Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma
Heather Miller is an enrolled member of the Wyandotte Nation from Oklahoma and has a passion for seeing Native American organizations succeed. She began her professional career in Montana where she helped Native Nonprofit organizations develop their capacity. She then worked in Seattle with a Native American Foundation where she continued to provide capacity building trainings to Native organizations as well as teach non-Native Foundations how to work appropriately with Indian Country. She has worked to develop programs, lead organizations and direct grants of various sizes. Her passion for developing capacity led her to start a consulting business where she helped Native nonprofits grow their own abilities to be successful. She recently moved to Chicago and is happy to have joined the American Indian Center team. In her free time Heather loves cooking with her partner Ryan and taking their puppy dog Winnie Cooper on walks as they explore the city.
Project Beacon Program Manager
Eastern Band Cherokee & Oneida
Kandi Fowler is a Chicago Native who began her life in the circle of uptown as a child until the late 1970’s. Kandi has an extensive history of over thirty years in human sex trafficking and addictions. She herself is a survivor of sex trafficking among many other abuseses. Kandi has dedicated her life to helping those who are still caught in that vicious cycle. She has over 15 years of experience working within a variety of social service agencies specializing in human sex trafficking, drug/alcohol addiction, mental health, HIV, Trauma and the incarcerated. Kandi is certified in Drug- Alcohol Addiction, Mentally Ill Substance Abuse, and she is a Nationally Certified Anger Management Specialist (NAMA), and most recently obtained her certification as an advocate for sexual assault/domestic violence. She is also a certified HIV-Specialist from IL. Dept. of Public Health. She holds various other certifications and is well versed in Trauma/PTSD. She is a trainer of trainers in “Breaking the chains of Trauma”Correctional Counseling, Inc. Kandi practices spiritual principles to continue to stay on the path of restoration and wholeness. Her passion for helping others is born out of her own experiences of survival and her path to empowerment. Kandi desires to help those who are still afflicted by assisting them in discovering and awakening to their own power within using holistic and culturally informed approaches.
Project Beacon Intake Case Manager
Shaan Souliere is a member of Garden River First Nation Band of Ojibwes and a new resident of Chicago. She is a Victims Advocate certified to serve survivors of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence and earned Certificates of Training for “Beauty from Ashes” / ALET-Advanced Leadership Education at Garden River First Nations. Raised in a home where socio-political issues among First Peoples were emphasized just as much as faith, music, and the arts, Shaan developed deep spiritual roots alongside a passion for equity for her people at a young age. Driven to pursue a balanced, hands-on way of experiencing life, Shaan’s professional experience is eclectic, from social justice to health and wellness, reflecting her respect for the diverse nature of creation and the belief that profound change within a society begins with healing the heart of its people. Shaan enjoys reading, sketching, writing, photography, video games, stopping to pet every dog and cat she sees, thunderstorms, her bed, and a good honest belly laugh. Also, coffee. Lots of coffee.
Development and Arts Coordinator
Dave earned his M. A. in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since 2002 he has undertaken myriad curatorial practices/exhibitions. Dave served on the Local Arts Agencies Advisory Panel for the Illinois Arts Council and taught a contemporary Native American contemporary art history course at Native American Educational Services College and the College of DuPage. He also served as a co-curator of the “Our Lives” inaugural exhibit about contemporary urban Native Americans at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC. From 2007-10, Dave was the Assistant Curator at Aurora University’s Schingoethe Center for Native American Cultures. From 2007-2015, he served on the board of directors for the First Nations Film and Video Festival. Dave remains an active consultant for Native-based public arts programming for purposes of (Native) self-representation through image, sustaining cultural practices, attaining community balance, and for the sake of pedagogical missions to the broader community. Presently, Dave is the Development and Arts Coordinator for the American Indian Center, providing leadership, coordination and program development for organizational fundraising endeavors. For several years, Dave served on the Scholarship Committee for the Association of Fundraising Professionals - Chicago Chapter. In 2013, via Native Americans in Philanthropy, Dave completed the Circles of Leadership Academy - a vital leadership development program designed to educate and empower Native American leadership in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors.
First Nations Oji-Cree
An advocate of social and environmental justice, Fawn has been raising awareness of Native Peoples living in Chicago with the goal of contributing to the personal sovereignty, healing, and educational pursuits of Indigenous people.
As the Education Coordinator, Fawn’s work is divided into 3 main categories Youth and Family Services, Education Reform, and Indigenous Ecology. Through her work Fawn advocates and educates for the protection of Indigenous plants, heritage foods, artistic expression and oral histories through developing ongoing programs such as Indigenous Science Series: Reclaiming Chicago. Fawn is also a founding member of Chi-Nations Youth Council and has served the American Indian Community twice as Miss Indian Chicago. In addition, Fawn is a Grow Your Own Candidate and collaborator on the Teacher Testimony Project; which is focuses on uplifting and empowering teachers of color as change agents in their communities.
Bookkeeper and Administrative Assistant
Ojibwe, Ponca & Sioux
My name is Stephanie Taylor and I am an Enrolled member of Lac Courte Oreilles from Hayward WI. I earned my A.A.S in Business Management at The College of Office Technology. I was born and raised here in the city of Chicago, my mother is Sharon Taylor and my Father is Malcom Big Bear.
I have 3 beautiful Children, 10-7- and 3. I grew up in and around the American Indian Center most of my childhood and into adult years. Feels great to be apart of a wonderful organization
Grounds & Maintenance Manager
Sisseton Wahpeton Lakota