Board of Directors
Shayai Lucero BS Biology, Minor Chemistry
Pueblo of Acoma/Pueblo of Laguna
Shayai Lucero was born and raised on the reservations of the Pueblos of Acoma and Laguna. She is of the Roadrunner clan for her mother and a Turkey Child for her father. In 2008, Shayai graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. It took Shayai 16 years from her high school graduation to finish college, but during that time she was Miss Indian World (1997), worked for the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the All Indian Pueblo Council, and as the Tribal Liaison for Native Visions (a Native American media arts company). Upon graduating from college, Shayai became an entrepreneur with the purchase of a floral shop on the Pueblo of Laguna reservation. She is the owner and an award winning floral designer at Earth & Sky Floral Designs and Gallery.
Shayai is a lifelong student of the traditional Pueblo healing methods. She began studying Pueblo traditional medicinal plants when she was 13 years old from her elders and relatives at Acoma and Laguna. She also published a book on the medicinal plants in 1997. In 2005, she received her Certificate in Traditional Mexican Healing. The program was a joint certification with La Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos, el Centro de Desarrollo Humano hacia la Communidad, A.C. and the University of New Mexico. When asked to treat clients, Shayai has integrated Curanderismo Medicine with traditional Pueblo healing.
Shayai remains active in her community in the promotion of STEM and Woman/Native American Entrepreneurship and as an ally of the LGBTIQ2S Community. She was selected as a "Changemaker" to attend the United State of Women Summit (2016) hosted by The Obama White House. In 2017, Shayai was nominated by Native America Calling producers to become a TEDxABQ speaker. Her speech/video is available online where she discusses how she incorporates traditional Pueblo teachings into issues of patience and tolerance. Shayai has also spoken on Capitol Hill to advocate rural and Native American business concerns and needs to Congressional Leaders. She also is a Sequoyah Fellow for the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), where she also was given the lifetime appointment of Elders Helper for the AISES Council of Elders.
Shayai and her life partner Aaron Fry currently reside on the Pueblo of Laguna reservation where they are raising their two children, Kaweshchima and Maityaitsa. They live next door to her parents, Cecelia and the late Stanley, and her brother Haitsi.
Caroline Davis MPH, CHES
Board Vice President
Dine (Navajo Nation)
Caroline is Dine (Navajo) and an Arizona native. She is Tahneeszahnii, born for German people, her maternal grandfather was Tachiiini and her paternal grandfather was Irish. Caroline was born and raised in Tuba City, Arizona on the Navajo Nation.
Caroline received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Northern Arizona University in 2007 and her Masters of Public Health from New Mexico State University in 2013. Since graduating from NMSU Caroline has worked in a variety of settings and capacities within the field of public health. She has gained experience and expertise in Native American health, chronic health condition management, infant/child/adolescent development, healthcare capacity building, and health equity. She is experienced in program planning and implementation, strategic planning, program evaluation, and data analysis.
Her passion for infant and maternal health came from her own personal experience. After having an unnecessary c-section in 2009 to give birth to her son she looked into the possibility of a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) for any future children she might decide to have. She became very involved in being an advocate for breastfeeding and improved environmental factors to support breastfeeding success. Very passionate about her baby's health, her interest in public health was born as well. In 2016, Caroline was blessed with a second pregnancy and continued her research in being able to have a VBAC. Under the care of a midwife in Flagstaff, Arizona in October of 2016 Caroline and her husband Kenny welcomed their daughter, Eliana, after a successful unmedicated VBAC birth. Following the collective experience of giving birth to both her children she has become a strong advocate for maternal rights and safety in giving birth.
Tiana Begay BA Anthropology, Double Minor Global Health and Sustainability
Dine (Navajo Nation)/Hopi
Tiana is Diné (Navajo) and Hopi. She was raised in the Navajo Nation until she moved to Phoenix, AZ to pursue school at Arizona State University. She is Tódich'iinii (Bitter Water) born for Bit'ahnii (Under His Cover). Her maternal grandfather is Kiis'aanii (Hopi) and her paternal grandmother is Táchii'nii (Red Running into the Water). She graduated in December 2020 with a B.A. in Anthropology and a double minor in Global Health and Sustainability. It was a long, 10 year journey to complete her degree but she came back ready to contribute to communities like her own.
She has worked with non-profits for 6 years with a focus on serving Indigenous communities. Her interest in data sovereignty and community care in Native communities led her to work in maternal and infant child care and child development. She has had the honor of working with mothers and children from the southwest to children attending school in rural Alaska. She is committed to the decolonization of services within Indigenous communities across colonial borders. She wants to advocate for more locally informed and traditional practices in BIPOC communities.
She is a program associate with the NDN Collective, Inc. and is working to decolonize the grantmaking process. She resides on Dena'ina lands, also known as Anchorage, Alaska with her partner, two dogs, and a rabbit. She enjoys spending the winters puzzling and reading and the summers hiking and kayaking. As a lifelong learner, she enjoys learning new skills and self teaching on various topics. Her sobriety has been integral to stepping outside of her comfort zone and becoming proactive about finding communities of care. She is looking forward to being in community with friends and relatives from all walks of life.
Linda "Lyn" Henderson BS in Human and Community Service, MPA Candidate
Maymangwa Flying Earth, Esq. BA, JD
Interim Director of Native American Health Policy
Lakota/Dakota, Anishinaabe, Akimel O'odham
Maymangwa Flying Earth, Esq. grew up on the Standing Rock reservation along the banks of the Missouri River. She has tribal affiliations to the Standing Rock Lakota/Dakota and the White Earth Anishinaabe. Maymangwa is an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Community.
Maymangwa earned her Bachelor’s of Arts in Indigenous Legal and Sociopolitical History from the University of Minnesota. She earned her Juris Doctor from Cornell Law School in 2006. While in law school, she served as president of the National Native American Law Student Association and served as a Teaching Assistant in the Pre-Law Summer Institute at the University of New Mexico. After law school, she clerked at the United States Court of Federal Claims. Since becoming an attorney she has worked on various Federal Indian law matters including, tribal trust issues, federal recognition, and jurisdiction. Most recently, she has worked on small business regulatory matters and government contracting.
Since the birth of her two children, Maymangwa has recognized a
need for birth justice advocates in Indian Country. After completing the Indigenous Breastfeeding Counselor training in 2018, she founded the Colorado Indigenous Breastfeeding Coalition. Maymangwa is excited to advance the revitalization of Indigenous birth practices by assisting
Indigenous birth workers and tribal leaders assert their sovereignty and reclaim Indigenous birth practices on tribal lands.
Kandyce J. Garcia BS Community Health Engagement
Director of Community Engagement
Kandyce was born and raised in Kewa Pueblo. Her parents are Jose Tenorio and Rochelle Garcia of Kewa Pueblo, she currently resides in Kewa with her grandparents, mother and partner. Kandyce is recently brought new life into the world and is a new Mom. She is constantly surrounded by her community, so it is only fitting that her motivation and strength come from her family and community, as well as the practices of her ancestors. Kandyce is forging community health by creating a paradigm shift in tribal communities.
In 2018, Kandyce graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health Education. Upon graduating from college, Kandyce became a prevention and linkage coordinator for rural communities in New Mexico. She has always worked with communities of color in developing sustainable strategies for effective and long-term interventions. Kandyce has extensive knowledge in Community Health and Community Based Participatory Research, as an orientation for working and partnering with Latino and other Indigenous communities of color. Kandyce is passionate about advocating for health equity, sustainability and equality for the LGBTQ+ community.
Kandyce is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Community Health Education; upon graduation she plans to focus on population health as opposed to individual health. Kandyce’s goal is to promote health education by incorporating traditional pueblo customs with community health.
Memarie Tsosie BA Psychology, BS Political Science
Organizational Development Director
Dine (Navajo Nation)
Memarie Tsosie is a member of the Navajo Nation. Her clan is Salt Clan, born for the One-Who-Walks-Around Clan. She comes from a family of educators and mental health professionals. Memarie attended Northern Arizona University and graduated with dual bachelor’s degrees in psychology and political science. She is passionate about improving the lives of young children and their families, especially in services rooted in Indigenous practices.
Memarie is currently the Regional Director for the Navajo Nation Region at First Things First, an organization that partners with families and communities throughout Arizona to support the healthy development of young children. The Navajo Nation Region region covers nearly 16,000 square miles in the northeast corner of the state, stretching across Apache, Navajo and Coconino counties. In her current position, Memarie supports the Navajo Nation Regional Partnership Council in developing and implementing their multi-year strategic plan that meets the needs of families with children birth to five years old in the region. Her leadership, along with the Regional Council, tribe and community partners, has helped to increase access to quality early education, health and family support programs. She also worked for First Things First previously as the Community Outreach Coordinator and was responsible for executing targeted educational outreach and engagement strategies targeted toward civic-minded individuals, including tribal and community leaders.
In her work with non-profit Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment (COPE), she served as a Project Manager for the Food Access team. She led her team in developing and implementing a culturally appropriate Healthy Stores Initiative Toolkit for small stores throughout Navajo Nation. The toolkit helped to increase the availability of fresh produce in areas designated as food deserts. Memarie also supported the implementation of the COPE Fruits and Vegetable Prescription program, an innovative initiative that partnered with healthcare providers and local retailers on the Navajo Nation to promote healthy eating for at-risk families, including prenatal mothers and young children.
Memarie also spent time in college as a Community Organizer to increase voter registration and participation for the Arizona Democratic Party and Organizing for America. After graduation she was immediately hired as the Tribal Field Coordinator for the Arizona Secretary of State candidate, who was the first Native American to win a statewide primary in the history of Arizona. Throughout her career, Memarie has always striven for equity and access for Indigenous people.