About Us

Indian Children: Culturally Connected, Rights Protected

Our Team

Jill Holt, MSW, MPA

Education and Training Director 

Jill has served as the Assistant Director of NICWC since July, 2019.  Prior to coming to NICWC, she served as a Program Coordinator at Nebraska DHHS working with the tribal nations and working to improve ICWA compliance in the State of Nebraska.  Jill also served as the ICWA Specialist for the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska.  Jill has her Master’s in Social Work and Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Omaha.

Samantha Magpie, MSW

Administrative Assistant 

Samantha is Oglala Lakota from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, she grew up in New York and moved to Iowa at 15 years old. Samantha graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 2015 with her Bachelors in Social Work. Samantha recently graduated from the University of Iowa with her Master’s in Social WorkShe currently works for the Meskwaki Nation Child Support program, but has experience with working as a child welfare case worker and ICWA coordinator for 2 years prior to this position. 

Cheyenne Robinson

Administrative Manager

 Cheyenne is a member of the Umonhon (Omaha) Tribe of Nebraska. She holds an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Haskell Indian Nations University and a graduate degree in Business Administration from Bellevue University. Her unwavering dedication to advocating for the rights of Indigenous Peoples and her profound understanding of legal and administrative procedures make her a valuable asset to the coalition’s endeavors to ensure culturally sensitive and effective practices in Indian Child Welfare.

Kitty Washburn, BSW

Tribal Liaison

Kitty Washburn has been with NICWC since November of 2021. Previously, she worked for the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska’s Child and Family Services Program for 11 years.  In her current role as a Tribal Liaison, she is working to develop supports and access to services for tribal youth who are aging out of the child welfare system. Kitty has a bachelor’s degree in social work from Briar Cliff University and is currently enrolled in the University of Iowa’s MSW program.

Rebecca Whitesell

Intern

 

Yá’át’ééh Rebecca Whitesell yinishyé. Kinlichíi’nii nishłį́. Bilagáana bashishchiin.

Hello, my name is Rebecca Whitesell. I was born for the Redhouse people and born to the White people. 

I am a member of the Diné Tribe but reside in Polson, MT on the Flathead Indian Reservation. The Flathead Indian Reservation consists of the Kootenai, Salish, and Pend d’Oreilles. I work for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes as the Foster Care Licensor Supervisor. I am also in my last year of graduate school. I am obtaining a Master’s in Social Work at the University of Montana. I am beyond excited to embark on this new opportunity to complete my practicum with Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Coalition. My goal and focus has always been to protect and provide for the Tribe’s greatest resource– our Native children. 

A little personal about me is that living in Montana for a majority of my life has allowed me to appreciate the outdoors and nature. My family of three are hardly home– in the warmer months we are more than likely out on the Flathead Lake catching fish, boating, backpacking throughout the mountains, or golfing. During winter, every weekend we are still out in the mountains just on snowmobiles. 

Again, I am so grateful to be given the opportunity to expand my knowledge and work alongside NICWC and their amazing team!

Ahéheeʼ (thank you)

 

Who We Are

There is

65%

Tribal Enrollment on our board.

There are

11

Tribal Nations represented on our board.

Our Executive Officers

Liz Lovejoy Brown
Chair/President
Division Head of Social Worker and Human Services, Nebraska Indian Community College

Omaha Tribe of Nebraska

Chiara Cournoyer
Vice President
Human Services Director, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

Yankton Sioux Tribe

Greg Donovan, MPA
Treasurer
Executive Director, Santee Sioux Nation Society of Care
MPA

Renae Wolf
Secretary
ICWA Specialist, Santee Sioux Nation of Nebraska

Santee Sioux of Nebraska

Our Board Members

Dr. Barbara Buttes
American Indian Youth Demonstration Grant Coordinator, Lincoln Public Schools

Yankton Sioux, Mdewankatowan Dakota

Grace Johnson, LIMHP
Santee Sioux Nation Society of Care, Owner of Red Nation Healing

Oglala Lakota

 

Donna Larson
Case Manager Coordinator, Ponca Tribe of Nebraska

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska

Liz Brown, MSW

Omaha Tribe of Nebraska 

Gwen Porter
Omaha Tribal Council, Omaha Tribe of Nebraska

Omaha Tribe of Nebraska

Renee Saunsoci New Holy
Education Consultant

Omaha Tribe of Nebraska

Lisa Spellman
Communication – Media Specialist and Tribal Community Liaison, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Sicangu Lakota, Rosebud Sioux Tribe

Larry Thomas
Facility Manager, Ohiya Casino and Resort

Santee Sioux Nation of Nebraska

Dr. Colette Yellow Robe
TRIO Programs Education Specialist, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Northern Cheyenne

Nathan Busch, JD
Associated Vice President – Systems of Care and Native American Connections, Nebraska Children and Families Foundation

Angi Heller
Engagement Zone Coordinator, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Renea Helper

Martha Jane “MJ” Matthews
School Counselor, Omaha Public Schools

Robert McEwen, JD
Legal Director, Nebraska Appleseed

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