Native American & Indigenous Leadership Conference Speakers

Intrigued by the unique topic and rare focus on Indigenous leadership, great minds of the Indian Country and scholars in the field of Native American and Indigenous studies have enthusiastically responded to our invitation to be our honored guests.

Our inaugural guests and speakers include:

Henrietta Mann, Ph.D. (Cheyenne)

President of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College
(Weatherford, OK)

Maria Williams, Ph.D. (TÅ‚ingit)

Associate Professor of Music and Native American Studies, University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM)

Now the Director of Alaska Native Studies at
University of Alaska Anchorage

Alyce Spotted Bear (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nations)

Alyce Spotted Bear is a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Tribes located on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota. Spotted Bear is a former Tribal Chairwoman with extensive experience at all levels of public and private education. Most recently she was appointed by President Obama to serve on the National Advisory Committee on Indian Education. She earned her BS in Education at Dickinson State College and her M.Ed. at Penn State. While serving as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, she completed the coursework for a Ph.D. (ABD) in Education at Cornell University. At Dartmouth College, Spotted Bear served as Visiting Faculty for the Native American Studies Program.

In addition to teaching, Spotted Bear is the Principle Investigator for a National Science Foundation-Documenting Endangered Languages grant. She attended an Indian mission school on the Crow Creek Sioux Reservation in South Dakota for 12 years. Spotted Bear’s research interests lie in the Boarding School Era.

Timothy Begaye, Ph.D. (Diné)

Education Policy Consultant to the Navajo Nation Department of Education
(Window Rock, AZ)

Mr. Richard"Rick"Williams (Oglala Lakota)

President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund
(Denver, CO)


Native American Faculty

Our dedicated and exceptional Native American faculty members who have guided the student Steering Committee every step of the way:

Rick Wheelock, Ph.D.

Dr. Rick Wheelock, Ph.D. (Oneida of Wisconsin)

Our retiring Native American and Indigenous Studies professor will serve as our conference keynote speaker



Marjel Boxer Ph.D.

Dr.Majel Boxer, Ph.D. (Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota)

Recently named one of 12 Emerging Scholars, Dr.Boxer is the advisor to the Steering Committee and will serve as a panel co-moderator.

  Professor Esther Belin (Diné)

Winner of the “American Book Award” for her “From the Belly of My Beauty”,Professor Belin teaches in the Writing Program and will serve as a panel co-moderator.


Professor Carey Vicenti, J.D. (Jicarilla Apache)

A provocative thinker and creative writer, Professor Carey serves as an Assistant Professor for both the Sociology Department and the Department of Native American and Indigenous Studies. He will serve as a panel co-moderator.