Staff & Board

The Mitchell Museum’s mission is supported through a small, active board and staff that works to share the diverse histories, cultures, and contributions of Native communities from the Chicagoland area and beyond.

Mitchell Museum of the American Indian Board of Directors

Officers

  • Susan Kelsey, President
  • George Stevenson, Vice President, Cherokee Nation
  • Andrew Johnson, Treasurer, Cherokee 
  • Carol LaMar, Secretary, Seminole/Cherokee
  • Jan Berkson, Life Director

Board Members

  • April Chancellor, Potawatomi
  • Tom Berreth, Gwich’in, Athabaskan
  • Daniel Guzman-King, Oneida Nation of Wisconsin
  • Melvin Masquat, Navajo, Winnebago, Kickapoo
  • Joyce Niederman
  • Stephanie Perdew, Cherokee Nation
  • Susan Salisbury
  • George Strack, Miami Tribe of Oklahoma

Mitchell Museum of the American Indian Staff

Kim Vigue

Executive Director

Email: Kimvigue@mitchellmuseum.org

Kim brings over 20 years of experience working on behalf of many leading tribal organizations, federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private sector entities to develop and deliver culturally relevant initiatives and programming designed to improve the well-being of Native children, families, and communities. Kim is also the founder of Wolf River Consulting Group and previously served as the Communications Director at the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education. Kim is an enrolled member of the Oneida Nation and a descendant of the Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin. She joined the Mitchell Museum in October 2021.

Josee Starr

Director of Operations

E-mail: JStarr@mitchellmuseum.org

Josee is an enrolled member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation (Three Affiliated Tribes) of North Dakota and also represents the Omaha Nation of Nebraska and Wiikwemkoong First Nation from Ontario, Canada. She grew up in the greater Chicago American Indian Community, learning her culture and traditional values. She has worked as an independent artist, and her background is in Cultural Education. She has been with the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian since December 2019.

Joseph Gackstetter

Development Director

E-mail: JGackstetter@mitchellmuseum.org

Born in Rockford, IL, Joseph went on to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and History at Southern Illinois University and a Master’s Degree in Museum and Artifact Studies at Durham University in the UK. 

Rachel Niemann

Bookkeeper

E-mail: Bookkeeper@mitchellmuseum.org

Rachel is a local, growing up and currently residing in Evanston, IL.  She joined the museum in 2015, after visiting the museum with her daughter.  Rachel enjoys the educational aspect of the museum.  Her favorite exhibit is: Stunning Stories in Native American Jewelry.

Camille Billie

Visitor Services Specialist

E-mail: Camille.billie@mitchellmuseum.org

Camille “Katahtu’ntha” Billie is the Visitor Service Specialist at the Mitchell Museum and is a member of Oneida Nation, Wisconsin. She’s also an alum of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a degree in Studio Fine Arts with an emphasis in Designed Objects. Outside of the Museum, she is participating in an artist residency with the Newberry Library for a 2024 exhibition: Indigenous Chicago.

Billie Kerner

Traditional Garden & Food Sovereignty Manager

E-mail: gardenmanager@mitchellmuseum.org

Billie Kerner is a biologist and public policy advocate with a strong commitment to environmental sustainability and social equity. She graduated from Indiana University Northwest with a Bachelor of Arts degree, concentrating in Biology. Billie is also certified as a Monarch Butterfly expert, reflecting her deep passion for conservation.  Alongside her scientific and policy studies, she holds a certification in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) & belonging, highlighting her dedication to creating inclusive environments in her professional and academic pursuits.  Billie is passionate about bridging gaps between Western Science and Traditional Ecological Studies.