Cultural Survival Board of Directors

Kaimana Barcarse

Kaimana Barcarse (Kanaka Hawaiʻi), Chair

A former Indigenous Rights Radio Producer for Cultural Survival, Kaimana has represented Cultural Survival at United Nations events in New York and Lima, Peru, and has produced dozens of radio programs. Kaimana is also the lead DJ of the Hawaiian language program "Alana I Kai Hikina" on KWXX-FM, the Hawaiʻi Island member of the state Board of Education, and the West Hawai’i Regional Director for Kamehameha Schools, whose mission is to improve the capability and well-being of Hawaiians through a healthy community ecosystem with a focus on education. Kaimana was the director of the former Exploration Sciences and Voyaging Division of the 'Aha Punana Leo which utilized the wa'a (canoe) as a platform to strengthen the Hawaiian language skills and cultural traditions of its participants. He continues to educate and further his work on voyaging and navigation through his roles with the ʻOhana Waʻa, a board member of Nā Kālai Waʻa Moku o Hawaiʻi, a captain and on the leadership team of Honuakai, and as a member of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. Kaimana also serves as chair of the board of directors at The Cultural Conservancy, Vice-President of the Hawaiʻi Council of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, and Hope Pelekikena of ʻAhahui Siwila ʻo Ke Aloha ʻĀina. 

John J. King II

John J. King II, Vice Chair
John J. King II is co-founder and managing director of The Common Flat Project, an organization dedicated to promoting the importance of earth’s biodiversity. His past professional career is wide ranging, including seven years working as a commercial fisherman on crab fishing vessels in Alaska’s Bering Sea and as a successful entrepreneur in the bio-pharmaceutical industry. In his early career, John partnered with scientists from the University of Washington to co-found IMRE Corporation, an immunotherapy company that pioneered treatments for autoimmune diseases. For the next 25 years, he held senior executive positions and helped develop several early-stage medical technology companies. He joined with oncology pioneers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in 1997 to launch Rosetta Inpharmatics. Rosetta was acquired by Merck & Co in 2001 where John then took a position as senior vice president, Research Planning and Integration with global responsibilities for Merck’s research division. John retired from Merck & Co in 2007 to pursue a life-long passion for travel and photography with a purpose. Now as an accomplished wildlife photographer and lecturer, John, together with his wife Pam, strive to inspire others to discover and protect the earth’s environment through their work. Their first book Wild Cape Cod, Free by Nature was published by Schiffer Publishing in 2012. John currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, MA as well as the Board of Directors of the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy in Chatham, MA. He was previously an adviser to the Roy and Diana Vagelos Life Sciences and Management Joint Degree program at the University of Pennsylvania where he also received his BA degree in Anthropology in 1974. He lives in Chatham, Massachusetts.



Steve Heim

Steven Heim, Treasurer

Steven Heim is a Managing Director for Boston Common Asset Management, an investment manager and a leader in global impact initiatives. Steven has over 25 years of experience in the responsible investment field. Steven’s efforts to protect the human rights of Indigenous Peoples have helped catalyze positive policy changes at U.S. and international companies. From 2007 to 2019 he chaired the advocacy subcommittee of the Investors & Indigenous Peoples Working Group. Most recently, he has helped lead global investor engagements with global banks regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline and urging banks to revise the Equator Principles for project finance to respect Indigenous Peoples rights. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the International Funders for Indigenous Peoples.

Nicole Friederichs

Nicole Friederichs, Clerk
Friederichs is a Practitioner-in-Residence at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, MA, where she teaches the Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples Clinic which serves the Native nation building needs of the New England's Tribal governments as well as engages with international human rights mechanisms on behalf of Indigenous communities and organizations. Prior to joining Suffolk, she practiced federal Indian law and international human rights law working on a range of cases, including jurisdictional cases between Native American Tribes and New England states, and Indigenous Peoples land rights cases before the international and regional human rights bodies. Nicole also has experience in the international development sector supporting community development and education programs located in West Africa. She holds a LLM in Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy from the University of Arizona, a JD from Suffolk University Law School, and is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and the London School of Economics. 

Valine Brown

Valine Brown (Haida)
K’aayhlt’aa Haanas (Valine Brown) is an organizer, communications professional, and devoted Haida citizen belonging to the K’aawas Eagle Clan. Her work is rooted in her homelands, and Valine’s academic and advocacy efforts are centered around Indigenous title, rights, and responsibilities. She believes in the power of people and connection to place and she is fiercely committed to building community resilience amid the climate crisis. Valine does her strategizing on the beach and finds inspiration in the forests of her homelands, Haida Gwaii.

Kate Finn

Kate R. Finn (Osage) is Executive Director of First Peoples Worldwide. Her expertise concerns articulating how the impacts of development in Indigenous communities must be addressed at all levels of business and investment in order to build healthy Native economies and communities for generations. Among several papers, she co-authored Social Cost and Material Loss: The Dakota Access Pipeline, Harnessing Private Equity for Indigenous Peoples and Responsible Resource Development and Prevention of Sex Trafficking: Safeguarding Native Women and Children on the Fort Berthold Reservation. Her article “Recalibrating Risk Assessment for Indigenous Women” appeared in the March 2020 issue of Green Money Journal. Prior to her directorship, Kate served as Staff Attorney for First Peoples.

Kate holds a J.D. and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Colorado, and a B.A. from Princeton University. She was the inaugural American Indian Law Program Fellow at the University of Colorado Law, where she worked directly with Tribes and Native communities. She serves on the boards of the First Nations Community Financial and Unified Solutions Tribal Community Development Group. Prior to her work with First Peoples, she served as a Program Coordinator with the Denver Victim Services Network, working on the local level to connect service agencies and advocated at the federal level for adequate protections for victims of crime. Kate is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.


Laura R. Graham

Laura R. Graham
Laura R. Graham is an anthropologist, filmmaker and activist. She is professor of anthropology at the University of Iowa and president-elect of the Society for Anthropology of Lowland South America. Her research focuses on Indigenous agency and politics of representation among Indigenous Peoples of Lowland South America. She has studied and worked with A’uwẽ-Xavante of central Brazil since 1981 and more recently with Wayuu of Venezuela. Graham has written extensively on Indigenous speech, expressive culture, and forms of self-representation in national and international arenas, including ethnographic spectacle and use of new media technologies. Her books include the award-winning, Performing Dreams: Discourses of Immortality among the Xavante of Central Brazil (1995; Portuguese edition with original field recordings 2018), Performing Indigeneity: Global Histories and Contemporary Experiences (2014) and Language and Social Justice in Practice (2018). With David Hernández-Palmar (Wyauu) and Caimi Waiassé (A’uwẽ-Xavante), she co-directed the film Owners of the Water: Conflict and Collaboration over Rivers (2009).  From 1994-2005, Laura directed the Xavante Education Fund, a Cultural Survival Special Project, and now serves as a coordinator of A’uwẽ-Xavante projects with Cultural Survival. She is writing a book on A’uwẽ-Xavante uses of audiovisual technologies and their efforts to achieve representational sovereignty.

Stephen Marks

Stephen P. Marks
Stephen P. Marks is the François-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of Health and Human Rights at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, where he directs the Program on Human Rights in Development. With degrees in law and international relations from Stanford and several universities in France, as well as the Syrian Arab Republic, he has worked for the United States Senate (Washington, DC), the International Institute of Human Rights (Strasbourg, France), UNESCO (Paris, France), the Ford Foundation (New York), UN peacekeeping operations (Cambodia, Western Sahara) and the UN Human Rights Council (Geneva). Before joining Harvard in 1999, he taught at the Law School and the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, Rutgers Law School, Cardozo School of Law, and the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University. He is also Distinguished Visiting Professor and Special Advisor to the Vice-Chancellor at Jindal Global University in India. His publications focus on international law, development, biotechnology, mass atrocities, terrorism, cultural rights, tobacco control, access to medicines, human rights education, neuroscience, mental health and the right to health.

Mrinalini Rai

Mrinalini Rai (Rai) is Director of Women4Biodiversity and a women’s rights and environmental justice advocate. Mrinalini specializes in policy, advocacy, and research on biodiversity and gender and has worked for several years in advocating for the rights of Indigenous Peoples’ and women and youth in various local to global environmental-related dialogues and processes. She strongly believes in the ground-level up movement and the strength of communities’  lived experiences and voices. She has worked for many years in supporting community-led conservation initiatives in the global South and sees the need for enhancing synergies among multilateral environment agreements and other environmental-related processes and policies. She supports and advocates for the full, effective, and meaningful participation of women and believes they are not only key rights-holders but are also key agents of change for a transformative and just society. Mrinalini holds a Masters degree in Arts in Social Science and Sustainable Development (MASS), Chiang Mai University in Thailand.

Tui Shortland

Tui Shortland (Māori)
Tui Shortland (Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Raukawa ki te tonga) hails from Aotearoa (New Zealand). Tui has worked with Indigenous authorities, leadership, and land trusts in environmental management for the past 16 years. She assists ecobusiness development and helping indigenous organisations to provide pioneering services in traditional livelihoods, cultural impact assessments and cultural environmental monitoring. Tui is the founder of Awatea Organics, specializing in cultivating Indigenous food sovereignty from her ancestral lands in Whangarei where she manages the family farm to reconnect people to land, providing healthy food to Maori families and promoting indigenous sustainable livelihoods around food.  At Awatea they mentor new farmers, using the not only to produce nutritious heritage food and medicine but also as a training ground for workshops and community open days, and developing and promoting innovations in indigenous organic food, medicine and plant production to improve biodiversity, build climate resilience and community health.

Tui has been involved extensively in indigenous diplomacy, with the United Nations in regards to Indigenous biological diversity and climate change, serving as a Pacific regional representative. Since 2012, Tui has worked with the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity, a collective of representatives from Indigenous governments, Indigenous NGOs, and Indigenous scholars and activists that organize around the Convention on Biological Diversity to help coordinate Indigenous strategies and participation at these meetings to recognize and respect Indigenous rights. As the director of Te Kopu Pacific Indigenous and Local Knowledge Centre of Distinction, Tui focuses on traditional knowledge and customary use of biodiversity, cultural health indicators, Rongoā (traditional Māori medicine), and Māori cultural values of the environment and traditional ecological knowledge. Some of her career highlights include turning an iwi Resource Management Unit around to be self-sustaining; working with the Karen people of Thailand to develop a monitoring framework and map their territories based on their medicines and hunting practices; and most recently, developing a successful process to assist scientists and Indigenous Peoples to work together in benefit sharing of biological resources.


Jannie Staffansson

Jannie Staffansson (Saami)

Jannie Staffansson is living on the Arctic Circle in Jokkmokk, Sápmi. Jannie belongs to the Indigenous Peoples of Scandinavia and northwest of Russia, the Saami. She is from a reindeer herding family, and together with her partner, they are working with their reindeer. Jannie is currently focused on educating herself in Saami ways and strengthening her Indigenous knowledge in relation to reindeer herding. This knowledge is needed to survive extreme events caused by climate change. When she is not out with the reindeer, she is working as a consultant, assisting Saami organizations and communities often in relation to climate change issues, capacity building, and Indigenous Peoples’ rights. She has a background in environmental studies and organic chemistry. She worked as an advisor for a Saami organization on environmental and Indigenous rights issues, where she participated in negotiations of the Indigenous Peoples’ Platform within UNFCCC during and after the Paris Agreement. Jannie was a member of the Arctic Council Working Group on Assessment and Monitoring Programme (AMAP) and its associated expert groups on black carbon and methane, persistent organic pollutants, and climate change. She also served on the board of the Sustaining Arctic Observation Network (SAON). She heals when being far up in the mountains, off the grid, being around her herding dogs, and giving back to Mother Earth.

Stella Tamang

Stella Tamang (Tamang)
Stella Tamang was chair of the International Indigenous Women's Caucus at the third session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, is the convenor of the South Asia Indigenous Women's Forum, and the founder and founding chair of Nepal Tamang Women Ghedung.  She is also the founder and founding Chair of National Indigenous Women Federation, Nepal which is the umbrella organization of 41 Indigenous women’s organizations of Nepal. She was one of the Commissioners of the High Level Commission on State Restructuring of Nepal.  She founded Bikalpa Gyan Tatha Bikas Kendra in Nepal to contribute to students' education and livelihood by combining academic learning with practical training. She is one of the only women facilitators and is the chair of Nepal Transition To Peace Institute.