National Child Welfare Association

Board of Directors

The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) is a membership organization with an all-Indian board of directors selected from among the membership. The board meets quarterly to set the budget, policies, program plans, and to review and approve specific funding applications. The board also maintains a number of standing committees that conduct the business of the board and provide advice and oversight of projects.

The board maintains a spiritual focus and seeks to maintain a high level of integrity and ethics in their execution of NICWA's governance.



Gil Vigil (Tesuque Pueblo)
Executive Director, Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council, Inc.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Year Elected: 1997

Vice President

Rochelle Ettawageshik (Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians)
Retired; Former Director of Native American Affairs, State of Michigan
Harbor Springs, Michigan
Year Elected: 2008


W. Alex Wesaw (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi)
PhD student in community and economic development, The Ohio State University’s Knowlton School
Dowagiac, Michigan
Year Elected: 2012


Gary Peterson, MSW (Skokomish)
Professor, The Evergreen State College
Shelton, Washington
Year Elected: 1987


Teressa Baldwin (Inupiaq)
NCAI Youth Commission
Kotzebue, Alaska
Year Elected: 2015

Debra Foxcroft (Tseshaht)
President, Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council
Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada
Year Elected: 1996

Patricia Carter-Goodheart (Nez Perce)
Event Planner
Lapwai, Idaho
Year Elected: 2008

Linda Logan (Oklahoma Choctaw)
Technical Assistance Specialist, Tribal Early Home Visiting, ZERO TO THREE, INC.
Cleveland, Ohio
Year Elected: 2006

Cassondra Church (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi)
NCAI Youth Commission
Lansing, Michigan
Year Elected: 2015

Luke Madrigal (Cahuilla Band of Indians)
Executive Director, Indian Child and Family Services
Temecula, California
Year Elected: 2012

Angela Connor (Choctaw)
Family Support System Associate Administrator, Chickasaw Nation
Coalgate, Oklahoma
Year Elected: 2013

Aurene Martin (Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa)
President and Managing Partner, Spirit Rock Consulting
Alexandria, Virginia
Year Elected: 2013

Paul Day (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe)
Chief Judge, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
Cass Lake, Minnesota
Year Elected: 2010

Robert McGhee (Poarch Band of Creek Indians)
Treasurer, Poarch Band of Creek Indians
Atmore, Alabama
Year Elected: 2011

Jennifer Elliott (Sac and Fox)
Vice President of Marketing, Delta Dental
Wheaton, Illinois
Year Elected: 2008

Theodore Nelson, Sr. (Seminole Tribe of Florida)
Seminole Tribe Child Welfare Advocate
Hollywood, Florida
Year Elected: 2006

Donne Fleagle (Athabascan)
Senior Specialist, Rural Community Engagement, AECOM
Wasilla, Alaska
Year Elected: 1996

Mary Tenorio, PhD, RN (Santo Domingo)
Retired Director, Santo Domingo Pueblo Social Services
Santo Domingo, New Mexico
Year Elected: 1995

Jocelyn Formsma (Swampy Cree)
JD Candidate, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa
Vanier, Ontario, Canada
Year Elected: 2007

Derek Valdo (Acoma Pueblo)
Chief Executive Officer, AMERIND Risk Management Corporation
Councilman, Pueblo of Acoma Tribal Council
Acoma, New Mexico
Year Elected: 2012

Council of Elders

Anita Chisholm (Absentee Shawnee)
Retired, Former Treasurer, Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Don Milligan, MSW (Metis: Cree Assiniboine, Yakama, Kootenai)
ICW Director, Small Tribes Org. of Western Washington
Kent, Washington

William Clark (Cherokee)
Retired Area Director, Eagle Ridge Therapeutic Foster Care
Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Lola Sohappy, JD (Warm Springs)
Council Member, Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation
Warm Springs, Oregon

Strategic Leadership Council

Jefferson Keel (Chickasaw)
President, National Congress of American Indians
Ada, Oklahoma

Ernie Stevens, Jr. (Oneida)
Chairman, National Indian Gaming Association
Temecula, California