Samantha Thornsberry is an enrolled member of the Cahuilla Band of Indians. In 2008, after 18 years working in secondary and higher education as a Professor of Literature, earning a Bachelor of Science in Education (English and History) and a Master’s degree in English from the University of Central Arkansas, Samantha moved back home to Cahuilla and began working as a Victim Advocate for the newly formed Cahuilla Consortium Victim Advocacy Program in 2010, becoming the Program Director in 2015, a position she currently maintains. Additionally, Samantha has served on various committees for the Cahuilla Band, including the Scholarship committee, the Economic Development Committee, served as an alternate-delegate on the Indian Health Board, served as the Board Secretary on the Cahuilla Casino’s Board of Directors (2014-2021), and is currently serving as a Tribal College alternate-delegate (2022-2023), as Co-Chair of the Riverside Tribal Alliance (2022 to present), and as a Tribal Councilmember (2010-2014, 2023 to present). Samantha continues to engage and serve on behalf of the Cahuilla Band and the tribal community through activities that support and promote the welfare and security of Native people. Currently, Samantha resides on the Cahuilla Reservation with her husband of 34 years, Tim, and their two adult sons and families. In her spare time, Samantha is an avid reader, enjoys Yoga, traveling, and spending time with her two grandchildren.