Society of American Indian Government Employees

Honoring Our Ancestors Through Government Service
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Current Board Officers 

Fredericka Joseph – Chair of the Board of Directors

Fredericka Joseph is an enrolled member of the Kaw Nation of Oklahoma. Freddie was a Federal employee for 32 years working at the Department of the Army, Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency. She recently retired from the Department of the Interior Headquarters in Washington, DC.

She has a degree in Human Services and is a Lifetime and Founding Board Member of the Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE). She has served as the Chair of the SAIGE Board of Directors since January of 2014.

Fredericka served as a Special Emphasis Program Manager both within a program component and at the National level. She also performed as an EEO Counselor, Mediator, Team Leader, Trainer, Facilitator, and other assorted duties. Fredericka has received several Meritorious Service Awards over her career along with numerous Certificates of Appreciation and was awarded an Army coin for her diligent work with the Army in the performance of her duties as the Acting Family Advocacy Program Manager. Fredericka is passionate about her work and loves what she does. Fredericka is proud that she grew up as a “BIA Brat” living on 5 different Indian Reservations and attending Bureau funded schools.

Duane Matt – Vice-Chair

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 with the Division of Energy and Mineral Development (DEMD) in Lakewood, CO. DEMD is part of the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED.)
He previously worked as both a Reclamation Specialist and Technology Coordinator with the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) in Denver, CO. Both DEMD and OSMRE are part of the Department of the Interior (DOI).

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), Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (Minerals department) 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. Duane is a founding board member and Lifetime member of the Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE).

Sue Morris – Treasurer

Sue Morris recently retired from Federal Service after 33 years. She served two years with the U.S. Army in the Provost Marshal’s Office at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and 31 years at the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, Tulsa District.

Sue is a full-blood enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, and a direct descendant of one of the original Comanche Code Talkers. Sue is very involved in tribal activities and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Comanche Nation College, the first tribal college in Oklahoma. Sue is also the treasurer for the Oklahoma Federation of Indian Women, an organization dedicated to mentoring Native girls through various activities to enhance awareness of their tribal culture and the importance of education.

Sue is a Lifetime member of SAIGE, and has had the honor of Co-Chairing the 2011 National Training Program. Most recently she served as Co-Chair for the 2016 National Training Program in Tulsa,  OK. This is her third term on the Board of Directors. Sue is also a member of the Comanche Native Veterans Association (CIVA) Auxiliary and the Walters Service Club, the sponsoring organization for the Comanche Homecoming.

Sue is married to Tom and they are the parents of two sons, Benjamin and Aaron. Sue and Tom reside in Skiatook, Oklahoma.

Phil Hamel – Secretary      biopic2016_phil_hamel_pic

She:kon members of SAIGE. 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.

Current Board of Directors

Sadé Ali

Sadé Ali is the retired Deputy Commissioner of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services. She is now the President of First Nations, LLC, a behavioral health training and consulting organization in Delaware. For the past four years, she was a Senior Associate with Altarum in Washington, DC, providing training and technical assistance to Tribal Governments and other providers engaged in SAMHSA’s Access to Recovery (ATR) initiative. Ms. Ali holds faculty positions at Brown University, Temple University’s College of Health Professions and Drexel University’s School of Public Health. Ms. Ali has traveled the US and Canada extensively providing culturally appropriate recovery management and resilience-promoting training in both the mental health and addictions fields.

She has published her thesis, other scholarly articles, and a textbook on culturally appropriate recovery/resilience services, the ending of health disparities through enhanced access to care, and the impact of inter-generational trauma on the Indigenous peoples of North America. She is one of the co-authors of the Philadelphia Behavioral Health Transformation Practice Guidelines for Recovery and Resilience Oriented Treatment, a framework for the fields of mental health and addictions treatment services that is used worldwide. She recently published Social Healing Words-Using Language to Promote Recovery and Resilience for Individuals, Families and Communities. Ms. Ali has been in recovery and the field of behavioral health services for over 47 years.

Ms. Ali holds a Bachelor of Arts in Counseling Psychology and a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology. She is First Nations Mi’kmaq from the Sturgeon Clan, the Elder and Medicine Keeper of the East Coast Two Spirit Society and a lifetime member of SAIGE (Society of American Indian Government Employees).

Kathleen Bergeron

Kathleen M. Bergeron, an enrolled member of United Houma Nation from St. Mary Parish, Louisiana is currently working as an Environmental-Historic Preservation (EHP) Manager for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with the agency’s Office of Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation. For the past twelve years, she has been deployed to thirty disasters working disaster recovery.

Ms. Bergeron is a lifetime member of Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE) and served as a volunteer during the organization’s national training conference since joining SAIGE in 2007. Additionally, she was elected to the SAIGE Board of Directors in 2014, serving until 2015. She is a past president of the Louisiana Archaeological Conservancy. She also has served a member of the University of Louisiana Diversity Advisory Council from 2007-2008. In 2006, she served as the only Louisiana Indian panelist at the American Bar Association National Conference on Race Relations. In 2015, she was honored by United Houma Nation with tribal leadership award.

Ms. Bergeron has worked with the Native American Rights Fund as a researcher assisting in United Houma Nation’s Federal Acknowledgment Case. She also worked as a tribal volunteer aiding in researching genealogical records. As an intern for the Rocky Mountain National Park Service Indian Affairs Coordinator, Lakewood, Colorado, Ms. Bergeron participated in NAGPRA consultations. She also served as a field researcher for the Louisiana Institute for Indian Development, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and visited Houma Nation tribal members conducting a survey on economic and social issues of the American Indian Tribes of Louisiana.

For the past 20 years, Ms. Bergeron has worked a variety of positions in the field of cultural and historic preservation. She has held positions as historic site manager and curator with the Louisiana Office of State Parks, a curator and cultural advisor with Lafayette Natural History Museum, Lafayette, Louisiana and an art interpreter with the Denver Art Museum Education Department, Denver, Colorado. Ms. Bergeron has served as the archaeological lab supervisor during the University of Southwestern Louisiana Poverty Point Field Schools in 1993, 1995, and 1998 held at the Poverty Point Site World Heritage Site in Epps, Louisiana. She is also the author of the children’s story “A Day with Sassafras”. The story was written as part of at the Acadiana Arts Council Arts in Education Program to educate elementary school children about American Indians in Louisiana.

Ms. Bergeron received a Master of Liberal Studies with a concentration in American Indian Studies from the University of Denver. She was also a recipient of a Minority Fellowship from the University of Denver and received a scholarship from the Colorado American Indian Education Association. While attending the University of Denver, Ms. Bergeron served as the graduate student representative on the University of Denver Scholarship Committee. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in General Studies with a concentration in Anthropology from the University of Southwestern Louisiana. While attending the University of Denver, Ms. Bergeron was a co-honoree along with fellow members of the University of Denver Native American Student Association at the annual Spring Buffalo Feast held by the Native American Resource Committee of the Denver Natural History Museum. She also served as the graduate student representative on the University of Denver Native American Scholarship Committee. In 2015, Ms. Bergeron was presented the United Houma Nation Leadership Award.

Ms. Bergeron enjoys visiting schools and community groups to offer American Indian cultural programs. However, her favorite pastime is enjoying her five grandchildren.

Tilford Brown

Tilford C. Brown is Dine (Navajo) from Gallup, New Mexico. He lives and works as a Human Resources Specialist at the Veterans Medical Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He helps veterans with retirement, awards and their benefits. He also serves as the American Indian Special Emphasis Program Manager for the Center.

Tilford is a U.S. Marine veteran, having served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1989 through 1993. He has a BA in Management, Organizational Behavior/Human Resources Management from the University of New Mexico.

Tilford first attended the SAIGE National Training Program in 2010 at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut and became a member. He has assisted SAIGE since then as its official singer, opening up many sessions with song and prayer. In 2013 Tilford composed a song especially for SAIGE. Tilford is now a Lifetime member of SAIGE and active member of the SAIGE Warrior Society.

Tilford would like to serve on the board to help SAIGE continue the admiration, beauty and harmony it has built. SAIGE cares about the preservation of native cultures, languages and traditions that our elders and spiritual leaders speak of, along with investing into our youth and veterans. These are all things that Tilford believes in and wants to be a part of.

Teresa Estoril

Teresa Estoril pictureTeresa Estoril is a member of the Eagle Medicine Band, Cherokee Indians and grew up in the Delaware Valley between the two states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She worked for the General Services Administration (GSA), Philadelphia, PA before retiring with 43 years of government service. Teresa had served as Mistress of Ceremony for the Native American Heritage programs sponsored by the GSA Diversity Committee. This has afforded Teresa the opportunity to educate and enlighten fellow associates about Native American peoples and Indian cultures while dispelling myths and untruths. Teresa actively recruited Native American College students and Graduate candidates for employment into Federal Government Service.

Working within the community, Teresa has informed children in schools throughout eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey about Indian people. Where the community comes together, the Main Library of Philadelphia serves as a diverse meeting place for community people to interact with Native people up close and personal. Teresa has also given Native Presentations to the Superior Court Justices of New Jersey; Various Diversity Groups Organizations within City of Philadelphia. Teresa has met with an audience of Jefferson Hospital Doctor Interns regarding issues of Native & Western medicines.

Teresa has received Certificates of Appreciation from the various community organizations for educating and enlightening them about American Indians and Alaskan Native people. Teresa takes advantage of wherever people gather as an opportunity to teach and educate them about Native Culture. March 2009 welcomed a brand-new Cherokee Language program which is offered by the Eagle Medicine Band – Cherokee, where Teresa serves as one of the Clan Mothers. She along with a family member enroll friends & family and anyone interested in learning to keep our Native language alive by learning to read, write and speak “Tsalagi ” (Cherokee).

Teresa is dedicated to educating the non-Indian community about its 1st Citizens and the scores of contributions by Native Peoples. In 2009, Teresa received the “SAIGE Recognition Award” for her dedication, support and promotion of the SAIGE mission. Teresa is also a proud Lifetime Member of SAIGE. Teresa is working toward her Business Degree through Penn State University.

Danny J. Garceau

Waabijiizi Ma’iingan (He is a Grey Wolf)
Danny is Anishinabe and his ancestors include members of several tribes of the Lake Superior Chippewa. His great grandfather was Animodoskwan (Plenty Dogs), a LaPointe Chippewa of the Lac Courte Oreilles and Madeline Island region. He is a lifetime member of the Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE)  and currently serves as a Director on the SAIGE Board and as the  Director of the SAIGE Warrior Society. Danny has served on the SAIGE board since 2007 to include two terms as the Chair from 2008 to 2012.

In 2007 he retired at the rank of Sergeant Major from the United States Army and Army National Guard with 30 years of active duty. His last duty assignment was as the Michigan Army National Guard Recruiting Command Sergeant Major. He is a Master Badge recruiter and Chief’s 50 awardee. SGM Garceau served three years as the Recruiting and Retention Area Command Sergeant Major Chair for Region IV representing the Great Lakes States. SGM Garceau served on the Michigan Diversity Council for seven years as the Strength Maintenance Advisor and as the Native American Special Emphasis Program Manager. His formal education includes the University of Phoenix, Vincennes University and Northern Michigan University. His military education included over a dozen schools and courses. He is a BNCOC Distinguished Graduate, ANCOC Honor Graduate and in 2002, graduated with honors from the United States Army Sergeant Major Academy, Fort Bliss, Texas.

Danny lives in the homeland of his ancestors on the southern shores of Lake Superior with his wife Diane and grandson Nish (Logan) /Misajiidamoo (Grey Squirrel). He is an active member of several organizations including; a Road Captain with the Patriot Guard Riders, President of the Ishpeming Alumni Association, Treasurer of the 107th Engineer Retired Officer Association, Lifetime Member of the Blackhorse Association /Blackhorse Cavalry Regiment Motorcycles, Lifetime Member of the AMVETS and DAV, the American Legion, Michigan Bikers Helping Veterans, and serves on the Honor Guard with the Wiikwedong Ogitchidaa Society for the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. He also plays native flute and drums/sings with Morning Thunder Drum and Teal Lake Drum.

Juanita J. Mullen

Juanita Mullen is a member of the Seneca Nation of Indians (Keeper of the Western Door), Cattaraugus Indian Reservation located in western New York.

She currently works for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D. C., as the American Indian/Alaska Native Veterans Liaison within the Center for Minority Veterans and has worked in this position for the last 14 years serving both our Native Veterans and all other Veterans.

Juanita retired from the Air Force after 20 years of service in the year 2000. Half of her career was spent serving under Headquarters U.S. Air Forces Europe. She has received numerous medals to include; the Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, NATO Medal, and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.

Upon retirement, she was hired by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington D.C. She worked as a Self Determination Specialist in Contracts & Grants with the Eastern Regional Office, Education Specialist with the South-Eastern States Agency (SESA), and as an Administrative Officer for Budget Management at the Department of Interior.

Juanita has a Master of Science Degree in Administration from Central Michigan University, Michigan, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management from University of Maryland University College, Maryland, and an Associates Degree in Transportation from the Community College of the Air Force, Alabama. She is a graduate of Leadership VA for 2011. She enjoys reading/teaching American Indian History, guest speaking, art collecting, book collecting, loves animals, the wildlife, and the outdoors. She is a life time member of SAIGE.

Georgeie Reynolds

Georgeie is a long-time, loyal member of SAIGE and an advocate for Tribal sovereignty. In past years she has been a presenter at the annual SAIGE training event and, for the last three years, she’s been a part of the Planning Committee, helping to prepare for the annual National Training Program each June. She has embraced each task assigned with enthusiasm and considers herself a team player.

Dr. Reynolds (PhD, Anthropology) founded the Tribal Nations Program for the US Army Corps of Engineers in 2003, reaching more tribal members and employees each year. Her greatest accomplishment was the development of a two-day training program for the Corps entitled Consulting with Tribal Nations. The two-day course, held around the country, featured representatives of local Tribes who spoke about their concerns and issues without interruption. The hosting Corps office included specialized topics, such as Relocated Tribes. About eighteen sessions were taught prior to her retirement in 2014. The program continues.

Georgeie is ready, willing, and able to educate and enlighten non-Indian people like herself about Tribal rights whenever the opportunity or need arises. She hopes to continue working on the Planning Committee as a Board Member, try her hand at grant writing and management, and to undertake anything the Board suggests. Georgeie is a Lifetime SAIGE Member. She is now a consultant in cross-cultural communication and Tribal rights, lives in Portland OR with her cat, Puddin’, and writes about her experiences in Alaska.

Jay Spaan

Jay Spaan is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Currently he serves as the Executive Director of the Self-Governance Communication & Education (SGCE) Tribal Consortium.
He has had more than a decade of experience in program evaluation, primarily as a Senior Analyst in the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) Natural Resource and Environment team. While at the GAO, Jay led work and developed reports focused on federal management of programs that serve tribal nations and their citizens, including federal management of trust resources, implementation of self-determination mechanisms, and federal efforts to effectively collaborate in administering programs to tribes. Several of his reports resulted in Congressional oversight hearings before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, the House Appropriations Committee, and others.

Jay actively sought opportunities to increase AI/AN representation within GAO and brought in numerous speakers to educate GAO employees on federal trust responsibility, tribal sovereignty, and building effective working relationships with tribal nations. In 2014, 2017 and 2018 he received GAO Awards for sustained service to numerous committees and congressional clients.

Jay has served two terms on the SAIGE board of directors and served as co-chair of the 2016 National Training Program. He most recently completed a term as Vice-Chair of SAIGE. Jay routinely presents on various topics at conferences across the country, including the 2015, 2016, and 2017 SAIGE National Training Programs. He is a Lifetime member of SAIGE. 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.

Lori Windle

Lori Windle is Anishinaabe, and is a citizen of the White Earth Nation enrolled in the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. She 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. She has served one term as Chair, three terms as Vice-Chair, four non-consecutive terms as Secretary and most recently, one term as a board member. Lori was a Co-Chair of planning the SAIGE National Training Programs in 2008, 2012 and 2018. She is a Lifetime SAIGE Member.

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 25 years. From 2012-2015 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. Lori 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 degree at Metropolitan State University in Denver, and a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has also done post-graduate work in Tribal Sovereignty and Federal Indian Law, and won awards for her documentaries. 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.


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Last update March 18, 2019

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