Our Chairwoman

Rhonda Morningstar Pope

Rhonda is serving her 5th term as Chairwoman. She is currently attending Sacramento City College pursing degrees in both Business and Native American Studies. She regularly attends conferences and consultations designed to promote responsible tribal governance and leadership. During her leadership of the Tribe, she has established a strong tribal government and infrastructure for ongoing Tribal programs.

She established a Tribal office in Sacramento and on the reservation for ongoing Tribal and environmental affairs. Some of the programs established under her leadership include Tribal Member Services, which provides education, social services, and child care services for Tribal members. She has established an Environmental Department, hiring a director to handle environmental, cultural, and NAGPRA related issues.

Community Foundation

She formed the Jesse Flyingcloud Pope Foundation in 2007 in honor of her father. Resources from the Foundation are used to support charitable programs designed to assist local community members and offer educational opportunities, specifically promoting and enhancing Tribal traditions, cultural awareness and community support.

More on the Foundation

Little Big Time Child Development Center

In March 2008, Chairwoman Pope opened the Buena Vista Child Development Center, now called Little Big Time; which serves low income Native American families. The school is the first of its kind offering an experience focusing on the traditions, culture and language, with a strong emphasis on California Indians.

Child Care Website

We Come This Far by Faith

Family, culture, and tradition have always been a priority to Rhonda. She has followed in her great-grandfather Louie’s footsteps by resurrecting the annual ceremonies on the reservation just as her great-grandfather hosted. In 2007, part of these efforts included building a dance arbor brush house, with the help from local tribal communities. She has conducted in-depth research of her Tribe’s history and built a comprehensive binder available to Tribal members for ancestral history background. In addition to Tribal history, language has been a key priority. She has established a Tribal library, including ethnographic, historic, and linguistic information to promote language revitalization.