Shannon Francis, Chair Hopi/Dineh
Shannon is from Kykotsmovi, Arizona. Shannon is a certified Permaculture Design Instructor, focusing more on Indigenous Permaculture, the weaving of Traditional Ecological Knowledge focusing more on Indigenous Permaculture, the weaving of Traditional Ecological Knowledge with innovative science. The mother of six children, Shannon comes from twelve generations of earth caretakers and seed keepers. She is an active educator and has presented and taught widely on permaculture design and practicing Indigenous Permaculture at the Denver Indian Family resource, Rocky Ridge Boarding School on the Navajo Nation. Her passion is instilling reciprocal relationships by connecting people to the natural world through seeds, soil, and the elements. She has been a member of the Denver Native community for 25+ years. Shannon received the Justin B. Willie humanitarian awarded on the Navajo Nation in Arizona. More recently, she received the 2015 Cesar E. Chavez female leadership award for her work with Indigenous gardening, food justice, and community building projects.
Reed Zephier, Council Member Oglala Lakota
Reed Lynn Zephier is a member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe and works as the assistant director of the Fourth World Center for the Study of Indigenous Law and Politics at the University of Colorado, Denver. As a graduate student of political science at U.C. Denver, Reed is interested in Indigenous political systems as well as concepts of Indigenous nationhood. As a council member of Four Winds, Reed is proud to serve in a multitude of capacities with the goal of ensuring urban Indians an accessible space within the Denver metro area, to express themselves artistically, spiritually, economically, and politically.
GlenN Morris, Secretary Shawnee
Glenn is a tenured professor of political science at the University of Colorado at Denver. He also founded and directs the Fourth World Center for the Study of Indigenous Law & Politics. As a Harvard- trained attorney, he has been active in Indigenous people’s issues at local, national and international levels for over 40 years.
Nita Gonzales, Council Member Chicana/ Indigenous
Nita Gonzales, of Denver, Colorado, is a Chicana community activist, educator, and leader in the struggle for social justice and equality. As President/ CEO of Escuela Tlatelolco Centro de Estudios, she developed a nationally recognized model for Chicano/Mexicano education rooted in indigenous cultures throughout the hemisphere. She is a founder of the Chicano/ Mexicano Education Coalition, the Denver Youth Employment and Education Task Force, co-founder of the Colorado Latino Forum, and co-founder of the Red Earth Women’s Alliance. She is a board member of numerous organizations working to promote the welfare of the Chicano/ Mexicano community in Denver.
Rwanda Todea, Treasurer Dine
Rwanda Todea is of the Honághááhnii (One-Walks-Around) clan and is born for the Táchii’nii (Red-Running-Into-The-Water) clan. Rwanda was born in the Bay Area, raised on the Navajo reservation, and has lived in Denver for more than 30 years. Rwanda was introduced to Native issues and activism at an early age. Her parents were active in Native issues since before she was born, and her siblings are active in Native issues. Rwanda is the proud mother of her son, who lives in Denver and works toward the healthy well-being of the Native community.
Dave Woodcock, Council Member Confederated Salish/ Kootenia
Dave, a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenia Nations of the Flathead Reservation in Western Montana, is a long-time resident of Denver. Dave is a proud Indigenous father of three and grandfather of three. Dave is committed to the work of Four Winds American Indian Council, as well as to environmental and social justice for current and future generations.