~ Introducing Sara Twiss, Tribal Administrator for the Walker River Paiute Tribe ~
My name is Sara Twiss, and I wanted to formally introduce myself as I passed my 1 month transition into the position of Tribal Administrator for the Walker River Paiute Tribe. I am a proud member of the Tribe, and I spent 15 years growing up in my hometown of Schurz, NV. Once I graduated high school in Yerington, NV, I pursued my Bachelor of Arts in Humanities degree at Sierra Nevada College. With that achievement, I returned to Schurz and began working through various departments, including Water Resources Department, Fisheries Department, and Enrollment Department. I was the Cultural and Language grant writer and the Executive Secretary to the Tribal Chairman in 2014. In 2016, I relocated to New Mexico, where I pursued and graduated with a Master’s degree in Community Regional Planning (MCRP) from the University of New Mexico., with a focus on Community Development and Indigenous Planning.
My previous work with the University of New Mexico Center for Participatory Research provides excellent experience working in a high-volume workplace while building communication and administrative support. I worked through various projects, including our NM Research, Evaluation, and Learning team, where we provided evaluation and technical assistance to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation grantees. I also worked as a grantee reviewer for over 30 organizations that applied for funding through the Foundation. I was a researcher, facilitator, and mentor for our Tribal Data Champions Fellowship program. In addition, I served on our Maternal Child Health Deep Dive Committee for grantees focused on this area throughout New Mexico. Before this position, I worked for a non-profit organization where I upheld the role of Executive Administrative Assistant at La Plazita Institute. We focused primarily on restorative justice practices and alternatives to detention for youth and adults, specifically for individuals/communities of color.
I previously did independent consultant work for the First Nations Development Institute for applicant reviews of the Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship and the Native Language Immersion Initiative. I was hired as a contract canvasser for the 2020 Election and Census campaigns through the New Mexico Community Capital. My MCRP degree has given me the tools and methods to unite communities to accomplish long-term goals through innovative and participatory programmatic strategies. I will work with the tribal administration, departmental Directors, and the Tribal Council to establish accountability and compliance measures and enhance career development opportunities with training and education while fostering the next generation of tribal leadership. I am passionate about working with tribal entities that will support our existing and future partnerships, and I am honored to work with you all for the continued advancement of the Agai Diccutta Numu community.