Misty Wilkie, PhD, RN

Misty Wilkie, PhD, RN

Immediate Past President

Dr. Misty L. Wilkie, PhD, RN (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa)

Dr. Wilkie grew up on multiple reservations in North and South Dakota and Minnesota. It wasn’t until her oldest, Zachary, was 5 months old that she was called to become a nurse. Zachary spent 2 weeks at the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital as specialists determined what caused his right arm paralysis. During this time, Zachary’s primary nurse, Roni, was Dr. Wilkie’s saving grace. She exemplified all critical qualities of a nurse, and inspired Dr. Wilkie to pursue nursing. She earned her ADN from Hibbing, MN in 1997, a BSN from Bemidji State in 2001, an MSN from University of North Dakota in 2003 and a PhD from University of Minnesota in 2009.

Her background is in rural and reservation health, working in acute care, emergency room and long-term care. While in her undergraduate program she became interested in the organ donation and transplantation experience in American Indians. Once she completed her PhD course work, she took a position for an adjunct nursing faculty at a community college and fell in love with teaching. She has been in higher education ever since and currently works at Bemidji State University in Bemidji, MN.

Dr. Wilkie was inspired, mentored, and encouraged to pursue her PhD by previous NANAINA members. It has been important to her to revitalize NANAINA to provide the mentoring and networking opportunities that were available to her as a graduate student. She is a strong advocate, supporter and mentor to increase indigenous nursing student success.

She resides in Battle Lake, MN with her husband, Rich, her two youngest children, Quinn and Avaya. Her oldest son, Zachary, earned his elementary education degree and resides in Fargo, ND. She enjoys reading, walking/running, and spending time with her family.


Past President
Lisa Martin

Lisa Martin


Dr. Lisa Martin, PhD, RN (Lac du Flambeau Band of Chippewa)

Lisa Martin, PhD, RN, PHN, AHN-BC is an Assistant Professor with St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota and a member of the Lac Du Flambeau Band of Chippewa Indians in Wisconsin. Lisa began her academic career at the University of Minnesota as a research assistant with the Center for Adolescent Nursing and as a science administrator with the American Indian Alaska Native MS to PhD Nursing Science Bridge Project established to double the number of American Indian nurses with PhD degrees in the US.  Prior to the University of Minnesota she worked as a public health nurse in inner city areas, and as a clinical educator, nursing supervisor, and project manager with several interdisciplinary public health programs. Her areas of interest include: diabetes prevention in American Indian youth, holistic nursing and integrative healthcare, and cross cultural competence.    

Dr. Martin has several years of experience teaching undergraduate and graduate nursing. In addition to her passion for teaching, she has experience building research partnerships with American Indian communities. Her doctoral dissertation described the experiences of American Indian adolescents living with Type 2 diabetes. Her current research looks closely at American Indian youth living with overweight, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.

Dr. Martin earned her Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing from St. Catherine University, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Augsburg College, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Master of Science in Nursing Administration and PhD in Nursing from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She is board certified as an advanced holistic nurse. She currently serves on the Indian Health Board of Minneapolis Board of Directors, the National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association Board of Directors, and is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

Lisa lives with her family in Minneapolis, Minnesota and in the summer enjoys returning to the Lac Du Flambeau and Lake Superior areas.


Pelagie “Mike” Snesrud, RN

Pelagie “Mike” Snesrud, RN


Pelagie “Mike” Snesrud is a retired CAPT, U.S. Public Health Service. Mike is a Registered Nurse, BSN and Certified Public Health Nurse with 35 years nursing experience, primarily in public health administration with over 29 years of experience working with Indian Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, and tribal health programs. She has a distinguished record of effective leadership working with Tribal Communities and Tribal Governments, local, state, regional, and national public health programs and agencies. Mike has demonstrated her capabilities and strengths through various leadership positions she has held including her last duty assignment as Senior Tribal Liaison, CDC’s Office of State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support and her long term previous assignment as Director of Public Health Nursing for the Fond du Lac Reservation Human Services Division.

Mike’s tribal affiliation is Dakota from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Tribe. Additional past experiences and skills include those related with fiscal management, strategic planning, program design and implementation, strong oral and written communication, and management and operational practices that assure effective collaboration.

Currently Mike is enjoying retirement and aggressively building a new career as a fulltime Grandma to eleven beautiful and active grandchildren as well as having time to do lots of hiking, biking, and frequent traveling.

Diane Mashburn, PhD, RN-BC, CNE

Diane Mashburn, PhD, RN-BC, CNE


Dr. Diana Mashburn (Cherokee)

Osiyo!  My husband Greg and I are both Cherokee, true “Okies from Muskogee”, and fortunate to have many extended family members nearby.  He is a multimedia projects supervisor and web designer for Cherokee Nation.  I am Chair of the RN-BSN program at Northeastern State University and have taught nursing for over 25 years. My interest in nursing began as a junior volunteer (candy striper) at age 14.  I received my A.A. from Bacone College in 1987, my B.S.N. from Northeastern State University in 1990, my Masters from The University of Oklahoma in 1994, and Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Minnesota in 2012.  Each of these schools specifically emphasized American Indian culture and for that, I am truly grateful.

I am ANCC board certified as a Medical-Surgical Nurses and a Certified Nurse Educator.  My research interest is self-efficacy/self-reliance, and adherence to recommended self-care among Cherokee with Type 2 diabetes.  I began teaching nursing during my final semester as a student and have taught at the practical nursing, associate degree, RN-BSN, and graduate levels, at Bacone, Bill Willis Technology Center, Northeastern Oklahoma A & M, Oklahoma State University-IT and NSU.  


Sandy Littlejohn

Sandy Littlejohn


Sandy Littlejohn, MA, BSN, RN (Mdewakanton Dakota)

Sandy is Mdewakanton Dakota and grew up on Lower Sioux Reservation located near Morton, Minnesota. She has been in the nursing profession for 35 years.  Sandy completed her bachelors in nursing (BSN) at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN and her master of art (MA) in transcultural nursing at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN.

Sandy’s nursing career has spanned long-term care, clinic and hospital care settings as well as Human Resources. While at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, Wisconsin for the past 25 years, Sandy has taken on a variety of leadership roles across the health system, including 10 years as executive director of hospital operations.  Her current role is executive consultant in Human Resources with a primary focus on Gundersen’s diversity and inclusion activities. Sandy notes that her current work brings together her clinical operational knowledge, leadership experience and transcultural nursing skills to guide workforce priorities, clinical improvement for diverse patients served and fosters relationships between her organization and the surrounding communities.

Sandy has been an active contributor for many academic, state and national nursing initiatives related to diversity and Native American nursing priorities.  She is committed to fostering the next generation of nurses and healthcare leaders by mentoring students and colleagues as they discover their professional path in healthcare. She has served two terms as a board member of the National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association (NANAINA) and currently represents NANAINA as the Treasurer of the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurses Association (NCEMNA). Sandy was honored to have co-authored with her dear friend, the late Dr. Roxanne Struthers, “The Essence of Native American Nursing” in 1999.

Sandy has been married to her husband Greg for 32 years; they have children and grandchildren that light up their life. Sandy is an avid golfer and enjoys beading caps and visors for her family and friends!

Dr. Lillian Tom-Orme (Dine’)




NANAINA currently has three vacant member-at-large positions.  Please see details below for nominations.

President Elect and Secretary terms will end in June 2017—Seeking nominations.

Nominations can be sent to Misty Wilkie, PhD, RN at