Chad S. Hamill, Ph.D.
Vice President, Native American Initiatives
Office of the President
Applied Indigenous Studies
Chad S. Hamill came to Northern Arizona University in 2007 as a visiting professor of ethnomusicology. His scholarship is focused on song traditions of the Interior Northwest, including those carried by his Spokane ancestors. In addition to his book, Songs of Power and Prayer in the Columbia Plateau, he has produced numerous articles centered on Columbia Plateau songs and ceremony, exploring topics ranging from sovereignty to Indigenous ecological knowledge. Prior to his current position as Vice President of Native American Initiatives, Hamill served as Chair of the Department of Applied Indigenous Studies at NAU and as Chair of the Indigenous Music Section of the Society for Ethnomusicology. Currently, he sits on the editorial board of the Native American Indigenous Studies Journal and the Steering Committee of the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. He also serves as Vice President and Treasurer of the Spokane Language House, a 501c3 that contributes to the sustainability of the Spokane language.
Manley Begay, Ed.D.
Director, Tribal Leadership initiative
Applied Indigenous Studies and Politics and International Affairs
In addition to faculty appointments in the Departments of Applied Indigenous Studies and Politics and International Affairs, Dr. Begay (Navajo) is affiliate faculty in the W. A. Franke College of Business at Northern Arizona University. Since 1997, he has also been co-director (with Professors Joseph Kalt and Stephen Cornell) of the award-winning Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, working for and with Indigenous governments, enterprises, organizations, and communities world-wide, providing research, advisory services, and executive education on issues of nation-building and economic development. Professor Begay is recognized nationally and internationally as one of the primary planners and designers of the now-accepted theory of how Indigenous nations and communities build nations that work.
Ann Marie Chischilly, J.D.
Executive Director, Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals
Ann Marie Chischilly started at the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) in April of 2011. She is responsible for coordinating ITEP’s work with Northern Arizona University, state and federal agencies, tribes, and Alaska Native villages. Ms. Chischilly oversees four environmental programs (climate change, air quality, solid waste, and educational outreach) and established the “Tribal Clean Energy Resource Center” to assist tribes in transitioning from fossil fuel based energy to sustainable/clean energy solutions. In May 2013, Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell appointed Ms. Chischilly to the Federal Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resources Science. Ms. Chischilly currently serves on the Arizona Attorney magazine Editorial Board, Indian Law Section Executive Board of the Arizona State Bar, Arizona Energy Consortium-Tribal Liaison, First Stewards on Climate Change Founding Board, and Native American Connections Board.
Angelina Castagno, Ph.D.
Director, Institute for Native- Serving Educators
Educational Leadership and Foundations
Angelina works collaboratively with the Teacher Fellows and the University Advisory Council to ensure that the Institute is serving all constituents and meeting the goals identified by key stakeholders. As an active scholar, Angelina’s teaching and research focus on issues of equity and diversity in U.S. schools, and she has been involved in Indigenous education for almost two decades. She has publications in many journals, as well as books that explore culturally responsive schooling, American Indian educational policy and practice, and teacher preparation for diverse schools.
Senior Director of Development for Native American Initiatives
As Senior Director of Development for Native American Initiatives, Ron plans to help NAU strengthen its tribal partnerships “to become the nation’s leading university serving Native Americans.” Formerly, Ron served as District Director & Intergovernmental Relations for Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick in Arizona’s First Congressional District. Ron led a congressional staff located in seven district offices to provide constituent services, district-specific policy priorities and policy recommendations. For 8 years, Ron was owner and president of Native Policy Group, an independent political consulting firm that advocated for Arizona public schools located on Indian reservations, tribal colleges and universities, telecommunications and healthcare. Ron also served 6 years as Executive Director of the Arizona Commission of Indian Affairs to help the State of Arizona build better communications and relations with Arizona’s 22 Indian tribes/nations. Ron has 19 years of experience in public affairs, government and tribal relations, public policy and administration. Ron holds a BS from Arizona State University and an MPA from Northern Arizona University. He also served two-terms as Chairman of the Native American Advisory Board to NAU Presidents Cheng and John Haeger. Ron is Dine’ from the Navajo Nation and resides in Flagstaff with his family.
Ora Marek-Martinez, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Native American Cultural Center
Before assuming the role of Executive Director of the Native American Cultural Center, Dr. Ora Marek-Martinez worked for the Navajo Nation as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer and tribal archaeologist, conducting, reviewing, and approving cultural heritage work throughout the Navajo Nation. As Executive Director of the NACC, she is charged with programming, fundraising, strategic planning, development of the Office of Native American Initiatives newsletter, and budgetary oversight of the NACC. In addition, she is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at NAU. Her research interests include Southwestern, Indigenous, and tribal archaeology, decolonizing methodologies, and epistemic injustice. She is focused on serving, supporting, and ensuring the success of NAU students through the programming and services provided at the Native American Cultural Center. Dr. Marek-Martinez is from the Navajo Mountain Cove clan, born for the Nez Perce tribe. Her maternal grandfather was Hopi Sun clan, and her paternal grandfather was Bohemian and Italian.
Shirley Conrad, M.A.
Administrative Associate, Office of Native American Initiatives
Shirley comes from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories in northern Canada (also known as Land of the Midnight Sun in the summer months and the most spectacular Northern Lights in the winter months). Shirley is Denesuline (Chipewyan) from the Yellowknives Dene First Nations. As the new Administrative Associate for the ONAI team she is also enthusiastic to provide ongoing support and assistance to the rest of the NACC team. Shirley’s post-secondary education includes a Masters Degree in Professional Communication (Royal Roads University, Victoria, BC), Bachelor’s Degree (Anthropology/Art/Management, University of Lethbridge), Certificates in Human Resources, Public Relations & Communications, Contract Administration (Mount Royal University, Calgary, AB). Prior to moving to Flagstaff, Shirley spent 16 years in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, working in various provincial and government sectors. Her last role was with Indigenous Services Canada for Indian Oil and Gas Canada as the Communications Officer located on the Tsuut’ina Nation Reserve, in the SW corridor of the city of Calgary. Students, peer mentors and staff, feel free to stop by and chat with Shirley on anything relating to the Dene way of life in Canada’s north to post-secondary studies and anything regarding Indigenous cultural values.
Lorenzo Max, B.S.
Mr. Max gained his role as a traditional practitioner (medicine man) by steadily studying throughout his life. He gained valuable knowledge and experience that equips him to educate youth about their ancestral knowledge and teachings. As an apprentice studying under his elders, Lorenzo acquired the interpersonal skills needed to be an effective practitioner. His is able to translate ancient prayers and songs into stories that are applicable to this day and age. He is adept at communicating the significant and moral interpretations that our ancestors have cherished, with the proper mix of authority, diplomacy, and tact. He remains able to interact with the diverse cultural concerns of native students, parents, and university faculty. Mr. Max is able to help a person rebalance with nature by communicating in a spiritual way and by giving “offerings” to many parts of nature (Earth Water, Wind, Water Plant, animals, insects, Sun, Moon, Rain, and many others), using hundreds of different types of protection/blessing prayers and songs.