Staff and committees
Jenée Ornelas is the Education and Cultural Learning Department Program Director for the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians. Her mother is a Tataviam and of Mexican descent. Her father was of Spaniard, Filipino and Mexican descent. She graduated from Cal State University, Northridge (CSUN) in 2019 with a BA in Child and Adolescent Development and is a member of the TAU SIGMA National Honors Society for Transferred Students. Outside of her work she is known for her obsession with Disneyland and posting photos of her dogs.
(818) 837 - 0794 ext. 206
Natasha Daniels is the Education and Cultural Learning Department Program Coordinator. Natasha is Iñupiat from Utqiagvik, Alaska on her father’s side and Choctaw of Oklahoma on her mother’s side. She graduated from Stanford University in 2016 with a BA in Psychology and is passionate about accessible adolescent mental health care. On her free time, you can find Natasha accidentally dipping paintbrushes in her cups of tea.
(818) 837 -0794 ext. 220
(818) 837-0794 ext. 207
Parent Advisory Committee
Beyond government support, the American Indian Education Center (AIEC) program grant requires each funded center to compose its own Parent Advisory Committee (PAC), who have created their own bylaws and expectations for the future. Through effective parental participation, ECLD will work collaboratively to help empower parents and make them active agents in the academic career of the students. PAC is also in charge of program fundraising planning and events.
The committee is formed of parents and those knowledgeable of the importance of education for Native youth.
Education Tribal Council
The Tribal Administration houses the Department of Education and Cultural Learning (ECLD). Through the ECLD, the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians (the Band) operated a program funded by the California Department of Education, American Indian Education Center (AIEC) and the Tobacco-Use Prevention Education (TUPE). The AIEC and TUPE grants are housed in the ECLD under the Executive Branch within the Tribal Administration. The ECLD is overseen with checks-and-balances system, comprised of three elected Tribal Senators from the legislative branch.
The standing committee is responsible for proposed Legislation pertaining to tribal education services, cultural learning activities and the Department.
Chairman: Cheryl Martin – Tribal Senator, Tótó District 2
Mark Villaseñor– Tribal Vice President, Chair of Senate, Tamit District 1
Lucy Alfaro – Tribal Secretary, Tamit District 1
For more information on the Tribal Senate, Legislative branch please visit: https://www.tataviam-nsn.us/tribal-government/tribal-senate-legislative-branch/
For more information on the Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, please visit the website: https://www.tataviam-nsn.us
American Indian Education Center (AIEC)
The AIEC Program was established in 1974 by Senate Bill 2264. The intent was to provide educational services that promote academic success for American Indian students by providing community-based programs to address the unique academic and cultural needs of American Indian students in California’s public schools. The AIECs serve as educational resource centers in American Indian communities for American Indian students, their families, and the public schools in those communities. A student’s heritage may be from any of the 109 California tribes or from any of the hundreds of tribes from across the country. Primary emphasis is placed on the provision of direct services to improve achievement in reading/language arts and mathematics. A secondary purpose is to build students’ self-concept in relation to their heritage through cultural activities. A primary outcome of these activities is to create a skilled, educated workforce in the American Indian community and in California.
The Education and Cultural Learning Department has been a grantee of the AIEC grant since 2013.
Tobacco-Use Prevention Education (TUPE)
“Tobacco use is the most preventable cause of death and disease today. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in California 14 percent (age eighteen-plus years) over 3,839,000 individuals are current smokers, and there is a 6.9 percentage prevalence of current smoking among youth. Tobacco use costs the California economy more than $18.1 billion in health-related expenses and lost productivity.
Native Americans in California smoke and chew tobacco twice as much as do other Californians. In California, 27.4 percent of Native Americans smoke. The use of tobacco is one of the most preventable causes of illness and premature death among Native Americans. Native Americans/Alaskan Natives have the highest rate of tobacco use among all ethnic groups.
Proposition 99, approved by California voters in the November 1988 general election, increased the tax on each pack of cigarettes sold in the state by 25 cents.
The 1988 legislation requires that 90 percent of the funds received for local assistance be allocated to county offices of education and public school districts for programs in schools. Additionally, funding for commercial tobacco-use prevention, intervention, and cessation programs in AIECs is to be awarded on a competitive grant basis.
Successful tobacco-use prevention, intervention, and cessation programs are an important part of this effort and an effective weapon against four of the five leading causes of death in California: heart disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and fires caused by smoking.”
ECLD has formed partnerships with various entities to ensure students experience a quality program. ECLD has secured partnerships with the following:
California State University, Northridge- American Indian Studies Program
California State University, Northridge- American Indian Student Association
California State University, Northridge—Educational Opportunity Program
Community Nature Connection
Haramokngna Indian Cultural Center
Los Angeles City County Native American Indian Commission
Los Angeles Unified School District, Title VI Program
Pukúu Cultural Community Services
University California Los Angeles- American Indian Recruitment
University California Los Angeles- American Indian Studies Interdepartmental Program
University California Los Angeles- Fowler Museum
University California Los Angeles- Tribal Learning Cultural and Education Exchange (TLCEE)
Vasquez Rocks Natural Area and Nature Center
Walking Shield, INC
AC and Associates
Theodore Payne Foundation