NABS Welcomes Three New Board Members
The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS) held its annual membership meeting in Milwaukee, WI on October 16, 2017. Board candidates, Henry Cagey (Lummi), James LaBelle Sr. (Inupiaq), and Vance Blackfox, (Cherokee) were elected to the Board of Directors. Each member will serve a three-year term and will assist NABS in its mission to bring boarding school healing to Native communities.
NABS is pleased to have each new member on the board and extends a hearty welcome to each new director!
The board of directors also held officer elections at the board meeting following the membership meeting. NABS 2017-18 board members and positions are as follows:
- Marlene Helgemo, President
- Sandy White Hawk, 1st Vice President
- Sarah Eagle Heart, 2nd Vice President
- Vance Blackfox, Secretary & Treasurer
- Henry Cagey
- Jacob Davis
- Jerilyn DeCoteau
- James LaBelle, Sr.
- Denise Lajimodiere
Below are bios for the new members:
Henry Cagey (Lummi) is a senior councilmember of the Lummi Indian Business Council and previously served as the Chairman of the Lummi Tribe. He works part‐time as a consultant for Blue Stone Strategies providing policy advice to NW tribes on economic issues and development plans.
Henry’s previous experience includes interim Director of United Indians of all Tribes, Daybreak Star; Project Director, Northwest American Indian Development; and Development Director, Lummi Economic Development. He has served on numerous committees and organizations presently with Lummi Housing Authority, Board member of the World Indigenous Studies, President of the National Tribal Development Association, and Committee Man for Whatcom Democrats 42nd District.
Henry is a graduate of Chemawa Indian High School, has been married for 34 years, has three daughters, two grandsons, and one granddaughter.
James William LaBelle, Sr., (Inupiaq) retired as Term Instructor from the University of Alaska Anchorage spring 2011, College of Arts and Sciences, Alaska Native Studies Department, (fall ‘03 – to spring 2011). Jim continues to lecture on Historical Trauma, emphasis on Boarding Schools.
Jim has served on numerous boards and commissions over the years, including the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN). Past member and chairman of AFN’s Wellness (Sobriety) Movement. He is currently serving on the board of directors of Bridge Builders and the Alaska School of Law.
Jim has been married to Susan for 39 years and they have three adult children and 5 grandchildren. Jim is an enrolled member of the Native Village of Port Graham, an Inupiaq tribe and a shareholder in the Chugach Alaska Corporation.
Vance Blackfox (Cherokee) is Executive Director for the Haskell Foundation at Haskell Indian Nations University.
Vance previously served as executive director for the Oaks Indian Mission in Oklahoma. He has served on many committees and organizations presently serving as a member of the ECLA. He is a strong advocate for the healing of the inter-generational trauma experienced by boarding schools survivors and their descendants.
Vance is the descendant of a boarding school survivor of Seneca & Chilocco Indian boarding schools.