Native Star Foundation History and Leadership
The Native Star Foundation (NSF) was established in 2013 by Mr. Carrillo, an enrolled member of the Tule River Indian Tribe. Mr. Carrillo incorporated NSF in 2018 in the State of California as a domestic nonprofit corporation – 501(c)(3). Stewarded by a Board of Directors who are tribal representatives of the Bishop Paiute, Santa Ynez Chumash, and Tule River Indian Tribes, NSF’s mission is to generate and promote the healthy mindsets of Native youth through cultural practices. Specifically, by nurturing their knowledge and understanding that health is inseparable from the health of natural environment.
Where We Help
The Native Star Foundation serves Native youth in California and the western region.
Board of Directors
Willie J. Carrillo Sr.
President, Native Star Foundation
Mr. Carrillo is the former Vice President of the Pacific Region for National Congress of American Indians. Mr. Carrillo has served his tribe the Tule River Yokuts Tribe of California tribal as an elected council member for two terms, 2010 & 2015, as Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.
Mr. Carrillo has also served as the President of the California Indian Education Association, and on the Board of Trustees Chairperson for D-Q University. He has served on a wide variety of committees that advocate for tribal communities in health, education, youth development, economic development, and cultural protection.
Treasurer, Native Star Foundation
Monty Bengochia is a former tribal leader and current tribal historic preservation officer for the Bishop Paiute Tribe.
Monty is a water rights, sacred sites, traditional foods, and medicine advocate. Monty has over 30 years’ experience as a tribal leader and over 40 years working with tribal youth.
Secretary, Native Star Foundation
Nakia Zavalla is a tribal descendant of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. Ms. Zavalla has been the Culture and Language Director for her Tribe the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians since 2007. Nakia manages all aspects of the cultural department, including cultural programs, language, and public cultural education. Growing up on her reservation and in her Tribe's traditional ways, she brings a range of knowledge to her position and a passion for her Tribe's language and culture. Nakia enjoys working with people of all ages in her Tribe and values her time spent with her elders, and continuing to learning more about the culture and history of her Chumash people. She is also a proud mother of two daughter’s Tani and Hannah.
In her position, Ms. Zavalla is credited with creating the Sʰamala Language Apprentice Program and in the development and passing of the California legislation (AB 544 and AB 163) that became the Teaching Credential: American Indian Languages and Culture. In 2012, Ms. Zavalla received her Teaching Credential: American Indian Languages by the State of California in the Sʰamala Language. Ms. Zavalla has served for the past seven years on the planning committee for the California Conference on American Indian Education. She also serves on the California Living Language Circle Conference planning committee. In 2019 Ms. Zavalla earned her Master's Degree in Cultural Sustainability from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. She is a committed advocate of indigenous language and cultural survival.
Jackie Kaslow, DrPH, MPH
Dr. Kaslow serves the Native Star Foundations as the Interim Executive Director and the Red Medicine Tobacco Prevention Project (RMTPP), Project Director. Dr. Kaslow’s tribal lineage is Miwok, Nissenan-Maidu, and Pit River.
Dr. Kaslow has 20 years’ experience in public health and health care services delivery. Her career in health began at UCLA in 1998 in clinic operations, continuing education for health professionals, and bench to clinic translational research. In 2008, she joined the California Rural Indian Health Board (CRIHB) as the Director of Family and Community Health Services. In 2014, she left CRIHB and pursued her doctorate in public health. In 2017, she resumed her public health practice at UCD Center for Health Care Policy Research on the CA Quits project. CA Quits is a statewide health care systems change initiative to integrate evidence-based tobacco treatment in publicly funded hospital clinic systems and FQHC.
BA: English/Geography, Environmental Sciences, UCLA (1996)
MPH, Community Health Sciences: UCLA (2005)
DrPH, Harvard School of Public Health (2018)