Home Wisconsin Wisconsin’s Most Influential Native Americans, Part 2

Wisconsin’s Most Influential Native Americans, Part 2


This is the second of a five-part series. Part One is here.

Alice Skenandore is a member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Nation and founder and executive director of The Wise Women Gathering Place in Green Bay. She founded the nonprofit in 1998 and since then it has grown to encompass shelters, safe parking programs, youth services, bullying prevention and programs for building better relationships and healing historical trauma. Skenandore was also a midwife for 27 years and attended over 740 home births.

Melinda Danforth is the Intergovernmental Affairs Director for the Oneida Nation Office of Intergovernmental Affairs & Communications (IGAC). Danforth has been serving the Oneida Nation legislatively for nearly two decades. She began her work as an elected official, serving as an Oneida Nation Councilmember from 2006 to 2014. From then until 2017, Danforth was the Oneida Nation Vice Chairwoman. She has a BBA in Accounting and Business/Management from the National American University.

Edmund Manydeeds, an attorney with Manydeeds Law S.C. in Eau Claire, is currently serving as president on the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents where he designates Board committee membership, signs all diplomas and contracts issued by the Board, and speaks on behalf of the Board with the Governor and legislative groups. Manydeeds, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, is the first Native board president. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Superior, Manydeeds earned his law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has been practicing law since 1979. He was appointed and confirmed in the spring of 2010 to the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents and served a 7-year term. Manydeeds was reappointed in 2019 to serve a second 7-year term.

Dylan Jennings, or Bizhikiins meaning “young buffalo” in Ojibwemowin, is the Director of the Public Information Office of the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission. He is also a Tribal Council Member for the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. Jennings lives in Odanah, Wisconsin.


John D. Johnson is the president of Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, elected in October 2020. Johnson is also chair of the Voigt Intertribal Task Force committee. Johnson delivered the 2021 State of the Tribes Address in May, where he talked about the issues the Native American communities and tribes are facing during the pandemic including mental health concerns and the strategies he’s enforcing to challenge racism and discrimination.

Part Three coming tomorrow!