Meet The Board

Julian Lang

Karuk Tribe/Wiyot – Shasta descendant
I am a member of the Karuk tribe of northwestern California who belong to the lands nourished by the Klamath and Salmon Rivers and its creeks and streams. The Karuk language was spoken in the ancient villages of my ancestors and today I teach that very same language with one goal: to create 10 new Karuk speakers during the next 5 years. We have created several speakers during the last few years already. My process includes the one-on-one Master-Apprentice methods developed by AICLS over the years, the ASLA method, immersion techniques and years of experience teaching the Karuk language in schools and in community settings. Today’s technology and social networking has become a valuable tool to help reach our Karuk diaspora—we have descendants spread across the United States and internationally.

Quirina Luna Geary

Mutsun and Ritocsi Ohlone
Quirina Luna Geary is Mutsun and Ritocsi Ohlone. She has a BA in Linguistics from the University of California Davis and is a board member for the Advocates of Indigenous California Language Survival. She has worked for over 20 years on Mutsun revitalization and organizing community-based language workshops and teaching materials development. Geary is a coauthor of Mutsun-English English-Mutsun Dictionary, mutsun-inkiS inkiS-mutsun riica pappel and Creating Learning Materials and Teaching Materials for Language Revitalization: The Case of Mutsun: From Theory to Practice Around the Globe. She is also a recipient of the KQED American Indian Heritage Local Hero Award.

Kayla Begay

(Hupa/Karuk/Yurok), Board Treasurer
Kayla Begay is a Hoopa Valley Tribal member of Hupa, Yurok and Karuk descent. Carpenter holds a bachelors degree in Linguistics from Stanford University and a masters degree in Linguistics from U.C. Berkeley. She is currently a graduate student in the Linguistics Ph.D. program at U.C. Berkeley. She is the daughter of Chance Carpenter, and Melodie George-Moore, one of the first apprentice participants in the Master-Apprentice Language Learning Program. Carpenter is working towards conversational fluency in the languages of her family heritage, and is also a traditional basket weaver and singer.


Matthew Vestuto

(Ventureño Chumash), Secretary
Matthew Vestuto is the secretary for the Advocates. He also serves as language program coordinator for the Barbareño/Ventureño Band of Mission Indians and director of the Tšumaš Transcription Project. A graduate of The Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA) where he focused on Language Revitalization, Linguistics and Media, he plans to pursue graduate studies in linguistics at the University of Oregon, Eugene.

Nancy Steele

Board Member
Nancy is a language specialist and consultant. She has worked on language projects for the past 25years. Nancy is also a board member of the Karuk Language Restoration Board and is an accomplished storyteller, basket weaver and traditional singer.

Stan Rodriguez

(Kumeyaay), Board Member
(Kumeyaay) started with the Advocates as an apprentice to Juan Mesa, fluentKumeyaay speaker and renownked Wild Cat song singer. He is currently teaching Kumeyaay at SycuanCollege and at various tribal locations.

Vincent Medina

(Chochenyo Ohlone), Board Member
(Chochenyo Ohlone), Vincent is the co-founder of Mak’am-ham Café in Berkeley, CA and an instructor of Chochenyo language for his community.

Leanne Hinton

Advisory member
Advisory member of the board of AICLS and one of its founders; professor emerita of Linguistics at U.C. Berkeley. Prof. Hinton specializes in language revitalization, and consults with indigenous groups around the world on language maintenance and reclamation. She has published books, articles and reports on the revitalization of indigenous languages, and assisted in the development of several organizations and language learning programs.