Tia Oros Peters has been active in community organizing, advocacy, and nonprofit development for over three decades. She is CEO of the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples, which supports community-generated cultural revitalization, movement building, and Re-Indigenization strategies.
Tia is a recognized expert on the protection of Water as a sacred element for Indigenous Peoples’ cultural and spiritual sustainability, and on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a standard setting tool for Native Peoples’ organizing, empowerment, and self-determination. Through her water advocacy at the United Nations and national and regional organizing, she coined and defined the term “Aquacide” to describe the killing of the waters around the globe.
A member of Neighborhood Funder’s Group and Aspen Institute’s Philanthropy Forward 2019-2020 cohort focused on grassroots power building for social justice, Tia serves on the boards of directors of Proteus Fund; Tools and Tiaras; Grantmakers for Girls of Color Advisory Committee, and as President of Red Deer Center for Indigenous Thinking, Creating, and Being. Tia is also known as Méešaatsęhë’e – a name given by Chief Phillip Whiteman of the Northern Cheyenne Nation. She earned a BA in Law & Society and an MFA in Creative Writing.
Valentina Acosta, Administrative Assistant Venezuelan and Cuban descent
Valentina Acosta is of Venezuelan and Cuban descent and was raised in Huntington Beach, California. She’s received her Bachelors in Environmental Studies at Humboldt State University and hopes to use her degree to work with low-income communities in order to provide clean, renewable energy to all. Her love for non-profit work translates through the various roles and projects she’s been able to take on in order to empower and support orphaned children in Baja California, Mexico for nearly a decade. Her sense of duty to Mother Earth and respect for all living beings is what excites her about working with Seventh Generation Fund and how her passions can help the team in a multitude of ways.
In her free time she enjoys a challenging trail run, a delicious vegan meal, and dancing to her favorite music with her partner.
“The Earth is my Mother. A great living being. I vow to protect her, and she protects me.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Eli Bargas, Special Projects Ohlone/Yoeme/Apache/Cheyenne/Chicano
Eli Bargas started with Seventh Generation Fund as an intern in 2015 and has filled various roles for the organization before finding himself in his current position coordinating the events, materials and outreach that make up SGF’s Special Projects.
Outside of work, Eli is a multidisciplinary artist who is always looking to further his skillsets.
Stephan Cheney, Executive Manager Lakota, Kul Wicasa Oyate
Stephan Cheney is Lakota, of the Kul Wicasa Oyate in Lower Brule, South Dakota. Spending the last decade of his life as a Wildland Firefighter while also working with native youth; Stephan has remained committed to living, breathing, and working in an honorable way with the land and those around him.
His role as Executive Manager to the CEO and to the President of Seventh Generation Fund is no exception to this. Stephan is the Founder and Creative Director of High Rez Wood Company, a furniture company reclaiming identity and space in building with the natural world. He serves on the board of directors for Wicahpi Koyaka Tiyospaye.
Stephan earned a degree in Psychology, minoring in Inter-disciplinary sciences from the University of South Dakota.
Heather Freitas began as an intern with Seventh Generation Fund in 2006 while attending Humboldt State University. Her interest in sacred site protection, environmental rights, and languages prompted her involvement with the organization and a year later she joined the staff. After achieving her Bachelors with a degree in Sociology, her role continued and progressed as the Advancement Manager.
Third-generation born in the “Americas”, Heather’s paternal family comes from the Açores. She grew up in the foothills to the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Calaveras County, California. The lasting historical impact and its enduring presence throughout the County’s landscape made an impression on Heather at an early age. In addition to environmental justice endeavors; she believes in the advancement of human rights and the right for self-determination.
Alexandra Gonzales, Program Associate Pawnee/Xicana
Alex Gonzales was born and raised in the East San Francisco Bay Area. She received her BA in Political Science from Humboldt State University with a concentration in Law & Policy. Alex is Pawnee and Xicana, and was a member of the Indian Tribal and Educational Personnel Program at HSU. As an undergraduate, Alex interned at Humboldt County Juvenile Hall and worked for the City of Eureka for two years. She joined SGF as Program Associate during the COVID-19 pandemic, and was immediately drawn to work with Coronavirus relief projects.
In her free time, Alex enjoys knitting and crocheting, beadwork, going for runs, and true crime podcasts.
Louis Gordon, Program Director Xicano/Purépecha
Louis Gordon (Xicano/Purépecha) has been involved with the Seventh Generation Fund since 2011 and serves as Program Director. He is responsible for working directly with community groups to develop and submit proposals, and facilitates trainings on nonprofit board development, proposal writing, budgeting and strategic planning. A lifetime student of Indigenous histories and social movements, he is dedicated to working at the nexus of philanthropy and the modern Native movement for the empowerment of Indigenous Peoples. Louis currently serves as a Board Member for the Environmental Grantmakers Association and is also a musician, backpacker, hunter and outdoor enthusiast.
Tineke Iris, Fiscal Manager
Tineke Iris who is of Dutch and Germanic descent, was born on Duwamish lands on the Puget Sound and raised on Guarani territories in Brazil. She has had the privilege to live in Quechua country in Peru, Borari land in Brazil, Darkinjung land in Australia and has been a guest on Indigenous Peoples’ lands across the globe. She currently lives on Wiyot land in Arcata and joined the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples in early 2018.
With a background in administrative assistance for organizations on several continents, including experience setting up a non-profit project in an effort to fight the pollution brought on by global industrialization in the Brazilian Amazon, Tineke has over 15 years of experience in collaborating with social groups and diverse organizations for the protection of the environment. She is passionate about social justice and teaching her two children how to be stewards of the Earth. Tineke believes in the potential for collective healing, preservation of the biosphere for future generations of all species, and supporting sovereignty of Indigenous nations. She enjoys spending time whenever possible alongside bodies of water and walking in woodlands.
Sylvia Lazerick, Advancement Assistant
Sylvia recently joined our team as the Advancement Assistant and brings a strong background in administrative support. In early years, she served in education and environmental work including Counselor, Park Ranger, and other positions. Raised in Worcester, Massachusetts she is fourth generation in the Americas from Polish and mixed descent. Helping people in the inner-city community was important to her as well as continuing her education at a local college and traveling opportunities. She made her way westward meeting and learning from Indigenous Peoples along the way and returned to school obtaining a BA from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She continued to travel when possible to learn more about people from areas in other parts of the globe. After living in several areas in California and Oregon she is happily settled in Humboldt County.
Sylvia is interested in the concerns and rights of Indigenous Peoples and building sustainable communities. Having a deep connection to Mother Earth she loves spending time in nature, listening to the wind and the nature spirits. She loves music, cooking and sharing food.
Raven Marshall, Creative Associate Sicangu Lakota
Raven Marshall is Sicangu Lakota and Ihanktonwan Nakota/Dakota. She is going to school for Journalism & Media, as well as Critical Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Raven believes in supporting the grassroots movements to strengthen Indigenous communities. She is passionate about media, art, writing, and Indigenous self-determination and sovereignty.
Mitakuye Oya’sin – We are all related.
Teresa McGinnis, Administrative Coordinator Yurok
Teresa McGinnis is an enrolled member of the Yurok Tribe, descendent of the Wiyot & Tolowa Nation, born and raised in Humboldt County, CA. Teresa has worked since the age of 16 learning different job positions while gaining multiple skills in the workforce. She is honored to have worked in the Tribal Communities since the age of 18, this helped her grow and succeed and become closer with her people.
Teresa is proud to be a parent of five and married to her best friend. She has an active role with her children’s schools, sports, and in the Native Community. In her spare time, Teresa creates art, jewelry, and crochets, which has led her to obtain her business license for her own online jewelry business. Further, she decided to attend NYIP for her photography certification in Professional Photography.
Teresa enjoys spending time with her family, eating and giving back to the community especially volunteering, hosting events and planning them. Teresa appreciates being a part of the Seventh Generation Fund and being able to help the Native Community.
Erdinel Mangubat, Bookkeeping Assistant
Erdinel Mangubat grew up in Carson, a small city outside of Long Beach, California. He joined the Seventh Generation Fund in 2020 as a Bookkeeping Assistant while earning his bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Humboldt State University.
Erdinel is of Filipino decent and is always looking for opportunities to give back to his community. He served as the Treasurer for HSU’s Asian, Desi, Pacific Islander Collective (ADPIC) for 2 years. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, he was also one of the interns for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at Humboldt State University. When able to go back home, Erdinel also volunteers with his family at the Everlasting Gospel Fellowship, providing hot lunches for the local homeless communities.
In his free time, Erdinel enjoys cooking and experimenting with different recipes, going to the beach to surf, and watching stand-up comedy.
Johnny Salazar, General Manager Indigenous
Johnny Salazar was born and raised in Northeast Los Angeles and moved to Humboldt County in 2010 to pursue his degree in Social Work. He was able to join the Seventh Generation Fund team in 2014 as a Data Entry Intern.
Johnny’s passion for social justice is rooted in his uncle’s involvement as a revolutionary guerrilla fighter in the Salvadorian Civil War fighting for the betterment of the common people. Johnny hopes to continue the legacy of his uncle by engaging and assisting relatives across Turtle Island who fight for self-determination, environmental justice, and decolonization.
In his free time, Johnny likes to spend time with his dog Lady hiking, backpacking, and going to the beach. Other hobbies include: playing chess and doing mechanical work.
Alice Woodworth, Controller
Ms. Woodworth serves as the Controller for Seventh Generation Fund and is responsible for recording and reporting all grant expenses, as well as providing technical assistance to SGF affiliates and projects as appropriate. She has a BA, Special Major New College, from San Jose State University.
Alice has 30 years of experience as a bookkeeper and manager of information services for businesses and nonprofit organizations, and has served as a development director, campaign treasurer, and library acquisitions manager. She is a grandmother, a fiber artist, an herb gardener, and currently serves on the board of directors for Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County.
Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples, Inc.
Physical address: 2355 Central Ave. Suite C, McKinleyville, CA 95519
Mailing address: P.O. Box 4569, Arcata, CA 95518
In Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council since 2017