Native American Indian Commission

Sunnie Whipple 

Candidate Biography 

I have been an active member in his community since he arrived from his reservation at 19. Whether attending or planning Native American events like pow wows or spiritual gatherings, he continues to represent his community in multiple projects with various faith and service organization to increase visibility, bring awareness and find solutions to the barriers observed and encountered in Indian Country. Examples include partnering with Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) to find resource homes for Indian children involved in ICWA, attending stakeholder gatherings like ICWA Task Force, and Los Angeles County ICWA Roundtable Stakeholder meetings. In the Department of Mental Health I have been part of the AI/AN Underserved Committee to plan conferences, and speak on panels that address historical, generational and social trauma. I have been a member on their monthly System Leadership Team to represent the Native community to bring awareness and address issues, while also emphasizing accountability, accessibility, and policy reassessment. I am also currently a co-chair on their Cultural Competency Committee. I am particularly interested in ensuring the Native American voice is heard, especially when important decisions are being made, and I continue to work diverse partners in many places to build a stronger and healthier Native American Community. 

Candidate Statement  

I want to be more involved in bringing positive change to the Indian community, to be an agent of change and empower my people, and set an example for the younger generation and get them integrated as change agents. I am particularly interested in closing the gaps of disadvantage and negative stats that reveal how underserved and unserved our community is in LA County and in the nation as a whole. I have been building inter-relationships with the Native community and “outside” world for now well over 20 years, and seek to partner with other like-minded individuals to return dignity and health to our community. I bring to the table the value of my own diverse lived experience, as well as a unique worldview. I hold fast to extended family and many friendships, as well as my own traditions and seek to collaborate with others to find effective solutions to problems rather than just talking about them. I want to see spirituality and identity strengthened and want to get other Natives involved to ensure their voice gets heard. My broad connections with many organizations including the family community can potentially be a great asset, to build a strong AI/AN Commission and stronger working relationship with the County and the many priorities that the Supervisors have set forth to engage in. Increasing cultural competency is one example.

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