Coconino County Supervisor Lena Fowler was recently elected as chairwoman of the Native American Advisory Board at Northern Arizona University. Fowler, who is Navajo, is serving her third term as Coconino County Supervisor for District 5, which covers much of the northern part of Coconino County. Robert “Bob” Roessel (Navajo), executive principal, intergovernmental affairs for Salt River Project, was elected vice chairman.

In 1994, the Arizona Board of Regents created the Institute for Native Americans to enhance NAU’s visibility and standing of Native American programs and to serve as a catalyst and coordinating body for new initiatives that relate to Native Americans.

“It is an honor and privilege to chair the NAU Native American Advisory Board,” Fowler said. “I look forward to working together with the university and the board to continue advancing programs and initiatives that support and recognize Native American students.”

In 2016, NAU President Rita Cheng reorganized and strengthened its Native American programs by creating the Office of Native American Initiatives (ONAI) and appointed Chad Hamill as vice president to strategically focus on NAU’s goal to become the nation’s leading university serving Native Americans. In addition to the Native American Advisory Board advocating for Native American student success programs and new initiatives, it also advises the Office of Native American Initiatives and university president.

“I am grateful for Supervisor Fowler’s continued leadership and commitment to NAU and our Native American population,” Cheng said. “It is important that we work together to help all of our students succeed during their time at NAU and after graduation, and the Native American Advisory Board plays a major role in that success.”

Other members who serve on the Native American Advisory Board are Jonathan Nez, vice president of Navajo Nation; Ronnie Lupe, chairman of White Mountain Apache Tribe; Terry Rambler, chairman of San Carlos Apache Tribe; Damon Clarke, chairman of Hualapai Tribe; Tim Williams, chairman of Fort Mojave Indian Tribe; Herman Honanie, former chairman of Hopi Tribe; Jamie Fullmer, former chairman of Yavapai-Apache Nation; and LuAnn Leonard, former member the Arizona Board of Regents