Society of American Indian Government Employees

Honoring Our Ancestors Through Government Service
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Current Board Officers 

biopic2016_fredericka_joseph_picFredericka Joseph – Chair

Fredericka Joseph is an enrolled member of the Kaw Nation of Oklahoma. Her family belongs to the Night Clan and her Indian name is Evening Star. She also has Cherokee lineage from her mother’s side.

Fredericka has served as a Special Emphasis Program Manager both within a program component and at the National level. She has 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.

Freddie has been a Federal employee for over 29 years working at the Department of the Army, Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, and recently retired from the Department of the Interior Headquarters in Washington, DC.  She has served in a variety of positions but her last role was her true passion serving as a Youth Coordinator helping native youth to locate employment during the summer and all year round.  She has a degree in Human Services. and is a Lifetime and Founding Board Member of SAIGE.

Jay Spaan – Vice-Chair

Jay Spaan is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He has 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. In his role at GAO, Jay has 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 has 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. Jay also served two terms on the SAIGE board of directors and served as co-chair of the 2016 National Training Program. Jay routinely presents on various topics at conferences across the country, including the 2015, 2016, and 2017 SAIGE National Training Programs. In 2017 and 2014, he received GAO Awards for sustained service to numerous committees and congressional clients. 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.

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 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

Teresa 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

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 Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE) 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. biopic2016_danny_garceau_pic

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.

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 biopic2016_daniel_holt_picMaster 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.

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 biopic2016_sue_marcus_piccommunities, 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 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 was 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.

Bryan Sappier

Bryan is a citizen of the Tobique Indian Nation from New Brunswick, Canada. He currently works for the Federal Government as a Technical Support Technician at the Social Security Administration in Birmingham, AL. He serves the public with issues concerning over-payments, Medicare, Representative Payee concerns, Disability, and/or Retirement claims. Bryan is considered as the front line of customer service as he provides Americans with the respectful and efficient service they deserve. Bryan currently holds the position of Vice-Chair, Southern Regional American Indian Alaska Native Advisory Council for the Social Security Administration. His role is to assist in the enhancement of promotion, employment and retention of Native Americans in the southern United States.

Bryan is a veteran of the United States Army. He served as an Infantryman stationed at 172nd LIB and the 4/23rd Infantry Battalion, Ft. Richardson, AK. He is currently a volunteer with the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Alabama State Defense Force. Bryan’s position as both Auxiliary Chef and Supply/Food Service Specialist allows him to go to various Coast Guard Cutters and Outposts to relieve the active duty chefs. This allows the chefs to take time off for personal reasons or to spend time with their family. Bryan also volunteers with the American Red Cross as a member of the State National Disaster Team for the State of Alabama. He has been deployed to several disaster sites within the state of Alabama and other surrounding states. In the Tuscaloosa, AL tornadoes of 2011, Bryan volunteered as a Kitchen Supervisor, ERV Coordinator, and Shelter Manager. Bryan has also volunteered as a member of the warehouse staff in the North Carolina Hurricane Irene; ERV Driver and warehouse worker in the Bessemer, Alabama flood; shelter supervisor in Centerville, Alabama; and Alabama Tornado and Logistics Transportation supervisor in Hurricane Isaac.

Bryan participated in the 1992 World Culinary Olympics in Frankfort, Germany where he represented the Martine Regions of Canada. Bryan and four others comprised the first all Native team to compete in this arena. They food they prepared represented the indigenous cuisine of the Canadian Indians. Bryan was a member of the SAIGE 2012 Training Program Planning committee. While at the Training program, Bryan used his strong organizational skills and his knowledge of the service industry to ensure that the facility accommodated SAIGE’s services. His greatest responsibility was food budget and meal selection. Bryan found this experience with the competent AI/AN team to be extremely rewarding.
I want to be on the board because I bring a dedication and commitment in seeing SAIGE succeed. I am hard working, willing to work long hours and as those that know me committed to seeing our National Training Program become successful. I see SAIGE flourishing through growth and demand on the programs that we deliver annually and I would like to be a part of that team that leads SAIGE into the future.

Lori Windle 

biopic2016_lori_windle_picLori 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 25 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 completed a final term as Vice-Chair.  Lori was a Co-Chair of the SAIGE National Training Programs in 2008, 2012 and 2018. 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 and has one grown daughter. 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 Federal 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.


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Last update Nov. 7, 2018

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