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Who We Are

Meet the people behind Save California Salmon.

The board is made up of tribal leaders, fishermen, educators, and scientists from the watersheds we work in.

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Chief Caleen Sisk

Caleen Sisk is the Spiritual Leader and Tribal Chief of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. Caleen's leadership started in 2000 and has focused on maintaining cultural and religious traditions of the Tribe and has led the revitalization of the Winnemem’s H’up Chonas (or War Dance) and BaLas Chonas (Puberty Ceremony). She advocates for California salmon restoration; healthy, undammed watersheds and the human right to water. She has received international honors as a sacred site protector and leads the tribe’s resistance against the proposal to raise the Shasta Dam.

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Morning Star Gali

Morning Star Gali is a member of the Ajumawi band of the Pit River Tribe in Northeastern California and a Leading Edge Fellow. Morning Star formerly worked as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Pit River Tribe. She served as a volunteer and advocate on behalf of Indigenous incarcerated tribal members in California and worked with a number of Indigenous-led grassroots organizations in the Bay Area for over a decade. Morning Star leads large-scale actions and assists with organizing Native cultural, spiritual, academic, and political gatherings throughout the state. She has been the lead organizer since 2006 for the prominent “Thanks-taking” sunrise ceremony on Alcatraz island.

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Allie Hostler

Allie Hostler  is a Hoopa Valley Tribal member. She is the editor of the Two Rivers Tribune and the former Communications Director for the Hoopa Valley Tribe’s Fisheries Department. She received a journalism degree from Humboldt State University in 2009 and graduated from the Freedom Forum’s American Indian Journalism Institute in 2005.

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Marva Jones

Marva Jones is an enrolled Dee-ni' (Tolowa) citizen, Yurok, Karuk and Wintu of Northern California and fortunately comes from the villages of Nii~-lii~-chvn-dvn and Mvn'-sray-me' along the Smith River and the villages of Wausek and Weitspus along the Klamath River. Sii~xuutesna comes with a myriad of professional practices, experience and tribal community-building expertise. Sii~xuutesna attended Humboldt State University with an emphasis in Political Science and Native American Studies. Marva continues active participation and strategizing in ensuring language survival and maintenance, and strong traditional/cultural values.

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Malissa Tayaba

Malissa Tayaba is the Vice-Chairperson of the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians. She is also the Director of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK). Her work includes: sharing the ways aboriginal territory and its natural resources have historically been, and continue to be, utilized and tended to by Nisenan and Miwok people and bringing cultural activities back into the tribal community, such as basketry, traditional song and dance, ceremony, land stewardship, and language revitalization. Before becoming TEK Director, Malissa spent six years as a Cultural Researcher and ten years as Director of Social Services. She is a member of the Delta Conveyance Project Stakeholder Engagement Committee and a member of the Delta Protection Commission’s National Heritage Area Management Plan Advisory Committee.

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Sammy Gensaw

Sammy Gensaw is a Yurok fisherman and youth activist who has gone around the world fighting dams and displacement of natives. He is the director of Ancestral Guard and is on the board Nature Rights Council.

Our staff is a devoted team with diverse backgrounds.

Regina Chichizola

Regina Chichizola

Regina Chichizola is the Executive Director of Save California’s Salmon. She has lived on the Klamath River for twenty years, and is a long-term advocate for tribal water rights, clean water, wild salmon, prescribed fire, and environmental justice.

Phil Albers

Phil Albers

Phil Albers is SCS' Education Director. Phil graduated from Southern Oregon University with a degree in Health and a Certificate in Native American Studies. He has worked as a Káruk language speaker and teacher for over 20 years. Phil is dedicated to the Klamath Indigenous communities and neighbors. Phil aspires to support and facilitate cultural identity, acceptance, and healing for the youth and their respective communities.

Araceli Moreno

Araceli Moreno

Araceli Moreno (she/her) is a Youth Education Advocate at Save California Salmon. She has a BA in Linguistics from UC Davis and Masters in Education, Instruction and Curriculum Design, from the University of San Diego. Araceli is Hñähñu and an advocate for culturally relevant pedagogy and immigration rights.

Kasil Willie

Kasil Willie

Kasil Willie is the Staff Attorney at Save California Salmon. She is an enrolled member of Walker River Paiute Tribe, Pomo, and Irish. She has a BA in Environmental Studies from the University of San Francisco and JD with a concentration in Environmental Law from McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. During her time at USF, Kasil became passionate about environmental justice which led her to pursue a legal degree with a concentration in environmental law.

Francis Mendoza

Francis Mendoza

Francis Mendoza (he/they/sila) is SCS' Water and Land Justice Manager. As a teacher, social worker, naturalist and outdoor equity consultant, they work at the intersection of environmental justice, youth development and policy/advocacy to ensure everyone has clean water, healthy food and equitable access to nature.

Helena Star Gibbens

Helena Star Gibbens

Helena Star Gibbens is a Yurok Tribal member from the village of Morek. She grew up along the Klamath and actively participates in cultural practices, events, and ceremonies. She has a degree in Early childhood Education and has twelve years of experience providing support and care to local children and families. Star has a vested interest in the well-being of our eco-cultural resources, revitalization of our traditional practices, and restoring our land and water.

Michaela Rain Ward

Michaela Rain Ward

Michaela Rain Ward (she/her they/them) is the Northern California Youth Education Advocate for Save California Salmon. They are Hoopa/Yurok and they live in the Hoopa Valley Reservation. Michaela is currently majoring in Studio Art at College of the Redwoods and hopes to teach and bring the creativity out of others.

Caitlin McMorris

Caitlin McMorris

Caitlin is the Creative Lead for SCS. She creates social media content, designs graphics, updates the website, and formats documents (i.e. curricula, newsletters, tabling materials, & more). She has always wanted to make an environmental impact with her art, and working for SCS has made that a reality.

Valentina Dimas

Valentina Dimas

Social Media Content Creator Valentina is a graduate of Cal Poly Humboldt 2021 and majored in Environmental Studies and Journalism. When she isn't video editing or behind the camera she'll be behind a sci-fi novel or tending to her garden. She is also executive producer of a student docu-series, Homeless in Humboldt on Youtube.

Abigail Black

Abigail Black

Abigail has a background in environmental policy at California state and local levels. She believes that land back, co-management, and including traditional ecological knowledge in California land, water, and species decisions is the most important socio-environmental solution to be working on. Therefore, she is passionate about her work for SCS where she advocates and pursues policy change for water protection and tribal rights.

Karinne Dadigan

Karinne Dadigan

Karinne is a Yurok descendant originating from Wehlkwew village at the mouth of the Klamath River. Her focus for SCS’s newsletter is to amplify voices of Native people, youth and incarcerated people within the fight for water and land protection. Karinne believes that community care is key and wants to ensure that our relatives are taken care of. This looks like connecting people to water and land activism, cultural events, and sharing important information through our newsletter!

Nikcole Whipple

Nikcole Whipple

Nikcole Whipple is a member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes located in Mendocino County. She is an Outreach Specialist and adjunct Administrative Justice Instructor at Mendocino College and an Indigenous People's Law student at the University of Oklahoma.

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