Society of American Indian Government Employees

Honoring Our Ancestors Through Government Service
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2016 Election Candidates


2016 SAIGE Election Slate

Fredericka Joseph

Lori Windle

Phil Hamel

Board of Directors:
Danny Garceau
Daniel Holt
Sue Marcus
Duane Matt
Jay Spaan
Pamela Stearns


Biographies and Statements

Fredericka Joseph


Fredericka Joseph is an enrolled member of the Kaw Nation of Oklahoma and has Cherokee lineage from her mother’s side.

Fredericka began working with the Federal government 31 years ago working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, and finally back to the Bureau of Indian Affairs where she currently works as the Bureau Youth Coordinator.

Fredericka currently serves as the Chair for the Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE) and is a Lifetime member. Freddie has served in various offices within SAIGE over the last thirteen years from the Board of Directors to Secretary, Vice Chair, and Chair.  She is also a Founding member of the Board of Directors.

Freddie’s goals are to continue growing SAIGE by developing partnerships with Federal agencies within Washington, D.C., continuing to restructure the SAIGE website, and continuing to build SAIGE’s membership by supporting and promoting chapters in the field.  Freddie has worked with the Board of Directors this past year in restructuring the SAIGE financial profile by hiring a new CPA, changing the banking services to Oklahoma nearer the Treasurer, and in partnering with the Greenberg Taurig LLP law firm in Denver, Colorado to provide legal assistance on SAIGE business.

It is an honor to serve as the current Chair and I hope you will vote for me to allow me to continue promoting and enhancing SAIGE.  Together we continue to improve and grow and I thank you for your support of SAIGE.

Lori Windle

Lori Windle is Anishinaabe, enrolled in the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe at White Earth, in the Mississippi Band. She has worked at the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) Western Regional Office as a video producer and as American Indian Special Emphasis Program Manager for over 20 years.

Lori was instrumental in the development of SAIGE from an idea to a working organization and was the first Chairperson of the founding Board of Directors.  After serving as Chair, she served two terms each as Vice Chair and Secretary. She most recently has completed a final term as Secretary.  Lori was a Co-Chair of the SAIGE National Training Programs in 2008 and 2012. She is a Lifetime Member and belongs to the Colorado Front Range Chapter of SAIGE.  From 2012-2014 she was part of the DOI team that created a training course for the Department of the Interior’s Tribal Consultation Policy. In previous years she has worked in environmental justice, trust responsibility and sacred sites education for federal agencies.  She has received several career awards including the Secretary of the Interior’s Equal Opportunity Award, the OSMRE Director’s Award, an Excellence in Government Award from the Denver Federal Executive Board, and a DOI Diversity Champion Award (largely for her work with SAIGE).

She was raised in the Denver, Colorado area where she still resides. Lori earned her Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts and Communications at Metropolitan State University in Denver; and a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she was the first to graduate with an advanced degree in Media Arts. She is an award-winning documentary maker, and  has also done post-graduate work in Tribal Sovereignty and Indian Law. In 2004, she organized the Native Peoples’ Political Alliance, a volunteer non-partisan get-out-the-vote effort to increase American Indian registration and voting in the Denver/Boulder area. In 2006, Lori was given the Inspiration Award by Boulder’s Safe House Alliance for Non-Violence for her work in the community.

I would like to continue to serve SAIGE in whatever capacity that may be needed. It is a joy to assist the organization in fulfilling its mission, as well as to reach out to other like-minded organizations and individuals who help it grow. Watching SAIGE develop has been very rewarding.  I would enjoy being a part of moving SAIGE into the next stage of its future.

Phil Hamel

She:kon members of SAIGE. My name is Philip Hamel and I am asking for your support as I seek election as the SAIGE Board of Directors Secretary.

Though far removed and not confirmed, I have been told since a very young age that my family has native ancestry, specifically Mohawk.  I have been working at the Federal Correctional Institution in Ray Brook, NY since 1990, with the last 8 years as the Environmental and Safety Compliance Administrator.

I was elected as a Board Director of SAIGE from 2008 – 2013 and have been the Native American Special Emphasis Program Manager (SEPM) since 1997. I have been recognized by the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) with SEPM awards for four separate years, the most recent being 2010, and in 2016 I received a SAIGE Award for Leadership. These awards were for my efforts in education, outreach and commitment to American Indian and Alaskan Native issues, and the dissemination of information regarding various American Indian issues both within the BOP and to outside organizations. I continue to utilize my contacts to educate staff on American Indian and Alaskan Native issues, and to have Spiritual Leaders come in to speak with American Indian inmates in hopes of decreasing their recidivism.

Per Ms. Sandra Burks Farrior, Affirmative Action Chief (Retired) for the BOP, I played a pivotal role in getting the Affirmative Employment Branch of the BOP to recognize SAIGE and to utilize the organization to train their SEPM’s on American Indian and Alaskan Native issues during the Tucson conference. The BOP continues to embrace what SAIGE has to offer by also sending their Selective Placement Program Managers to the National Training Program each year. In 2011, 40+ participants attend the SAIGE NTP.

I remain in close contact with my friend and teacher John Fadden and his family, who built, own and run the Six Nations Indian Museum in Onchiota, NY. Additionally, I serve on the Board of the Northern Adirondack Safety and Health Council and in the past served as the Chair of the Residents’ Committee to Protect the Adirondacks for approximately 12 years. I have a lovely wife and two wonderful boys who recently graduated from college.

It has been my privilege to be elected to the board of SAIGE in the past and I would be honored and humbled to be selected to serve our members as SAIGE Secretary representing fellow government employees as we address the many issues related to American Indian and Alaskan Natives.

Danny J. Garceau

Danny is Anishinaabe and his ancestors include members of several tribes of the Lake Superior Chippewa.  His great grandfather was Animodoskwan (Plenty Dogs), a La Pointe Chippewa, his great grandmother Maria Osawamik Katchitchi Gadjidji Lamoreaux was one of the many who followed Chief Buffalo to what is the now the Red Cliff Reservation.  He currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE) and as the Director of the Warrior Society. He is a lifetime member of SAIGE. In previous years, he has served as a SAIGE board member to include two terms as the Chair.

In 2007 Sergeant Major Garceau retired from the military after 30 years of active duty service with the United States Army and Michigan Army National Guard.  His formal education includes college at the University of Phoenix, Vincennes University and Northern Michigan University.  In 2002 he graduated with honors from the United States Army Sergeant Major Academy.   His last duty assignment was as the Michigan Army National Guard Recruiting Command Sergeant Major.  While in that position he also served as the Great Lakes Region Recruiting and Retention Advisory Council Senior Enlisted Chairman.  In addition, he served seven years as an Advisor and the American Indian Special Emphasis Program Manager (SEPM) on the Michigan Diversity Council.

Danny lives in the homeland of his ancestors on the southern shores of Lake Superior with his wife Diane and grandson Misajiidamoo (Nish/Logan.)  Danny is also an active member of several organizations including; the president of the Ishpeming Alumni Association, treasurer of the 107th Engineer Retired Officers Association, Road Captain with the Patriot Guard Riders, Honor Guard member of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Wiikwedong Ogitchidaa Society, Blackhorse Association / Blackhorse Cavalry Regiment Motorcycles, Michigan Bikers Helping Veterans, AMVETS, DAV and the American Legion.

I would like to continue to serve on the board and working with our Warrior Society.  If elected I pledge to be present and invested serving the organization and its membership.

Daniel Holt

Daniel D. Holt Jr. is a Lead Medical Support Assistant and American Indian/Alaskan Native Special Emphasis Program Manager with Department of Veterans Affairs. In this role, Daniel manages and leads a team providing all aspects of employment training, for diversity, inclusion for American Indians/Alaskan Natives. A big believer in supporting Native American culture, traditions, and he supports SAIGE. Daniel is a qualified mentor and holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree from Grand Canyon University (GCU).  He is also a graduate student working full-time pursuing a Master of Science in Health Administration degree from GCU.

Daniel is no stranger to health administration, having spent a combined 16 years federal employment as a Medical Specialist, Emergency Medical Technician, Certified Nursing Assistant, Emergency Room Telemetry Technician, Medical Support Assistant, and Lead Medical Support Assistant which taught him the importance of working hard, consistency, and value life. Before joining Department of Veterans Affairs in 2004, Daniel worked for a diverse range of organizations, including United States Army, 3rd Ranger Battalion, State of Florida and University of Florida. In this role, Daniel was responsible for life saving treatment, trauma management, researching data, and managing a periodical library collection. Daniel helps Native Americans/Alaskan Natives to be included, enjoy the benefits of federal employment, and protector of diversity.

Drawing on several years of experience in civil service and former jobs Daniel now focuses mainly on mentoring and developing Native American improvements for Department of Veterans Affairs. Passionate about Native Culture and its possibilities, he promotes cultural services that help heal, educate, and reduce stereotypes of Native Americans/Alaskan Natives. He has artwork and research published in the 2000 St. Lucie County Almanac, had art exhibits at the Miami Museum of International Art & Culture, A.E. Backus Museum, and Indian River Community College Art Gallery. He is very proud to be the 2014 SAIGE Committee Member Achievement Award winner.

I want to empower Native Americans/Alaskan Natives, by supporting diversity, encouraging growth, and fostering efforts developing strong communities through higher education.


Sue Marcus

Sue Marcus is passionate about providing information to Tribal governments and organizations to help them manage their lands and natural resources. She encourages Native American students to blend their understanding of Native American and other perspectives on science to benefit their Tribes, their communities, our Nation as a whole. She has no American Indian or Alaska Native heritage, though she’s learned she has much to learn.

A lifetime SAIGE member, Sue has served as the SAIGE foodie, or menu coordinator, for several national training programs. She has also assisted in fundraising for SAIGE for many years—and welcomes others to join in this worthy endeavor. She has also been honored to serve SAIGE as a former board member, and when requested has helped represent SAIGE at Washington, D.C. events such as agency diversity days or anti-stereotyping (mascot) events. At national training events, Sue can be seen trying to assist as needed. When SAIGE asks for help, Sue tries to say YES! She is most honored to serve as Co-Chair for the 2017 National Training Program in Scottsdale, AZ (Y’all Come!).

Sue graduated from Grand Valley State College (now University) in Michigan, in 1973. Her training is in economic geology. During her career as a geologist, she worked for the Province of Manitoba, Canada and then for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (in California and the Washington, DC headquarters), and the U.S. Geological Survey (in the Reston, VA headquarters and in Reno, NV). For the USGS, she managed mineral resource work with Tribes, at the time the largest USGS-Native American activity. Sue became the USGS “Indian Desk” in 1994, when then-Secretary Babbitt requested such points of contact within each DOI bureau. She retired in 2009. She lives with her husband and their daughter in Fairfax, VA.

Duane Matt      

biopic2016_duane_matt_pic  Duane Matt is a member of the Confederated Salish Kootenai and Pend D ‘Oreille tribes located on the Flathead Indian reservation located in western Montana.  Mr. Matt currently works as a Geologist at the Assistant Secretary- Indian Affairs, Division of Energy and Mineral Development office in Lakewood, CO.  He previously worked as a Physical Scientist and Technology Coordinator with the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) in Denver, CO.

Duane is a founding board member of SAIGE. Recently, he instigated a meeting between SAIGE board members and Google staff to provide SAIGE with the latest technology/tools to help the board work more efficiently. The result was each board member having a Chromebook to work with, and use to communicate with each other.

Before working for OSMRE, Duane worked for the Bureau of Land Management (Initial Attack Fire Dispatcher), Scientific Applications International Corporation (Field Geologist), Bureau of Reclamation (Geological Intern), United States Department of Agriculture (Smokejumper) and National Park Service (Helitack/Firefighter).  Duane also worked as a schoolteacher on the Laguna-Acoma reservation in New Mexico.  He holds a Master’s Degree in Geology and a Bachelor’s Degree in both Geology and English/Secondary Education.  Mr. Matt was a member of the University of Montana cross-country and track-and-field teams 1986-1990. He also possesses six years of experience coaching both boys’ and girls’ high school cross-country and track-and-field.
I strongly believe in the message that SAIGE promotes.  I have been with SAIGE since the beginning, and with your support, plan to continue serving SAIGE in some capacity as long as I am able.

Jay Spaan


Jay Spaan is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. He has more than a decade of experience in program evaluation, primarily as a Senior Analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). In his role at GAO, Jay has focused on a variety of tribal issues, including barriers that can hinder Indian energy development, challenges to tribal self-governance of energy development, and oversight of Indian mineral development. In addition, Jay serves on GAO’s Native American Heritage Month Committee and continues to work to increase AI/AN representation at the agency.

Jay earned a Master’s of Jurisprudence in Indian Law from the University of Tulsa and a Master’s of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Dallas. Jay currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE) and served as co-chair for the 2016 SAIGE National Training Program.

We all know that SAIGE provides a tremendous benefit to federal, tribal, state, and local governments by providing training and educational opportunities. SAIGE also provides an opportunity to build relationships and bridge gaps that may exist between different levels of government by identifying our similarities and commonalities, regardless of tribal affiliation or level of government in which we work.  I would like to continue to serve on the board so that I can help identify opportunities to foster and encourage even more relationship building between federal, tribal, and state AI/AN employees. Further, I believe that the best way to ensure tribal governments are respected and sovereignty is upheld by federal agencies is to increase the number of AI/AN government employees in federal agencies. To achieve this, we need AI/AN representation in all agencies and programs, not just in agencies that typically administer programs targeted to AI/AN populations. SAIGE provides an effective forum to encourage and assist agency decision-makers to increase AI/AN representation and I seek the opportunity to continue working with SAIGE in developing ideas and plans for achieving this goal.

Pamela Stearns

biopic2016_pamelastearns_picPamela’s Tlingit name is “Kaa jaa stee.”  She is Wooshkeetaan Clan (Shark/Eagle-Wolf) and Toos Hit (Fort House). Pamela was born and raised in Juneau, Alaska.  She has a son Chris, and two daughters, Alexandria and Stephanie, and is married to Chris Stearns, (Navajo) a lawyer who practices Indian law with Hobbs, Straus, Dean and Walker.  They reside in Seattle, Washington.

Pamela has worked passionately to promote equality, social justice, and civil rights in her work.  She is currently the President of the King County Native American Leadership Council in Seattle, Washington, whose mission is to create an identity where all people come together to build unity, leadership, employee empowerment and cultural preservation; and to increase the reputation of King County in American Indian. Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian and other Indigenous communities.  She has served on numerous boards and councils over the years advancing the rights of Native Americans in the region.


I am delighted to submit my letter of application for a Board position on SAIGE!  I believe my 12 years serving in positions of leadership, community activism and organizing, and my 11 years in the human resources field will serve SAIGE very well.  I am currently employed at the King County government, Department of Community and Human Services.  In addition, I would bring 17 years of working in numerous positions with the City of Seattle government which include serving as a Personnel Specialist in the employment and recruitment field.

I am committed to advancing the issues important to people of color communities. I realize that as a Native American, and a Native American woman, that the odds are stacked against people in my community’s chances of participating equally in the so-called American dream. All around me, I have friends, family, and members of my tribe who cannot get jobs, cannot advance in their jobs, cannot get loans, being harassed by the police. So, I want to try and make a difference. I am proud to have served on the Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Core Team and that experience allowed me to help others in the City to learn, and do something about, institutional racism. I have taken that knowledge, and my experience, and tried to use that in working with the Mayor, City Council and others on promoting police accountability and building a bridge between the City and the Seattle’s Native Community so we can heal and try and solve these problems through collaboration, partnership and reconciliation.

I am the President of King County Native American Leadership Council and the founder and former president for 10 years, City of Seattle Native American Employees Association (CANOES) where I enjoyed planning Native American heritage and race and social justice, leadership workshops for employees of the Seattle and King County governments. I will work collaboratively with SAIGE, CANOES and King County Native American Leadership Council to ensure agencies and indigenous communities are recognized and respected, and learns about, all of the Native American people living in Indian County and walking the streets.



Previous Year Election Information
Click Here for a list of 2015 candidates and their bios.
Click Here for a list of 2014 candidates and their bios.

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