WHO WE ARE

OUR STAFF

Kari Jo Lawrence

Executive Director

Donita Fischer

Director of Operations & Strategy

Kelsey Ducheneaux-Scott

Director of Programs

Colby Duren

Director of Policy

Becky Standing Bear

Office Manager

Lilly Standing Bear

Administrative Assistant

Vacant

Administrative Assistant

Latashia Redhouse

AIF Director

Tomie Peterson

AIF Assistant Director

Sha'Teal Pearman

Natural Resources Assistant

Vacant

Natural Resource Director

Ellen Sanders-Raigosa

Natural Resources Assistant

Keir Johnson-Reyes

Technical Assistance Director

Pacific Region

Dan Cornelius

Technical Assistance Specialist
Midwest-Great Lakes Region

Desbah Padilla

Technical Assistance Specialist

Southwest Region

Katherine Minthorn

Technical Assistance Specialist

Northwest Region - Oregon & Idaho

Kole Fitzpatrick

Technical Assistance Specialist

Rocky Mountain Region

Padgley Gonzales

Technical Assistance Specialist

Western Region

Silas Tikaan Galbreath

Technical Assistance Specialist

Alaska Region

Electa Hare-Redcorn

Technical Assistance Specialist

Eastern Oklahoma Region

Mike Shellenberger

Technical Assistance Specialist

Northwest Region -Washington

Steven Bond

Technical Assistance Specialist

Southern Plains Region

Matthew Denetclaw

Technical Assistance Specialist

Navajo Region

Azelya Yazzie

Program Specialist

 

Kari Jo Lawrence

Executive Director

Kari Jo Lawrence was ranch raised on the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara Nation in North Dakota near the New Town and Mandaree areas.  She attended Dickinson State University where she earned a degree in Biology.  Kari Jo is proud to have been one of the first recipients of the IAC Scholarship. She started a career with the Natural Resources Conservation Service while in college and served over 20 years with most of it serving in Indian Country.  She led successful programs and increased historically underserved participation in each capacity served. As Executive Director, she looks forward to continuing her service to Indian Country at a national level. Kari@indianag.org

Donita Fischer

Director of  Operations & Strategy

Donita Fischer serves as the Director of Finance & Operations. She directs the overall financial, accounting and budgeting functions, oversees the organization’s Human Resource processes and supervises the finance and operations staff. Formerly IAC’s Public Relations director, Donita continues to oversee communication and technology services. 

 

Donita was born and raised on the Cheyenne River Sioux reservation in north-central South Dakota. She attended Black Hills State University and received a bachelor of science in business administration. Donita resides with her family east of Eagle Butte, South Dakota; where she practices small-scale sustainable efforts.  donita@indianag.org

Kelsey Ducheneaux-Scott

Director of Programs

Kelsey Ducheneaux-Scott is the Director of Programs for the Intertribal Agriculture Council. She’s the owner of DX Beef, a direct-to-consumer regenerative beef operation on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation, where she also ranches with her husband and family. Kelsey’s passion lies in working directly with land managers and producers in promoting regenerative agricultural practices. Kelsey is excited to see how her work with producers can continue to enhance their connection to consumers in an effort to re-localize more resilient food systems. 

 

Kelsey is a family-focused individual (including her four legged family of horses, cattle, and dogs), soil & plant nerd, and a youth advocate. Kelsey serves her community in many ways, from Four Bands Community Development Financial Institution’s Board President, to South Dakota Farm Service Agency’s State Committee, to volunteering with local and national nonprofit organizations. 

 

She received her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Rangeland Management from South Dakota State University and then her Master’s of Agriculture Degree in Integrated Resource Management from Colorado State University. Kelsey’s currently in her final year as a Doctorate in Education Candidate with Northcentral University. kelsey@indianag.org

Colby D. Duren, J.D., LL.M.

Director of Policy and Government Relations, Intertribal Agriculture Council

Colby is the Director of Policy and Government Relations for the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC). He leads IAC’s Washington, DC-based policy and advocacy initiatives, including the Native Farm Bill Coalition work, which is now housed under the IAC thanks to a generous grant from the Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF). Colby has more than 13 years of experience in federal Indian law and policy, with a specific focus on food, agriculture, nutrition, natural resources, and economic development, including work on three Farm Bills.

 

Prior to joining the IAC, Colby served as Director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative at the University of Arkansas School of Law (IFAI) and was IFAI’s Policy Director and Staff Attorney before becoming Director. In those roles, he supported the establishment of the Native Farm Bill Coalition in 2017, an effort which included the IAC as founding organization and led to 63 Tribal-specific changes in the 2018 Farm Bill. 

 

Previously, Colby served as Staff Attorney and Legislative Counsel for the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) in Washington, DC, advocating on behalf of Tribal Nations on agriculture, land, and natural resources issues. He also was a Legal Assistant and Law Clerk for the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) Washington, DC office, and a Paralegal and Legislative Assistant at Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz PC in Washington, DC specializing in food and agriculture policy, and represented Tribes on land reparation and agriculture issues.

 

Colby earned his law degree from the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, DC, his Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, and his Master of Laws in Agricultural and Food Law from the University of Arkansas School of Law. Colby is licensed to practice in Maryland, the District of Columbia, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

 

In 2016, Colby was nominated by the Native American Bar Association of Washington, DC for its Significant Contribution in Indian Law Award for his work on environmental issues in Indian Country. He was also recognized by IAC membership in December 2018 for his work supporting Tribal governments and Tribal producers in the development of the 2018 Farm Bill.  colby@indianag.org

Becky Standing Bear

Office Manager

Becky Standing Bear is an enrolled member of the (Gros Ventre) Aaniih Tribe from the Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana. She graduated from the Fort Belknap Community College with a certificate in Early Childhood Education and an Associates in Liberal Arts in 1992. She previously worked with the State of Montana serving the reservation schools as a Speech Therapist to students from preschool to high school. Born and raised on the reservation has afforded her basic knowledge of Indian agriculture living among many Tribal ranchers and farmers and observing their operations and way of life. Since moving to Billings, MT in 1999; she has held the position of Office/Administrative Assistant with the IAC. Becky is very happy to be part of the IAC staff and enjoys serving her part in the IAC’s goal of promoting and enhancing Indian agriculture.  becky@indianag.org

“Working at IAC has been an enjoyable experience and has provided an informative view and education of the greater Indian agricultural issues at hand for the Tribes and people whom the organization serves”

Lilly Standing Bear

Administrative Assistant

Lilly Standing Bear ’akisii ‘ithaa is an enrolled member of the ‘A’aááńiinén and is descended from the Nakoda and Hinóno’ei (Northern Arapaho); she was raised on the Fort Belknap Reservation as well as southern Montana. She graduated from Aaniih Nakoda College as an American Indian College Fund Scholar and received an Associate of Arts in American Indian Studies in 2014. She went on to pursue Native American Studies and anthropology at the University of Montana until 2018. 

 

Lilly’s lifelong ambition to serve Native people is fulfilled through her work at IAC which started as an intern position in the summer of 2019. Her passion is finding paths to Native sovereignty and spends her free time learning her grandparents’ languages.

lilly@indianag.org

Ellise David

Marketing & Events Specialist

Ellise David grew up on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation as an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in Central Oregon. She is pursuing a degree in Agriculture Sciences at Central Oregon Community College. 

Ellise attended her first IAC event in 2014 where she discovered her passion for Indian agriculture and food sovereignty. She then conducted a Food Sovereignty Assessment on her reservation in 2016. In 2018 she was hired on as the Growing Tribal Farms Program Coordinator with Oregon State University Extension - Warm Springs. Her passion resides with youth involvement and inclusion in Indian agriculture. Ellise@indianag.org

Latashia Redhouse 

AIF Director

Latashia Redhouse is an enrolled member of the Diné Nation and was raised in southeastern Utah. She graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Journalism with an emphasis in Corporate Communications at Utah State University. She has spent years supporting organizations with marketing strategies and guidance and is excited to serve the Native American farmer-entrepreneurs and business owners. Her passion is to inspire Indigenous professionals and offer solutions to help grow their businesses. 

latashia@indianag.org

Tomie Peterson 

AIF Assistant Director

Tomie grew up, and currently resides on, a cattle ranch near Parade, SD. Tomie is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. She is a graduate of Black Hills State University and joins Intertribal Agriculture Council from Dacotah Bank in Mobridge, where she was an Agriculture Banker.

In this setting, She developed a trained eye for Ag Lending and Finance. In her new capacity with the IAC, she advocates on behalf of Tribal producers for fair and equitable financing, functional access to USDA programming, and innovative business structures. Tomie enjoys working in the Ag industry helping producers succeed and looks forward to assisting producers across Indian Country.  tomie@indianag.org

Sha'Teal Pearman

Natural Resources Program Assistant

Sha’Teal Pearman is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and was raised on a multi-generational family ranch on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in South Dakota. She is a Gates Millenium Scholar and just recently earned her Bachelors at South Dakota State University in Agricultural Business with a specialization in Banking and Financial Services. Sha’Teal is also an IAC Bob Miller Memorial Scholarship Recipient.

In 2013 Sha’Teal was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship to attend the IAC Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, NV.  Attending opened her eyes to the amazing happenings in Indian Agriculture and the need to keep our future generations involved and invested in the industry.  At the 2016 annual meeting Sha’Teal and a fellow IAC youth member presented their idea to the IAC Board of Directors advocating to give a platform to youth in Indian Ag. The Native Youth Food Sovereignty Alliance advisory board was the result of the hardwork and passion that Sha’Teal contributed to this.

In 2015 Sha’Teal created the Just Breathe Suicide Awareness Campaign, a non-profit that provides educational scholarships and activities to the youth of Cheyenne River to help bring awareness to and combat the suicide epidemic that oftentimes plagues Indian Country.  Shateal@indianag.org

Ellen Sanders-Raigosa

Natural Resources Program Assistant

Ellen Sanders-Raigosa is from the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians and grew up in Pecwan, California. Ellen recently completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Policy and Planning with an emphasis in conservation management from the University of California - Davis. Ellen also minored in Native American Studies. 

Ellen's first interaction with the IAC was in 2017 when she joined the natural resources internship program. During her internship, she was able to develop multiple Tribal partnerships centered around restoring traditional plants. For the last two years, she has continued working with her community and others in California to restore traditional plants to their ancestral territory. Ellen is very passionate about working with traditional foods, plant propagation, and working to restore native lands.