Apply Today to Be a Youth Board Member at NICWA!

Applications due on Monday, March 7, by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time

NICWA values the insight, guidance, and perspectives of Native youth and has created an opportunity for American Indian, Alaska Native, and First Nations (Native) youth aged 18–25 to serve on the NICWA Board of Directors. Joining the NICWA Board of Directors is an exciting opportunity to learn about board service, nonprofit governance, and Indian child welfare and related fields; to network with leaders from across Indian Country; to shape policy and advocacy efforts; and to bring new resources to Indian child welfare. Native youth perspectives are a critical part of NICWA’s advocacy work, and youth board members play a key role in board decision-making and strengthening NICWA’s connections to Native youth organizations.

Applicants should be American Indian, Alaska Native, and/or First Nations youth aged 18–25. Youth board members will be selected to join the slate of nominees to the NICWA board based on a combination of the following factors:

  • Interest in a career in Indian child welfare, social work, psychology, or other related fields;
  • Lived experience in tribal or state foster care, or experience interacting with other “helping systems” like children’s mental health or family support (preferred but not required); and
  • Cultural engagement, values, skills, and interests.

For more information, please review the NICWA Youth Board Member Job Description linked below. To apply, complete the application form linked below by 5:00 p.m. PT on Monday, March 7. Contact April Black with any additional questions.

Board of Directors

NICWA is a membership organization with an all-Native board of directors elected by the membership. The board meets quarterly to set the budget, policies, program plans, and advocacy direction of the organization. The board maintains several standing committees (Executive, Fundraising, Governance, Program, and Public Policy) that conduct the business of the board and provide advice and oversight of specific areas of work.



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

Angela Connor (Choctaw), Vice President
Director of Foster Care & Adoption, Choctaw Nation Children & Family Services
Coalgate, Oklahoma
Year Elected: 2013

Alex Wesaw (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi), Secretary
PhD candidate and graduate teaching assistant, city and regional planning, The Ohio State University’s Knowlton School
Dowagiac, Michigan
Year Elected: 2012

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


Teressa Baldwin (Inupiaq)
Itinerant Therapist, Child Focused
Kotzebue, Alaska
Year Elected: 2016

Mikah Carlos (Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community)
NCAI Youth Commission
Mesa, Arizona
Year Elected: 2018

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

Rose Domnick (Orutsararmiut Native Council)
Director of Preventative Services, Behavioral Health, Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation
Bethel, Alaska
Year Elected: 2021

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

Jocelyn Formsma (Swampy Cree)
Executive Director, National Association of Friendship Centres
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Year Elected: 2007



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

Robert McGhee (Poarch Band of Creek Indians)
Tribal Council Vice Chairman, Poarch Band of Creek Indians
Atmore, Alabama
Year Elected: 2011

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

Robin Sigo (Suquamish Tribe)
Treasurer, Suquamish Tribe
Suquamish, Washington
Year Elected: 2020

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

Stephanie Weldon (Yurok Tribe)
Director, Yurok Health and Human Services
Klamath, California
Year Elected: 2020



Board of Trustees

John Shagonaby (Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians)
Brad Earl (Nez Perce descent)
Sherry Salway Black (Oglala Lakota)
Allard Teeple (Bay Mills Indian Community)
Victor Rocha (Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians)
Derek Valdo (Acoma Pueblo)