Executive Director of American Indian Resource Center, Inc. and the Institute for Native Justice
Wathene Young (Delaware) is the Executive Director of American Indian Resource Center, Inc. and the Institute for Native Justice. She has more than 33 years’ experience directing federal programs and has managed over $20 million in grants and contracts with federal, state, and tribal agencies as well as private foundations.
She has worked in both public schools and on the university level with Native American students, serving as a supervisor to teacher interns. She also has experience as an education consultant, providing technical assistance in student leadership, program evaluation, needs assessment, resource development, and program planning and design.
Director, Institute for Native Justice
Pam Moore has more than thirty years of experience in the field of victim assistance in Indian Country. She is currently Director of INJ and provides training and technical assistance for the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). She served eight years as Executive Director of Help-In-Crisis, a rural domestic violence and sexual assault shelter. She worked eight years as Director of Victim Services for the 27th Prosecutorial District (Oklahoma). Ms. Moore has been a trainer for the Oklahoma Regional Community Policing Institute (ORCPI) , Unified Solutions Tribal Victim Assistance Project.
Ms. Moore has current certification as a Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Intervention Professional (Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault) and has been certified as a Victim Assistance Professional (Washburn University). She is a Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) certified trainer in domestic violence response. Ms. Moore holds a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts.
John W. Sawney, J.D., M.Ed.
Curriculum Director, Program Specialist
John W. Sawney (Cherokee) has worked in criminal law for more than 13 years with experience both as a prosecutor and indigent defense attorney. He has successfully prosecuted domestic violence and sexual assault cases in Indian Country. Mr. Sawney also served as the managing attorney for the District 27 Drug Task Force and for the child support enforcement office in Sequoyah County, Oklahoma. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma School of Law.
Mr. Sawney is currently providing legal research and training, curriculum development, and technical assistance for the Institute for Native Justice. Prior to his career in law, he taught public school and earned a Master's Degree in Education (School Administration). He is a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served most of his time in Europe.
Robin Gann (Cherokee) is the Training Coordinator for INJ and works as a SANE advocate for Help-In Crisis. She has over ten years of experience in the operation and management of tribal and rural grant services. She has extensive legal experience having worked 20+ years working as a legal secretary. She has served numerous tribal agencies and projects both as a tribal employee and as a provider of TTA services. Ms. Gann has worked exclusively with victims of crime as the Director of a tribal Victim Advocacy program as well as a Victim Witness Coordinator. In 2001, she received Victim Assistance professional certification from Washburn University, and completed the Tribal Faculty Development Workshop conducted by Fox Valley Technical College and the National Tribal Judicial Center.
Heather Hale is the publications/web director. She has worked for AIRC for over ten years as an administrative assistant, and earned her bachelor's degree in graphic arts with an emphasis in web design. Ms. Hale brings a wealth of knowledge and skill in technology and graphic design to the staff.
Project Director, Tribal Response and Court Enhancement Strategies (TRACES)
Darrell Dowty (Cherokee) has over twenty-five years of experience as a felony prosecutor and trainer. Seventeen of those years have consisted of courtroom experience in major felony prosecution, specializing in homicide and sexual abuse cases. Justice Dowty spent seven years in the headquarters office of Oklahoma’s prosecution system, where he was responsible for training all of the State’s prosecutors and support personnel. Since 1999, Justice Dowty has served on the bench of five tribal courts and is Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Cherokee Nation. Since 2004, he has provided legal representation for qualifying victims of domestic abuse in the State courts as Senior Contract Attorney for the Oklahoma Native American Domestic Violence Coalition, “Spirits of Hope.”
Dianne Barker Harrold
Cherokee Nation Tribal Council Attorney
Dianne Barker Harrold (Cherokee) has worked with and on behalf of victims of crime for more than thirty years. She has served in a wide variety of roles: victim advocate, elected District Attorney in Oklahoma, tribal Attorney General, Special Advisor to the Chief (tribal), tribal court judge, as well as various other capacities with a number of tribes across the country.
Ms. Harrold was a founder of Help-in-Crisis, now in its 33rd year of service as a shelter to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Her work for crime victims has been recognized with the Women Holding Up the World Award from the National Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the 2013 National Crime Victim Service Award by US Attorney General, Eric Holder, and the 2013 Distinguished Alumnus award from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK.
Currently, Ms. Harrold is employed by Unified Solutions Tribal Community Development Group, Inc., as the Resource Delivery Coordinator for Tribal Grantees from the Office of Victims of Crime for Comprehensive Tribal Victim Assistance and Children’s Justice Act Partnerships. She also serves as the Attorney for the Tribal Council of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. She is a member of the Oklahoma Indian Bar Association and the Oklahoma Bar Association.
CEO - Technology Alliance of Indigenous Women of the Americas (TAIWA
Shawn Soulsby (Pawnee/Kiowa) is the CEO and one of the founding members of the Technology Alliance of Indigenous Women of the Americas (TAIWA), established to bring Fortune 500 technology talent and management experience to organizations and tribes serving Native America by helping them do appropriate technical needs analysis and using technology solutions to better serve native people, specifically focusing on providing technical solutions to rural communities.
Ms. Soulsby has worked in the technology industry for the past 20 years. She established and managed the first global eLearning program for Nortel Networks and has an extensive background in eLearning development and technology and tools deployment. She is a member of the ASTD (American Society for Training & Development) and the Masie Foundations Learning Consortium, which are organizations that focus on state of the art learning tools, technologies and techniques.
Hon. Marsha Harlan
Tribal Court Justice
Hon. Marsha L. Harlan (Osage), is a founding partner in Indian Collaborative Consultants, LLC, a 100 percent tribally owned and operated consulting firm specializing in tribal governance and the advancement of native rights. She is also a partner in the law firm of Legal Advocates for Indian Country, LLP wherein she limits her law practice to the areas of Tribal Governance, State-Tribal Relations, Tribal Courts, Tribal Child Support Enforcement, Domestic Relations, Children’s Rights Advocacy, and Mediation. Judge Harlan obtained her BA/BS from Northeastern State University in 1991, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Tulsa in 1999.
Her professional associations include: Oklahoma Bar Association, (member Indian Law Section,) Pawnee Nation Bar, Muscogee (Creek) Nation Bar, Delaware Tribe of Indians Bar, Citizen Potawatomi Bar, Seminole Nation of Oklahoma Bar, Miami Tribe of Oklahoma Bar, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Bar, Absentee-Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma Bar, Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas Bar, Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma, Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma, Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, and the National Tribal Judges Association. Judge Harlan currently serves as a justice on the Pawnee Supreme Court and Miami Tribe of Oklahoma Supreme Court. She is also a District Judge for the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma and the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. She previously served as the District Judge for the Osage Nation.
Executive Director of the National Indian Women's Health Resource Center
Pam Iron is the Executive Director of the National Indian Women's Health Resource Center, has worked for over thirty years in the field of Indian Health. She is an expert in developing and presenting curriculum and educational materials that focus on the importance of cultural competency for health care workers in Indian Country. She is co-author of Strategies for Cultural Competency in Indian Health Care, published by APHA. Recently, Ms. Iron served on the National Advisory Committee for VAWA, representing the interests of Native people and communities to the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW).
Retired victim specialist for the FBI Rapid Deployment and Evidence Response Teams
Gayle Thom is a retired victim specialist for the FBI Rapid Deployment and Evidence Response Teams. She is a graduate of the Professional Certificate in Victim Assistance: Critical Analysis program, established by the Joint Center for Victim and Violence Studies. She serves on the Tribal Victim Assistance Advisory Committee and the Children's Justice Act Advisory Committee. She is an FBI certified trainer who has lectured and trained throughout the U.S. and Canada.
For seven years, she was assigned to the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, assisting victims of crime. She was also assigned to New York City, after 9/11, and Louisiana, providing services to Hurricane Katrina survivors. She feels honored to assist victims and their families.
Curriculum Specialist and Trainer for the Arkansas State University
Amy Blackburn is a retired professor and a former department head for the College of Social and Behavioral Science at Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma. She has supervised and critiqued graduate students' research and writing. She also has developed the graduate counseling program and field experiences, and has won several awards. She is also a founding mother of the Help-In-Crisis domestic violence shelter, where a service award bearing her name was created in 1990.
Dr. Blackburn is currently serving as a curriculum specialist and trainer for the Arkansas State University - Newport, where she currently resides.
former Executive Director of Help-In-Crisis
Deana Franke is the former Executive Director of Help-In-Crisis, where she began as a volunteer in 1980. She was hired to serve as the Director in spring of 1990 continuing until the fall of 2012. Under her leadership, it grew tremendously with the help of many supporters and the community. In 2000, a new shelter was completed and a new office building was purchased. In 2005, an extension to the shelter that included an aerobics/indoor play area, an outdoor play area, paving, and landscaping was completed. In 2005, the Children's Advocacy Center was established in Sequoyah County and plans are underway for another center in Tahlequah.
Ms. Franke has served as the Board Chair of the Coalition against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault on two separate occasions. In addition to serving on the board, she was an advisory board member of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth, and a founding member of the Oklahoma Commission on Women. She has provided numerous workshops and training sessions on domestic violence and sexual assault.
Detective - Seattle Police Department Homicide Team
Rande Christiansen is a member of the Seattle Police Department Homicide Team. He developed an interest in investigating domestic violence crimes while working for the Seattle Police Department. He was promoted to detective in the domestic violence unit in 1995, and continues to investigate domestic violence crimes focusing on domestic homicide.
Detective Christiansen began his consulting career by training for the Stalking Resource Center, a part of the National Center for Victims of Crime. He advanced his consultation and training for the Native American Circle, offering training for Indian participants about the investigation of stalking and threat assessment. Currently, he is an active trainer, giving training for Indian groups at conferences and reservation locations. These training have dealt with stalking, domestic violence, threat assessment, law enforcement and advocates working cooperatively, and trauma to victims.
Owner - Native Airspace
Nathan Young (Pawnee/Delaware) is the owner of Native Airspace, a Native American film and production company that specializes in documentaries. Mr. Young has experience writing, filming, producing, editing, and animating movies for video and the web. A filmmaker since 2002, he has worked in public schools and conducted workshops in animation and film making. He currently is working on a video training project, featuring Native American actors and filmed in tribal communities.
Sheree L. Hukill
Attorney and Professional Educator
Sheree L. Hukill is an attorney and professional educator whose experience spans over 28 years and includes work in business, education & law. As founding partner of Integrated Concepts, Inc. and P&S Legal Advocacy, PLLC, for the past five years has provided program consultation and direct legal representation and consultation for victims of interpersonal violence. Additionally, Ms. Hukill serves as the Coordinated Community Response Team Coordinator for Osage County/Osage Nation and served as Program Director for a tri-county, seven organization collaboration funded by a 2010 OVW Rural Grant. Ms. Hukill has served as a grant peer review consultant for Office on Violence Against Women, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Indian Health Service, and Office of Head Start for thirteen years. Ms. Hukill has served as Executive Director/Supervising Attorney and co-founder of a state-wide, tribal domestic violence coalition; a founding partner of Legal Advocates for Indian Country, LLC; grant-writer for numerous Indian tribes and service organizations; court appointed counsel for women & children in juvenile deprived actions; public defender and prosecutor for several Indian tribes; national speaker on domestic violence/sexual assault issues.
Executive Director of the National Cyber Security Alliance
Mr. Kaiser has been involved in developing new programs and expanding the capacities of communities to respond to victims of crime. Among those accomplishments are developing programs and approaches to serving teens; conducting a nationwide effort on stalking to improve the law enforcement, victim services, and prosecutorial response; developing model policies in the areas of police response to domestic violence and training law enforcement executives on policy creation and implementation, developing housing alternatives for intimidated victim/witnesses; developing emergency, transitional, and permanent housing options for battered women; creating training programs and service delivery protocols and mechanisms for a Health Maintenance Organization to screen for and serve domestic violence victims; and developing child abuse/neglect prevention programs for women experiencing domestic violence.
Founder and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the First Americans in the Arts
Bob Hicks (Muscogee Creek) is a graduate of the American Film Institute. His major was film directing, but he also studied producing and screen writing. His final project was writing, producing and directing The Return of the Country, which was submitted to the Academy Awards, narrowly missing a nomination in 1983. He has also written, produced, and directed many movies and plays for television and feature films.
Presently, Mr. Hicks is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the First Americans in the Arts. The organization, located in Los Angeles, annually awards scholarships to Native American film students and honors Native Americans for their outstanding achievement in film, television, music and theater with the First American Award.