PARTNERSHIP FOR NATIVE CHILDREN

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Meet the PNC Team

PNC was started by a group of motivated women from across Indian Country who were increasingly concerned with attacks on the Indian Child Welfare Act. Primarily a group of working attorneys from across the country, the PNC knows firsthand the children and families ICWA protects, and the devastating consequences of what happens to those families when they are ripped apart.

Board of Directors

  1. Victoria Sweet
    Victoria, White Earth Ojibwe descendant, is the assistant director of tribal law and justice consulting with The Whitener Group. She received her JD from Michigan State University College of Law. She is the primary author of an ICWA judicial bench book and provides legal training on ICWA and other areas of federal Indian law to both state and tribal leaders.
  2. April Olson
    April is a partner at Rothstein Donatelli LLP in Tempe, Arizona. She has provided ICWA representation to tribes across the country at the state trial court level and in appellate proceedings. Prior to law school, April did social work for the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Her JD is from Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Conner College of Law.
  3. Kathryn E. Fort
    Kate is the director of the Indian Law Clinic at Michigan State University College of Law. She has worked in the area of Indian child welfare for more than 10 years, and has written and practiced extensively in the area. She is the author of forthcoming book, American Indian Children and the Law, from Carolina Academic Press.
  4. Jennifer Whitener Ulrich
    Jennifer holds an MBA in Sustainable Business and is the COO of tribally owned consulting company, The Whitener Group. She has diverse background in Indian Country work including economic development, strategic planning, nonprofit development, entrepreneurial systems, marketing and financial analysis. Jennifer is descendant of Squaxin Island Tribe in Washington State.
  5. Nikki Borchardt-Campbell
    Nikki, Indian Peaks Band of Paiutes of the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah/Ute Indian Tribe descendent, serves as the executive director of the National American Indian Court Judges Association. She holds a JD degree and a Certificate in Indian Law from Arizona State University College of Law.
  6. Chrissi Ross Nimmo
    Chrissi is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and has represented the tribe for 10 years in more than 400 ICWA cases, including serving as lead counsel on Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl. Chrissi has spoken about ICWA across the country and routinely provides legal training in the area of child welfare. Chrissi is the mother of three Cherokee children.
  7. Sarah Lawson
    Sarah is an enrolled member of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska and an attorney with Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt. She focuses her practice on Indian law, with over a decade of experience advising tribal governments on a variety of matters. Lawson received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin, and is admitted to practice in Washington, Wisconsin and Arizona.
  8. Tamera Begay
    Tamera, Navajo, is an attorney with the Navajo Nation. She received her law degree from Michigan State University College of Law. She has previously worked for the Navajo Nation's Washington Office, National Congress of American Indians, and Office of Tribal Justice at the Department of Justice.

Advisors 

  1. Adrian Tobin Smith
    Addie currently represents children, youth and parents in front of the Oregon Court of Appeals. Previously, she has worked as administrator of the Task Force on Representation in Child Dependency in the Office of Governor Kate Brown and staff attorney at the National Indian Child Welfare Association. She has published numerous articles and presented extensively across the country on ICWA, providing training to tribes and practitioners alike. She received her law degree, magna cum laude, from Washington University School of Law.
  2. Nicole Adams
    Nicole, Colville, has worked throughout Indian Country advocating for ICWA, and assisting families and tribes to tell their stories. She served as a producer of the "Heart of ICWA" short film series and assisted a national coalition of Native organizations with their communications efforts during Adoptive Couple v Baby Girl. Nicole is committed to getting Native voices included in the national conversation about ICWA by working with the media and by calling out those who wage campaigns of misinformation against ICWA and the Native children that it protects.