John Halliday, Saskinax̂ Adoptive Nickname: Aĝaĝiyax̂ (Killer Whale)
I am versatile and multifaceted Department of Interior (DOI), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) SPECIALIST /EXECUTIVE with progressive experience gained over 30 years with the BIA, and various other federal, state, and local Indian tribal executive positions. I have helped the Navajo Tribe, Snoqualmie Tribe, and the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe with many roles including being a Tribal Operations Manager, Chief Executive Officer. I have also taught at the University of Montana on American Political Theory, Public Policy, Native American Studies and Native American Ecological Perspectives.
I have administered public laws, rules, and regulation requirements, and court rulings relative to Indian affairs, carry out the functions of Indian tribal trust resources and other Indian resources, Natural Resources, to comply with performance goals and assess progress toward attainment of those goals. I have collegial and diplomatic interpersonal skills to foster relations and build coalitions and partnerships to build effective agreements. With my Master’s degree in Public Administration I have developed experience in: tribal governmental relations, contract negotiation, grants, P.L. 93-638, water resources, forestry, wild land fire, realty, acquisitions, law enforcement, housing, human services, human resources, economic development, fisheries and wildlife, historic preservation, credit programs and infrastructure (roads and utilities), budget, self-governance, inter-governmental policy formation, and long-range tribal government planning. My major strengths are in organizational leadership, institutional design, and staff development, strong customer liaison and communications. Successful in creating, motivating, and leading teams and managing multiple controversial projects with rapidly changing requirements and deadlines. Proven ability to build coalitions across organizations and deliver cost effective, efficient, and responsive solutions. Well-developed leading change, client interaction, and business management skills.
I received my Associate Degree in Audio and Video Production and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing & Business Management from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in 1993. In 2001, I returned home to Dulce, and was hired as Enterprise Accountant in the Nation’s Finance Department. In 2002, I was elected to serve as Legislative Council Member for the Jicarilla Apache Nation from 2002 – 2006. After my term in 2006, I accepted a position in the Marketing Department Public Relations Officer for the Apache Nugget Corporation. In 2008, I began my service as Jicarilla Apache Nation Administration Public Relations Officer and served on the New Mexico “Indian Day”, appointed by former New Mexico Governor, Bill Richardson, to serve on New Mexico’s first ever unified effort between the State and Tribes, called the State Tribal Collaboration Act. I represented the Nation in the various capacity of helping present, inform and lobby the Office of Governor, State House and Senate and citizens of New Mexico with tribal communal issues, based on my time, I was then selected to serve on a milestone unified project called the Tribal Economic Development Board to which, I was a voting member in helping promote, create and sustain economic development for the benefit of Tribes in New Mexico. In 2009 I was appointed to be a member of the Apache Alliance Board, a unified group consisting of nine Apache tribes located throughout New Mexico, Arizona and Oklahoma, for the purpose of protecting and reinforcing Tribal Self Determination and Tribal Sovereignty.
In 2012, appointed as a key witness to testify, representing the Nation, in the Multi-Tribal Redistricting Lawsuit to ensure that the Native American Voting Rights Act was followed during the 2011 redistricting process which resulted in tribes winning this lawsuit and now creating the largest voting district of tribal representation. In 2013, appointed to fill a vacant seat as Legislative Council Member for the Jicarilla Apache Nation until the 2014 election. In 2014, I was elected to serve as Legislative Council Member for the Jicarilla Apache Nation from 2014 – 2018.
Charles Frady was raised in Alaska. After retiring from 20 years in the United States Air Force, he stands in solidarity with the indigenous people of Alaska. With him, he brings leadership, and program management experience. He hopes his experience working with military, and government agencies will be beneficial in the progress of Atux̂ Forever.
Francisco Mercado: As a child who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s in New York City, who will describe himself as a geek/nerd, a jock, and a lover of history. Cisco has seen the effects of poverty and racism can have on a community. Cisco has strived to work to improve the lives of children and people in communities of need. Cisco is the oldest of four with three sisters. Cisco has a Bachelors degree from Valparaiso University and Master’s degree in History and Political Science from the University of New Orleans.
Currently, Cisco is a Program Coordinator for Camp Fire Alaska. Cisco has been living in Anchorage, Alaska for the past eleven years.
Damon Howell is the Board Chair of the Board Members. While not a descendant of the Atux̂ (Attu), he is a champion of their cause. He has four daughters and he hopes to someday be able to bring them to Atux̂ and share with them the rich history and culture. Damon has twenty years of experience in the government sector and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and an Associate’s Degree in Aviation Management. Damon is skilled in negotiation, diplomacy, interagency cooperation, policy writing, communications, and leadership. He enjoys spending time with his daughters, reading, writing, and hiking.