California Governor Newsom Announces Appointments

SACRAMENTO, CA (STL.News) Governor Gavin Newsom announced the following appointments:

Isaac Bojorquez, 47, of Sacramento, has been appointed to the California Native American Heritage Commission. Bojorquez is an enrolled member of and has been Tribal Chairman for the KaKoon Ta Ruk Band of Ohlone-Costanoan Indians of the Big Sur Rancheria since 2018.  He held several positions at the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation between 2000 and 2021, including Director of Cultural Resources and Executive Assistant of the Tribal Gaming Agency.  Bojorquez was a Security Screener at the Transportation Security Administration from 2003 to 2004, Detention Officer I and Deputy Probation Officer Intern at Yolo County Probation from 1999 to 2000 and Supervisor at Valley Media Inc. from 1994 to 1999.  This position requires Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Bojorquez is a Democrat.

Sara Dutschke, 43, of Oakland, has been appointed to the California Native American Heritage Commission.  Dutschke has been a Partner at Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell since 2019 and is an enrolled member of and has been Chair for the Ione Band of Miwok Indians since 2018.  She was an Attorney at Dentons US LLP from 2010 to 2019, Associate at Karshmer & Associates from 2006 to 2010 and Program Analyst and Administrative Officer at the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs Pacific Regional Office from 1998 to 2006.  She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Native American Studies from the University of California, Davis.  This position requires Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Dutschke is registered without party preference.

Buffy McQuillen, 48, of Mendocino, has been appointed to the California Native American Heritage Commission. McQuillen is a descendant of Yokayo Pomo, Yuki, Nomlaki and an enrolled Tribal Citizen of Round Valley Indian Tribes. She has been Tribal Heritage Preservation Officer at the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria since 2015.  McQuillen held several positions at the Yurok Tribe between 2001 and 2015, including Acting Assistant to the Social Services Director and Youth Outreach Coordinator and Repatriation and Cultural Collections Manager.  She was Repatriation Specialist for Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation from 2012 to 2013.  This position requires Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. McQuillen is a Democrat.

Wayne Nelson, 41, of Pala, has been appointed to the California Native American Heritage Commission.  Nelson is an enrolled member of the La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians and has been Culture Resource Manager at Native Ground Monitoring, Research and Consulting since 1999.  This position requires Senate confirmation and there is no compensation.  Nelson is registered without party preference.

Stanley Rodriguez, 63, of Santa Ysabel, has been appointed to the California Native American Heritage Commission. Rodriguez has been Director of the Kumeyaay Community College since 2018, Adjunct Instructor at California State University, San Marcos since 2017, Kumeyaay Language Instructor at Kumeyaay Community College since 2005 and Instructor and Advisor at the Navy Drug and Alcohol Counselor School since 1995.  Rodriguez served as an E-5 in the U.S. Navy from 1985 to 1991.  He is an enrolled member and serves as a Council Member of the Santa Ysabel Band of the Iipay Nation.  Rodriguez earned a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership from the University of California, San Diego and a Master of Arts degree in Human Behavior from National University.  This position requires Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Rodriguez is a Democrat.

Stephanie Weldon, 44, of Humboldt, a member of the Yurok Tribe, has been appointed Director of the Office of Tribal Affairs at the California Department of Social Services.  Weldon has been Program Advisor to the California Department of Social Services as an ICWA/Tribal Social Services Specialist for the Children and Families Policy Institute of California since 2020.  She was Director of Yurok Health and Human Services from 2019 to 2020 and held multiple positions at the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services from 2013 to 2019, including Child Welfare Director, Social Services Branch Director, Deputy Director of Children and Family Services and Social Worker Supervisor.  Weldon was Social Services Director for the Yurok Tribe from 2010 to 2013 and held various Tribal positions from 2002 to 2010, including Interim Public Relations Manager, Executive Secretary, JOM Education Site Supervisor and Social Services Assistant Director.  Weldon is a board member of the National Indian Child Welfare Association.  She earned a Master of Social Work degree from Humboldt State University.  This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $122,244.  Weldon is a Democrat.