2023 National Week of Action for MMIW: Presenter Bios

Rick A. Garcia is the Co-Director of Law and Policy for the Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center (AKNWRC). Rick was born in West Germany and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Rick moved to Alaska in 2018 and has dedicated himself to serving Alaska Tribes by providing training and technical assistance to Alaska tribal courts and justice systems. Before joining AKNWRC, Rick served as a Tribal Justice Facilitator with the Alaska Native Justice Center (ANJC) and as the Tribal Justice Director and Associate General Counsel for the Association of Village Council Presidents (AVCP) in Bethel, Alaska. Rick also had the honor of serving as the District Court Magistrate Judge for the Alaska Court System’s 4th Judicial District, based in Aniak and Hooper Bay.

Since 2018, Rick’s time in Alaska has been spent living and working off the road system in communities such as Bethel and Aniak. Through his work with AVCP, Rick had the opportunity to travel extensively to many Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Villages, connecting with Tribes and assisting with the tribal court and justice capacity building and training and technical assistance.

Rick graduated cum laude from the Southern Illinois School of Law in 2009 and received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science cum laude from Florida Atlantic University in 2004. Rick has been a licensed Attorney for over a decade and is licensed in the state courts of Florida and Alaska and the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Kendra (Kahtle-et) Kloster (Tlingit/German/Irish) was born in the beautiful community of Wrangell, Alaska, and spent most of her childhood in Juneau. She is currently raising her three children on Dena’ina lands in Anchorage. Kendra is Tlingit Raven/Kiks.a'di of the Sun House and is a tribal citizen of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. Her maternal grandparents, the late Christine Jenkins and Charles Jenkins, are from Wrangell, Alaska. Her parents are Shelley Jenkins from Wrangell, Alaska, and Earl Kloster from Yakima, Washington.

After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a minor in Literature from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, Kendra worked at the Office of Senator Ted Stevens in Washington, D.C. Then she moved to Juneau to work at the Alaska State Legislature for ten years.  She obtained her Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Policy Analysis at the University of Alaska Anchorage and served as the Executive Director of Native Peoples Action for five years. Kendra joined the Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center as the Co-Director for Law and Policy.

Kendra has been dedicated to serving her community and Alaskans, working hard to improve public safety, increasing access to voting across the state, working with her peers and community to end the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, including serving on the State MMIP Council and MMIWG2S Alaska Working Group. “My ambition and strength to make positive changes come from the support and encouragement from my family and community. I want to ensure that my children and future generations will have the ability to grow up in a safe and loving environment in Alaska. I hope everyone will be accepted for who they are and have all the experiences of living off the land, fishing with their families, and being part of a supportive and safe community.”

Members of AKNWRC will be presenting with:

  • Yatibaey Evans, Creative Producer, GBH Kids
  • Sydney Isaacs, Associate Producer, GBH Kids
  • Vera Starbard, Author, Editor, Playwright

Germaine Omish-Lucero has been advocating for the needs of Native victims for over 20 years aimed at preventing domestic and sexual violence in tribal communities. She is one of the founding mothers of the Strong Hearted Native Women’s Coalition, Inc. (SHNWC) founded in 2005 (CA), to assist tribes to create the appropriate tribal resolutions to assist in identifying and mediating essential changes to reduce crimes covered under the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA).  Germaine was the first Executive Director for the coalition and now sits as a board member representing her reservation for SHNWC. She now works as the Special Projects Director for the Alliance of Tribal Coalitions to End Violence (ATCEV). Germaine also does contract work, helping other agencies on special projects and presentations as a subject matter expert. She graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration. She is a tribal citizen of the Rincon, Band of Luiseno Indians in San Diego County, Ca. She has two children and three stepchildren. Germaine lives with her husband on Taos Pueblo in Taos, New Mexico.

Germaine is a Member/Facilitator of:

  • A Founding Mother and current Board Member, First Executive Director for the Strong Hearted Native Women’s Coalition, Inc., (CA) a national 501c3 nonprofit, one of the 19 Tribal Coalitions throughout the nation
  • Alumni Board member for the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence state coalition.
  • Advisory Board Member for the California Health Report
  • Member of the VAWA Task Force, National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)
  • National Task Force for Re-Authorization: Violence Against Women Act (VAWA13, VAWA18, VAWA22) Family Violence Prevention Services Act (FVPSA2010, FVPSA2022), & Victims of Crime Act (VOCA2022)
  • Subject matter expert/tribal delegate-Rincon, Band of Luiseno Indians testifying at the VAWA OVW Tribal Consultations (ongoing)
  • Coordinator/Facilitator for the Indigenous Ancestral Healing Collective, a NOVO grant project. Members of the Collective are an international member group from USA/Hawaii, Australia, and New Zealand
  • Tribal Law & Policy Institute (TLPI) partner for the OVW Strengthening Tribal Response to Violence Against Women Program to provide TA and website development for the www.TribalResponse.org website.
  • National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) partner in the development of Family Violence Prevention Services Act (FVPSA) resource website https://manyvoicesmanytraditions.com  for State coalitions and programs.
  • Provides community education to tribal communities on crimes covered under VAWA.
  • Provides training/workshops to tribal leadership, service providers, law enforcement, and other professionals on cultural competency, PL 280, building healthy relations with Native American populations, sex trafficking, shelter, teen dating violence, as well as self-care and healing.
  • Founding Mother 2014-Kiicha House- first Native women’s shelter in Southern California- umbrella agency- numerous Native service providers, 3 Indian Health Clinics, all tribes throughout San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Inyo, and Santa Barbara Counties
  • Subject matter expert/curriculum developer/instructor-California Commission Police Officers Standards Training (POST) and Inter-Tribal Council of California
  • Peace Between Partners, DV/SA Specialist/Advocate (1997-2006)
  • United Nations NGO Speaker at the UN Conference on Indigenous Peoples in New York, NY (2014)
  • Inter-National Presenter at the Healing Our Spirit Worldwide conference in New Zealand (2015), Australia (2018), & upcoming Canada (2023)

Christopher T. Foley (Cherokee), an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation, is a staff attorney with the Indian Law Resource Center in its Helena, Montana office. Chris works on both international indigenous rights, supporting efforts to build and strengthen human rights standards relating to indigenous peoples within the United Nations and the Organization of American States, and on the Center’s domestic litigation and law reform projects. He focuses much of his time on the Center’s Safe Women, Strong Nations project which works to end violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women. Chris received his B.A. from Swarthmore College, his J.D. from Temple University, and he is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania.

Jana L. Walker is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation and Delaware Tribe of Indians and is of Loyal Shawnee descent. She is a senior attorney with the Indian Law Resource Center, a nonprofit law and advocacy organization established and directed by American Indians.  The Center is dedicated to protecting the rights of American Indian and Alaska Native nations and other indigenous peoples. Jana serves as the project director for the Center’s Safe Women, Strong Nations project, which works to end violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women and its devastating impacts on Native communities.  The project does so by raising awareness domestically and internationally, providing advice to Native nations and Native women’s organizations on ways to restore safety to Native women and criminal authority to tribes, and helping to strengthen the ability of tribes to prevent and address such violence on their lands. Jana received her JD cum laude from the University of New Mexico School of Law and is admitted to practice law in Montana, New Mexico, and the District of Columbia.

Fay or Aunty Nanifay Paglinawan is our kupuna (elder), founding member of, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Pouhana O Nā Wāhine and has been a long-time advocate in the domestic violence movement for over 40 years. She retired from Women Helping Women (WHW), a non-profit agency that provides a comprehensive continuum of services to over 600 women, men, and children each year. Aunty has extensive experience facilitating women's and men’s groups, advocating with women in the Maui Community Correctional Facility and through drug treatment services at the Malama Recovery Center, working in the TRO department, and providing crisis intervention.  Aunty also taught in elementary school. She currently works part-time for the WHW Shelter providing virtual counseling sessions. Aunty currently represents the voices of families of missing and murdered Indigenous women on the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s Family Advisory Group.

Dr. Dayna Schultz, Psy. D., LSW, CSAC is Kanaka ’Ōiwi and is a founding member and the Executive Director of Pouhana O Nā Wāhine. “To understand with your heart is Aloha.” Dayna believes that everyone has a story to tell and possesses the ability to change their narrative as they grow. She welcomes individuals to share their stories with her in a safe space and at their own pace. She provides a sense of warmth, compassion and Aloha that fosters a “Kākou” (together) effort to remind each individual that she will be walking with them on their healing journey. As a Native Hawaiian Survivor of various traumas, Dayna continues to be guided by her na’au and ancestors daily in efforts of working toward ending violence from and within her people that will lead to peace, harmony, and sense of Aloha all ways, always.

Dolly M.I. Tatofi, MSW, LCSW is Kanaka ʻŌiwi and is a founding member and member of Pouhana O Nā Wāhine’s Board of Directors. She is a spiritually guided wāhine that was born and raised on the island of Oahu. She has been blessed with many experiences that have guided her to serve others that span from keiki to kūpuna. She has worked in Behavioral Health for 10+ years and has served within a Health Care Organization. Dolly is currently serving the underserved women, children, and families of Native Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific Islander descent in the ahupuaʻa of Kalihiliiolaumiha through Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services, an FQHC. Dolly has come to realize that, at this moment, part of her kuleana is to connect and support people by restoring relationships through Aloha. She believes that through the daily living in Aloha, will create, maintain, and enhance the relationships we have, not only with others but, most importantly, with the self. If we can know who we are deep inside, we will see this reflected outside of us, and then will we know what Lōkahi truly means and feels like.