AKNWRC Staff & Board of Directors

Director & Staff

Tamra (Tami) Truett Jerue is an enrolled member of the Anvik Tribe in Alaska and currently resides in Fairbanks Alaska. She is the mother to four children and the grandmother to five. She is the Executive Director of the Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center and continues to work with her Tribe on various issues. Ms. Truett Jerue has worked in the field of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault for the last 35 years in various capacities. Her education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, Community Psychology and Secondary Education. She has been involved with many non-profit Boards over the years and has worked and lived most of her adult life in rural Alaska in many capacities as therapist, sexual assault counselor, teacher, tribal administrator, first responder, ICWA social worker and trainer. Tami’s many experiences and those of her family and friends with Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault have kept her passionate about helping to facilitate change at a community level, within systems, and in families to help survivors live a violence free life.

Marie Taylor was born in California but has been an Alaskan resident for 35 years. She is a mother of three children, six grandchildren and a great grandmother to one grandson. She has worked in the field of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault for 11 years and has worked as a Sexual Assault Responder. Ms. Taylor is also a DV/SA trainer and worked as an advocate in a safe home for six years before she took a job facilitating Alternatives to Violence classes for the offenders. At that time, she facilitated classes for men at the correctional center and for both men and women at her office.

She has been involved with different native women’s coalitions and agencies and worked with the elders as a planning and development specialist for 3 years. Being a survivor herself along with family suicide and domestic violence is what has given Ms. Taylor the strength and the passion for this work. She has also been involved in teaching pre-school working with three and four year olds. Ms. Taylor currently works for the Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center as their Administrative Assistant.

Her goal is to continue this work in order to hopefully bring education, healing and social change within the families to inspire violence free living.

 

Michelle Demmert

Michelle Demmert, Tlingit, Eagle, Ḵaax̱ʼoos.hittaan clan and a current delegate and elected Chief Justice for the Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, has worked in various capacities of advancing domestic violence protections for women and children since 1995. As the presiding judge at the Chehalis tribe for over 10 years, she assisted with amending code provisions that provided greater protections for women and children, as well as developing a court process that holistically addressed all participants. During this time, she also assisted the Northwest Tribal Court Judges’ Association with the creation of a bench book on processing domestic violence cases, establishing a full faith and credit process with the state for registering tribal Orders of Protection and participated as a significant contributor to a Tribal Prosecutor’s Pilot Project and Manual for best practices in this area. As a judge, Ms. Demmert issued Orders of Protection as necessary for all member tribes of the Northwest Intertribal Court System, as well as presided over numerous criminal domestic violence cases, both bench and jury. Ms. Demmert joined the Northwest Justice Project’s Domestic Violence unit for a brief time before being recruited to the Tulalip Tribes’ Office of Reservation Attorney, where she continues to work on a part-time basis. While at the Tulalip Tribes, she was the primary author of their complete revision of the Domestic Violence code, which includes provisions for exercising Special Domestic Violence Court Jurisdiction (SDVCJ). She has been the named primary point of contact for this process from the beginning, and continues to represent the Tulalip Tribes on the Intertribal Work Group for SDVCJ and has presented about this process at many tribal, state, federal and university forums, including a presentation to the Department of Justice staff during Domestic Violence Awareness month in October 2015. She has provided testimony during the Office of Violence against Women’s (OVW) annual consultation on behalf of the Tulalip Tribes, as well as an individual Tlingit tribal member to bring awareness to Alaska specific issues. She has volunteered with the Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center during 2015 and presently, and has assisted Alaska Native villages with written testimony to OVW.

Michelle is a graduate of the University of Washington for both her law degree and her BA in Psychology. Michelle is actively engaged in the Alaska commercial fishing industry prior to her practice of law.

 

Candy Keown

Candy Keown is a tribal member of the Hoonah Indian Association in Hoonah, Alaska. She is Tlingit and from the T’akdeintaan clan. Hoonah is located in Southeast Alaska about 45 air miles from the capital city of Juneau. Candy moved to Hoonah at the age of 10 and has kept Hoonah as her permanent home since that time. She graduated from Hoonah City Schools in 2005 at which time she left Hoonah to further her education at Stanford University. She graduated from Stanford in 2009 with a BA in Sociology and a Psychology Minor. She returned to Hoonah immediately after college in hopes of using her education to give back to her community.

Candy spent a year and a half working at the SEARHC clinic in Hoonah as an intermittent Patient Access Representative before getting hired on at the Hoonah Indian Association as the Human Services Director in April of 2011. This position is responsible for all the social services the Tribe provides including the General Assistance Program, the Child Care Assistance Program, as well as the Indian Child Welfare Act Program. The Indian Child Welfare Act allows the tribe to be involved in state custody cases involving members of the tribe. She has firsthand knowledge of the struggles community members face in rural Alaska. Through her position at the Hoonah Indian Association Candy has been an active member of the Hoonah Fun & Fit Partnership, the Hoonah Behavioral Health and Suicide Prevention Group, Parents and Teachers Association, and the Hoonah Domestic Violence Advisory Board.

Since 2013, Candy has worked with the Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center and National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center to develop an Alaska Native specific curriculum helping to develop local village-based responses to violence against women. In 2016, Candy worked with the Hoonah Indian Association to apply for and then successfully received an award from the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice to support efforts to keep Hoonah women and children safe.

Candy is passionate about helping make her community healthy and safe for everyone.


Board of Directors

Tia M. Holley

Tia M. Holley is an Inupiat, descendent from King Island, Alaska whose Eskimo name is Aisena after her great grandmother. Currently she is an independent trainer with the Alaska Native Health Consortium working on a Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative to provide culturally relevant training to rural providers in Alaska. In 1996, she founded RID Alaska of Child Abuse, a prevention and awareness organization that has a statewide web-based resource and information directory for families and survivors of child abuse. Since 2004 she has been a SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) advocate volunteer to provide advocacy to Alaska Native and American Indian sexual assault victims, and has been a member of the local Domestic Violence Task Force. Since 2011 she has been a member of Norton Sound Health Corporations “Cultural Committee” task force working to create an indigenous based wellness center in Nome.

She has worked as a victim’s advocate, child advocate, and sexual assault advocate for State funded and Tribal organizations. She has worked as a chemical dependency counselor for private and tribal organizations.

She has over 17 years experience creating and presenting a multitude of informational/education groups, classes and workshops from child sexual abuse, domestic violence, to addictions and co-occurring disorders. She has worked individually and collaboratively with public, private, Tribal, State and National individuals and organizations establishing culturally considerate professional strategies addressing domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and addictions issues. She has developed treatment and victim response plans relevant to Alaska Native populations in the substance abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse field. She has produced training programs for providers in Alaska’s social service fields that are holistic and culturally sensitive to the unique needs of rural and urban Alaskans. She has created numerous education materials and brochures for groups, individuals and the general public.

She received her Bachelor of Social Work “cum laude” in 2012 and is in her last semester for a Masters in Rural Development, a leadership program focusing on circumpolar indigenous issues.

 

Lenora (Lynn) Hootch

Lenora (Lynn) Hootch is a tribal member of the Yupik Eskimo Tribe in Emmonak, a village in southwestern Alaska. She has lived in her village most of her life and has been actively involved in her community and tribal government. She has served as an officer and a board member for many organizations in her community, including the Emmonak Tribal Council, Emmonak City Council, Vice Mayor for the Village of Emmonak, member of the Parish Council, which is affiliated with the local church, Advisory School Board member, the Alaska Native Women’s Coalition, a state wide organization committed to eliminating personal and societal violence in the lives of Native women and children, and a former member of the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, an organization comprised of Shelter Programs in the State of Alaska. Lynn has worked as the Director for the Yup’ik Women’s Coalition and is responsible for managing a regional tribal coalition to increase awareness of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and/or dating violence, to enhance the response to violence against Native women at the local, state and national level, creating leadership opportunities and providing technical assistance to other tribes to enhance access to essential services to Native women victimized by domestic violence and sexual assault. Lynn is Co-Chair of the NCAI Task Force on Violence Against Women dedicated to advocating for tribal sovereignty to increase women’s safety.

Lynn is also a founder of the Emmonak Women’s Shelter, a non-profit organization that started in 1979. The Shelter is an example of a grassroots movement by village members/volunteers who saw a need to provide safety for women, children and vulnerable victims who were victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other forms of abuse. The program was founded for the purpose of providing emergency shelter and assistance to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Lynn is married and mother of five beautiful children, three boys and two girls; two gorgeous granddaughters who bring life, joy, happiness and love to all.

 

Joann Horn

Joann Horn is a Yupik Eskimo from the Village of Kotlik who has been living in the Village of Emmonak for over 25 years, located in the Yukon Delta Region of southwestern Alaska. Joann lives in Emmonak with her husband, and has five adult children and eight grandchildren. Joann received a certificate in May of 2010 on Rural Human Services from KUC in Bethel, AK. Joann began working in the 1980s at the Emmonak Women’s Shelter as a relief advocate helping women and children, and later as a rural shelter outreach coordinator traveling out to the area villages and educating the community on domestic violence and sexual assault and about shelter services. Joann is now Shelter Director managing and developing Shelter operations and advocacy services representing the Shelter as a member of the Yup’ik Women’s Coalition.

 

Priscilla S. Kameroff

Priscilla S. Kameroff is Inupiaq originally from the Village of Unalakleet and serves as the Public Policy Specialist for the Yup’ik Women’s Coalition. Prior to this position, she had eleven years experience working in the human services field with the Native Village of Emmonak as the Indian Child Welfare Worker. This involved working closely with the Office of Children’s Services when they come out to the Village to do investigations with children that may have been harmed, or were in a home that is not safe. She was also President of the Board of Directors for the Emmonak Women’s Shelter and the Yup’ik Women’s Coalition for several years.

She received a certificate in May 2010 in the Rural Human Services from KUC in Bethel, and a degree in Associate of Applied Science in Human Services in May 2012.

Her passion is supporting the local women’s shelter. Growing up as a young child, she saw things such as domestic violence committed against our women. It was never talked about. Everyone kept silent. The violence was swept under the rug and kept there.

 

Isabel Mills

Isabel Mills is a Tlingit from southeast Alaska and has lived in Kake, Alaska all of her life and is currently employed with the Organized Village of Kake as the Domestic Violence Coordinator since 2011 working closely with staff, other first responders and area services on providing victim services, outreach, training, and prevention of violence against women. Prior to this, she worked for the Tribe as a Social Services Assistant. Ms. Mills also has experience working Accounts Payable for another entity for 10 years. Ms. Mills enjoys helping people to have a healthier life style. She has served as a Kake School Board member for 17 years, a Sunday school teacher and enjoys reading. Ms. Mills is married with 6 children and 7 grandchildren who she enjoys very much.

 

Shirley Moses

Shirley Moses is an Inupiaq Eskimo, born in Nome, Alaska, whose tribal affiliation is the Sitnasuak Native Corporation/Bering Straits Native Corporation. She has a Masters in Education Administration, and approximately 30 years experience working in the Behavioral Health Field in various positions. She has taught Elementary Grades K-8 in Rural villages throughout Alaska, and was a Principal Teacher. In addition to her experience in the classroom, she has worked as a Coordinator for SED Youth in Residential and Community Settings. She has experience with coordinating care in the school, behavioral health and community settings for dually diagnosed youth and Adults. She also worked for a statewide Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Coalition as a Program Assistant, Shelter Director, Coordinated Statewide/Regional and Village SA/DV Training and response, and is a certified SART Responder. She also was appointed by US Attorney General Eric Holder to sit on a 15 member National Coordination Committee to address Sexual Assault Response in Indian Country. This was a 2-year appointment during which she represented Alaska Native Tribal concerns and needs pertaining to Sexual Assault Protocol. As a Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative (DVPI) partnership team member she has brought her extensive experience with Alaska Native culture to provide a Historical Trauma presentation focusing on the local tribal or regional history. As a team member, she is a strong voice advocating for victim rights across the state of Alaska. Shirley currently is the Director of Healing Native Hearts Coalition, a Tribal DV/SA Tribal Coalition funded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice.

 

Nettie J. Warbelow

Nettie J. Warbelow is the Domestic Violence / Sexual Assault and ICWA Coordinator for the Village of Tetlin. She was born in Alaska and was raised in the Village of Tetlin, Alaska where she was raised traditionally, with her grandmothers teaching her the essentials of Athabascan Culture and language. Nettie is fluent in the Tetlin Athabascan dialect, and is a strong supporter and advocate of Culture preservation. Nettie has worked in the field of Social Services for Child Protection, ICWA, Advocate for DV/Sexual Assault, SART Trained, State Court Proceedings and Tribal Court for 20 years. She was involved during the passage of the ICWA law for Alaska. She also is an expert with ex parte for her clients with the Court systems. Nettie has demonstrated the capacity to carry out many tasks, including, but not limited to as Tetlin Council Liaison, Grant writer, Workshop Facilitator, Tetlin Corporation Assistant, and State Social Service Associate to Foster Care/Adoption. Nettie served on many Boards throughout her years advocating for people. Nettie also loves working with the Youth. Her passion is community healing through holistic culture and traditional teachings. Nettie has one daughter Sadie Rose, who is close to her heart.