Dr. Claudine Montes is of Southern Ute Tribe and Mexican descent but she grew up in the San Diego area. Claudine attended San Francisco State University where she got her Bachelor’s in Broadcast Communication Arts and then continued on to get her Master’s degree in American Indian Education. From there she took a job at the University of New Mexico as the Tribal for the Native American Studies Department. After working at UNM for several years she decided to go back to school to get her PhD at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada where she got a very unique opportunity to study in a First Nations Higher Education program called the Ts’’kel Program. There she had the great luck to meet and work with Indigenous people from around the world and live on the traditional territory of the Musqueam First Nations Band. Dr. Montes has worked in Native Education for over 25 years with a brief time away to work for the Southern California Tribal Chairman’s Association in government relations. Although she enjoyed her time working in government relations she was overjoyed to be able to get back into education with the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians. Currently she works as the Manager of the Rincon Education Department. There she runs the after-school tutorial program, the summer education program, summer internship program, scholarship program and is working on expanding the program to include independent studies students, GED program and college study nights.