, Oglala Lakota, born in Pine Ridge, SD, has been cooking across the US and Mexico over the past 30 years, and has become renowned nationally and internationally in the culinary movement of Indigenous foods. His main focus has been on the revitalization and evolution of Indigenous foods systems throughout North America. Chef Sean has studied on his own extensively to determine the foundations of these food systems to gain a full understanding of bringing back a sense of Native American cuisine to today’s world. In 2014 he opened the business titled The Sioux Chef, as a caterer and food educator in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area. He and his business partner, Dana Thompson, also designed and opened the Tatanka Truck, which featured 100% pre-contact foods of the Dakota and Minnesota territories.

In October 2017, Sean was able to perform the first decolonized dinner at the James Beard House in Manhattan along with his team. His first book, The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, was awarded the James Beard medal for Best American Cookbook for 2018 and was chosen one of the top ten cookbooks of 2017 by the LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle as well as the Smithsonian Magazine. Also that year, Chef Sean was selected as a Bush Fellow, as well as receiving the 2019 Leadership Award by the James Beard Foundation. The Sioux Chef team continues with their mission to help educate and make Indigenous foods more accessible to as many communities as possible through the recently founded nonprofit North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NATIFS). Through this entity, Sean sees this vision as even more relevant in the time of COVID. Educating the world on localizing food systems is critical and we believe that we can leverage NATIFS to expedite this mission.

Learn more at www.natifs.org.

Marci McLean-Pollack

Marci McLean- Pollock, Amskapi Piikani, also known as Istoowanii (Flies in the front), grew up on the Blackfeet Nation in Montana. Marci draws her strength and guidance from her Piikuni culture. She belongs to the Brave Dogs Society, the Comes from the Greenwood Burner Society, is a part of Thunder Pipe and Beaver Bundles, and is a member of the Piikuni Warrior Women's Society. She earned an A.A. Degree in Physical Therapy Assisting and a Bachelors in Human Biology with a minor in Native American Studies. Before entering into the social justice world, Marci’s career was in the healthcare and construction fields.

In 2014, she graciously accepted the position of Executive Director for Western Native Voice. Under her leadership, the team has led robust community organizing, civic engagement and advocacy programs. Marci’s passion is helping others to find their voice and build their leadership skills to lead movements and change. Marci and her partner Angie, call the Blackfeet Nation home. They reside in Billings with their four children.

Marci enjoys being home with family. Her children are her pride and joy and her world, and anything with them is a priority. In her free time, she is most comfortable on the back of a horse, enjoys nature, beading, and drawing.

John Isaiah Pepion

John Isaiah Pepion is a Plains Indian Graphic artist from the Piikani Band of the Blackfoot Confederacy. He is based out of the Blackfeet reservation in North-Central Montana, where the Rocky Mountains meet the Plains.

John is best known for his ledger art, an art tradition that developed as the buffalo hide traditionally used for painting became scarce. Plains tribes were forced to adapt to making artwork on the ledger paper from accounting books.

He comes from a family of artists, and pictographic art has been in his family for hundreds of years.


Kimberly Guererro

Kimberly Guererro, a native Oklahoman and graduate of UCLA, enjoys a career in the entertainment industry as an actor and screenwriter, and also works in tribal communities alongside an award-winning group of Indigenous filmmakers known as The StyleHorse Collective. Kimberly’s film and television credits include The Glorias, The Dark Divide, Catch the Fair One, The Cherokee Word for Water, Longmire, Blood & Oil and Grey’s Anatomy to name a few—though she is most often recognized Jerry’s Native American girlfriend on Seinfeld.

Kimberly originated the role of “Johnna” in Tracy Letts’ Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning play August: Osage County (Chicago, Broadway, London, Sydney) and also starred in Manahatta (The Public Theater, NY) and The Frybread Queen (Native Voices, LA).

Kimberly received an MFA in Screenwriting from the University of California, Riverside, where she now serves on faculty in the department of Theatre, Film and Digital Production empowering future generations of storytellers.

Chief Phillip Whiteman Jr.

“Yellow Bird”

A Northern Cheyenne Chief, Spiritual Leader, Nationally Renowned Horseman, Cultural Consultant, Performing Artist, Traditional Storyteller, and Entrepreneur. He Co-developed the Medicine Wheel Model, Beyond Horsemanship, a holistic model that connects the spirit of horse and human. Most recently, Whiteman was a culture and language consultant for the major motion picture Hostiles, Starring Christian Bale, Wes Studi. He continues to “give back” to his community as a Founder & President of Yellow Bird Life Ways which “Nurtures the Breath of Life” in Northern Cheyenne youth and community and addresses the issues of historical trauma. Whiteman’s experience as an alcoholism counselor is beneficial in the work he does today.

Phillip credits his parents, both members of the Northern Cheyenne Nation; the late Chief Phillip Whiteman Sr., and his mother, the late Florence Bites-Whiteman, a “Warrior Woman” of the Elk Scraper Society for his many accomplishments. Chief Whiteman resides on his family homestead on the Northern Cheyenne reservation in Lame Deer Mon

www.yellowbirdlifeways.org

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INDIGENOUS RISING | VOICE, VOTE, ACTION

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