MEET THE TEAM
Eric Sanchez is the Executive Director for Pukúu Cultural Community Services. Eric is both Navajo and Mexican and hails from Long Beach, California. Eric’s clans are Kinyaa’aanii and Nakai Dine,
while his father is Tejano from San Antonio, Texas, while some of Eric’s mother’s family is also Mexican- Eric believes strongly in honoring all sides of his heritage. Eric has worked as a
Partnership Specialist with the United States Census Bureau, a Research Analyst with the Tribal Learning Community and Educational Exchange (TLCEE) program, Program Associate with the Leadership Development in Interethnic Relations (LDIR) program and most recently worked as a Care Coordinator for Seven Generations Child and Family Services with United American Indian Involvement (UAII) in downtown Los Angeles for close to seven years. Eric earned three degrees at
the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA): a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, a Juris Doctorate in Law, and a Masters in American Indian Studies at UCLA. Eric was very involved during his time at UCLA, serving as a member of the American Indian Student Association, Native American Law Students Association, the Indigenous Peoples’ Journal of Law, Culture and Resistance, and as staff/volunteer with the American Indian Recruitment (AIR) project. During his studies at UCLA, Eric was able to work with Indigenous communities in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Brazil, and was trained in various indigenous methodologies, especially in terms of
research and organizing. Eric currently serves on the boards of the American Indian Community Council and the American Indian Alumni of UCLA. Eric has previously served on the Board of
Directors for Pukúu Cultural Community Services for 8 years before resigning and accepting the Executive Director position earlier in 2019.
Avril Cordova is a mother, daughter, community member and entrepreneur. Avril is an enrolled member of the 19th pueblo in the Southwest -Tiwa Tribe of Taos, New Mexico on her father’s side. She is 6th Generation from Chief Red Cloud of the Oglala Lakota Nation from Pine Ridge South Dakota on her mother’s side. Avril is the owner/operator of AC and Associates and has been an Entrepreneur since October 2019.
Avril's past work in the Los Angeles Indian community includes parent advocacy, care coordination on mental health treatment teams, technical assistance, facilitation of 8 week court approved parenting classes, event planning, coordination and data driven family/youth activities. As a master facilitator Avril has conducted online Train the Trainer Positive Indian Parenting curriculum to Indian Country which allows trainees the necessary template to experience large and small group learning, participate in facilitated discussion groups, tools to design and implement Positive Indian Parenting (PIP) classes in their own culturally appropriate version of the PIP program in their tribal communities. As a master facilitator and Tribal Tech LLC, Consultant Avril has had the opportunity to connect communities during the pandemic through the Gathering Of Native Americans (GONA) curriculum allowing her to provide support and facilitate virtual GONA trainings.
Avril is a proud parent of a 27 year old daughter and a Unci (grandmother) of two 8th Generation Chief Red Cloud grandchildren. Avril is the proud Honoree of the 2021 Community Award given by Pukuu Cultural Community Services.
You can follow Avril Cordova of AC and Associates on all major social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. You are welcome to visit these platforms to see the past and current work that fills her heart, connects, educates and empowers communities.
Waunshila Jealous Of Him is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, by her Father, Gary Prettybird, who is from the Redshirt Table District and her Mother, Deborah JealousOfHim, who is from the Porqupine District, both of Pineridge, South Dakota.
Waunshila was born in Rapid City, South Dakota and raised in Northern California on the Hupa Reservation. She is a proud mother of 3 sons, 2 daughters and role models a positive lifestyle to her children. Waunshila goes back to Pineridge to be with Family and attend Ceremony when she can.
Waunshila has been involved with the American Indian/Alaskan Native Community throughout Northern and Southern California for 23 years. She is currently employed at the United American Indian Involvement, Seven Generations Child and Family Services, as Care Coordinator for 7 years for the Dept of Mental Health and Prevention and Aftercare programs.
Justine Medina is a member of the Navajo Nation, Ho-Chunk and Menominee. Justine's passion for empowering the Native community started at the age of 15 when she started to volunteer for the American Indian Community Council and is a proud board member today. She is currently a Community Organizer at the California Native Vote Project.
Justine received her B.A. in Political Science from California State University, Los Angeles and a M.A. in International Administration from the University of Denver (DU). Growing up in Inglewood and Pico Rivera, she calls Los Angeles County home.
Susan Jackson is a member of Ft. Yuma Quechan Tribe and Laguna Pueblo from the village of Paguate (Badger Clan and Coyote Clan). Susan currently a Care Coordinator at United American Indian Involvement in the Seven Generations Department in the Prevention and Aftercare Program. Susan has a Bachelor’s in Science in Human Services from the University of Phoenix.
Susan is a pow wow dancer and has traveled to many pow wows throughout Indian country. Susan held a princess title as Ms. UCLA Pow Wow Princess 2014-2015. Susan has also hosted/coordinate different pow wow pageants. Susan has had the honors to be apart of head staff as the Head Woman Dancer at many different Pow Wows. Susan has coordinated the AICC Pow Wow and AICC foodbooth. Susan is honored to be apart of AICC as a Board Member and continue to strive for community wellness and engagement.
GEORGE LONE ELK
Bio coming soon
Hupa/Yurok- registered Hupa Tribal Member. Owner of Native Ragazza.
Roberta Javier was born in Nampa, Idaho, raised in Arizona, Oklahoma and California. Her ancestors are Cherokee/ Sac and Fox. Sadly, breaks in the family chain due to adoptions and removal have made successful lineage completion and enrollment impossible.
Roberta was raised in LA County foster homes from 1958-1968. She was discouraged/punished when she wore braids,researched/learned native ways and for participating in any contact with other native people or functions. She left foster care at 16 and married to emancipate. Now, Roberta has 1 son, 3 daughters, 8 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Once her children were over 18, she returned to school.
Roberta received her AA at LA City College, her BA in Social Welfare at UC Berkeley in 2005 and her Master in Social Work at Cal State, Los Angeles in 2009.
Roberta started working for Department of Children and Family Services just prior to her master's thesis completion and award of her MSW. She began her employment with DCFS and stayed in the American Indian Unit for 11 1/2 year career before retiring in August 2018. Currently she continues and loves her volunteer work in the community, improving lives of our community, especially those in out of home/foster care.