Ila R. McKay – HintunkansanWastewin (Pretty Weasel Woman) (Cuthead/Ihanktowan/Sissitowan Dakota)
Ms. McKay is of the Cuthead/Ihanktowan and Sisseton/Sissitowan Dakota Bands and is an enrolled member of the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe at Fort Totten, ND. Her Dakota name is Hintunkansan Wastewin (Pretty Weasel Woman), a name that she carries forward from her great-grandmother. She is a descendant of Chief Little Fish (Sisseton/Sissitowan/Dakota).
Ms. McKay possesses a high level of community organizational skills and has exemplary grant writing skills that have provided funds for community, economic, and program development. She has worked in various settings throughout her career; from an Associate Counselor that provided a caring heart and a listening ear to young girls in an alcohol/drug treatment center to being an Editor for Indian Country Today, a Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) provider to tribes and villages seeking answers to youth suicide, a Adjunct Professor/American Indian Studies, a Tribal Chairman, and administrative roles related to diversity and strategic planning. Ms. McKay is a Bush Fellow/Native Nations Rebuilders (Cohort 6) of the Bush Foundation/Native American Governance Center. She has dedicated her career and her heart to improving the lives of American Indian/Alaska Native people.
Her formal education includes a BA (Bachelor of Arts) degree in American Indian Studies/Business and Public Administration from the University of North Dakota and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) from Eastern Washington University.
Mark Yellowhorse Beasley is a member of the Navajo nation and hails from a family who has distinguished itself nationally by promoting the Navajo culture through unique jewelry, dynamic art and via cutting edge mass communications.
Beasley is a long-time philanthropist promoting the health and well being of Navajo children.
Beasley has used his sales and business experience to take a leadership role in promoting charitable initiatives. He routinely appears at events (in person) or as part of his broadcast work while as a producer or as broadcasting personality on a national native american-themed radio program.
Beasley's editorial and historic work has been published in several newspapers around the nation as well as publications such as the American Thinker, Gateway Pundit and the Media Research Center among others.
Tony Henson is the founder and president of the not for profit Illinois Pride USA. The mission of the organization is to celebrate and promote awareness of the proud history, customs, and traditions of Illinois' Confederated Tribes. A quarter Cherokee himself as well as a diehard Illinois Fighting Illini fan, Mr. Henson set out in 2014 to find a resolution to the void left in the decade since the elimination of Chief Illiniwek, the revered symbol of Fighting Illini athletics from 1926-2007. In 2016 Henson authored the blog, "The Fight to be the Fighting Illini" which is a culmination of almost 3 years of tireless research on the topic. Recent momentum at the very top levels of the University of Illinois in support of his initiatives shows the hard work is paying off.
Tony Henson has lived all his life in central Illinois where he is a successful real estate investor. He studied at Lincoln Christian University before venturing off into a business endeavor that resulted in him receiving his first United States Patent in the early 1990s. Henson served as a Regional Coordinator for the Bush/Cheney campaign in 2004. Passionate about his Christian faith, Mr. Henson help co-found Crossroads Church in his hometown of Bement, Illinois in 2014. Henson additionally serves as a commissioner on the Piatt County Housing Authority and is a precinct committee man in his hometown. Additionally, passionate about his Native American heritage, Henson joined forces with the Native American Guardians Association in 2017.
Wicanhpiwastewin (Good Star Woman)
Eunice Davidson is a Native American Guardians Association Board Member. She was the first presiding President and a founding member of the NAGA grassroots movement. Eunice is a full-blood Dakota Sioux and an enrolled member of the Spirit Lake Tribe from North Dakota. She grew up on the Spirit Lake reservation and attended school there and at Flandreau Indian school. She is married to David Davidson, Sr. and has two children, three grandchildren, and one great granddaughter. Eunice returned to receive her education after her children were married and on their own. She received a two-year degree in Liberal Arts and Dakota Studies from Cankdeska Cikana Community College from Spirit Lake, ND. After attending a year at Fort Berthold Community College, she went unto receive her BA degree in Education from Black Hills State University, Spearfish, SD. Eunice is currently pursuing her Master of Science degree in The Native American Leadership program at Southeastern Oklahoma University, in Durant Ok.
Eunice was an active member of the Spirit Lake Committee for Understanding and Respect and was instrumental in gathering names on a petition and putting the Fighting Sioux name and logo issue on the ballot, where Spirit Lake tribal members had a chance to vote on the Sioux name. The Spirit Lake Tribal members voted in the largest election turnout ever and voted by a margin of 2 to 1 in April of 2009 at 67% to keep the Sioux name at UND. She also authored a book “Aren’t We Sioux Enough” ironic she got the idea of the title of her book from a federal judge who presided over their case against the NCAA.
Eunice is a direct descendent of ancestors who earned a place in history. Her ancestor Waanatan has a distinguished history as a Yankton leader who earned his name Waanatan (Charger) during an attack on Fort Stevens in Ohio in 1813 where he was wounded numerous times but kept on charging. Inkpaduta who declared war on the white’s in 1857 and was at every major battle the Sioux fought including Little Big Horn and was never captured even though he was on the most wanted list from 1857 till 1882 when he passed away in Sioux Valley, Canada. Tiyowaste (Goodhouse) who was the very first head chief of the Devils Lake Sioux Tribe beginning in 1867. She received her Indian name from her Uncle who was a spiritual leader on the reservation in a naming ceremony, she was honored to be given the name of her 5th generation Grandmother who was interned at Fort Snelling, Minnesota between 1862 – 63 just after the Dakota Sioux Uprising.
Eunice believes the “not your mascot movement” will hurt Indian Country more than they realize, she likes history and understands the ramifications that can come if all Indian names are removed from sight. Each one of these names are the identity of tribal nations and without them who will remember who we are. She believes in Education not Eradication.
William J. Brotherton is an enrolled member of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi in Swanton, Vermont, where he serves on tribal council. His grandmother Nellie Boss (Bourgeois) Lamphere, born in Québec, was full-blooded Abenaki. He is also an adopted member of the Spirit Lake Sioux, where he received the Sioux name of Tasunka Masa (Iron Horse) in a ceremony conducted by medicine man John Chaske. He is active in preserving and reclaiming the respectful use of Native American names in sports, place names and wherever they can be used to promote the heritage of the American Indian.
William is an attorney, an entrepreneur, and an author. He was a brakeman, conductor and trainmaster 40 years ago for the Burlington Northern Railroad and worked freight trains all across the West. His book, Burlington Northern Adventures; Railroading in the Days of the Caboose, was published in 2004 (South Platte Press). He is the principal of the Brotherton Law Firm, a civil litigation firm headquartered in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and received his BA from the University of North Dakota, his MS in Environmental Sciences from the University of Texas at Dallas, and his JD from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (now Texas A&M University School of Law). He taught environmental law for 12 years at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. In addition to being licensed with the Texas Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court of the State of North Dakota, he is also licensed with the Supreme Court of the United States, the Northern and Eastern Federal District Courts in Texas, and the Eastern and Western Federal District Courts in North Dakota.
He spearheaded the suit against the University of North Dakota, the State of North Dakota, and the Board of Higher Education on behalf of Sioux tribal members who objected to changing the Fighting Sioux name of the University of North Dakota. While the University prevailed, and adopted the name “Fighting Hawks”, the University, its students, its alumni, the citizens of the state and the Sioux of North Dakota have all lost a common bond that brought everyone together and made the University of North Dakota the premier educational institution in the Midwest. Since losing the Fighting Sioux name, the University has been forced to drop sports programs, closed or razed 13 buildings, many historic, and suffered historic drops in alumni giving and revenue.
He is a frequent speaker, and recently spoke on the topic of Native American Names in Sports at the State Bar of Texas American Indian Law Conference and at the Conference on Native American Imagery in Sport hosted by the Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity at Baruch College in New York City.
Andre Billeaudeaux is a retired senior military strategist, ship operator and journalist. He is currently working as a Fellow at a federal “Think Tank” focusing on national safety and security initiatives.
He has written two books and has published extensively in magazines and academic journals on topics such as National Identity, Race/Racism, Political Communications and Native American history.
His research work is featured in the Journal of Communication, Global Media Journal, Political Communication and the Newspaper Research Journal among others.
He has been a featured speaker at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government as well as at national Conferences such as ”Communicating for Social Impact”, “Western Political Science Association” and “Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication”.
Pretty Deer Flower Eagleman
(Tacha wastewin wacha)
Brown owl woman
(Heyankagagi gi win)
Fort Peck Assiniboine & Spirit Lake Sioux Nation
Pretty Deer was born in Devils Lake North Dakota. She grew up on the Spirit Lake reservation and attended elementary school in Devils Lake then transferred to Four Winds High School and graduated in 1996. Pretty Deer continued her education at Lake Region State College and started her nursing career as a CNA. She continued her education in the medical field and moved to Fargo, ND where she decided to attend NDSU and the Rasmussen College then graduated in 2006. Pretty Deer states she chose the career to work in retirement homes and loves working with the elderly because of their storytelling, knowledge, and history they would share with her. She mainly works with the Native American elderly.
In 2014, Pretty Deer decided to make a geographical move to Oregon with her four children. She teaches her children about the Dakota Sioux culture. Living in Oregon the Native American culture has different traditions from what she is used too. She doesn’t want her children to get confused of the Indian cultural differences.
In 2015, Pretty Deer became aware of what was going on with Native American names and images in sports due to the Sioux name taken away at the University of North Dakota. She knew Eunice Davidson because they both came from the same reservation. Through Facebook they talked about what was happening and Eunice asked her if she would want to become a member of Native American Guardian’s Association (NAGA)? Pretty Deer was intrigued & more than happy to join because she felt it would someday all of our names would be eradicated. Since then she started attending meetings at schools that were in danger of losing their Indian names and images in Oregon. She said she could see how much pride the students and parents took in having a Native identity to represent their school.
Pretty Deer states there’s always that one question, why? I kept thinking to myself there’s no one to help support these people and said I always believed if it’s not broken, why try to fix something that isn’t broke, I’ve seen the sadness in the students when their pride was taken away & they lost their Indian name and image at the school. That is why Pretty Deer joined forces with NAGA to fight back against the destructive eradication movement going on in the nation. That is why she is up for the challenge. #educatenoteradicate
Jonathan and Crystal Tso
Jonathan Tso is from the Sioux Nation (Naalani) of the Bitter Water Clan. He is an enrolled member of the Assiniboine Sioux Tribe located on the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana. Jonathan has been married for over 10 years and has 4 children. Jonathan has traveled over 10 years as a union worker. After changing careers and managing a long distance relationship away from his wife and children, Jonathan now works as a journeyman electrician. He and his family reside now in west Texas.
Crystal Tso is a full blood Navajo enrolled with the Navajo Nation. She is of the Near the Water Clan and born of the Salt people clan. She has always been a kindhearted person who has worked as a direct support professional for over 10 years serving persons with developmental disabilities. Crystal was nominated for ANCOR DSP in the state of New Mexico. She has also worked with recovering addicts as a psycho-social rehabilitation aid. Crystal eventually advanced to work for the Farmington, NM School District as a special education teachers aid for pre-schoolers. Currently Crystal resides in west Texas with her family where she serves as a stay at home mom. Crystal believes is raising her children with the traditional Navajo teachings, beliefs, and values.
Both Jonathan and Crystal continue to be active as two the original 5 founding members of the 505 Redskins Fan Club developed in the Four Corners region of the Southwest. The idea for the groups founding started as nothing more than fellow Washington Redskins fans joining together for a game.As years went by and word got around about the club, more and more fans wanted to join the club, and the rest is history. It was always a founding principal to represent a club, who is comprised largely of Native Americans, to support the Washington Redskins name and imagery. Over the years Jonathan has educated about the background and history of the Redskins name and image believing that Native Americans should not be offended but rather honored by it. Both he and Crystal have proudly joined forces with NAGA to help educate not eradicate.