Kimberly Johnston-Dodds, M.P.A., M.A.

Kimberly Johnston-Dodds is an independent scholar with extensive legal, policy analysis and historical research and writing experience. In addition, she has worked with Indigenous peoples in California, New Mexico and internationally for over two decades in various capacities within California state government, the private sector, and non-profit organizations. During her tenure in public service with the State of California and afterwards, she has been invited to speak about California Indian history, federal Indian law and policies, and collaborative processes for traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) use. Her expertise extends to government-to-government relations on the state and federal level, and her historical and policy research has been utilized in federal and state government, tribal, and academic forums. She holds a Master of Public Affairs in environmental and social justice policy from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA), Bloomington, Indiana, and a Master of Arts degree in Public History from California State University, Sacramento.

In 2015, Kimberly completed her state service, and is involved in various projects and collaborations that seek to support Indigenous movements and scholarship. In the spring of 2016, she launched this website with the assistance of a voluntary group of colleagues of historians, educators, archivists, librarians, and information technology experts.

In 2002, as a senior policy analyst at the California Research Bureau, State Library, she worked with the office of John L. Burton, California Senator President pro Tempore, providing a report to the California State Legislature that answered the question: did the State of California enact laws that prohibited California Indians from practicing their religion, speaking their languages, or practicing traditional ceremonies and customs?

Since that time, Kimberly has been further investigating and researching the early California laws and policies related to state militia, volunteers and independent companies and related financial records to identify the high-level state and federal decision makers, along with local perpetrators who benefited financially and otherwise by implementing the “Expeditions against the Indians” during 1851 to 1859 and beyond. She has completed the research in numerous repositories in California and across the nation. Using her public finance, statistical analysis, and transactional legal skills she is now focused on turning her findings into an accessible book publication. The working title of the project is “Financing Atrocity and Attempted Erasure: The Men and Money Schemes Behind the 19th Century California Indian Massacres.”

Deborah Cismowski

Deborah Cismowski is a retired reference and research librarian with 16 years of experience in public and special libraries in California. Most recently, she was the History Librarian/Historical Records Officer for the California Department of Transportation Library & History Center until January 2015. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree, both from San Jose State University.

Susan Hanks, M.L.I.S.

Susan Hanks began working in libraries in 1979. She holds a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree from San Jose State University. In, 2000, Susan began working at the California Research Bureau, California State Library where she worked closely with Kimberly Johnston-Dodds to bring much needed California Indian historical resources to California tribes, community members, students, California State Library collections and California educational institutions. Throughout her career Susan has worked closely with communities to identify information needs and advocate to provide resources.  She is a skilled grant writer and has volunteered her time and energy to many Indigenous initiatives with a gift for connecting peoples and projects that benefit the communities. She retired from her most recent California State Library position where she focused on tribal and rural libraries, library programs and services statewide, along with disaster preparedness and salvage operations for cultural institutions.

Marta M. Knight, M.A.

Marta Knight holds a Master of Arts in Public History from California State University Sacramento (2005), and has a professional background in litigation support with an emphasis on water rights and land use. She assisted Kimberly Johnston-Dodds with research and digitization of primary documents for the California Research Bureau’s California Indian Historical Research Project, and wrote content for The History Channel’s “This Day in Presidential History” website module. Marta is currently a contract historical researcher and archivist for public and private entities.

Chris Kuzak, M.A.

Chris Kuzak is an Architectural Historian with the California Department of Transportation. He holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and Philosophy from San Francisco State University, and a Master of Arts degree in Public History from California State University Sacramento. Chris has been professionally engaged in research on topics related to California history for fifteen years.

Sarah Supahan

Sarah Supahan is retired County Superintendent of the Trinity County Office of Education (effective December 2022) in Weaverville, CA. Sarah has been in the education field since 1986. Prior to her public service as County Superintendent, she served in several rural school districts in four different counties of Northern California in the following positions: Indian Education and Native Language Director, Karuk Language Instructor, English and Social Studies Teacher, Principal, Charter School Director and District Superintendent. Sarah is the author of multiple publications and curricula highlighting Native Language instruction and Native history. She is the parent of three Karuk Tribal members, and grandparent to multiple grandchildren. She lives in Burnt Ranch, California.

Michelle Trujillo, M.A.

Michelle Trujillo holds a Master of Arts in Public History from California State University, Sacramento (2020). Her thesis project examined the Japanese American history of Florin, California, through archival photographs housed at the Japanese American Archival Collection at CSUS. The resulting book, Images of America: Japanese Americans of Florin, was published in January 2021 by Arcadia Publishing. Michelle was an inaugural 2019 California State Library Foundation Kibbey Fellow whose research article, “Loans, Land, and Labor: The Farm Security Administration’s Reappropriation of Japanese Farms” was published in the California State Library Foundation Bulletin (2020, Number 127). Her article, “Make the World Familiar: Native Americans and Acts of Engaged Resistance,” was published in the Nash Award-winning Spring 2018 edition of Clio. Michelle is also a photographer and videographer.

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