founder + board president
Nico Albert (ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ Cherokee Nation) is a chef, caterer and student of traditional Indigenous cuisines based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She began her culinary education growing up in California and Arizona, spending time in her mother’s garden and in the kitchen preparing family meals. After relocating to Northeastern Oklahoma, Nico embraced her return to the post-removal homeland of her mother’s people as a calling and opportunity to reestablish a relationship with her Cherokee community, first and foremost through the language of food. Her journey to learn traditional Cherokee ways, dishes and the wild and cultivated ingredients involved in their preparation grew to encompass the Indigenous cuisines of tribes from all parts of North America, and led to her involvement in Indigenous food revitalization and food sovereignty.
Nico is the Owner and Executive Chef of Burning Cedar Indigenous Foods, a catering and consulting company specializing in traditional and modern Native cuisine. Her work centers on the revitalization of ancestral Indigenous foodways to promote healing and wellness in the Native American community. Her efforts to steadily expand her knowledge of traditional ingredients and techniques continue through research and collaboration with Indigenous chefs and traditionalists from all Nations. Nico’s work has been featured regionally and nationally by Food Network Magazine, USA Today, Hulu, BBC, Cherokee Nation's OsiyoTV, Smithsonian National Museum of American History, King Arthur Baking Co, Atlas Obscura, PBS, Gilcrease Museum, and Philbrook Museum among others.
Nico serves as a board member for Matriarch, a 501(c)(3) Native led program empowering Native women through education, community building, and direct services to create positive change within communities in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Matriarch services include domestic and sexual abuse education, cultural re-connection, suicide prevention, financial planning, physical, mental and spiritual health education, job market preparation, and healthy relationship guidance.
Nico serves on the Native American Cultural Advisory Committee for Gathering Place, which is instrumental in planning and executing the annual Oklahoma Tribal Celebration. She also serves on the Gilcrease Museum Community Advisory Committee.
board secretary + director of birthwork
F. Dana Bear (Osage/German/Puerto Rican/African American) is a mother, activist, auntie, student, doula, herbalist, and lifelong learner. She considers occupied Osage County as home. She received her full-spectrum doula and childbirth educator training through Birthing Advocacy Doula Training in 2022 and is currently completing a degree in botany at Oregon State University. Dana currently serves on the committee for Wakon Owatsi, a dance organized by Osage community members to honor our women and 2SLGTBQ+ Osage people.
Active in her Osage community, Dana has been called to connect Indigenous families with holistic birthways. Her training and life experience have taught her to advocate for communities of color as well as 2SLGTBQ+ community members. Connecting with plants, food, nature, and taking care of the way we bring life in and out of this world is a step forward in self-determination for communities of color. Dana’s love of nature and reproductive justice coupled with her spiritual practices help round out the Burning Cedar Sovereign Wellness mission.
board member + property specialist
Ashley Dailey began her career in 2010 working as a new home sales associate for local builders in the Tulsa, OK greater area. In the middle of a tough market, Ashley found a way to revitalize slow moving new home developments.
Ashley was featured twice in the national association of home builders marketing magazine for her work in the Tulsa, OK area. In 2015 she became a licensed REALTOR and joined Keller Williams Realty Premier in Owasso, OK. By 2018, she was a full time agent and in 2020 she was the top producing agent in the brokerage. Ashley served two years on the Agent Leadership Council at KWRP. She is the social equity task force ambassador for the brokerage, she has her Agent of Distinction Diversity certification through KW and her At Home With Diversity Cert through NAR. Diversity, equity and inclusion in real estate and the world around her, is Ashley’s passion and heart work.
In 2021, Ashley started her real estate team of diverse working moms, Dailey Properties, they closed 87 units their first year as a team, are listed in the local TOP 10% of REALTORS and went Quad Gold in production. They are the only Latina lead all female real estate team in the Tulsa, OK area. Ashley lives in Tulsa, OK w/ her husband Amos, their two rescue dogs, Frida and Maggie and her two adult kids, Dax and Mady live nearby, Dax works for Dailey Properties and Mady owns her own lash salon. She devotes time to local rescues, domestic violence organizations, and spreading awareness about Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women. Ashley believes in the power of home ownership and spreads the message everywhere she goes- owning real estate enhances lives and builds wealth.
Blue Bird Jernigan
board advisor + grant specialist
Dr. Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan is a Choctaw woman and Professor of Medicine and Rural Health. She received her Doctorate in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cardiovascular disease prevention at Stanford University, where she also completed a degree in documentary filmmaking. She is the Principal Investigator of more than a dozen research studies aimed at improving Indigenous food environments through policy and systems interventions. She also leads the Center for Indigenous Innovation and Health Equity, funded by the Office of Minority Health. Dr. Jernigan is a member of the Canadian Institutes of Health research College of Reviewers. She is the inaugural chair of the National Cancer Institute’s Intervention Research to Improve Native Health (IRINAH) initiative, a collaboration of NIH-funded investigators conducting intervention science research. In 2019 she established and now directs the Center for Indigenous Health Research and Policy (CIHRP), an endowed research Center of Oklahoma State University’s Center for Health Sciences. In all of her work she has focused on fostering long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with Indigenous communities that promote tribal sovereignty and build community capacity to improve health.