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

    Supervisor Holly Mitchell Appointed Commissioner

    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

    Chrissie Castro

    NAIC Vice Chair

    LA City Mayoral Appointed Commissioner

    Chrissie Castro (Diné & Chicana) 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

    Native Community Appointed Commissioner

    Kimberly Morales Johnson (Gabrieleno Tongva) is an enrolled member of the San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians/Gabrieleno Tongva.  Her family maintains tradition and continuity to their tribe by living on the tribal traditional land and knowing its precious history. Kimberly currently serves as Tribal Secretary for the tribe, and as a community elected commissioner for the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission.

    Kimberly 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.  She has consulted for many publications including, Harcourt Mifflin Social Studies Text Books and with William McCawley on his most recent book, “Oh My Ancestor.”

    In 2010, Kimberly earned her Master’s in Public Health and taught Diabetes Education with Riverside San Bernardino County Indian Health.  She is currently working as Special Education Teacher in Pomona, California.  Kimberly enjoys traditional basket weaving, preparing native foods, and keeping her Native American culture alive.

  • Shawn Imitates Dog

    NAIC Treasurer

    Native Community Appointed Commissioner

    Shawn Imitates Dog (Lakota) is a human resources leader with over 20 years of experience in fitness, restaurant, hospitality, sports and entertainment industries. Shawn has led national multi-discipline teams responsible for employee relations, recruiting, training, compensation, benefits and HRIS.

    Shawn is currently the Vice President, Human Resources for Live Nation Entertainment.  Shawn is a member of various professional organizations including Society of Human Resources Management, Professionals in Human Resources Association, Entertainment Human Resources Network where he serves as a member of the Advisory Committee.

    A member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Shawn is active in the Native American community, serving as the Treasurer of the Los Angeles County/City American Indian Commission and member of the National Congress of American Indians.  He was an Advisory Member for the Red Cloud Heritage Center; Vice President of the American Indian Children’s Council; and the Southern California Indian Center where he has participated in education and fundraising activities. Shawn received the “40 Under 40” Native American Leaders Award in 2010.

    Shawn has also played an active role in the social justice and HIV/AIDS movements. He is a member of the Red Circle Project Fundraising Committee which supports AIDS Project Los Angeles and former member of the Los Angeles County HIV/AIDS Commission.  He also served on the Liberty Hill Foundation annual dinner committee.   Shawn has been a guest lecturer for UCLA and USC’s Diversity Program as well as FOX Indian Summer Program. He was also a panelist for Diversity and Inclusion Conference in 2010.

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