Princess Daazhraai Johnson
President Obama Appoints Princess Daazhraii Johnson to IAIA Board
SANTA FE — Princess Daazhraii, whose stage name is Princess Daazhraii Lucaj, has been named to the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Art of the American Indian by President Barack Obama.
Princess Daazhraii Johnson is Neets’aii Gwich’in from Alaska. She works closely with her home village of Vashrąįį K’oo and is an advocate for environmental and social justice issues for Alaska Native people. She is the former Executive Director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee and previously served as Alaska Director at the Indigenous Leadership Institute. She has worked for, or volunteered with, Native Voices at the Autry National Center, WriteGirl, Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre, and the Alaska State Council on the Arts.
She has been a member of the SAG-AFTRA Native American Committee since 2007 and also serves on the Board of Dancing with the Spirit, a program that promotes spiritual wellness through music. Mrs. Johnson was a Sundance Fellow for the Filmmakers, Producers and Screenwriters Lab, and she was anEmerging Voices Rosenthal Fellow with the PEN Center. Mrs. Johnson received a BA in International Relations from George Washington University and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Education at the University of Alaska Anchorage — with a focus on Ecojustice. It is her honor to serve now on the Board of Trustees for the Institute of American Indian Arts.
Mrs. Johnson lives in Fairbanks, Alaska with her husband, James, and their sons. She has very little spare time but does love being out on the land and doing beadwork.
IAIA became one of three Congressionally chartered colleges in the United States in 1986, and was charged with the study, preservation, and dissemination of traditional and contemporary expressions of Native American language, literature, history, oral traditions, and the visual and performing arts. Due to their status as a Congressionally chartered college, all appointments to the Board of Trustees are made by the current President of the United States.
Loren Kieve (Cherokee), the Chair of the IAIA Board of Trustees had this to say about the appointment: “On behalf of my fellow trustees, we are delighted to have someone of Princess Johnson’s stature and qualifications join our board, and we look forward to working with her in guiding the Institute.”