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Last Year’s Speakers

Honorable Diane J. Humetewa, United States District Judge, Arizona

The Honorable Diane J. Humetewa was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 14, 2014 as a United States District Judge for the United States District Court in the District of Arizona. Prior to her confirmation, she served as Special Advisor to the President and Special Counsel in the Office of General Counsel at Arizona State University (2011-2014). She also served as a Professor of Practice at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

Judge Humetewa was formerly Of Counsel with Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP (2009–2011). Judge Humetewa received her J.D. in 1993 from Arizona State University College of Law and her B.S. in 1987 from Arizona State University. She is a member of the Hopi Tribe and has served as an Appellate Court Judge for the Hopi Tribe Appellate Court (2002–2007).

Bernadine Burnette, President , Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation

Bernadine Burnette was elected President of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation on January 12, 2016. President Burnette has served for more than two decades as a Tribal Council Member and during that time has held the positions of Secretary, Vice President, and President.

President Burnette's record of public service is extensive; beyond her leadership at the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, she has also served on many boards of organizations, including stints as Vice President of the Arizona Indian Gaming Association and as Secretary of the National Indian Gaming Association. Her current and past memberships include the National Congress of American Indians, the National Tribal Environmental Council, and the National Indian Education Association.

President Burnette was selected as "Woman of the Year" by former Arizona Governor Jane Hull and honored by the Arizona Republic for her resolute leadership as one of only seven female Native American tribal presidents in the nation in 1999. In 2012, then Vice President Burnette was named "Indian Gaming Advocate of the Year" by the National Indian Gaming Association for her work to preserve gaming rights. The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation has a long history of protecting Native rights.

Michael M. Crow, President, Foundation Leadership Chair, Professor of Science and Technology Policy

Michael M. Crow is an academic leader and educator, designer of knowledge enterprises, and science and technology policy scholar. He has been the sixteenth president of Arizona State University since July 2002. He is guiding its transformation into one of the nation’s leading public metropolitan research universities, an institution that combines the highest levels of academic excellence, inclusiveness to a broad demographic, and maximum societal impact — a model he designed known as the “New American University.” During his tenure ASU has developed a new era academic design built around innovation; established more than 15 transdisciplinary schools and research initiatives; and witnessed an unprecedented academic infrastructure expansion, quadrupling of research expenditures, and attainment of record levels of diversity.

He was previously professor of science and technology policy and executive vice provost of Columbia University, where he served as chief strategist of Columbia’s research enterprise and technology transfer operations.

Shana Brown, Teacher, Author, Curriculum Designer

Shana Brown (Yakama descendant) has taught secondary English and social studies for over 25 years, guided, in part, by her experiences growing up on the Yakama Reservation. Her belief that Indian education is for everyone has taken her on an amazing journey.

She became professionally involved in Indian education when she co-wrote Washington state’s now retired state grade-level expectations for social studies, which led to writing curricula for several state and national organizations. Highlights of her many writing achievements include lead writer of Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State, which is now curriculum for Washington state’s public school students and the Regional Learning Project’s Tribal Perspectives on American History in the Northwest. Currently she is the leader of the Pacific Northwest Regional Team for Native Knowledge 360°, an education initiative of the National Museum of the American Indian.

Shana was recently recognized as a 2016 Great Educator by the U.S. Department of Education and is a finalist for the Teaching Tolerance Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Amanda R. Tachine, Postdoctoral Scholar, Center for Indian Education, Arizona
State University

Amanda R. Tachine is Navajo from Ganado, Arizona. She is Náneesht’ézhí Táchii’nii (Zuni Red Running into Water clan) born for Tl’izilani (Many Goats clan). Her maternal grandfather’s clan is Tábaahí (Water’s Edge) and her paternal grandfather’s clan is Ashiihi (Salt).

Amanda is a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Center for Indian Education at Arizona State University where she advances ideas and strategies to increase Native college student success. She received her doctoral degree in higher education at the University of Arizona (UA). Her research interests include college access and persistence for Native Americans; use of Indigenous qualitative methodologies; and societal conditions influencing college student success. She has lead efforts in a dynamic two-tiered mentoring program, Native SOAR (Student Outreach, Access, and Resiliency), where Native graduate students mentor Native undergraduate students who in turn provide college knowledge mentorship to Native high school students. She has also been part of a dynamic group of scholars through UA’s Native American Higher Education Research Initiative, where practice-relevant research is examined to improve the educational success of Native American students. She has published thought pieces in the Huffington Post, Al Jazeera, and The Hill in her role as a Public Voices Op-Ed Fellow. In September 2015, she was recognized by President Barack Obama with the White House Champions of Change: Young Women Empowering Communities award.