Native American Fatherhood and Families Association’s (NAFFA) 15th Annual National Fatherhood is Leadership Conference was a great success. Located in the beautiful We-Ko-Pa Resort and Conference Center in Fort McDowell, Arizona, there were three days of informative workshops, delicious food and positive fellowship with those who know the importance of the sacredness of fatherhood and motherhood.
Beside our plenary sessions of Fatherhood is Sacred™/Motherhood is Sacred™, Restoring Family Unity, and Addressing Family Violence and Abuse, taught by Albert Pooley, there were other topics of interest which were all well attended.
O.J. Flores, Chief Prosecutor of Pascua Yaqui Prosecutor’s Office taught a session on Prosecuting Domestic Violence in Tribal Court which gave a brief legal overview of special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction as authorized by the Violence Against Women Act and how to apply the law to criminal investigations and prosecutions. Due process requirements of trial court were discussed which were very helpful.
Nicholeen Peck, CEO of Teaching Self-Government and President of Worldwide Organization for Women taught a session on effective parenting called The Keys for Raising Confident, Obedient Children. Some of the discussions included some of the pitfalls of modern parenting styles and useful skills on how to solve common issues facing children and families.
Pamela Prasher from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community-Early Childhood Education Center, taught a session on Understanding the Meaning of Children’s Behavior. The discussion included insights to help build a strong foundation for children’s success and how the early brain development dictates to a child’s brain state.
Kevin Maulson and Rick McCafferty from Lutheran Indian Ministries taught a session on Understanding Trauma. Discussions were on the issue of the affects of much trauma in sexual abuse, abandonment, domestic violence, neglect and suicide. These traumatic events affect our ability to have genuine relationships with one another. When we share the story of past trauma, it exposes the life we believed and replaces it with the truth of who we were created to be as man and woman.
Leroy Pooley, a U.S. Border Patrol Operations Officer taught the session on Human Trafficking in Indian Country. The practice of human trafficking represents a significant and expanding problem comprised primarily of sex trafficking and forced labor. The victims of this crime can be adults or children, male, or female of any color or race. Those who prey are equal opportunity abusers. However, the unique, independent structure of communities in Arizona contributes to complex cultural and jurisdictional issues for tribal, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
Another workshop sponsored by NAFFA was for the facilitators who teach our curriculum throughout the year. Thirty-five of our trained facilitators were presented with updated information and what our future projects would be including a published book of Fatherhood is Sacred™/Motherhood is Sacred™, and online re-certification.
Many more workshops were presented over the three days along with testimonials of the success of the Fatherhood is Sacred™/Motherhood is Sacred™ programs in prisons and in Native communities.
Our lunchtime entertainment was outstanding as we heard from Donovan “Beef” Archambault from Fort Belknap, Montana on Tuesday. His stand-up routine was truly amusing and entertaining as he poked fun at Native and family life.
The Samoan Dynasty presented their life as professional wrestlers from the WWE and the importance of their family life together.
We heard from Frantz Beasley, president and founder of AZ Common Ground which provides service to formerly incarcerated youth and adults within Maricopa County. The story of his life before and after prison was amazing and how he turned around to help others. Ernie Stevens Jr. the Chairman for the National Indian Gaming Association in Washington D.C. spoke as well about the importance of family and how he turned his life around from poverty and crime.
Ernie Stevens Jr.
All three days were informative and entertaining and those attending were inspired to continue their work in teaching and guiding those in need of strengthening relationships and improving their lives. We are already looking forward to next year’s conference in October of 2019 and hope you will join us.