top of page

NAFFA 2019 Annual Report

Founder's Message: It is my pleasure to present the Native American Fatherhood and Families Association’s 2019 Annual Report. This year was a very busy and successful one for NAFFA. We now have over 1,400 trained

facilitators and over 240 tribes and tribal agencies offering our curricula. We a are proud of what we have been able to accomplish in improving the lives of fathers, mothers and children across U.S., Canada and beyond. The coming year of NAFFA will have more 2-day seminars and opportunities to help many coming out of rehab with a developing program.


· Albert Pooley: President/Founder

· Amy Fa’atoafe: Executive Director

· Elvira James: Facilitator Coordinator

· Karra Papa: Special Events Coordinator

· Neil Tift: Outreach Coordinator

· Valerie Hollobaugh: Public Relations/Economic Coordinator

· Heather Truong: Project Coordinator

· Susan Sharp: Receptionist

· Cheryl Curry: Marketing/Promotions

· Mark Charging: Re-entry Specialist

· Michael Parks: Administrative Assistant

· Elizabeth Poll: Child Care Specialist

· Makayla Begay: House Keeping/Child Care Specialist

Overview of NAFFA

Established in 2002, Native American Fatherhood & Families Association (NAFFA) works with over 240 tribes and tribal agencies across the country and has trained over 1,400 certified facilitators who have helped approximately 30,000 fathers and mothers strengthen and keep their families together with limited direct federal or state funds.

It is the goal of NAFFA to create a synergistic environment and deliver information in the form of workshops, keynotes, presentations, seminars, professional training and social engagements that showcase and address the most recent information relating to building strong families and healthy communities.

Based in Arizona, NAFFA provides programs to strengthen Native American families through responsible fatherhood and motherhood. These unique programs create a passion in parents to take a leadership role in keeping families happy and safe. Through their programs’ success, NAFFA has found that their purpose and methods extend to people of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds.

Our three courses include:

The Fatherhood Is Sacred®, Motherhood Is Sacred® (FIS/MIS) program was created and designed for fathers and mothers using a Native American approach. The goal of the program is to strengthen families through responsible parenting. NAFFA teaches parents in a 12-session course to connect with their heritage as they become actively involved in the lives of their families.

Linking Generations by Strengthening Relationships® (LGSR) is a 14-session course to assist fathers, mothers and families to enhance their capacity to engage and maintain healthy relationships, such as married couples, adult siblings, co-parenting and children within the family. The sessions offer participants the opportunity to learn the truths and myths of strong, healthy, positive relationships. It builds upon NAFFA’s Fatherhood is Sacred® and Motherhood is Sacred® program and works to assist parents in regaining a sense of self-worth, understanding and healing.

Addressing Family Violence and Abuse® (AFVA) was developed and implemented in 2018. The 14-session course offered its first training for facilitators on April 17, 2018. This course helps parents understand forms of violence and abuse and how to heal and prevent this tragedy from occurring in their own family. Sessions include violence is true identity theft, anger and resentment, simple and willful rebellion, addictions, bullying, human trafficking and how to combat family violence and abuse.

Overview of NAFFA’s Impact in 2019

NAFFA certified 117 new facilitators in Fatherhood Is Sacred®, Motherhood Is Sacred®, 51 new facilitators in Linking Generations by Strengthening Relationships® and certified 73 new facilitators in Addressing Family Violence and Abuse®. That is an increase of over 100 facilitators from 2018. (138 in 2018/241 in 2019)

Forty-Six new agencies contracted to receive facilitator certification in 2019. Some of these agencies include:

· Amity Foundation, Tucson, AZ

· Creative Nomads, Baltimore, MD

· Elk Grove Unified School District, Sacramento County, California

· MHA Arizona Recovery Team, Scottsdale, AZ

· Native Health, Phoenix, AZ

· San Joaquin Native Woman’s Talking Circle, California

· Blackfeet Nation Tribal Health, Montana

· Seneca Nation Child and Family Services, New York

· Crow Nation Big Horn Valley Health Center, Montana

· Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma Social Service


In the March/April Issue of Indigenous Post, an article was published entitled Fatherhood is Leadership which focused upon how the impact of Fatherhood is Sacred had in families and communities.

April of 2019, Al Pooley was interviewed by Fostering Media Connections for Chronical of Social Change about FIS/MIS which was published on the website:

In the August 2019 issue of Indian Gaming on page 74, a news report of the WinnaVegas Casino Resort hosting NAFFA’s Fatherhood is Leadership®/Motherhood is Leadership® program as a 3-day wellness workshop was published.

Three articles were published in the Arizona Republic Phoenix newspaper. One on January 5, 2019 entitled New Resource Center Aims to Support Families, one on February 2, 2019 entitled Non-profit helps Native Folks Strengthen their Families and the third on June 15, 2019 entitled When we Support Fathers, We Support Families too.

NAFFA published and distributed 12 monthly newsletters through our email marketing website.


NAFFA is developing the FIS/MIS program in a published book to be sold on Amazon. Besides the program in book form, there will be success stories from many different graduates of FIS/MIS, describing how they turned their life around from the impact of the program. If you have a story you would like to share with us, please contact our office.

Webinars and Radio Shows:

1. April 1, 2019 Podcast: “In Sickness and in Health”, for Dr. Ceine Gounder

2. September 6, 2019: Webinar for This webinar entitled, Family and Fatherhood Engagement with Native Americans offered an hour presentation in power point and a 10-item multiple-choice exam.

3. October 3, 2019: Webinar: Overview of NAFFA on ZOOM with an audience of 30 people.


Billings, Montana: “Restoring Family Unity” seminar was hosted on September 9-10, 2019 at the Billings Hotel & Conference Center. With fifty in attendance, this seminar presented a wonderful opportunity for the people of the Billings, Montana area to learn about NAFFA programs and have the opportunity to be trained as facilitators. The parent panel and Tara Walker Lyons presentation was especially moving with stories of changed lives. (Father's Panel in Billings from left: Bruce Plummer, Bruce Myers and David Pratt)


1. March 21, 2019: Criminal Justice Breakfast 8:30am-10am. Presentation of NAFFA’s programs.

April 16, 2019: Faith-based Community Breakfast 8am -9;30am. Presentation of NAFFA’s programs

United Nations Meetings:

March 11-12, 2019: NAFFA attended the Commission on the Status for Women at the United

Nations in New York City for our third year. This year we presented with the Worldwide Organization of Women in sponsorship from Kenya. There we presented on the importance of a safe and loving family and how to strengthen our communities. Our second presentation was “Recreating a Healthier Environment for Empowering Women and Girls.” This was a wonderful opportunity for us to reach out to various groups throughout the world, who are also searching for ways to strengthen their families.

(Photo from right-Nicholeen Peck, Amy Fa'atoafe, and others from World WIDE organization for Women)

August 26-27, 2019: Mr. Pooley and Mark Charging of NAFFA presented at the 68th United

Nations Civil Society Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. The theme of “Building Inclusive and Sustainable Cities and Communities” was the first United Nations conference of this type held in the United States. NAFFA was involved in two workshops. Beyond Prisons and Toxic Masculinity: Harnessing the Nature of Men for Peaceful Societies was shared with other organizations in presenting Reintegrating Incarcerated Men and their Positive Impact upon Society. The second workshop was Unleashing the Potential of Indigenous Women and Girls. (Photo: from left- Nicholeen Peck, Mark Charging, Jenny Baker, Al Pooley, Jennifer Jensen along with three other staff from Gathering Families Organization.)

Seventh Annual Native American Responsible Fatherhood Day

On June 15, NAFFA sponsored a special day to honor and celebrate the importance of fatherhood and the important contributions that dads bring to strengthening families and communities.

Conference and Staff Development Presentations for 2019


· Morongo TANF, San Bernardino, CA

· Zero to Three, Washington, D.C.


· Native American Training Institute, New Town North Dakota

· National Healthy Start Fatherhood, Washington, DC

· Health and Wellness of Men and Boys, Washington DC

· Court Appointed Special Advocates training, Tempe, AZ

· Association for Supportive Child Care Conference, Mesa, AZ


· Kids Blitz annual foster parent training, Scottsdale, AZ

· Court Appointed Special Advocates training, Tempe, AZ


· 37th Annual NICWA Conference, Albuquerque, NM

· Gilbert Rotary Club, Superstition Springs Golf Course, Arizona

· Kyrene Rotary Club, Kobe Steakhouse, Tempe, Arizona

· Fatherhood Is Sacred Conference, Winnavegas Hotel, Sloan, Iowa

· San Carlos Unified School District, San Carlos, Arizona

· Family Spirit staff development day Phoenix,

· Fatherhood Summit Phoenix,


· Second Mesa Day School, Second Mesa, Arizona,

· Chicanos Por La Causa, Phoenix, Arizona,

· Mesa Police Academy, Mesa, Arizona,


· AZ Correctional Educators Symposium, Scottsdale, Arizona

· Healing Spirits Innovation Conference, Belcourt, North Dakota

· Fort McDowell Youth Program, Fountain Hills Middle Sch., Fountain Hills, AZ

· GONA-Hannahville Indian Community, Harris, Minnesota

· Hopi Behavioral Health Services,


· Utah Division of Indian Affairs, Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah

· Prevent Child Abuse Conference, Litchfield Park, Arizona


· Sisters Across Cultures Breastfeeding Equity Summit, Atlanta, Georgia

· 68th Annual UN Civil Society Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah

· First Things First, Early Childhood Summit, Phoenix, AZ

· Maricopa Family Support Alliance Phoenix, Neil

· Healthy Marriage, Responsible Fatherhood Washington DC, Neil


· Keeping Families Together, NAFFA Billings, MT Seminar

· Arizona Healthy Families Home Visiting, Phoenix

· Parent University, Mesa, AZ


· Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Meeting, Ft. McDowell Rec. Center, AZ

· Region 9 Head Start Conference Honolulu

· Maricopa County Judges, Phoenix, Overview of NAFFA Presentation

· Seneca Tribal Council Overview of NAFFA Presentation: Webinar


· Loleta Elementary School, Arcata, California

· National Association of Social Workers AZ Phoenix

· Phoenix Community Action Network Phoenix

· Amity Outreach Program, Tucson AZ

· Florence Prison Pow-Wow, Florence, AZ

· AZ Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Business Diversity Summit, Phoenix


· Thrive to Five, parent education, Tempe, AZ,

New NAFFA Partnership with NABEDC

In early November, NAFFA announced the creation of an official partnership with the Native American Business & Economic Development Center (NABEDC – pronounced “Nah Bed See”). The goal of NABEDC is to help American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians (AIANNHs) start a business or grow an existing business through local resources, innovation, and strategic planning.

With the outreach of NAFFA to Native Americans through their participants across three states in our programs, the partnership with NABEDC will provide entrepreneurship opportunities.

Through the generous funding provided by the United States Department of Commerce,

Bureau of Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was awarded grant funds to create this new project. Services include classes, workshops, and resources on how to start a business, steps toward obtaining capital, locating and soliciting bidding contract opportunities, marketing resources, export assistance, manufacturing resources, and other services. Services are conducted in collaboration with community partners throughout Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, and at no charge to qualifying AIANNHs

(Photo: Kaaren-Lyn Graves with Amy Fa'atoafe cut the ribbon in celebration of the start of NABEDC)

Native American Fatherhood Initiative (NAFI)

The Native American Fatherhood Initiative provides the opportunity to assist Native communities in determining the needs of local fathers and how to address those unmet needs in a coordinated manner. This project is implemented by forming a local coordinating committee composed of representatives from family courts, behavioral health, TANF, Juvenile Justice, Head Start, child protection, social services, foster care, education, housing, behavioral health, domestic violence, child welfare and the tribal council.

There are four components:

(1) A needs assessment tool to identify the unmet needs of local fathers seeking assistance.

(2) An agency survey to determine the current services available to local fathers.

NAFFA will supply the assessment tool and the agency survey for service providers to distribute and collect. NAFFA will then compile this data from both and write a report.

(3) The coordinating committee will sponsor a two-day Community Fatherhood Forum that offers a half-day staff training on creating father-friendly environments, a summary of the results of the needs assessment and the agency survey and community input regarding how to respond to the unmet needs of local fathers. On the afternoon of the second day, NAFFA will provide on-site consultation to individuals and program staff to help process and apply the results of the findings.

(4) The coordinating committee will recruit local parents and service providers to complete certified facilitator training in Fatherhood Is Sacred, Motherhood Is Sacred, Linking Generations by Strengthening Relationships and Addressing Family Violence and Abuse.

If you are interested in discussing bringing the Native American Fatherhood Initiative to your community, please contact Neil Tift at the NAFFA office.

2019 Annual Conference: October 15-17, 2019

NAFFA’s 16th Annual “Fatherhood is Leadership” National Conference was held at the We-Ko-Pa Resort and Conference Center at Fort McDowell, AZ.

With four areas of focus in workshop presentations, (Criminal Justice, Education, Health and Human Services, and Fatherhood and Motherhood) Keynote speakers, the Precious Gems Banquet, and varied entertainment, this event was a great success.

Our inaugural Precious Gems Banquet was held on Tuesday evening (10/15) and was well attended by many tribal and community leaders as we awarded five Precious Gems Awards of service and duty. Kathleen Winn: Agate Award-Executive Director of AZ Men; Frantz Beasley: Rhodonite Award - Founder and CEO of AZ Common Ground; Chief Judge J. Matias Tafoya: Malachite Award - Presiding City Magistrate of Mesa Municipal Courts; Trey Basha, Rose Quartz Award (Basha’s Family Grocery stores), Stephen Roe Lewis, Turquoise Award, Governor of Gila River Indian Community.

(Photo: Mandaree Singers and Dancers with Al Pooley)

The entertainment was outstanding as the Mandaree Singers thrilled us with their original style Native dancing and singing.

Scott Lekan was our first keynote speaker, Commissioner of the Office of Child-Support Enforcement. His keynote discussed enhanced child support services in helping fathers with strengthening employment opportunities and keeping their child support promises.

Dr. Kyle Pruett, Clinical Professor of Child Psychiatry and Nursing at Yale University, our other Keynote speaker, gave an outstanding presentation on the importance of a father’s place in the home and how engaging fathers in the family is critically important to child development.

We especially want to acknowledge the generosity of the sponsors of our conference: Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Wells Fargo Foundation, Desert Diamond Casino, Casino Arizona, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community We-Ko-Pa Resort and Conference Center.

Social Media and Blog

NAFFA has been active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pintrest, Youtube and Instagram over the last year, posting inspiring messages, videos and events for our Parent Resource Center, seminars and workshops. Join us on any of those sites and get a message every day from NAFFA.

· Instragram: nativeamericanfatherhood

NAFFA Blogs: Articles written from NAFFA curricula were posted on our website:

NAFFA Online Store:

Our NAFFA Store is selling t-shirts, teddy bears and now framed Native pictures, cooler carry bags and recorded webinars. Check out our online store

S.A.F.E: Parent Resource Center

We have concluded the first year of operation of the SAFE Parent Resource Center at NAFFA. Funded by a two-year grant from the Gila River Indian Community, we have been able to provide a range of educational and support services to many families in the Valley. The PRC provides parent education classes every Tuesday morning or evening for parents, grandparents, foster parents and community agency staff.

Our monthly family law and child support clinics are held the second Monday of each month at 6:00 pm. The drop-in group for parents of children with special needs in offered on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. Drop-in groups of NAFFA’s three curricula- Fatherhood is Sacred® Motherhood is Sacred®, Linking Generations to Strengthening Relationships® and Addressing Family Violence and Abuse® were also sponsored on a weekly basis in the afternoon and on Wednesday evenings. All services, as well as childcare, are free.

During our first year, 944 adults attended PRC classes and workshops.

We posted a survey for the attending parents through Survey Monkey. The results of this survey revealed high satisfaction levels. For example, one question posed was

“How helpful has NAFFA’s curriculum been in improving feelings and motivation to be a good parent/role model?” The results yielded 55% extremely helpful and 40% very helpful. Another question from the survey was “After participating in NAFFA’s programs do you see improved support, motivation, involvement and higher level of contact with your children in yourself?” The response indicated that 47% strongly agree and 40% agree.

We anticipate that we will see an increase in the number of parents and families served in year two as well as expand the diversity of those attending.

Certified Facilitator Training:

NAFFA is increasing the number of certified facilitator trainers to help with the expansion of our programs and services across the US and Canada. When we are invited by a tribal organization to bring the FIS/MIS, LGSR or AFVA facilitator training to their community, we ask that they recruit a minimum of ten people to attend the three-day session. Most of these are presented by our president, Albert M. Pooley, but, due to the increasing number of requests, we now have increased our number of certified facilitator trainers who also provide training.

Listen 4 Good:

In 2019, we started working with an organization called Listen4Good to build a capacity to listen and respond, systematically to participant feedback. We collected feedback through a Survey Monkey survey from participants in facilitator training and curricula classes. The results have been very positive with NAFFA’s impact in changing lives for the better with over 90 percent telling us our programs have been extremely helpful or very helpful in their life. More surveys will be sent to collect more information to add to the data we have so far in improving our services.

Evidenced Based Curriculum Certification

Annie E. Casey Foundation has assigned a team of researchers to help us work closely with experts to collect appropriate data to become evidence-based and obtain a best practice status.

NAFFA will be part of the BluePrints Conference, a nation-wide conference brings policymakers, developers and practitioners of evidence-based programs together, which will be in Denver, CO April 27-29, 2020.

This a conference where expert researchers and funders learn the new methods that are effectively working in the various ethnic groups and societies. We are very excited to share how effective the NAFFA programs have been over the years and are excited to share our message with others.

Grants and Funds

NAFFA received several grant funds and donations in 2019:

· Gila River Indian Community State Shared Revenue Program:

(S.A.F.E Parent Resource Center) $103,580

· Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples: $6,000

· Generations United Fund for FIS Class: $1,000

· Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Montana: (Billings Seminar) $ 500

· First Interstate Bank Foundation: (Billings Seminar) $1,500

· Wells Fargo Foundation: (Billings Seminar) $ 50

· Philips 66 (Billings Seminar) $2,000

· Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council: (Billings Seminar) $1,000

· Common Counsel Foundation (Billings Seminar) $1,000

· Listen4Good (SurveyMonkey Program) $5,000

Total: $121,630

New Curriculum:

Suicide Prevention: This new curriculum will cover the behaviors, signs, attitudes and emotional responses that surrounds someone considering suicide. Material also includes positive steps for family members and friends to pursue after the suicide or suicide attempt. The program will help contribute to communities feel a sense of belonging, self-worth, enhance hope and teach families to build strong relationships to prevent suicide.

Calendar of Training

FIS/MIS: February 4-6, 2020 – Mesa, AZ

March 25, 2020 – Santa Rosa, CA (Mike Duncan)

May 5-7, 2020 – Mesa, AZ

Linking Generations by Strengthening Relationships® (LGSR)

March 10-12, 2020 – Mesa, AZ

June 9-11, 2020 – Mesa, AZ

Addressing Family Violence and Abuse (AFVA)

April 14-16, 2020 – Mesa

July 14-16, 2020 – Mesa, AZ

In 2019 NAFFA began online recertification for facilitators two years after becoming certified, facilitators are to recertify their authorization to remain active as a facilitator. This process was easier for most facilitators to recertify with a two-hour online class. There is no travel involved and it’s finished quickly. For registration to recertify online see:

Online Recertification Schedule:

FIS/MIS- February 11, 2020; April 7, 2020; June 16, 2020

LGSR – February 12, 2020; April 8, 2020; June 17, 2020

AFVA - April 9, 2020; June 18, 2020

Our next Fatherhood is Leadership National Conference:

October 27-29, 2020; Great Wolf Lodge, Scottsdale, AZ or 480-833-5007

266 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page