Portia Kay^nthos Skenandore-Wheelock managed the Native American Advocacy Program, lobbying on legislation that affects Native communities, from 2021-2023. She served as co-chair of an interfaith working group on Native American issues, and advocated for legislation to address critical issues in Indian Country, such as the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW).
Portia is a citizen of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and spent her formative years traveling back and forth between the Oneida Indian Reservation in Wisconsin and the Oneida homelands in upstate New York, and visiting other tribal nations around the country. She studied democracy and justice studies at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay and received her law degree from Syracuse University.
Prior to joining FCNL, Portia was a law clerk for the Office of Tribal Justice at the U.S. Department of Justice, a liaison between a tribal agency and the Oneida Nation Family Court, and a director for a nonprofit organization serving tribal communities.
Portia spends her free time with her family continuing traditional cultural practices within the Haudenosaunee ceremonial calendar. Portia is also an Oneida silver work artist and has had her pieces featured in museum exhibits and art shows.