Meet The Team
President, CEO, and Founder
Helena Schmitz has seventeen-plus years of environmental professional experience with degrees in Environmental Science and Environmental Toxicology amongst other professions. She has helped various groups –businesses, non-profits, Tribal organizations, and has worked with State and Federal organizations. This professional background will aid in beginning this nonprofit’s path forward, especially with her positive and creative attributes. Helena is inspired by her children and hopes to share our heritage with them.
Damon has twenty years of experience in the government sector and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and an Associate’s Degree in Aviation Management. Damon is skilled in negotiation, diplomacy, interagency cooperation, policy writing, communications, and leadership. While not a descendant of the Atux̂ (Attu), he is a champion of their cause. He has four daughters and he hopes to someday be able to bring them to Atux̂ and share with them the rich history and culture.
As a child who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s in New York City, who will describe himself as a geek/nerd, a jock, and a lover of history. Cisco has seen the effects of poverty and racism can have on a community. Cisco has strived to work to improve the lives of children and people in communities of need. Cisco is the oldest of four with three sisters. Cisco has a Bachelors degree from Valparaiso University and Master’s degree in History and Political Science from the University of New Orleans. Currently, Cisco is a Program Coordinator for Camp Fire Alaska. Cisco has been living in Anchorage, Alaska for the past eleven years.
I received my Associate Degree in Audio and Video Production and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing & Business Management from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in 1993. In 2001, I returned home to Dulce, NM. Here are a few of my significant achievements:
Served as Legislative Council Member for the Jicarilla Apache Nation from 2002 - 2006
Started service as Jicarilla Apache Nation Administration Public Relations Officer in 2008
Served on the New Mexico "Indian Day" under the State Tribal Collaboration Act to present, inform, and lobby on tribal communal issues
Selected to serve on the Tribal Economic Development Board in New Mexico
Appointed member of the Apache Alliance Board to protect and reinforce Tribal Self Determination and Tribal Sovereignty
Appointed as a key witness representing the Nation in the Multi-Tribal Redistricting Lawsuit in 2012
Elected as Legislative Council Member for the Jicarilla Apache Nation from 2014 - 2018
Nancy Billica is a political scientist who has been part of the teaching faculty at the University of Colorado Boulder since 1998. Her work focuses on public policy and US politics. In addition to her teaching, she has an extensive record working as a researcher, writer, and consultant with several public policy and nonprofit organizations related to environmental, human rights, and social policy issues. She developed some of her hands-on knowledge of politics through several years of work as a research assistant in the US Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee.
Nancy completed her PhD at Harvard University in 1997. Before that she earned a Master's degree at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and a BA at the University of California Berkeley. She considers herself a student of the world still learning and trying to figure things out.