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Advance Native Political Leadership Action Fund builds Native political power by helping to elect Native leaders at all levels of public office. We’re proud to support the following candidates in 2023.

Mvskoke | Semvnole
Office: Oklahoma City Council, Ward 8

Amy Warne, MBA, RD/LD, is a lifelong resident of Oklahoma. She is Mvskoke (Muscogee) enrolled, Semvnole (Seminole), and Daughter of Kaccvlke (Tiger Clan). Amy holds degrees in Health Care Management and Nutritional Sciences. She is also a Master of Business Administration. She is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian and has served in healthcare since 2007. She has worked with youth and adults with developmental disabilities.

Amy is active within the community through volunteering her time to various organizations that address food insecurity and food sovereignty, increasing voter turnout, and raising awareness for social justice. She is an avid supporter of small businesses, education, and the arts. Amy believes in the power of the people.

If elected, Amy would have been the first Native person to serve on the Oklahoma City Council. Oklahoma is home to 39 Sovereign Native Nations.

Cree | Lakota | Black
Office: Council Member, Chicago Police Department, 17th District

Anthony Tamez is First Nations Oji-Cree/Black and the current Chairman of the Center for Native American Youth’s Advisory Board. He is also a member of Chi-Nations Youth Council, a Chicago-based grassroots collective of Native peoples, and a steward of the First Nations Garden in Chicago’s northwest neighborhood of Albany Park, located across the street from the 17th District. Anthony is a dues-paying member of 33rd Ward Working Families and United Working Families.

Anthony is committed to reimagining what public safety means for our communities. After winning his election, Anthony became the only sitting Native elected official in Illinois and the youngest Native elected nationally.

Office: Portland (ME) City Council, At-Large

April Fournier is a member of the Portland City Council in Portland, Maine, holding one of three at-large council seats. First elected in 2020, she made history as the first Native woman to serve on the city council in Portland. April is running for re-election to her at-large city council seat.

April is the National Program Manager for Advance Native Political Leadership. In this role, she supports Indigenous community leaders as they work towards building their own leadership skills to prepare for elected and appointed office.

Previously, she worked as a classroom teacher, case manager, and parent coach, after earning a master’s degree in early childhood special education. Before she worked in advocacy and education, April spent a decade working in the insurance industry.

April’s top policy priorities are affordable housing, public health, and environmental protection.

Kickapoo | Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Office: Lawrence Public Schools Board of Education

Carole is a licensed social worker for the Kansas City Indian Center. With educational credentials from Haskell Indian Nations University and the University of Kansas, she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her role. Carole actively contributes to her community by serving on the board of the Douglas County Senior Resource Center and is a proud member of the Kansas Association of Native American Educators. Her commitment to advocating for Indigenous peoples is evident through her various roles, including successfully lobbying for the passage of MMIP (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons) legislation in Kansas. She also serves as a liaison on MMIP to the U.S. Attorney General’s Office for the Western District of Missouri, fights against racist mascots in schools as part of the Not in Our Honor Coalition, and conducts Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) trainings for the University of Kansas Health System.

Appointed by the governor to the Kansas Advisory Group on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Carole actively engages in policy matters. Her key priorities include advocating for budget accountability and transparency, promoting racial and social justice, and championing the development of affordable housing for staff.

Office: Everett School District School Board Position 5

Charles is a proud member of the Yurok Tribe, raised on the Yurok Indian Reservation in Northern California and military bases across the country. Charles became homeless when he was a teenager and found refuge at Cocoon House in Everett. It was there he attended Everett High and developed a passion for community advocacy, leading him to serve as the Vice Chair of the Everett Planning Commission, a member of the Washington State Advisory Council on Homelessness, and various other roles dedicated to improving the community. Charles is also the Interim Executive Director of the Blue-Collar Fund, a founding member of Best Schools Marysville, and a Board Member of Cocoon House, making him the only former resident serving on the Board.

As a policy analyst for the Tulalip Tribes, Charles specializes in child welfare, education, housing, and transportation. His past experiences include roles as the Director of Health Policy at the Children’s Alliance and as the Northwest Regional Engagement Coordinator at the Mockingbird Society, where he mentored homeless and foster youth in advocating for state and local policies.

Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians
SeaTac City Council, Position 5

James is a dedicated community advocate and currently serves as the development director for the Chief Seattle Club, a nonprofit organization committed to providing housing and human services to Native people. With a background in youth development programs within various local nonprofits, James has established a strong record of community service, including serving on the Native Family Advisory Committee in the Highline School District, the King County Children & Youth Advisory Board, and as the former President of the Madrona Elementary PTA.

Drawing from his expertise in public services for unhoused individuals in SeaTac, he aims to bridge gaps in existing services and prioritize housing affordability. James emphasizes the need for city council members who understand the complexities of various crises, such as public health, housing, and homelessness. He is committed to fostering sustainable changes that are inclusive and ensure that no one is left behind in SeaTac’s progress.

Office: City of Federal Way Council Position 5

Katherine Festa, a devoted 30-year resident of Federal Way, has dedicated her career to public service, working as a Housing Coordinator for the King County Department of Community and Human Services for over two decades. With an associate degree from North Seattle Community College, she has an extensive community service portfolio, including roles as Chair of the Federal Way Human Services Commission, Chair of the King County Native American Leadership Council, President of Soroptimist International of Federal Way, and a Community Representative for the Federal Way Police Department. Additionally, she actively contributes as a Board Member of FUSION, a nonprofit organization that provides housing and support services to families experiencing homelessness in Federal Way.

Katherine’s policy priorities revolve around homelessness, and she also seeks to reform the city’s police department by introducing a behavioralist and implementing the successful RADAR model. Her environmental and transportation goals involve incentivizing solar panel installations and promoting the introduction of light rail in the city.

Office: Port of Olympia (WA) Commissioner, District 4

Maggie McCarty Sanders was born and raised in Olympia, Washington. She is the granddaughter of Jerry McCarty, a signer of the Makah Constitution. Maggie’s professional experience includes working as the Executive Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources of the Nisqually Tribe. She also served as the Region 10 Executive Committee Member of the National Tribal Air Association. She has a strong record of community engagement with an environmental focus, serving on several boards and committees in tribal government, nonprofits, and higher education.

Maggie received a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in Tribal Administration & Governance from Evergreen State College in 2004. She earned an undergraduate degree from Western Washington University, with a concentration in Law, Diversity, & Justice.

Throughout her career, Maggie has consistently prioritized the promotion of social equity, environmental protection, and economic opportunities for all.

Umoⁿhoⁿ (Omaha) Tribe of Nebraska
Office: Sioux City Community Schools School Board

Margo is a dedicated educator with nearly two decades of experience, passionately serving the Umoⁿhoⁿ Nation Public School community. Holding a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Wayne State College and pursuing another in elementary administration from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Margo is deeply committed to educational excellence. She has showcased her leadership skills by serving as her union’s president and contributing as a vital member of her district’s leadership committee. As a parent of three district students and an alumna of West High School in Sioux City, she brings a profound understanding of the community’s needs and challenges.

Margo emphasizes her dedication to creating outstanding educational opportunities for all students. With a wealth of experience, passion, and a deep sense of community, she stands poised to bring positive changes to the school board, ensuring a brighter and more inclusive future for the students she serves.

Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
Duluth City Council, At Large

Miranda’s journey from homelessness, abuse, and addiction to community leader is a testament to the power of resilience and community support. After her arrest in 2013, she rebuilt her life, regaining her voting rights and finding support in a treatment center and domestic violence shelter in Duluth. Now, she works at the Mash-ka-wisen Treatment Center, extending the same lifeline she once received to others in need. Miranda’s commitment to her community is evident through her work as a consultant for Wealth Entrepreneurship Economic Sustainability and her involvement in initiatives like Zeitgeist’s Healthy Hillside. Her volunteer efforts at local food kitchens, homeless shelters, and domestic violence shelters underline her dedication to creating a more compassionate society.

Miranda is currently pursuing a social work degree from the College of St. Scholastica. She emphasizes the need for community-driven solutions, believing that collective effort can reshape city systems for the better.

Taos Pueblo
Taos Municipal Schools Board of Education, Position 1

Naomi serves as the Community Wellness Manager for the Taos Pueblo Division of Health and Community Services. Her commitment to community welfare is evident through her past role as a Youth Outreach Coordinator within the same division, where she organized activities and community events for at-risk youth, collaborated on after-school and summer programs, and provided valuable insights into school curriculum development.

Naomi actively participates in various organizations dedicated to social and educational initiatives. She is a member of the Equity Councils at Taos Municipal Schools and Vista Grade High School, contributing her expertise to foster equity in education. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and Women Give Taos through the Taos Community Foundation. She also serves on the Taos Pueblo Red Willow Farm Board, reflecting her dedication to sustainable community practices.

Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education, District 2

Ronalda is an experienced education consultant with 25 years of dedicated service, specializing in empowering Native American children with disabilities. She has served on numerous boards, committees, and panels at a number of organizations such as the National Indian Education Association, the National Parent Teacher Association, the
New Mexico Commission of Civil Rights, and the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates.

With a focus on special education, she holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico and is currently pursuing a master’s certificate in race and social justice. Ronalda advocates passionately for equal opportunities, especially for children with disabilities, pledging to ensure they receive stimulating and high-quality educational experiences. Her policy priorities center on equity in education and expanding access to vocational training, reflecting her unwavering dedication to improving educational opportunities for all students.

Office: Ferndale School District School Board District 3

Toni Jefferson (Lummi) is an accomplished Lummi Nation business leader, a lifelong resident of the Lummi community, and an advocate for children. She is currently the Director of Human Resources at Silver Reef Casino Resort, overseeing 500+ local employees. With over a decade of administrative experience at the Lummi Indian Business Council (LIBC), including a tenure as General Manager, she managed 18 tribal government departments, including education.

As a former Lummi Nation School Education Board member, Toni implemented policies for educational programs. Her experience has equipped her to collaborate with stakeholders toward a common goal: the best education for Ferndale students. Toni is the parent of a 12-year-old son currently enrolled at Horizon Middle School, and is actively engaged in the school community. If elected to the school board, she will continue to support the Ferndale School District by promoting open communication and actively engaging with parents and families.

Ho-Chunk, Pima, Meskwaki, and Ojibwe
Sioux City Community Schools School Board

Trisha is the Siouxland Project Director for the Great Plains Action Society. She is a passionate advocate working tirelessly to combat colonial-capitalist violence through education, direct action, cultural revival, mutual aid, and political change. Trisha also serves her community in a number of capacities, including as a member of the Inclusive Sioux City Advisory Committee and the Sioux City School District PAC Committee. She is also a member of the Sioux City Warming Shelter Board of Directors and the Community Action Agency of Siouxland Board of Directors.

As a dedicated single mother of four, Trisha balances her community commitments with her family responsibilities. With a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Northern Iowa, she brings both passion and education to her endeavors, embodying a strong, compassionate leader devoted to making a lasting positive impact on her community.