Join VP of DEI Allison Davis White-Eyes, Ph.D., for a conversation with three prominent Native American leaders and educators about the future of Native American/Indigenous possibilities nationally and at Fielding Graduate University. The event will take place on Thursday, Nov. 17, 4 p.m.-5 p.m. PST | 7 p.m.-8 p.m. EST via Zoom.
The session will explore the evolution over time of Native American policy and law, the potential that Native nations hold today in the United States to create meaningful and sustainable change, and how Fielding can position itself to lead in Indigenous futures. The panelists include Fielding Trustee and Board Secretary Patricia Zell, J.D., and past Trustees Manley Begay, Ed.D., and Chad Hamill, Ph.D.
About Patricia Zell, J.D., Fielding Board of Trustees, Secretary
Patricia Zell, J.D., is a Partner in Zell & Cox Law, P.C., specializing in the laws affecting American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. For the past 29 years, Zell has served as the editor of the Indian Law Reporter, a monthly legal publication providing non-evaluative summaries of Federal, State, Tribal, and Administrative law rulings in the field of Federal-Indian law. In 2022, Zell was inducted in the National Native American Hall of Fame.
Zell retired from public service in 2005, following 25 years of service on the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, where she served as Democratic Staff Director and Chief Counsel for 19 years. Prior to her Senate service, she worked for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, the American Indian Policy Review Commission, and the American Psychological Association. During her tenure on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, Zell worked on all of the legislative initiatives developed by the tribal leaders in collaboration with the Committee, including the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, the Indian Education Act, the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, the National Museum of the American Indian Act, the Native American Languages Act, the Native American Programs Act, land and water rights claims settlement acts, the Indian Finance Act, the Indian Land Consolidation Act, the American Indian Trust Fund Management Reform Act, as well as working with other Senate committees on measures such as the Indian provisions of the Energy Security Act and Indian provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act. A graduate of Georgetown Law School, Zell is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court, and served on the faculty of the University Of Hawaii School Of Law for the 2006 January term.
Manley Begay, Ed.D., past member of the Fielding Board of Trustees
Manley A. Begay, Jr. (Navajo), Ed.D., (AA, Dine’ College; BA, University of Arizona; M.Ed, Brigham Young University; M.Ed, Harvard University; Ed.D, Harvard University –1997). A citizen of the Navajo Nation, Professor Begay’s specializes in Indigenous Nation-Building, Education, and Dine’ History and Philosophy. Professor Begay also is faculty in the College of Education and W.A. Franke College of Business.
About Chad Hamill, Ph.D., past member of the Fielding Board of Trustees
Chad S. Hamill, Ph.D., served as Vice President for Native American Initiatives at Northern Arizona University, where he maintains a faculty position in the Department of Applied Indigenous Studies. Tasked with advancing NAU’s strategic goal to become the nation’s leading university serving Native Americans, Dr. Hamill established the Office of Native American Initiatives (ONAI) in 2016. With an emphasis on expanding educational opportunities for Native American
students and their communities, ONAI has developed programs in the areas of tribal leadership, environmental stewardship, culturally-responsive K12 pedagogy, and Native mentorship. In addition to working in collaboration with many of the 22 Native nations in Arizona, ONAI has cultivated partnerships with Indigenous programs and communities in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
An ethnomusicologist, Dr. Hamill’s scholarship is focused on song traditions of the Interior Northwest U.S., including those carried by his Spokane ancestors. In addition to his book, Songs of Power and Prayer in the Columbia Plateau (Oregon State University Press), he has produced numerous articles centered on Columbia Plateau songs and ceremony, exploring topics ranging from sovereignty to Indigenous ecological knowledge.
In addition to his academic positions, Hamill serves as Vice President and Treasurer of the Spokane Language House, a 501(c)3 contributing to the sustainability of the Spokane language.
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