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Tribal and Indigenous Advisory Council


In 2022, GAO began the process of forming its first-ever Tribal and Indigenous Advisory Council to provide insights and recommendations on issues affecting Tribal Nations and their citizens. The Council will help guide GAO’s future work on vital and emerging issues affecting Tribal Nations, their citizens, and Indigenous people more broadly. Among other things, this may include informing GAO of emerging topics of interest or concern, helping identify relevant stakeholders to ensure GAO work includes a diverse range of tribal and indigenous perspectives, and providing advice to GAO on its processes for working with Tribes.

The Council is comprised of 16 members, including leaders from federally recognized Tribal Nations; a leader of a state recognized Tribe; a leader of a Native Hawaiian organization; and experts on topics relevant to Tribal Nations and Indigenous people. GAO is committed to ensuring it hears from leaders and representatives of federally recognized Tribes with whom GAO has a government-to-government relationship. Given the broad design of federal programs, GAO also seeks perspectives from representatives of other Indigenous people served by federal programs.

So that future terms will be staggered, individuals selected for initial appointment to the Council will be invited to serve terms of two or three years. GAO looks forward to working collaboratively with the Council to identify priority issues, as well as protocols and procedures for working together.

Read our Announcement of First Appointments

Tribal and Indigenous Advisory Council Members (as of 02/05/24)

  • Cheryl Andrews-Maltais, Chairwoman, Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head Aquinnah
  • Tehassi tasi Hill, Chairman, Oneida Nation
  • John Lowery, Chairman, Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina
  • Sheila Carl, Tribal Council Member, Akiak Native Community
  • Myra Pickering, Second Member, Tribal Council, Otoe-Missouria Tribe
  • Corinne Sams, Member at Large, Board of Trustees, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
  • Brenda Smith, Secretary, Kenaitze Indian Tribe
  • Kip Spotted Eagle, Councilman, Yankton Sioux Tribe
  • Elizabeth (Lisa) White Pipe, Bull Creek Tribal Representative, Rosebud Sioux Tribe
  • Justin Ahasteen, Executive Director, Navajo Nation Washington Office, Navajo Nation
  • Scott Freeny, Senior Legal Director, Division of Commerce, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
  • Virginia “Ginger” Fuata, Consumer Board Member, Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, Native Hawaiian Communities
  • Rhonda Harjo, Attorney and former Deputy Chief Counsel (retired), U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians/Mvskoke Nation
  • Sarah Lukin, President, Cook Inlet Region, Inc.
  • Kasie Nichols, Director, Office of Self-Governance, Citizen Potawatomi Nation
  • Christopher Adam Red, Auditor, Internal Audit Department, Southern Ute Indian Tribe

For more information,  Paige Gilbreath of GAO’s Natural Resources and Environment team at (214) 777-5724 or  or Chuck Young in GAO’s Office of Public Affairs at (202) 512-4800 or

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