Wisconsin’s 32 Most Influential Native American Leaders for 2024, Part 4


    This is the second of a five-part series. Part One is here, Part Two is here and Part Three is here.

    Heather Cloud Wakajapi is executive director of the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin, a role she took on in December. She got her start at 18 working in floor sales at Ho-Chunk Bingo, and worked her way up through a series of gaming and IT positions. She served as a tribal legislator and in 2013 became the first woman vice president of the Ho-Chunk Nation. She also served on the nation’s gaming commission. 

    Dr. Nicole Bowman is founder and president of Bowman Performance Consulting, which provides culturally competent research, evaluation, technical assistance and other services to companies, organizations and government agencies. She is also an associate scientist and evaluator at the University of Wisconsin. In 2018, she became the first Indigenous and youngest awardee of the American Evaluation Association’s (AEA) Robert Ingle Service Award. Dr. Bowman supports a large portfolio of projects advancing radical Indigenous and community-led scholarship with Tribal and non-Tribal governments and philanthropic, non-profit, and private-sector organizations nationally and internationally. She is a member of the American Evaluation Association (AEA), a Research Affiliate for the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA), an international board member of EvalIndigenous and the International Evaluation Academy, and has been in elected or appointed leadership for AEA, CREA, Indigenous Peoples in Evaluation, and EvalIndigenous. As a member of the Canadian Evaluation Society, she is coeditor and co-creator of a new permanent section for Indigenous scholarship called “Roots and Relations” in the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation (CJPE). Dr. Bowman also recently co-edited a special global decolonization issue of the Journal of Multidisciplinary Evaluation (JMDE) with Dr. Bagele Chilisa (Bantu Tribe of Africa),a post-colonial Botswanan scholar. Dr. Bowman has been or is a reviewer and/or journal board member for CJPE, New Directions in Evaluation, American Journal of Evaluation, and JMDE. She earned her PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2015, a Master of Education degree from Lesley University in 1997, and a Bachelor of Arts in Education from St. Norbert College in 1993.

    Bryce Stevenson is chef and owner at Miijim, an Indigenous restaurant in LaPointe, Wisconsin, on Madeline Island in Lake Superior. Stevenson serves seasonal Ojibwe fare with a French twist, using meats like venison, bison, and rabbit alongside ingredients like wild rice, island mushrooms, and ramps. He started his culinary career working at Hello Falafel while a student at UW-Milwaukee, and went on to train at other Milwaukee restaurants like Odd Duck and Ardent. He later served as executive chef at the Indigenous Food Lab. He is a 2024 semifinalist for the prestigious James Beard Award.

    Christy Jackson is Tribal Affairs State Program Manager at the Wisconsin Depatrment of Transportation, where she implements the government-to-government relationship with tribes at the state level. She is also a primary point of contact for tribal elected officials, regional tribal liaisons, WisDOT staff, other State of Wisconsin agencies and the Great Lakes Intertribal Council. She supervises the delivery of the various WisDOT tribal programs, including the WisDOT Inter-Tribal Task Force, Tribal Labor Advisory Committee, Tribal Historic Preservation Officers Program, National Summer Transportation Institute and the Tribal Highway Construction Skills Training program. She studied business management at UW-Stout.

    Zoar Fulwilder is managing partner at Mavid Construction Services, a Green Bay-based firm that’s worked on projects including Lambeau Field’s suites, gates and atrium, as well as Aurora Medical Center in Sheboygan, residence halls at UW-LaCrosse and UW-Oshkosh, and many more. He is also a cofounder of the Indigenous Business Group, a nonprofit that provides opportunities for Native-owned businesses to access resources, network, and gain knowledge. He earned a degree in economics from UW-Madison in 1998.

    Stephanie Lozano is the Tribal Liaison for the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, where she provides department leadership with policy analysis, tribal perspective, recommendations, and strategic advisement on tribal affairs. Prior to joining DCF in 2016, Stephanie spent 10 years working for the Ho-Chunk Nation as a social worker, Indian Child Welfare Program Supervisor and later Executive Director of Social Services. During her tenure as a social worker and supervisor she oversaw cases involving the Indian Child Welfare Act. Stephanie was an integral member of the negotiation team that codified the Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act in 2009 and continues to serve as a trainer and subject matter expert in the field of Indian Child Welfare. She received her Bachelors of Science in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and her Masters of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin.

    Part Five coming tomorrow!