For Immediate Release
Contact: National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition
NABS Welcomes New Officers and Three New Board Members
October 19, 2018 – Minneapolis, MN – The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS) held its Board of Directors Election at their Annual Membership Meeting in Carlisle, PA earlier this month. NABS welcomed Mr. Vance Blackfox as its new President, four other individuals as Officers within the NABS Board of Directors, and three new board members.
Mr. Vance Blackfox (Cherokee) is Communications Director for Native Americans in Philanthropy. Vance previously served as Executive Director for the Haskell Foundation at Haskell Indian Nations University and as Executive Director for the Oaks Indian Mission in Oklahoma. He has served on many committees and organizations and is presently serving as a member of the ECLA. Vance is the descendent of a boarding school survivor of Seneca & Chilocco Indian boarding schools.
Joining Mr. Blackfox as Officers on the NABS Board are the following elected officials:
- Ms. Sandra White Hawk (Sicangu Lakota), as 1st Vice President
- Mr. James LaBelle (Inupiaq), as 2nd Vice President
- Ms. Joannie Suina Romero (Pueblo of Cochiti), as Secretary
- Ms. Ruth Buffalo (Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation, Apache) as Treasurer.
NABS is excited to congratulate these new officers who will join our other board members in leading NABS in their mission to address the trauma from U.S. Indian boarding schools and support community-led healing. We would also like to thank our retiring board members, Dr. Denise Lajimodiere and Jerilyn DeCoteau, who are both past-Presidents of NABS.
Introducing Our New Board Members
Ruth Buffalo (Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation, Chiricahua Band of Apache descent) is originally from Mandaree, North Dakota. She is a public health professional and community organizer. Currently, she is the Chair of the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition and Special Projects Coordinator for the First Nations Women’s Alliance. Ruth holds a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice and Master degrees in Management, Business Administration, and Public Health.
Joannie Suina Romero (Pueblo of Cochiti) is the Founder and President of Corn Pollen Consulting, LLC (CPC). CPC is a 100% Native American, woman-owned small business dedicated to providing alternative and innovative approaches to solve educational, economic, political and social issues facing Indian Country in the 21st century. Joannie also serves as Adjunct Faculty at the Institute of American Indian Arts, in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she teaches Federal Indian Law, Creative & Critical Inquiry, and Decolonization & Applied Theory of Post-Colonialism. Joannie holds a bachelor’s degree in Native American Studies with a concentration in Education & Language and a Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law from the University of Tulsa, College of Law. She is also a board member for the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women and Cultural Advisor for Changing Woman Initiative.
Dr. Michael Yellow Bird (Mandan Hidatsa and Arikara Nation) is a Professor of Sociology and the Director of Indigenous Tribal Studies at North Dakota State University. He has held faculty appointments in the Schools of Social Work at the University of British Columbia, University of Kansas, Arizona State University, and Humboldt State University. His teaching, writing, research, professional presentations, and community work focus on Indigenous peoples’ health; the effects of colonization and methods of decolonization; neurodecolonization and mindfulness approaches; neuroscience, microbiome science, genetic science and Indigenous peoples; and ancestral lifestyles. Dr. Yellow Bird is the author of numerous scholarly articles, book chapters, and the co-editor of four books: For Indigenous Eyes Only: The Decolonization Handbook, 2005; For Indigenous Minds Only: A Decolonization Handbook, 2012; Indigenous Social Work around the World: Towards Culturally Relevant Education and Practice, 2008; and Decolonizing Social Work, 2013. He is the co-author of the forthcoming book, Integrative Social Work.