Terry L. Janis – Executive Director
Over the years, Terry Janis (Oglala Lakota), has worked extensively on Native American and international indigenous education and human rights issues. Working through organizations such as the University of Arizona, the Indian Law Resource Center, and Northern Arizona University Janis has consistently combined education and law to work with Indian leaders and students to advocate for indigenous rights. Janis joined Water Protector Legal Collective (WPLC) as Executive Director in August 2017. Before this, Mr. Janis served as Senior Fellow at the Sabo Center for Civics and Governance, Augsburg University, where his research focused on improving educational achievement, organizational capacity and indigenous governance; President at White Earth Tribal and Community College where he successfully led the Colleges efforts to reestablish its accreditation from probation to full accreditation in a regular reporting cycle; Manager of the White Earth Nation Constitution Reform process where he led a community-wide education and information campaign on their then, Proposed Constitution; and Program Officer at the Indian Land Tenure Foundation and Northwest Area Foundation where he managed the grant making and program activities.
Currently, Janis is a member of the State Bar of Arizona, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Niibi Center on the White Earth Nation. Janis holds a bachelor’s degree from Macalester College, a master’s in education from Harvard University, and a law degree from the University of Arizona. Mr. Janis is honored and inspired by the spirit and energy of his wife of 32 years, Olivia, and the courage and compassion of his twenty-three year old son, Hoka.
Andrea Carter – Defense Council Coordinator
Andrea Carter is a staff attorney and North Dakota Pro Hac Vice attorney coordinator. She completed a B.A. in Political Science at Oakland University. She received a J.D. From Thomas Jefferson School of Law. She is licensed in California and the 8th and 9th Federal District Courts. Her legal focus centers around public interest, criminal, cooperatives, public trusts, employment, and civil liberties law. She has studied in China and interned in several countries in South and Central America and is working on becoming fluent in Spanish. She was the recipient of a Public Interest Law Grant in 2006, the Haywood Burns Fellowship in 2007, the Charles T. Bumer Civil Libertarian Award in 2008, and has performed hundreds of hours of pro bono and low bono legal service. She participated in teaching in the Street Law program and is interested in community workshops and the democratization of the law. She has given Know Your Rights and Legal Observer Trainings. She volunteered on the ground at Standing Rock in 2016. Andrea is a strong proponent of indigenous sovereignty and the public commons.
Jessica Beheler – Public Relations
Sacheen Whitetail-Cross – Development Director
Kelsey Hunte – Office Manager