The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian welcomes three new members to its board of trustees.
The National Museum of the American Indian’s board of trustees was created by the 1989 legislation (National Museum of the American Indian Act) that established the museum. It consists of 23 members who serve staggered three-year terms.
The board has specific responsibilities in certain areas of the museum’s governance, including management of the collection, use of the collection, budget and advice, and assistance regarding museum operations.
The Smithsonian’s Secretary, the Smithsonian’s Under Secretary for Museums and Culture and the museum’s director are ex officio members of the board. New members are appointed by the Institution’s Board of Regents.
Kathy Hopinkah Hannan (Ho-Chunk) is the board chair, and Cynthia Chavez Lamar (San Felipe Pueblo) is the museum’s director.
“The addition of these three members brings fresh perspectives and depth of expertise in new areas,” Hannan said. “Their appointments, along with the selection of Cynthia Chavez Lamar as the new director, further bolsters the museum’s stewardship by ensuring a greater diversity of Native voices at the foundation of its governance.”
The New Members
Christian Allaire (Ojibwe); New York City
Christian Allaire is the fashion and style writer at Vogue in New York City. Allaire is First Nations and grew up on the Nipissing First Nation reserve in Ontario, Canada. After earning his Bachelor of Journalism degree from Ryerson University in 2014, he moved to New York to begin his career as a fashion editor at Footwear News, a position he held for three years. Allaire recently published his first book, The Power of Style: How Fashion and Beauty Are Being Used to Reclaim Culture. He has also freelanced for Vogue, Elle, Mr. Porter, Hazlitt, Refinery 29 and more.
Johnson Cerda (Kichwa); Arlington, Va.
Johnson Cerda conducts research related to climate change, biodiversity and protected areas in Ecuador. Cerda is an indigenous Kichwa of the Ecuadorian Amazon (Comuna Santa Elena – Limoncocha). He has worked with Indigenous organizations in Ecuador and in the regional confederation of Indigenous peoples of the Amazon, Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas de la Amazonia Ecuatoriana. He has collaborated with government institutions in Ecuador such as the Development Council of Nationalities and Peoples of Ecuador and the Institute for Eco Development of the Amazon Region. In 2000, Cerda was nominated by Indigenous organizations in the Amazon to serve as co-director of the Amazon Alliance in Washington, D.C., where he worked until 2005. He has since returned to work in Ecuador, conducting research related to climate change, biodiversity and protected areas. He is a former member of the Indigenous Parliament of the Ecuadorian Amazon representing FOKISE, and was a member of a Technical Advisory Panel of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility of the World Bank. Cerda has been working with Conservation International as Indigenous advisor since February 2009.
Lacey Horn (Cherokee Nation); Tulsa, Okla.
Lacey Horn is the chief executive officer of Native Advisory, a strategic financial consulting firm. Through this work, she advises tribal leaders on best practices so they can accomplish True Tribal Sovereignty, a multi-level approach to a thriving tribal existence. She is also the founder of the Native Opportunity Zone Fund LLP (NOZF), and in summer 2020, she merged the NOZF for greater scale with Verte OZ, a qualified opportunity fund. From 2011 to 2019, Horn was the treasurer of the Cherokee Nation, the largest federally recognized Native American tribe. She oversaw all financial functions of the tribal government, including the tribe’s $1.2 billion annual budget. Horn’s efforts were integral to a $400 million capital and IT expansion of the nation’s health-care system, which is the largest of its kind. She produced eight years of perfectly clean audits, upgraded the nation’s bond rating and modernized the nation’s treasury and investment strategies. She began her career with Hunt Oil and KPMG Chicago as an auditor and is a licensed CPA. Horn serves on several advisory committees including the U.S. Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee, on which she is the chairperson. She is on the board for the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits and is the chairwoman for the Native American Rights Fund. She has two degrees from Southern Methodist University and was named their 2017 “Emerging Leader.”
The National Museum of the American Indian Board of Trustees
Chair Kathy Hopinkah Hannan (Ho-Chunk)
Vice Chair Greg Sarris (Graton Rancheria)
Secretary Allison Hicks (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation)
Christian Allaire (Ojibwe)
Barbara Davis Blum
Pearl Brower (Inupiaq and Chippewa)
Johnson Cerda (Kichwa)
Philip J. Deloria (Dakota)
Olivia Hoeft (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin)
Lacey Horn (Cherokee)
Shari M. Huhndorf (Yup’ik)
G. Peter Jemison (Seneca)
Colin Kippen (Native Hawaiian)
Robert R. McGhee (Poarch Creek)
Elaine F. Peters (Ak-Chin)
Ann Silverman (Ojibwe)
Gregory A. Smith
Julie Fate Sullivan (Koyukon Athabascan)
Leslie Wheelock (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin)
Armstrong Wiggins (Miskito)
Kevin Gover (Pawnee), Smithsonian’s Under Secretary for Museums and Culture
Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian
The museum in Washington, D.C., is located on the National Mall at Fourth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The museum in New York City is located at One Bowling Green. Connect with the museum on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and AmericanIndian.si.edu.