Tribal Council


Valentin Lopez has been the Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band since 2003, one of three historic tribes that are recognized as Ohlone. Valentin is Mutsun, Awaswas, Chumash and Yokuts. The Amah Mutsun are comprised of the documented descendants of Missions San Juan Bautista and Santa Cruz. Valentin Lopez is a Native American Advisor to the University o f California, Office of the President on issues related to repatriation. He is also a Native American Advisor to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology. Valentin is actively involved in efforts to restore tribal indigenous knowledge and ensure our history is accurately told. Finally, Valentin is working to restore the Mutsun Language and is a traditional Mutsun singer and dancer. As Chairman, Valentin is a standing member on all Tribal committees and Boards.


Paul Mondragon is the Vice-Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band. Paul has been on the Mutsun Tribal Council since 1999. Paul descends from Ascencion Solorasano and our Tribal leader from the late 1900’s up until the time of her death in 1930. The spirit of Ascencion is strong in Paul’s composition as our cultural and ways are in his DNA. Paul is a traditional Mutsun dancer. .As Vice-Chairman, Paul is a standing member on all Tribal committees and Boards.


Lisa Carrier is the Tribal Secretary and has been on Council since 2003.  She was a Co-Founder, Director of the Mutsun Language Foundation which was founded in 2001. In addition to working on language, Lisa is a traditional dancer & singer. She continues to preserve her Mutsun heritage through basket weaving, music, regalia making, traditional jewelry and studying the horticulture & genealogy of her ancestors. She has taught Mutsun traditions and skills through presentations and classroom demonstrations at schools, universities and state, regional and county parks and for the native people in her community. Lisa is a member of the Humunya Foundation and Tribal Membership Committee and releases all Tribal announcements & other communication to her Tribe.


Denise Espinosa, Interim Tribal Treasure, is a therapist by profession and expertise on issues related to Native American Mental Health including: drugs and alcohol, Native identity, using ceremony in healing.  Denise is the Treasurer of the Humunya Foundation.


Ed Ketchum, Member. Ed has been a Council member since 1992: Ed also serves as the Tribal Historian and Natural Resource Coordinator. He has studied Mutsun history and culture since childhood. Ed regularly presents tribal history to members and the public, he particularly enjoys telling the Mutsun creation stories to our youth. In addition to being the Tribal historian he has represented the tribe with organizations providing our goals of restoring habitat and protecting culturally significant lands. Ed is also registered with the Native American Heritage Commission as the Most Likely Descendent for most ofSan BenitoCounty and portions ofMerced andSanta ClaraCounties.


Nathan Olivas, Member: Nathan has been a Council member since 2003. On Council Nathan represents Tribal Elders and has done a lot of work on Tribal genealogy and gathering stories and histories from our elders.


Cynthia Cordova, Member: Cynthia has been on Council since 2008 and participates in all Tribal meetings related to wellness and helps members with their understanding of difficult topics. Cynthia is also a member of the Humunya Foundation, Membership Committee, and is the Election Coordinator for all Tribal elections


Mark Mondragon, Member: Mark has been on Tribal Council since 1999.. Mark has expertise in wild fires and as such helps the Tribe develop policies related to land management, and habitat restoration..


Sonya Pineida, Member: Sonia Has been on Council since 2007. Sonia serves as member liaison for all lineages. Sonya keeps members informed of Tribal events and helps coordinate transportation, to meetings, etc. Sonya also helps members with individual issues as requested. Sonya has specialize training fromCornellUniversity in Library Science with emphasis on Native American archival records.


Peggy Pappani, Member. Peggy has been on Council since 2010 and is the Director of the Mutsun Membership Committee. Peggy ensures all records are current and that all members have the primary evidence needed to be a member of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band. She also is a member of the Humunya Foundation.

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