November is Native American Heritage Month. This year, instead of featuring just historical Native American Educators, we are taking a look at Lake County Native Americans who have made an impact in the community.
There are six Tribes in Lake County that celebrate their cultural ways with dancing, songs, ceremonies, and prayers. They are federally recognized Tribes under the United States Government and maintain their own governments as Sovereign Nations.
Lake County’s Tribal Nations are:
Eddie "E.J." Crandell
E.J. Crandell grew up in the North Shore of Lake County.
E.J. was the Tribal Chair of the Robinson Band of Pomo Indians from 2015 - 2020 and the second Native American to be elected as the District 3 Supervisor in Lake County.
Previous to being a Board Supervisor, he served the county as the District 3 Planning Commissioner.
"My leadership approach is inclusive, every voice matters and no effort is too small.”
After graduating from Upper Lake High School, E.J. served in the United States Army as a sergeant. He was deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom with the “Screaming Eagles”.
He has worked hard to serve his country, the Lake County community and advocate for the Lake County Native Americans.
He believes the resources in Lake County can lead to a more vibrant and healthy community.
Sherry Treppa was born in Lake County and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.
She is the Chairperson of the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake, a federally recognized Indian Nation located in Upper Lake, California.
Sherry was first elected to the Tribe’s seven-member Executive Council as Vice Chairperson in 2004, until she was elected Chairperson in 2008.
“Spiritual health is achieved by anchoring ourselves to the legacy handed down by our ancestors over many centuries. By endeavoring to continue their practices, our proud history becomes the living, vital present for us and our children.”
Sherry, as well as the Tribe, strive to give back to their Tribal Members and surrounding communities. They play an active role with the schools, civil servants and local governments.
They have made various contributions to Lake County schools, Fire Departments and Sheriff's office.
She has been repeatedly recognized for her active commitment to Native American issues and their mission to achieve economic growth and long-term financial stability.
Jose "Moke" Simon III
Moke was born and raised in Middletown, CA.
Moke currently serves as a Tribal Chairman for the Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California, and is the first ever Native American elected to the Lake County Board of Supervisors.
Serving Lake County's District 1, Moke has been instrumental in creating hundreds of local jobs in the Middletown community through the management and financial oversight of Twin Pine Casino & Hotel and the Mount St. Helena Brewing Company.
"I ran for District Supervisor to make my community better for my kids, my grandkids, and the next seven generations to come.”
Throughout his life, Moke understood that hard work was required to reach his goals. He loved sports as a kid and set a goal to play professional football.
He started out in high school playing baseball and football, then began his college football career at Butte College. After college, he was picked up as a free agent with the NFL Indianapolis Colts. He ended his professional football career on the World Football League (WFL) Scottish Claymores, winning the World League Championship in 1996.
He was inducted to the Butte College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018.
Moke remains an avid sports fan to this day and values his time coaching football for Middletown High School. He enjoys developing a game plan, teaching it to students and seeing them put it together on the field.