Native American Indian Commission

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of the Commission has the authority to take any action when necessary in behalf of the Commission between regular meetings of the Commission. It has the general supervision of the affairs of the Commission and may prepare any recommendations for its review and action. In addition the Executive Committee provides direction to the Executive Director in the conduct of the affairs of the Commission when required.

  • Cheri Thomas

    NAIC Chair

    Cheri L. Thomas

    LANAIC Chair

    Supervisor Holly Mitchell Appointed Commissioner

    Quinault & Yurok

    Cheri L. Thomas is an enrolled member of the Quinault Indian Nation and also of Yurok descent.  Chair Thomas was community-elected to the Commission in 2002 and is a Principal Administrative Analyst at the Los Angeles Unified School District.

    As a member of the Commission, she has presented at the World Indigenous People’s Conference on Education (Australia 2022, New Zealand 2005), Harvard University, Haskell Indian Nations University and the California Department of Education.  Every March she returns to Washington State to participate in Quinault Nation General Council meetings.

    Her main areas of interest are education, organizational change and climate issues.As an American Red Cross volunteer Chair Thomas has been deployed to New York for September 11 efforts; Houston with Hurricane Katrina evacuees; and 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake relief.  She has also volunteered locally for President George H. W. Bush, Vice President Dan Quayle, Special Olympics World Games, Super Bowl 56, and the 9th Summit of the Americas.

    She also enjoys being a member of philanthropic community organization Epsilon Sigma Alpha. Cheri has traveled to Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe and South America and written a book about her travels over the years.

  • Chrissie Castro

    NAIC Vice Chair

    Chrissie Castro

    LANAIC Vice Chair

    LA City Mayoral Appointed Commissioner

    Diné & Chicana

    Chrissie Castro is the Vice Chair of the Los Angeles City and County Native American Indian Commission, and co-led the change to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day in the city and County of Los Angeles; She was a co-founder of Indigenous Women Rise, which organized the Indigenous women’s contingent of 1,000 Indigenous Women at the Women’s March in DC. She is the Network Weaver of the Native Voice Network, a national network of 35+ Native-led organizations that mobilize through indigenous cultural values; and recently launched two projects to build community and political power of Native communities – locally, the California Native Vote Project and nationally, Advance Native Political Leadership

  • Kimberly Morales Johnson

    NAIC Secretary


    Kimberly Morales Johnson

    LANAIC Secretary

    Community Elected Commissioner

     Gabrieleno Tongva

    Kimberly Morales Johnson (Gabrieleno/Tongva – San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians). Joined the Commission in 2021 and was previously on the commission in 2001. Her family maintains tradition and continuity to their tribe by living on the tribal traditional land and knowing its precious history.

    Ms. Morales Johnson has been active in Native American politics and culture, maintaining her family traditions all of her life. Her father served as tribal chairman and was one of the first to serve as a Native American Monitor for the State of California. She and her family have been featured in documentaries and several books, regarding the Native people of the Los Angeles Basin. Kimberly has given various presentations to several local colleges and universities about the Gabrieleno/Tongva and maintaining cultural traditions.

    After teaching elementary school for several years, in 2010, Ms. Morales Johnson earned her Master’s in Public Health and taught Diabetes Education with Riverside San Bernardino County Indian Health. She recently stopped working as a Special Education Teacher in Pomona, California to pursue her PhD in Native American Studies at UC Davis. Her passion is to tell the story of the Tongva with, by and for the community.

  • Shawn Imitates Dog

    NAIC Treasurer

    Shawn Imitates Dog

    LANAIC Treasurer

    Community Elected Commissioner


    Shawn Imitates Dog, Oglala Sioux Tribal Member, joined the commission back in 2017 as a community elected commissioner.

    Shawn is currently the Vice President, Head of Human Resources in the entertainment and tech sector. Shawn has held leadership roles for over 25 years for companies such as House of Blues, Live Nation, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), and Creative Artists Agency (CAA)

    Shawn also has a passion for helping Veterans build their careers. He created a Veteran Apprentice Program while at Live Nation, and previously sat on the board of directors for Veterans in Entertainment and Media.

    Shawn’s main passion is working with his American Indian community. He enjoys volunteering for different cultural and community events.

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