Meet the NIEA Board of Directors



Dr. Jolene Bowman
Stockbridge Munsee Community Band of Mohican Indians

Dr. Bowman’s strong conviction for equality in Native education is what drives her compassion to work collaboratively at removing barriers and improving the education experience.  Her grandparents, mother, and aunts unknowingly served as change agents by supporting active thoughts, ideas, and/or dreams which in turn motivated her passion to serve others in the capacity of, cultivating academic and career mindsets for a sustainable future from Pre-K through Higher Education.  She has 25 years of tribal work experience including being the Director of Education, Employment, and Training for the past eleven years.  In addition, she is serving her second one-year-term as Vice-President for Stockbridge-Munsee Community while also serving on the Wisconsin Indian Education Association and the Wisconsin Tribal Education Directors Association.  Dr. Bowman believes that as a collective voice we can build, support, and believe in the dreams of others to encourage success for a better world.

Christopher Bordeaux
Sicangu Lakota
Vice President

Chris is an enrolled member of the Sicangu Lakota, Rosebud Sioux Tribe. He holds a BS in Elementary Education from Black Hills State College, a Gifted/Talented endorsement from University of SD, and a MA in Education Administration from Oglala Lakota College. He has participated on many education boards, provided testimony for congressional representatives, participated on negotiated rule making committees, and reviewed curriculum for a transition program for high school students to college in Minnesota.


Angie Butler
Confederated Tribes of Siletz
General Board Member

Ms Butler is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon. She advocates for equitable access to education and services for tribal members with disabilities. Ultimately her efforts address the ongoing disparities that exist within systems and promote change and equity.

Ms Butler has several years of experience working in Indian Country in a variety of fields, which include: child welfare, prevention, cessation, education, vocational rehabilitation and policy development. Butler is currently the Director for the Siletz Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Program. In addition, she serves on the Oregon’s Governor State Independent Living Council, participates in the Portland State University Rehabilitation Advisory Board,  and served for three years on the Consortia of Administrators for Native American Rehabilitation Board as the education committee chair.

Butler received her BS in Social Sciences from Portland State University and her MEd in Education and Curriculum Development from the University of Oregon. She enjoys running, yoga, hiking, days at the beach, family and social time with friends.


Robin Butterfield
Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, Chippewa

Robin Butterfield (Winnebago/Chippewa) has over 45 years of experience in Native education. She has been a teacher; a district administrator; worked in several Indian education offices and regional educational technical assistance centers in the Northwest; and the BIA. Retired from the NEA, she is currently writing for the National Indian Parent Center (NAPTAC) which supports Special Education Centers. She is a proud parent of three children; all graduated from the University of Oregon.


Fredina Drye-Romero
Kaibab Band of Paiute
General Board Member

An enrolled member of the Kaibab Band of Paiute and a descendent of the Moapa Band of Paiute, she holds a BA from Haskell Indian Nations University and a MS from the University of Kansas. At the Nevada Department of Education, she serves as the Education Programs Professional for Indian Education. She serves on the Haskell Foundation Board; Indian Education Advisory Board and Region IX Equity Assistance Center Advisory Board at WestEd; and the Indian Education Advisory Committee for Nevada.


Samantha Eldridge
Navajo Nation

Samantha Eldridge is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. She received a Bachelors of Science in Sociology and a Masters of Public Administration and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Utah. Her research examines the historical and institutional structures that create inequitable policies, practices and barriers that impede the success of Native American communities; specifically matters of public administration, representation and governance.


Darrick Franklin
General Board Member

Mr. Darrick Franklin is from the Diné (Navajo) tribe from Twin Lakes, New Mexico.  He graduated from Tohatchi High School in Tohatchi, New Mexico.  He earned is Bachelors of Science degree from Northern Arizona University (NAU) in Flagstaff, Arizona and minored in Navajo.  Mr. Franklin also attended San Diego State University and earned a Master’s of Science degree in Education, Specialization in School Counseling.


Marita Hinds
Tesuque Pueblo

Marita Hinds is a member of Tesuque Pueblo and a mother of two adult daughters. She comes from a family of artists, and grew up with parents who strongly encouraged higher education. She is a very active member in her tribal community. She has a degree in Museum Studies and a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History. She worked in higher education at the Institute of American Indian Arts for a cumulative period of 18 years. She currently works at her Pueblo’s Tribal Grant school, Te Tsu Geh Oweenge School. She sits on various advisory committee’s in the Santa Fe community and does consulting work.


dr. renée holt

dr. renée holt, is Dine enrolled Nimiipuu and works at the Washington State University as a project director and clinical faculty in teacher education on her traditional homelands. A mother of 3, her area of research foci centers Indigenous knowledge systems, reclaiming languages, and decolonizing education through Indigenous research and ancestral ways of knowing. As a project director, she oversees the Titooqan Cuukweneewit project working closely with Indigenous pre and in-service teachers, principal candidates, tribal nations, allied faculty, and higher ed and state administrators using culturally sustaining and revitalizing pedagogies in eastern WA public schools. 


Michael Vendiola
General Board Member

Michael Vendiola (Swinomish/Lummi/Visayan) is the Program Supervisor for the Office of Native Education (ONE) at the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. ONE oversees the implementation of the Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State curriculum, the State’s State-Tribal Education Compact schools (STECs), and provides consultation and support to Tribal and Indian Education programs across the state. Vendiola served previously as the Swinomish Communications director, a coordinator/activities adviser at Western Washington University, and the director of student activities at Northwest Indian College, totaling over 20 years in education. He earned a master’s degree in adult education administration from Western Washington University, and also earned his bachelor’s in American Cultural Studies from Western Washington.



Margaret Landin
Arikara, Hidatsa, and Assiniboine

Margaret Landin is a senior at United Tribes Technical College in the Elementary Education and Business program.  She is an enrolled member of MHA Nation and is Arikara, Hidatsa, and Assiniboine. She is married and has two wonderful children. She lives in Bismarck, N.D. and calls White shield, N.D. her home. She actively participates in a variety of activities and events as a previous president of the Student Professional Education Council (SPEC) at United Tribes Technical College (UTTC).