Norine Hill, Oneida Nation of the Thames
Norine Hill, Founder of Mother Nation created the vision to support the success of Native Sisters by way of cultural prayers and Sisterhood during times of crisis. The vision created a Sisterhood of Native women with Haudenosaunee (People of the Longhouse) teachings of Respect, Friendship, and trust. Elders came forward to support the vision and became the Board of Directors. Norine was appointed by the Board as the Chief Executive Officer months later. Within a year, Native Women In Need became a non-profit charitable 501 (C) (3) organization later changing its name to reflect its growth to Mother Nation. Norine has over 25 years of Executive Management experience building non-profits, cultural programs, networking and collaborations with various Tribal entities while managing and building infrastructure. Norine is a survivor of multi-abuse trauma, homelessness, and alcoholism. Her strong leadership, faith and love for her Native Sisters elevated the volunteer group to a non-profit charitable organization covering Washington and beyond. Norine lives a traditional lifestyle in recovery for 15 years free from drugs and alcohol. She continues to create partnerships, collaborations and networking to ensure Native women have the support necessary to fulfill their goals.
Elder Ramona Ahto, BAS, CDP – Yakama Nation, Board Chair/Facilitator
Elder Ramona Ahto’s thirty-seven years of work in the addictions field with 35 years in recovery, a strong cultural background and exemplary facilitation skills are an asset to Mother Nation. She is treasured and highly respected in the Native AA Community and Native American community of Seattle. Elder “Mona” maintains her Chemical Dependency license, and with her BAS, and 37 years of cultural teachings, her experience and knowledge are a true blessing of leadership to the Mother Nation Board. Mona also appeared in the television series “Northern Exposure,” and was honored the 2014 Enduring Spirit Award.
Henry M. Cagey, Councilman – Lummi Nation, Board Treasurer
Henry Cagey is a strong leader known across Indian Country for his dedication towards changing policy and accessing funds to strengthen health and wellness for Indian people serving as Board Member and Chair for several non-profits. His commitment to the Lummi Nation for 28 years resulted in Directors of TERO, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Economic Development Director, with 19 years’ on the Lummi Indian Business Council, 12 years of which were spent serving as Tribal Chairman. Henry has shaped many federal policies including health, housing, natural resources, transportation, and education. His funding accomplishments include federal Departments of Transportation, Labor, the Interior, Health and Human Services, Indian Health Service, Veterans Administration, Department of Agriculture, Education, and Commerce with $25 million in support to Lummi Nation priorities.
Sister Julie Codd, Sisters of Saint Joseph of Peace – Board Secretary
Sister Julie Codd is a treasure to have join the Mother Nation leadership Team months after its creation. She has been integral to garner support in the faith communities of Western Washington for awareness and participants needs. Her soft spoken words, commitment and sweet spirit is a blessing to the leadership. Born February 1962 entered the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Peace in Bellingham, WA. She was a catalyst in the evolution of the Chief Seattle Club and has maintained an active and vibrant ministry with Native American communities before, during and since her time as Director of the Center. Sister Julie began her work in the Native American community 38 years ago with the Swinomish Tribe. She received the Gertrude Apel 2012 Pioneering Spirit Award.
Elder Alma Goddard, Tepehuan -Board of Director/Facilitator
Elder Alma Goddard is an active member for over 35 years in the movement to end violence against women. Her work at the Seattle Indian Health Board has created several collaborations, DV programs on and off-reserve. Alma’s work with the Women Spirit Coalition in outreach, facilitation of many workshops and training in areas of domestic violence and sexual assault is highly respected amongst the Pacific Northwest Tribes. Alma’s work in Indian Country also includes presentations and workshops on internalized oppression, historical and intergenerational trauma, and healing. Alma’s personal experience and knowledge as a cancer survivor, survivor of domestic violence, foster child and compassion to continue in the movement to end violence against women is a definite asset to the Leadership Team! Alma also volunteers her time providing Domestic Violence Advocacy Training to the Mother Nation Mentees and Staff. She is a treasure and blessing and contributes to the organization’s success!
Elder Arlene Red Elk, MA – Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, Yeha:wi Healing Circle Facilitator
Elder Arlene Red Elk is a member of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and Lead Facilitator and master designer of the Circle of Life workshop series. Her four decades of experience serving thousands of women is known across Indian Country due to her creative talents to design such services such as the original Ina Maka program at United Indians of All Tribes Foundation. With 33 years in recovery, a Masters, Elder Arlene specializes in multi-abuse trauma of violence against women. She has mastered the skills of combining culture to clinical practice. Her work as a survivor of multi-abuse trauma provide her the compassion impacting the lives of hundreds of Native women.
Rose Linda Looking – Assiniboine-Sioux
Linda serves Indian Country’s non-profit treatment industry 45 years of service at the Thunderbird Treatment Center, United Indians of All Tribes and Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest (NARA). Linda has valuable work experience in all capacities of treatment implementing Native culture to all services. She carries credentials in Levels I, II and II of Counseling, Clinical Supervisor, Tribal Liaison and Treatment Director. Her years of service coupled with 40 years in recovery brings a wealth of expertise and knowledge to carry on her responsibilities as Elders Liaison and Yeha:wi Good Medicine Recovery Group.
Yvette Pinkham, MSW, CDP, So. Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes – Cultural Services Coordinator
Reuben Twin, Lakota – Interim Program Manager/Homeless Response Team
Reuben is an Oglala Lakota from Pine Ridge South Dakota, who has worked in the Substance Use Disorder field for the last 20yrs. In this time he has utilized Native Teachings to assist individuals who are Healing and entering into Recovery. Reuben has worked with the Coast Salish Tribes of Muckleshoot, Puyallup, Snoqualmie and Cowlitz Tribes of Washington. During this time, Tribal Members and Elders within these Tribes have shared with him Coast Salish Teachings, which he has used to assist Individuals in their Healing Journey. In his presentation, he will show how the Medicine Wheel can be used in a Coast Salish model, which can be used in a person’s Healing.
Marlena has lived in Seattle for 25 years. Born and raised on her people’s traditional Newe’ (Shoshone) territories in northeastern Nevada, Marlena enjoys the outdoors, hiking, camping and reading. She loves meeting and supporting indigenous people who work to decolonize language. Prior to joining Mother Nation, Marlena worked in the Finance & Administrative Department in the Seattle Housing Authority, and as a Project Administrator for Exxel Pacific, General Contractor.
MyHK’ (Hello)! My name is Rebecca Cesspooch, I am an enrolled member of the Ute Tribe Uintah and Ouray Agency, and a descendant of the Fort. Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribe. I have 10 years of experience serving Washington’s Indigenous communities; and my previous experience ranges from front line/ advocacy to administrative work within various grass-roots organizations, local Tribes, and urban Native communities. My emphasis has been with at-risk Native youth and adult homeless services. I am honored to join the Mother Nation team as the Executive Assistant, and I look forward to working with you all. Turgwahyuhk (Thank you)
Corinna Stasso, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes/Spokane – Cultural Support – Circle of Life Workshop Series / Homeless Prevention Program Mentee
Raised in Seattle and Spokane, Corinna enjoys crafts and learning new projects. She loves supporting the Circle of Life craft activities, traditional foods and meeting a lot of strong woman along the way. Corinna believes in conservation and helping the environment and has her own sweet grass and organic veggies garden with the “three sisters” corn, beans and squash. Her goal is to teach crafts, run sweats and grow healthy Native traditional foods to future generations to promote a healthier way of living.
“I always want to improve myself and learn from others and I am thankful to Native Women In Need Mentorship Program. It helps keep me going on a better path and positive mindset in an urban environment. It’s a struggle to hang on to this simple luxury of sweat. Living in a city isn’t always easy for these things and this program helps with urban Native woman who otherwise couldn’t have a place to sweat to potluck to pray together or to empower one another. Thanks for inviting me to be a part of the Native Women In Need community.” – Corinna
Terri Sulaiman, Navajo Nation – CMA/Services Advocate