Owner and principal of Naqmayam Communications, Dr. Proudfit is a communications specialist who holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science with emphasis in public policy and American Indian studies from Northern Arizona University, as well as a B.A. in political science with emphasis in public law from California State University, Long Beach. The first member of her family to earn a high school diploma, Dr. Proudfit serves as a role model for native youth and encourages self-determination through knowledge and education.
Committed to serving the American Indian community in a number of capacities, Dr. Proudfit served as a highly visible campaign spokesperson, participating in numerous television ads for both the Proposition 1A — California Constitutional Amendment, Indian Self-Reliance Initiative; and the Proposition 5 — Indian Self-Reliance Initiative. Dr. Proudfit also is the executive producer of the upcoming documentary entitled “I is not for Indian,” which explores the controversy behind how Native American curriculum is taught in our public schools. She has participated in a number of media venues such as National Public Radio, television and news specials on issues relating to tribal gaming, social justice, American Indian political development, Native American graves protection and repatriation, and California Indians. She has testified before state legislators on California Indian education issues, and works with tribal leaders and state legislators to implement new legislation to benefit American Indians.
Dr. Proudfit served as first special advisor to the Honorable Cruz M. Bustamante, former lieutenant governor of California, for California Indian Sovereign Nations in 2002. She also served as lead consultant for the 2010 Census Los Angeles Region American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) outreach campaign, and holds positions on several boards and committees, such as: director of the newly established California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center (CICSC) at California State University, San Marcos; 2nd vice chair for the Native American Caucus of the California Democratic Party; board member of the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center; executive director of the California Indian Professors Association; department chair of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University; and member of the Verizon Community Collaborative Board.
In addition to being a tenured associate professor of public administration and the director of the Tribal Government, Management and Leadership Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, Dr. Proudfit has taught a wide range of both graduate and undergraduate courses including: American Indian Politics, Tribal Government Management, Business — Government Relations, American Indians and U.S. Laws, Images and Issues in the Mass Media, Tribal Government Gaming and Economic Development, American Government and Politics, American Indians: Stereotypes and Realities in the Mass Media, Power and Politics in American Indian History, and Federal Indian Law and Administration. She has presented research at multiple conferences and media forums, and published numerous essays and articles, including: “In the Trenches: A Critical Look at the Isolation of American Indian Political Practices in a Non-Empirical Social Science” in the book “Indigenizing the Academy,” “Native American Gaming in California” in the book “Native Americans” (part of the American Political History Series published by the Congressional Quarterly Press), and “From Activism to Academics: The Evolution of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State 1968-2001” in the Indigenous Nations Studies Journal. She is the author of a forthcoming book on American Indian political power in the new millennium (published by the University of Texas Press).
Dr. Proudfit is the recipient of numerous accolades for her work and community service, such as: the California Teachers Association (CTA)’s Salute to Friends of Education Award, the Opportunities Unlimited 2002 Award in recognition of dedication and leadership by Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano and the CTA, and the John F. Kennedy, Jr. Award for Outstanding Public Service.