Executive Board

NCAI Executive Board

Fawn Sharp
President, NCAI
President, Quinault Nation

NCAI President,
Fawn Sharp

Fawn R. Sharp serves as the 23rd President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native tribal government organization in the country. President Sharp was elected on October 24, 2019 at NCAI’s 76th Annual Convention & Marketplace to serve as the third woman to hold the position of NCAI President.

President Sharp is the current President of the Quinault Indian Nation in Taholah, Washington. Her past positions included managing attorney and lead counsel; and staff attorney for the Quinault Indian Nation, administrative law judge for the Washington state Department of Revenue – Tax Appeals Division, Quinault Tribal Court Associate Judge, and Counsel for Phillips, Krause & Brown.

Ms. Sharp has held numerous leadership positions, including an appointment by Governor Gary Locke to serve as Trustee for Grays Harbor College, Governor of the Washington State Bar Association, Trustee of Washington State Bar Association – Indian Law Section, Vice President and Founding Member for the National Intertribal Tax Alliance, and Director/Secretary of the Quinault Nation Enterprises Board. Fawn has conducted lectures and publications all over the United States.

Ms. Sharp graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Gonzaga University in Spokane Washington at the age of 19. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Washington in 1995 and has subsequently received certificates from the National Judicial College at the University of Nevada, and from the International Human Rights Law at Oxford University.

Aaron Payment
1st Vice President, NCAI
Chairman, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

1st Vice President,
Aaron Payment     

Chairperson Aaron Payment is serving in his second term as Chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. With 42,000 members, his Tribe is the largest east of the Mississippi. He has served as a Tribal Council Member, Vice-Chairperson, and is now in his second four-year term as Chairperson.

Chairperson Payment has been in tribal elective office for nearly 14 years. Prior to serving as Chairperson, he worked in higher education directly serving fellow Native Americans. He has also spent six summers coordinating the Michigan Anishnaabe Future Leaders youth training programs and 16 summers as a summer camp counselor for Upward Bound, a TRiO program which served up to 40% Native Americans. For over twenty years, he has provided annual training on Tribal Sovereignty & Government-to-Government relations to future Michigan legislators (16 current serving) through the Michigan Political Leadership Program which is housed out of Michigan State University.

Chairperson Payment is a high school drop-out who earned a G.E.D., Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s in Public Administration, and coursework for two additional Master’s degrees in Education Administration and Education Specialist and completed his coursework and comprehensive exams toward a doctorate in Educational Leadership. He believes in giving back and affording other Native Americans and disadvantaged people opportunities to overcome adversity and the impacts of past United States Federal policy of forced assimilation.

Over the last year, Chairperson Payment has joined the fight to STOP SEQUESTRATION by raising awareness at all levels. One approach has been through the “It’s a Trust Thing” campaign to remind Congress of the Federal Trust Responsibility to uphold the obligations contained in the treaties between the United States Government and tribes which provide for “health, education and social welfare for as long as the winds blow, grass grows, and rivers flow”.

Chairperson Payment serves on the HHS Secretary Tribal Advisory Council, Health Research Advisory Counsel, Vice-President of M.A.S.T., and Vice-Chair of the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan.

Juana Majel-Dixon
Recording Secretary, NCAI 
Pauma Band of Mission Indians

Recording Secretary,
Juana Majel-Dixon

Juana Majel-Dixon has served as the Traditional Legislative Councilwoman for the Pauma Band of Mission Indians since 1970.  In this capacity, she has been involved in several Native American issues, which includes but are not limited to the following: Public Law 280, Self Determination (63E), Indian Education Act, Native American Religious Freedom Act, Native American Graves Protection Regulatory Act, the Indian Child Welfare Act, Violence Against Women Act and Tribal Law and Order Act.

Ms. Majel-Dixon has been employed as a professor at Palomar College since 1981, where she provides Instruction to college-aged students in areas of Federal Indian Law and U.S. Law, American Indian Philosophy and Religion, and Introduction of American Indian Culture prior to contact and California Indian.  She previously taught at San Diego State University and Mesa College. She also serves as the Natural Resource Director at Pauma Band of Mission Indians where she responsible for the environmental operations of the Tribe, which includes the land, watershed and air shed.  She also serves as the Policy Director at the Pauma Band of Mission Indians since where she is responsible for the overall tribal policy development and tribal response to Congress and the Federal operations, including governmental response to criminal and civil issues.

Ms. Majel-Dixon has served on the trust reform task force during both Clinton and Bush's administrations. She has served as Co-Chair with Chief Tillman to the first Trust Reform group with Kevin Gover, NCAI Chair for Violence Against Women Act. Chair of the Cultural and Religious Concerns Committee, NCAI Liaison for Medicare/Medicaid Case Management and the Tribal Technical Team, NCAI Liaison for Alcohol Substance Abuse Summit, Co-Chair of the task force to Stop Violence Against Native Women, CA Rep to SAMSHA, and Co-chair to the Tribal Justice Advisory Group. 

Ms. Majel-Dixon has a Joint Doctorate in U.S. Policy and Education at Clairmont Graduate School and San Diego State University, and a Master of Science in Counseling, Master of Arts in Community Block Development and a Bachelor of Science in Human Behavior. 

Clinton Lageson
Treasurer, NCAI
Treasurer, Kenaitze Indian Tribe

Treasurer,
Clinton Lageson

Clinton Lageson was elected to the office of NCAI Treasurer on October 24, 2019 at the 76th NCAI Annual Convention & Marketplace in  Albuquerque, NM. 

Lageson also serves on the seven-member Kenaitze Indian Tribe Tribal Council as Tribal Council Treasurer. Council members are elected by voting tribal members at an annual meeting every October, serving staggered terms.