Cynthia Gomez , Executive Secretary

1550 Harbor Blvd, Suite 100
West Sacramento, CA 95691
(916) 373-3710
(916) 373-5471 – Fax
- Yokut -

Cynthia Gomez was appointed by Governor Brown as his first Tribal Advisor in March 2012.  She has also been appointed by Governor Brown as the Executive Secretary for the Native American Commission. 

Prior to working for the Governor, she served the Chief Judge for the Shingle Springs Tribal Court.  She has a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Northern California where she received honors as Valedictorian, Outstanding Litigator and Dean of Students.   In 2010 Judge Gomez was appointed to the California Tribal Court/State Court Coalition by the California Supreme Court Justice, Ronald M. George.  The purpose of the coalition is to develop measures to improve the working relationship between California’s tribal and state courts and to focus on areas of mutual concern. 

Judge Gomez is a member of the Yokut tribe from the Tule River Indian Reservation.  She began her career working for the Tule River Tribal Council overseeing various departments with oversight of planning, natural resources, public works, water, environmental, cultural resources, and transportation.  Her duties included the development of legislation and the prosecution of Tribal laws through the Federal Magistrate’s Court. 

Judge Gomez has over 30 years working with Tribal, State and Federal governments. She was the Assistant Secretary for Environmental Justice and Tribal Government Affairs for the Office of the Secretary at the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA); and the Chief for the Native American Liaison Branch.  She also served as the Chairperson for the National Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) standing Committee on Native American Transportation Issues which is one of the six major divisions of the National Research Council jointly administered by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine. 


James Ramos
- Serrano/Cahuilla -


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Commissioner Ramos to the Native American Heritage Commission on November 14, 2007.

Commissioner Ramos is a member of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and current Chairperson.

Commissioner Ramos is the Cultural Awareness Program Coordinator and previously held the positions of Treasurer and a Business Committee Member for San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.  He has served as Chairman of the San Manuel Gaming Commission. 

Commissioner Ramos is currently a member of the San Bernardino Community College District Board of Trustees.


Laura Miranda
Vice Chairperson

- Luiseno -


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Commissioner Miranda to the Native American Heritage Commission on November 14, 2007.

Commissioner Miranda, a member of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, received her J.D. from Cornell Law School, and her B.A. in Philosophy from UCLA.  Prior to joining the Pechanga Tribe's Office of the General Counsel Office, Ms. Miranda was a founding Partner of Miranda, Tomaras & Ogas, LLP, and Directing Attorney at California Indian Legal Services, where a large part of her legal practice was focused on assisting tribes with protection and preservation of their cultural resources, sacred resources and Native American human remains utilizing federal and state environmental laws, and historic preservation laws.  Her interest in such issues began as a student at UCLA where she helped organize community efforts to urge the University of California to repatriate Native American human remains and sacred items to the culturally affiliated Indian tribes.

Commissioner Miranda's notable accomplishments include legislative work on a number of cultural resources protection laws, including the California Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act sponsored by Assemblyman Steinberg, and both bills introduced by Senator Burton to protect sacred sites, SB 1828 (2002) and SB 18 (2003).  Ms. Miranda has been successful in negotiating numerous agreements and settlements on behalf of tribes with local government agencies and land developers concerning adequate protections for cultural resources and Native American human remains.  Ms. Miranda has given numerous presentations on cultural resources protection to tribes, government organizations, universities, and interested organizations.  Ms. Miranda has testified on cultural resources protection issues at federal, state and local hearings.

As Deputy General Counsel for the Pechanga Tribe Ms. Miranda’s work continues to focus on cultural resources protection, as well as numerous other tribal issues.

Commissioner Miranda is one of her Tribe’s elected representatives to the Luiseño/Cupeño Inter-Tribal NAGPRA Coalition (LINC), which is a coalition of Luiseño tribes charged with repatriation of tribal cultural resources.  Ms. Miranda is also a board member of the Riverside County Tribal Traditional Resources Advisory Committee.

Julie Tumamait-Stenslie
- Chumash -


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Commissioner Tumamait-Stenslie to the Native American Heritage Commission on November 14, 2007.

Commissioner Tumamait-Stenslie is a member and chairperson of the Barbareno /Ventureno Band of Mission Indians.

Commissioner Tumamait-Stenslie is a respected Elder, Singer, Storyteller, and Cultural Resource Consultant/Advisor .  She holds the position of Sales Representative for the Ventura County Museum of History and Art.  Commissioner Tumamait-Stenslie currently serves on the Ojai Valley Museum Board of Trustees as well as the Oakbrook Chumash Interpretative Center Board.

Commissioner Tumamait-Stenslie is an artist that uses native materials to create her jewelry, musical instruments, and basketry.  She continues to practice and teach her native language. 

Leslie Lohse
- Nomlaki -


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Commissioner Lohse to the Native American Heritage Commission on November 14, 2007.

Commissioner Lohse is a member of the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians.  She has served as Tribal Council Treasurer since 1998.

Commissioner Lohse was elected as Chairperson of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs Central California Agency Policy Committee.  Commissioner Lohse was elected by her peers and continues to serve as the Pacific Regional Vice-President on the National Congress of American Indians Executive Committee.

Commissioner Lohse has served on the CALFED Bay Delta Advisory Committee. She has co-chaired the Environmental Justice Subcommittee and continues to represent tribal interests in the water projects of California. 

Commissioner Lohse is a board member of the Ca Tribal Business Alliance as well as a former Vice President for the National Congress of American Indians.

Commissioner Lohse was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California Film Commission in 2007. 

Marshall McKay
- Wintun -


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Commissioner McKay to the Native American Heritage Commission on November 14, 2007.

Commisioner McKay, is a member of the Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians and current Chairperson.

Commissioner McKay serves as an elected member of the board of directors of Cache Creek Casino Resort, president of the Board of Trustees of the Yocha-De-He Preparatory, and as a member of the Rumsey Rancheria Fire Commission. He previously served as the Rumsey Band’s Tribal Treasurer and Tribal Secretary.

After attending Sonoma State University in Northern California, Commissioner McKay worked in management for the United States Navy and retired as a nuclear refueling manager.

Commissioner McKay is involved with the California Indian Project at the University of California, Berkeley, the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Autry National Center and the Southwest Museum of the American Indian.

Commissioner McKay was a delegate to the 1994 White House Conference on Travel and Tourism and is currently a member of the California Travel Industry Association.  He is the chairman of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association and a delegate to the National Indian Gaming Association. 

Commissioner McKay also serves as a member of the Yolo County Board of Supervisors Advisory Committee.



William (Bill) Mungary
- Paiute/White Mountain Apache -

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Governor George Deukmejian appointed Commissioner William (Bill) Mungary of Bakersfield to the Native American Heritage Commission on December 17, 1987. Mr. Mungary served as the NAHC Chairperson from 1990-2008.

Mr. Mungary is the Director of the Community Development Program, Resource Management Agency of Kern County, a position he has held since 1975. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations Curriculum from the University of California at Los Angeles. He received his Masters in Business Administration in General Management at the University of California at Los Angeles. He served in the US Air Force and achieved the rank of Captain.

Mr. Mungary is on the Board of Directors of the National Association for County Community and Economic Development and founding member of the American Indian Council of Central California, Inc., California Association for Local Economic Development, and the Native American Heritage Preservation Council of Kern County, where he served on the Board of Directors from 1991-1995. He was a member of the Cultural Resources and Economic Development Committees of the Federal Advisory Council of California Indian Policy and the Committee on Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Implementation for the California Department of Parks and Recreation. In March of 1995, Governor Wilson appointed Mr. Mungary to serve as a member of the California Rural Development Council.

Jill Sherman
San Diego
- Hoopa -


Governor Gray Davis appointed Commissioner Sherman to the Native American Heritage Commission on May 2, 2000.

Commissioner Sherman is enrolled member of the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation, located in the remote mountains of northern California. Commissioner Sherman is one of the youngest women elected to serve on the Hoopa Tribal Council. She has two sons, Troy, a traditional singer and Cody, traditional flint-knapper. Ms. Sherman graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Humboldt State University and also holds a minor in Native American Studies.

Commissioner Sherman is currently the Environmental Director for the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indian. Commissioner Sherman is an elected representative to the EPA Regional Tribal Operations Committee (RTOC) for Southern California Tribes and serves on the Native American Environmental Protection Coalition (NAEPC) Board. Ms. Sherman has been a participant with the North County American Indian Education Group and an alternative board member of the Southern California Indian Human Resources Agency.




Note-Nine Commissioners make a full compliment for the Commission