A member of the Onondaga Nation, James served in the US Navy from 1984 until his medical retirement in 1989. Living with HIV disease, James was a Treatment Education Advocate for the Native American AIDS Project in San Francisco, was active with the Native American AIDS Institute and with the national Task Force on AIDS Prevention. He was on the steering committee for Positively Native, an organization for Native Americans living with HIV/AIDS, and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Minority AIDS Council.
James was tireless in his work to educate the Native American community on issues that have historically been barriers in the treatment and care of Native American people living with HIV and AIDS. He was a source of inspiration to all who knew him, a forceful advocate for a better quality of life for all Native Americans, and a generous and supportive mentor to many advocating for better HIV prevention and care nationwide. James died of complications from AIDS on August 16, 1998. A memorial service was held in San Francisco on Thursday, August 20, 1998. James was buried with his father in Arlington National Cemetery on September 9th, 1998. James, you led us through sharing your generous spirit. We will miss you.
(NALCHA News-Summer 1998, Native American Leadership Commision on Health and AIDS)
Interment date September 9, 1998