We are Committed to Working with You to Change the Narrative for Native Youth

Tribal Law and Policy Institute (TLPIand project partneNational Native Children’s Trauma Center (NNCTC) welcome you to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Tribal Youth Resource Center website.

TLPI and NNCTC bring to this work an in-depth understanding and appreciation of American Indian and Alaska  Native  history, customs, and indigenous justice systems, the product of decades of training and technical assistance in Indian country. 

Native youth, like their ancestors before them, are a study in resilience. Native youth benefit from a value held by Native peoples: Our Children are Sacred. American Indian and Alaska Native people and organizations are working diligently to improve the futures of Native youth andbextension, Native people. An experienced and knowledgeable Traininand Technical Assistance (TTA) provider is a crucial part of that work. We bring to this work a unique understanding of American Indian and Alaska Native communitieand strategies that support community-led solutions, while keeping aeye on the national landscape. We will work diligently with American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes, Tribal Youth Program grantees, Tribal Juvenile Healing to Wellness Court grantees, and Native youth to indigenize successful approaches and evidence-basepractices, while innovating and reinstating culturallappropriate responses that will contribute to addressing and reversing the challenges Native youth face in today’s society. We are honored and humbled to be serving Native youth, their families, and communities.

Jerry picture 20112.jpg

Jerry Gardner (Cherokee), Executive Director, Tribal Law and Policy Institute serves as TLPI's Executive Director and is an attorney with more than 35 years of experience working with American Indian/Alaska Native Nations, tribal court systems, and victims of crime in Indian country. Jerry has served as the Executive Director of the Tribal Law and Policy Institute since its founding in 1996 and oversees all TLPI projects and services. Jerry has also served as the Director of the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Tribes, Council Member of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities (IRR), and an ABA Tribal Courts Council member.  Jerry has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, UCLA School of Law, and Southwestern School of Law. He previously served as the Administrator for the National American Indian Court Judges Association (NAICJA). He has been an appellate court judge for the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians (North Dakota) and Poarch Creek Band (Alabama). He served as the Senior Staff Attorney with the National Indian Justice Center (NIJC) from NIJC’s establishment in 1983 until TLPI’s founding in 1996. He served as a Professional Staff Member at the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in the late 1970s. He also served in legal training positions for the national office of the Legal Services Corporation and the American Indian Lawyer Training Program. Jerry received his J.D. from the Antioch School of Law. 



Stephanie Autumn (Hopi/Irish), Director, Tribal Youth Resource Center-TYP Lead brings extensive experience in developing, implementing, and evaluating programs in Indian country. Ms. Autumn has 38 years of local, national, and international AI advocacy and policy work experience, and has presented at various Human Rights forums at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland and in New York. She has worked throughout the country on issues of American Indian adult and juvenile justice, substance abuse prevention, restorative justice, and tribal youth mentoring programs. Ms. Autumn served as the Executive Directive of the Minnesota Restorative Justice Campaign for five years and is a skilled Restorative Practitioner facilitator, trainer, and Circle Keeper.  Ms. Autumn’s expertise includes developing culturally competent strategic planning tools and trainings for American Indian/Alaska Native tribes. She has directed national projects on American Indian juvenile domestic assault, restorative justice, pre-and post-release services for AI offenders, tribal mentoring, and truancy. She served as project director for three DOJ-funded programs for tribal youth which provided Training and Technical Assistance to over 135 tribal grantees. Ms. Autumn has provided expertise/testimony for the MN & SD Departments of Corrections with regards to Traumatic Brain Injury and Trauma Informed Care needs/issues with incarcerated American Indian juvenile and adults. For the past fifteen years, Ms. Autumn has provided expertise to the MN Department of Education on disproportionality issues that impact American Indian youth and communities. Ms. Autumn is the founder of the American Indian Prison Project Working Group.



Anna Clough.jpg

Anna Clough, JD (Muscogee Nation and Yuchi Tribe), Director, Tribal Youth Resource Center-JHTWC Lead  is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and Yuchi Tribes. She graduated from The University of Oklahoma with a BA in Sociology and double minor in Native American Studies and Criminology. In 2008, she graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Law with a Juris Doctorate and a certificate in Native American law from the Center for the Study of American Indian Law and Policy.  She is an admitted and practicing member of the Oklahoma Bar Association, and has been admitted to practice in numerous Oklahoma Tribal courts.  She has spent her legal career working with Tribal youth and families in both State and Tribal Courts throughout Oklahoma. Mrs. Clough has served as a Training and Technical Assistance provider on behalf of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Training and Technical Assistance services for the past several years and has supported the development and implementation of numerous National training efforts to support Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation purpose area 8 and purpose area 9 tribal grantees. Most recently she authored the Tribal Juvenile Healing to Wellness Handbook, a primer planning guide supportive of Tribal community development of wellness courts for Tribal youth.  Anna is a wife and mother and resides in Oklahoma.  




Tasha R. Fridia, JD (Wichita, Kiowa, and Caddo), Pejuta Cangleska Win (Sacred Medicine Circle Woman), Assistant Director, Tribal Youth Resource Center. She is the owner of Fridia Consulting where she assists tribes with strategic and justice system planning, code drafting and policy implementation.  Tasha serves as a Senior Associate at the National Criminal Justice Training Center of Fox Valley Technical College. Prior to her work with TLPI, she worked for the OJJDP Tribal Youth Program Training and Technical Assistance Center at the University of Oklahoma in the Tribal Law and Policy Division.  Tasha is a recent graduate of Oklahoma City University School of Law, where she earned her Juris Doctorate as well as a certificate in American Indian Law.  Tasha interned with the Oglala Sioux Tribal Court and the OJJDP TYP TTA Center at the University of Oklahoma.  She also gained experience as a student in the Jodi G. Marquette American Indian Wills Clinic. While in law school, Tasha held numerous leadership positions including Student Bar Association Vice President, Pupil of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Inn of Court, and an appointment to the Dean’s Council on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion where she helped establish a regalia policy for Native American Law Students.  She served on the National Native American Law Students Association board and was awarded Future Trailblazer in Indian Country by her local chapter. Tasha previously worked in the Tribal Human Resources field and is currently a Manager of Quivera Enterprises LLC, a division of the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes Industrial Development Commission.  She earned a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma and a M.A. in Human Resources Development from Webster University. Tasha is passionate about the work she does and approaches it with the guidance of cultural and traditional teachings.




Sina Ikikcu Win (Takes the Robe Woman), Ethleen Iron Cloud -Two Dogs, Senior Training and Technical Assistance Specialist, Tribal Youth Resource Center is an enrolled citizen of the Oglala Lakota (Oglala Sioux Tribe) and also has Crow Tribal ancestry. She resides on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Ethleen’s many blessings include her family and many relatives. Her consultant and volunteer work includes helping to strengthen children, youth, families and communities using their own strengths and culture. She is currently the Chairperson/Director of the Graduate Studies Dept at Oglala Lakota College and is also a PhD student at Colorado State University. 





Kristina Pacheco (Pueblo of Laguna), Training and Technical Assistance Specialist  where she lives and works from her home in the village of Paraje/Casa Blanca, NM. She is a licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselor in the state of NM and has over 20 years of experience in the field of substance abuse treatment and prevention. Prior to joining Tribal Law & Policy Institute, she worked for the Pueblo of Laguna for 14 years; as a Supervising Probation Officer (2004-2010), Lead Counselor (2010-2014) and Behavioral Health Program Manager (2014-2019). In 2007, Kristina and the staff of the tribal court began the Pueblo of Laguna Healing to Wellness Court. The HTWC was granted Mentor Court Status in 2017 by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals Drug Court Initiatives. Kristina also provided training and technical assistance to other Native communities as a consultant. Kristina is the mother of one son, an adopted daughter and a grandmother.



Screen Shot 2019-09-20 at 3.02.52 PM.png

Laura Smith, Program Assistant, Tribal Youth Resource Center serves as a Program Assistant with Tribal Law and Policy Institute. She completed her BA in Psychology at Vassar College with a correlate in Sustainability. Upon graduating, Laura served as Project Manager for the World Well-Being Project, a multi-disciplinary research team based out of the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center. Laura is currently training to become a practitioner of PsychoNeuroEnergetics, a bodywork modality related to trauma renegotiation.


Partnering Staff- National Native Children's Trauma Center

Marilyn Zimmerman.jpg

Marilyn Zimmerman (Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes) Ph.D., Senior Director of Policy and Programs, National Native Children's Trauma Center, Marilyn is the founding director of the National Native Children's Trauma Center (NNCTC) and has worked as a Senior Tribal Policy Advisor for OJJDP before returning to the NNCTC as Senior Director of Policy and Programs. She brings to the Tribal Youth Program 15+ years of experience in assessing, training, and consulting with tribes and tribal agencies in trauma-informed systems change and intervention implementation projects. A member of the Attorney General's Advisory Committee on American Indian/Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence, in recent years Dr. Zimmerman has particularly focused on projects serving Native justice-involved and crossover youth, helping both justice systems and child welfare agencies approach their work through a trauma lens.



Veronica Willeto DeCrane (Diné), School Training and Technical Assistance Specialist, National Native Children's Trauma Center, is Diné (Navajo), of the Many Hogans Clan, born for the Mexican Clan. Her maternal grandparents are of the Tangle Clan and her paternal grandparents are of the Bitter Water Clan. She was raised on the Navajo Nation in the Eastern Agency community of Ojo Encino. She now lives in Billings, Montana and is married with four children. Veronica holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in History and Race and Ethnic Studies from Whitman College. She is committed to the strong and healthy development of American Indian youth and has worked in the field of Indian education and Native youth development for 9 years. She is currently a School Training and Technical Assistance Specialist at the National Native Children’s Trauma Center. She is also a Multi-Tiered System of Support Implementation Specialist at the Montana Office of Public Instruction and the Director of the Crow Schools Consortium of 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Additionally, she serves on the Steering Council of the Montana Afterschool Alliance and volunteers as an advisor to the Arrow Creek Youth Council in Pryor, Montana. Veronica strives to honor the cultural identity of American Indian youth and actively promotes the unique knowledge and practices of Tribal Nations through her work in braiding Indigenous and Western-based knowledges, cultural responsiveness, and cultural adaptations. Her work also emphasizes equity, youth voice, youth leadership development, family and community engagement, and tribal sovereignty.




Nona photo.png

Nona J. Main (Aaniiih/Nakoda), Training and Technical Assistance Specialist, National Native Children's Trauma Center is an enrolled member of the Aaniiih and Nakoda nations of the Fort Belknap Indian community in Montana. She was born and raised in Fort Belknap, where she also currently resides with her son, Trenton. She graduated from MSU Billings in 2009 with a Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies/Native American Studies and her career path since, has been in primarily serving Native communities, both her own and around Montana.

Working for and with Native people and youth has always been a passion of hers, which she continues to do in her current job as Training and Technical Assistance Specialist with the National Native Children’s Trauma Center since the fall of 2019. She came to NNCTC from the role of an Outreach Educator for the Native Outreach Project of Planned Parenthood of Montana, where she spent nearly nine years. Her outreach efforts consisted of mainly serving Native youth who reside in the surrounding area of Billings, Montana. In her outreach, she provided comprehensive sexuality education in various formats and activities to middle school and high school aged youth. She had implemented and facilitated three different evidence-based comprehensive sexuality education curriculums with the youth in a classroom setting. In other outreach efforts, she has also provided various presentations such as Healthy Relationships and Cultural Humility, to name a few, to different organizations in the Montana area to professionals who work with the Native population and to clientele who may come from underserved populations such as, incarcerated individuals and/youth in group home settings, etc, as well as been part of state/community advisory councils and coalitions. She has planned, organized and facilitated various events that both served the youth she works with and the general Native population, which include school proms, basketball camps, collaborations with after school programs, an Affordable Care Act symposium, and a Native Women film and discussion series.

In all of her years of serving the youth and people she works for, Nona has always been conscious and respectful of the cultural factors and wishes of the communities she’s serving. It helps in delivering the information, education, and work in a culturally responsive and respectful way, and is received better by the youth and people of each respective community.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her son, family and loved ones. Her interests include reading, keeping active, watching her son play basketball, movies, reading, and cooking.




Jeri Brunoe.JPG


Jeri Brunoe (Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs), Training Consultant, Tribal Youth Resource Centeran enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Oregon has worked in Indian Country for over 30 years as the CEO of Jeri Brunoe Training & Consulting (JBT&C). Previous to JBT&C, Jeri’s experience has included being a Leadership Trainer, College faculty member, Prevention Coordinator/Trainer and GONA Facilitator . Jeri is a certified "Core Team & Crisis Intervention/Prevention Specialist" and is a graduate of the Bill

McGrane Self-Esteem Institute in Advance Psycho-linguistics/Neurolinguistics. She was raised with her traditional native values and continues to practice her cultural "Way of Life". Ms. Brunoe is a nationally known and highly respected public speaker and youth leadership expert, as well as a gifted writer, and an actor. Her latest theatrical endeavor involves performing the play "Salmon Woman" and is now in the production of "Lost Tribes” and Independent film “Bad Dad”.



Elicia Goodsoldier is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and is Spirit Lake Dakota. Her Dakota/Lakota name is Itokagatahan Win which means “Comes From the South Woman”. She is the Children and Youth Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator at Red Wind Consulting based out of Colorado Springs, CO. Under the guidance of elders, Elicia Co-Coordinates traditional Lakota youth healing camps for young women on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation who have experienced trauma. She frequently presents on understanding historical and intergenerational trauma and creating awareness of the importance and efficacy of traditional and spiritual healing within Native communities. She has served on the Board of Directors for the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition and the Cultural Competency Advisory Council for the Office of Behavioral Health, Colorado Department of Health and Human Services. Elicia served as Co-Chair of the Denver American Indian Commission and the Colorado Commission to Study American Indian Representation in Public Schools. Her most important role, however, is being a mother of eight children, five of whom she has taken as hunka children.



Gerry RainingBird.jpg

Gerry RainingBird,  (Nehiyaw Nation), Gerry has been involved with American Indian/Alaska Native/Pacific Islander education, health, and wellness promotion for over 30 years.  His educational background includes a BS in Physical Education & Health, and a M.S. in Education Administration. Gerry’s professional experience includes leadership of community development efforts and capacity building, positive youth development, cultural competency, group facilitation, strategic planning, and program development.

RainingBird has worked with over 200 native communities all across Indian Country and the Pacific Islands. He has served as a Project Director, Training and Technical Assistance Consultant, Sustainability and Training Coordinator, Senior Prevention Specialist, Group Facilitator, Strategic Planning Advisor, and has led, directed and successfully implemented a variety of Education, Health and Wellness initiatives specific to native communities. Gerry continually strives to implement culturally appropriate and responsive teaching concepts in his trainings and presentations.