Terry L. Cross Fund


Our Terry L. Cross Fund directly supports our important public policy and advocacy efforts.

NICWA’s role as the leading national organization dedicated to American Indian and Alaska Native child and family well-being is recognized by policymakers and program administrators at the tribal, state, and national levels. We are regularly invited to present testimony and provide consultation on issues ranging from human service program design to the impacts of policies on services on Native children and families. In recent years, our advocacy efforts have included presenting testimony to the Attorney General’s Task Force on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence, providing expert counsel to tribal leaders sitting on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee, and providing detailed recommendations on ways to reform how the federal government funds child welfare and what services are most needed to support children and families, to name a few.

NICWA has a memorandum of agreement with the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) to directly inform their work and advocacy with our child welfare and children’s mental health expertise and to chair and  staff their Indian Child and Family Welfare Subcommittee. NICWA regularly meets with NCAI’s Executive Committee, updates tribal members of NCAI on relevant policy issues, and provides support to NCAI as they respond to the media, policymakers, and tribes on these issues. We participate in the Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Task Force and the Addictions Task Force. 

NICWA also provides child welfare and children’s mental health policy and practice expertise to a number of regional intertribal organizations, including the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians and United South and Eastern Tribes. With our experience and expertise in child welfare, children’s mental health, and other related human services programs affecting Native children and families, NICWA strives to provide anyone that wants to advocate for Native families and children with the information and support they need to be an effective advocate.

For more information on our public policy and advocacy work, please contact David Simmons, MSW, NICWA’s director of government affairs and advocacy at (503) 222-4044, ext. 119, or desimmons@nicwa.org.

If you have questions or desire more information to make a donation, please contact Lynn Lindell, NICWA’s development project coordinator at lynn@nicwa.org or (503) 222-4044. 

Learn More About NICWA's Policy Work

Read our latest Child and Family Policy Update to stay up-to-date on our public policy and advocacy work.