Waste’Win Young – President
Wasté Win Yellowlodge Young (Ihunktowanna/Hunkpapa) is an enrolled member the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. She graduated from the University of North Dakota in 2001 and worked for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Historic Preservation Office from 2003-2015 including seven years as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer. Wasté has four children and currently resides in the Long Soldier Community and the Očeti Šakowin Camp.
Robin Martinez – Secretary
Robin Martinez is an attorney from Kansas City, Missouri, licensed to practice in the States of Missouri and Kansas. His private practice focuses on business, real estate and community economic development work, with a growing emphasis on environmental public policy. He is a member of the American Bar Association’s Business Law and Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources Sections, and is the Midwest Regional Vice President for the National Lawyers Guild. Robin has been involved in challenges to hydrocarbon pipelines, having worked in opposing construction permitting for the Keystone XL Pipeline in South Dakota, and now in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Jim Wabindato – Treasurer
Jim Wabindato, Little River Band Ottawa, is a Program/Development Officer for the Indian Land Tenure Foundation. He joined ILTF in early 2014, and works on issues related to land owner education, program management, as well as policy development with tribes and at the federal level. Jim, a graduate of the University of Michigan, has worked with tribal communities throughout his professional career. He has tackled projects related to realty, economic development, enterprise management, grant writing and workforce development. Jim continues to provide support in his community by serving on various boards to help community members strengthen opportunities to improve their own circumstances.
King Downing is the Director of Mass Defense at the National Lawyers Guild’s national office. He works with lawyers, legal workers, and law students to give legal support to activists, protesters and movements for social change. He is also a lawyer and founder of the Human Rights-Racial Justice Center (H2RJ), which advocates and organizes for criminal and economic justice. Previously, he directed the Healing Justice Program of the American Friends Service Committee, and was National Coordinator of the ACLU’s Campaign Against Racial Profiling. King was also part of the Ferguson Legal Defense Committee and was an early organizer in Jena, Louisiana supporting the Jena 6, black high school students charged with attempted murder for a fistfight with a white student.
Bruce Ellison is based in Rapid City, South Dakota with over 40 years experience as a criminal defense trial, appellate and habeas attorney. Bruce was a staff attorney with the Wounded Knee Defense/Offense Committee representing AIM members and leaders. He has been one of Leonard Peltier’s lawyers since 1976. Throughout his career, he has worked to defend the rights of indigenous peoples in the Dakotas. Prior to his work with the WPLC, he was also involved in the litigation team defending water resources by challenging the Keystone XL pipeline and various uranium mining permit applications before state and federal agencies.
Jeffrey Haas is a criminal defense and civil rights attorney who represents progressive movements and victims of police abuse. A founding partner of the People’s Law Office in Chicago (1969-2003), he was co-counsel in Hampton vs. Hanrahan which exposed the police and FBI murder of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, and a successful campaign to expose Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge’s legacy of torture. He now lives in New Mexico, where he defended Mora County’s ban on fracking in civil suit by Shell Oil, and served as Chair of EcoViva, which works toward sustainable development in Central America. Author of The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther.
Rachel Lederman is a people’s lawyer based in the San Francisco Bay Area who represents protesters, prisoners, and persons whose rights have been violated by police, landlords, and employers. She is a past President of the National Lawyers Guild SF Bay Area Chapter, and a member of the NLG Mass Defense Steering Committee, the NLG National Police Accountability Project and the Oakland Law Collaborative. Rachel has successfully defended thousands of political demonstrators and has obtained significant victories in impact litigation to stop police and government repression of dissent over the last thirty years. Rachel’s ongoing work has transformed the way police handle demonstrations and crowd events in both San Francisco and Oakland.
Nick is a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation, the founding Executive Director of the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation and a father of four children. Nick has over 15 years of experience in working with non-profits and tribal nations on projects that have a social mission. As the founding executive director of Thunder Valley CDC Nick has played a vital role in creating a community development organization that is working with the local grassroots people and national organizations in the development of a sustainable regenerative community, that creates jobs, builds homes and creates new opportunity on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Since 2013 Nick has served as a local point of contact for President Obama’s Ladders of Opportunity Initiative, working to make targeted investments into America’s poorest communities. This community based grassroots work has led Tilsen to become a National leader in the Equity Movement. In 2014 Tilsen was selected as an ASHOKA Fellow joining a global network of the worlds leading social innovators.