Data Governance Board
Dr. Kehli Henry is the Coordinator for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe’s (SCIT) Project AWARE, a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant serving SCIT, and Mount Pleasant and Shepherd Public Schools. Project AWARE works to raise awareness of youth mental health issues, increase access to mental health services for youth and families within our communities, and implement Trauma-Informed Resilient School best-practices. Dr. Henry is a descendant of the White Earth Anishinaabe Nation. Her service with SCIT began in the early 2000s, when she worked as a Summer Youth Crew Leader and teaching assistant at the Saginaw Chippewa Academy (SCIT’s elementary school). She has focused her career on education, serving as a mentor, tutor and advocate in SCIT’s K-12 Education Program. Dr. Henry’s commitment to Anishinaabe culture is evident in her work as a Grant Intern at the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways, and her commitment to our traditional teachings. She also served the SCIT as an Analyst with the Office of Grants and Contracts, researching and cataloguing Tribal data and statistics for the purpose of securing grant funds. She earned her doctoral degree at Michigan State University (2019), with a focus on contemporary American Indian communities and mental health, and remains dedicated to the mission of supporting Tribal education, fostering community resilience, and protecting Tribal data.
Guadalupe Gonzalez is an enrolled Member of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, and serves as the Extension Coordinator at the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College. She is dedicated to the protection of Tribal data, and deeply interested in the process of policy development in order to ensure that the Tribe’s information is able to be accessed in ways that benefit Tribal Members. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Michigan State University Her extensive experience with the Tribal organization includes, Gaming, the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways, Youth LEAD, Tribal Court, Education, Language and Behavioral Health. She is a lifelong resident of central Michigan and her career’s focus has been with the Tribe for the betterment of Anishinaabe people.
Anita Heard(Bear Clan) is a descendant of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe and serves her people as the Research Coordinator for the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways.Ms. Heardhas worked for Ziibiwing for 18 years. She is grateful to be a part of preserving and maintaining Tribal history and having the opportunity toprovide the SCIT Community access to Tribal archives.It is this commitment to Tribal history that drives her to invest in the work of Tribal data governance. In addition to her work at Ziibiwing, Ms. Heard worked for six years as a Student-Parent Advocate in the K-12 schoolsystem. She is honored to still hold close relationships with former students, parents & colleagues and appreciates the teachings she was blessed to take away from working with the youth.Anita attended nursing college, but her greatest accomplishment was raising her five children with her husband. Together they taught a strong appreciation for family, hunting, gathering, gardening and spending plenty of time in the outdoors.
Charmaine Shawana(Marten Clan) is a Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Elder. She has worked for the Tribe for 30 years. She holds a Master’s Degree from Michigan State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. She is a published writer, with works on Anishinaabe life and teachings. Ms. Shawana’s career has been dedicated to advancing Indigenous education, justice in social work, cultural preservation and language revitalization. In addition to her volunteer advocacy in preserving the Tribe’s sovereignty as it relates to data protection, she operates an apparel business that promotes Indigenous pride and enjoys her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Shuna Stevens: Waabanoqua (Dawn Comes the Morning) also known by her English name Shuna Stevens, mishiikenh (turtle) Clan. Ms. Stevens is currently the Behavioral Health representative for the Data Governance Board. She has served the Tribe with over 13 years of employment mostly in the human services fields including Summer Youth Worker at the Tribal Court, Tribal Police Cadet, Caseworker and Supervisor at Anishnaabeg Child and Family Services, Extension Coordinator at the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College, and currently Prevention Coordinator at Behavioral Health. These positions have provided Ms. Stevens professional growth, development, and advancement, while affording her the opportunity to demonstrate and enhance her leadership skills.
Ms. Stevens has a passion for helping her community, especially youth and families, by engaging in outreach, cultural activities, and community education. The value of education is something that was instilled in Ms. Stevens by her mother, and a value she instills in her children. Ms. Stevens set high educational goals for herself and has attained them while doing her best to live by Anishinaabe cultural values. She is committed to lifelong learning, and looks forward to continual growth in both traditional life ways and mainstream education including the pursuit of a second master’s degree in the near future. Ms. Stevens is dedicated to being a partner and champion of others on the path toward mno-bimaadziwin.
Mariah Austin, MSA, serves the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe’s Nimkee Memorial Wellness Center as anAccreditation/Quality Assurance Specialist, coordinating accreditation and compliance initiatives over three years. Shehas been instrumental in guiding quality improvement projects and infection prevention and safety programs. Ms. Austin represents Nimkee Clinic on the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe’s Data Governance Board as a Concept, Policy, and PlanningTeam member. In her free time, sheenjoys traveling, beading, sewing, and spending time with family and friends. Ms. Austin earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Systems Administration with a Minor in Human Resources from Ferris State University and a Master of Science in Administration with a concentration in Health Services from Central Michigan University.
Christina Sharpis an enrolled Member of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, serving as the Assistant Director of Education. Ms. Sharp co-leads an academic team of nearly 65 staff members, manages annual budgets,works with program development, grant administration, and oversight of the School Nutrition Program. Sheserves as the alternate on the Michigan’s Special Education Advisory Committee as an Ex-Officio Delegate Representative for the Confederation of Michigan Tribal Education Directors. Since 200, Ms. Sharp dedicated herself to promoting Tribal education, advancing her career from Administrative Assistant II to K-12 Coordinator to her present position. Her work in Data Governance assists the Education Department in policy and planning for the betterment of the youth served by the Tribe.Ms.Sharp holds a Master of Science Administration with a concentration in Public Administration from Central Michigan University. She loves spending time with her family, traveling and cooking, and being a powwow vendor. She is known as the “Frybread Queen!”
Lisa M. Kennedyis an enrolled Member of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribewho takes a vision and makes it reality through sound strategy development. She intuitively sees the threads of opportunity that wind through an organization, brings them together into a coherent whole, helps others extend their thinking, and relies on the gift of viewing all matters through an indigenous lens. She is an inspirational leader who tells stories that inspire action, while at the same time, is grounded in the principles of public administration. Respected as a credible voice in decision making, Ms. Kennedyearns a seat at the table wherever she serves.
Currently, as Native Connections Project Coordinator for the SCIT Behavioral Health Program, a tribally‐held mental health and substance abuse treatment program, sheoversees the operations of a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 5-year grant, titled Native Connections. She is now spearheading major strategic shifts centered on the inherent value of cultural revitalization efforts to address issues challenging indigenous youth, family, and community that are centered on the issues of suicide, substance abuse use and misuse, and historical trauma.
Ms. Kennedyholds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Bachelor of Science from Central Michigan University. From a young age, sheunderstood the responsibility of service to her Tribal-community, and highly values living indigenous leadership, Indigenizing colonial constructs & organizational frameworks, and protecting indigenous knowledge and heritage.
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