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NAFFA's 2018 Annual Report

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

From our Founder:

"It is my pleasure to present the Native American Fatherhood and Families Association’s 2018 Annual Report. This year was a very busy and successful one for NAFFA. With over 1,200 trained facilitators and over 220 tribes and tribal agencies offering our curricula, we are proud of what we have been able to accomplish in improving the lives of fathers, mothers and children across U.S. and Canada and beyond."

Overview of NAFFA

Established in 2002, Native American Fatherhood & Families Association (NAFFA) works with over 220 tribes across the country and has trained over 1,200 certified facilitators who have helped approximately 20,000 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 sessions, 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™ 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.

Our newest course Addressing Family Violence and Abuse (AFVA) was developed and written in 2018. The 14-session course began 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

NAFFA certified 138 new facilitators in Fatherhood Is Sacred®, Motherhood Is Sacred™ , 48 new facilitators in Linking Generations by Strengthening Relationships and certified 92 new facilitators in Addressing Family Violence and Abuse.

New tribes that contracted to receive facilitator certification in 2018 include:

· Ft Mohave Tribe, Mohave AZ

· Colorado River Indian Tribe, AZ

· Ketchikan Indian Community, AK

· Kickapoo Tribe of OK

· Tulalip Tribe, Marysville, WA

· Quapaw, Miami, OK

· Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, MI

· St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, NY

· Tonkawa Tribe, Tonkawa, OK

· Bishop Paiute Potawatomi, CA

· Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwa, WI

· Forest County Potawatomi, WI

· Oneida Nation of WI

· Catawba Indian Nation CA

· Big Valley Rancheria, CA

· Kletsel Dehe Band of Winton Indians of CA

· Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, ND

New agencies contracted to receive facilitator certification in 2018 include:

· California Tribal TANF Partnership; Manteca, California

· Redwood Community Services; Ukiah, California

· Pinoleville Pomo Nation Vocational Rehabilitation; Ukiah, California

· Native American Youth & Adult Partnership Program; Ukiah, California

· Hilltop Recovery; Lucerne, California

· Indian Child Welfare; Hopland, California


On April 11, 2018, an article about Al Pooley and NAFFA called “The Man Who Helps Native American Fathers Find Their Way” went live on

Webinars and Radio Shows:

NAFFA staff participated in webinars and several radio shows during 2018

· HHS Region V – Fatherhood Development Conference; Webinar

· Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health; Webinar

· National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse; Webinar

· Man Up and Lead Radio Show; Phoenix


Our seminars provide a chance for an organization to invite Mr. Pooley to present for a one to two-day event regarding how to strengthen families in Native American and other communities.

In 2018, NAFFA sponsored a “Keeping Families Together” Regional Seminar in Bismarck, North Dakota, July 12 and 13th.

Breakfasts: This year NAFFA sponsored two breakfasts with local leaders to present an overview of our programs.

February 27, 2018 was our faith-based breakfast with local church leaders and ministers in the Mesa area. Our presentation was well received which generated several opportunities for additional program development.

March 1st, 2018 was our criminal justice breakfast with local police force, judges, and probation officers attending. Our presentation was well received by all who attended and we have been working with Chief Judge Tafoya of the Mesa City Court on a monthly basis.

United Nations Meeting

In March 2018 NAFFA again was invited to attend the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). The theme for 2018 was Empowering Rural Woman and Girls and offered the opportunity to present our Fatherhood Is Sacred®/Motherhood is Sacred™ program to representatives of non-government organizations from around the world. We shared our Native culture and viewpoints on the importance and sacredness of fatherhood, motherhood and families.

Sixth Annual Native American Responsible Fatherhood Day

On June 16, NAFFA sponsored a special day to honor and celebrate the importance of fatherhood and the great contributions that dads bring to strengthening families and communities.

Leadership Development Contract

NAFFA has recently been approved and is now contracted with the City of Phoenix for Head Start to present Leadership Development Training over the next five years. Included in the contract is Albert Pooley, MSW, MPA; Amy Fa’atoafe, MSW; Neil Tift, MA and Karra Papa; M.Ed.

Conference and Staff Development Presentations: NAFFA was invited to present many informative keynote and workshop sessions to spread our message of restoring family unity:


· Tempe School District, Tempe, AZ


· Hualapai Tribal Council Presentation; Peach Springs, AZ

· Childhood Trauma Symposium; Skysong Campus, Scottsdale, AZ


· 2018 AIHEC Spring Board of Director’s Meeting, Bismarck, ND

· Caesar Chavez Behavioral Health Conference; ASU West Campus, Glendale, AZ

· Kids Blitz Foster Parent Conference; Scottsdale Bible Church, Scottsdale, AZ

· Celebrate the Young Child Conference; Mesa Convention Center, AZ


· Oneida Nation Keynote Speech; Green Bay, WI

· ASU School of Trans Border Studies Presentation, Tempe, AZ

· Larry C. Kennedy School; Phoenix, AZ

· 2018 AADCP Problem Solving Courts Conference; Prescott, AZ

· Round Valley, Covelo Community, Covelo, CA

· Arizona Department of Ed. Early Childhood Education Conference; Phoenix Convention Center

· Phoenix Head Start Fatherhood Summit; Phoenix Convention Center

· Prevent Child Abuse Iowa Annual Conference; Des Moines, Iowa


· Roosevelt Count Health; Wolf Point, Montana

· Pascua Yaqui Yoemem Leadership Perspectives in Parenting Conference; Tucson, Arizona

· Tribal TANF Child Welfare Coordination


· Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council, Billings, Montana

· NISHDA National Indian Head Start Director’s Association, Nashville, TN

· United South and Eastern Tribes; Nashville, TN

· White Mountain Apache Substance Abuse Conference; Fort Apache, AZ

· Native American Responsible Fatherhood Day; Mesa AZ

· AZ Dept. of Education Summer Conference; Phoenix, AZ


· Cankdeska Cikana Community College Presentation; Fort Totten, ND

· Prevent Child Abuse Annual Conference; Litchfield Park, AZ

· Coconino County Recovery Court, Flagstaff, AZ

· Procedural Justice for Communities; A Dialogue to Change, Apache Junction, AZ


· First Things First Early Childhood Summit; Phoenix AZ

· Catholic Charities Head Start; Avondale, AZ

· Hopi Behavioral Health; Kykotsmovi, AZ

· Mesa Community College Annual Native Welcome Resource Fair; Mesa, AZ


· Second Annual Strong Families AZ Tribal Home Visiting Conference; Phoenix, AZ

· Indian Bible College; Flagstaff, AZ

· AZ Indian Education Stakeholders Summit; Fort McDowell, AZ

· Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation; Fort McDowell, AZ

· Gila Crossing Community Schools; Gila River AZ

· Voices for CASA Children’s Conference; Scottsdale Community College


· Rainbow Treatment Parent Retreat; Sunrise Ski Lodge, Greer, AZ

· First Way Pro-Life Center; Phoenix

Tohono O’odham Parent Group; Sells, AZ


· The Hopi Tribe; Kykotsmovi, AZ

· Florence Prison Pow Wow; Florence, AZ

· San Carlos Unified School District and Parent Summit; San Carlos, AZ

· Steward Health Choice Arizona Keynote; Flagstaff, AZ

· Arizona Council of Human Providers; Phoenix, AZ

· Tribal Maternal & Child Health Symposium; Albuquerque, NM


· Judges Training for Dependency Court; Embassy Suite, Phoenix

· Fort Berthold Community Fatherhood Forum; New Town, North Dakota

New Partnership with Lutheran Indian Ministries: Kevin Maulson

Kevin Maulson: is an enrolled member of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. He and his wife, Katherine moved to Arizona in 2013 where they currently reside since 2013. Before moving to Arizona Kevin was a transport provider for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. Taking inmates to and from the worksite gave Kevin valuable insight in to the world of men who were struggling with emotions and past trauma. In June of 2018, Kevin chose to start a ministry in the Phoenix area called “Gitchi Manidoo Akewe” God First. With the financial support of Lutheran Indian Ministries, a Wisconsin based organization, the God First Ministry (GMA) has recently helped more than 35 homeless Native people off the city streets of Mesa and Phoenix. Finding safe shelters or drug and alcohol treatment facilities suitable to meet the needs of our native brothers and sisters is the number one priority. In an effort to help the homeless, GMA works closely with the City of Mesa’s Community Court where Kevin helps direct the Native people to the many community resources and social programs available to them. Kevin is also a trained facilitator in FIS/MIS, LGSR, and AFVA.


NAFFA had the opportunity to have several wonderful students from Arizona State University’s School of Social Work fulfill their field placements throughout the year.

· Molly Fritsch, MSW student, 1st year, Arizona State University

· Angie Hernandez, ASU-BSW student, Arizona State University

· Pertasha Mallahan, ASU-BSW student, Arizona State University

· Madeline Grant, ASU-MSW student, Arizona State University

Native American Fatherhood Initiative (NAFI):

NAFFA implemented the Native American Fatherhood Initiative on January, 2018, offering a multi-pronged approach to enhance and coordinate the development and expansion of programs and services for Native American fathers and men in communities across the US.

Announced as a pilot project at our annual conference in November, 2017, NAFFA seeks to recruit three communities or tribal organizations to sponsor the initiative for fathers and families on their reservations. We propose that a group of NAFFA certified facilitators, interested parents, tribal council members and local service providers establish a local coordinating committee to bring together individuals with the shared interest in expanding opportunities for fathers to receive educational, vocational, legal and social supports in their community. Tribal 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 may be invited to offer their recommendations and support this four step process.

These include:

1. Coordinate assessment process to identify unmet needs of local fathers seeking assistance. NAFFA will supply the assessment tool for service providers to distribute and collect from local fathers. NAFFA will then compile this data and write a report.

2. The coordinating committee will then identify community and tribal service providers that currently offer services to fathers such as family law assistance, affordable housing for fathers and children, family mediation, parent education, mentoring, anger management, assistance for fathers of children with special needs, co-parenting, custody evaluation, job placement, credit repair, family planning, domestic violence, reentry assistance, paternity establishment, child care, and other related concerns.

3. Upon completion of steps 1 and 2, the coordinating committee will convene a two-day Community Fatherhood Forum. The first morning will provide training to staff of community service agencies and tribal government organizations addressing how to establish and maintain father-inclusive policies and practices and to create father-friendly environments.

On the first afternoon NAFFA staff will present a summary of the results of the needs assessment and the agency survey. Participants will then be asked to generate suggestions for what action to pursue to address the unmet needs of local fathers.

On the morning of the second day, NAFFA staff will present an overview of the curricula and programs available through NAFFA. 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.

Please contact Neil Tift ( at NAFFA if you are interested in discussing how you might bring the Native American Fatherhood Initiative to your community.”

NAFFA Class Contracting

NAFFA began contracting with agencies, communities and schools this past September to run 12-14 week class curriculum. We utilize and compensate our certified facilitators to conduct these classes. If you are a certified facilitator or an agency/provider who is interested in collaborating to organize a class, contact Grace Richards from our office at

2018 Annual Conference: October 30 to November 1st

NAFFA’s 15th Annual “Fatherhood is Leadership” National Conference

We had attendance represented from 36 tribes from across the US. The conference offered four keynote presentations; Ernie Stevens, Chairman of National Indian Gaming Association, Dr. Cynthia Weaver from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Samoan Dynasty, WWE family of professional wrestlers, and Frantz Beasley, Founder of AZ Common Ground. The Conference also had 16 breakout sessions from various topics including Criminal Justice, Health & Human Services, Awareness & Prevention, and Fatherhood and Motherhood.

Among the attendees, we had 38 facilitators in attendance and heard some amazing testimonials by graduates from the different groups. We consistently receive positive evaluations about content and interaction received during the conference. One attendee commented on “the professional manner of breakout sessions, the friendliness of the staff and how many valuable principles he learned to use with his family.” Many expressed gratitude for the opportunity to attend our conference and the amazing opportunities to learn and share.

We especially want to acknowledge the generosity of the sponsors of our conference: Casey Family Programs, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Wells Fargo Foundation, Desert Diamond Casino, Casino Arizona, Talking Stick Resort, Mutual of Omaha Bank, On-Auk-Mor, We-Ko-Pa Resort and Conference Center and Cook Native American Ministeries Foundation.

Blog and Social Media

NAFFA started the year off with a new blog on our website and daily social media posts. With over 30 posting to date on the blog, and daily postings on five social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest, the world is learning more about the programs and curricula of NAFFA. Join us on these websites for daily inspirational messages and information about our future plans.

NAFFA Online Store

After our national conference, NAFFA opened our first online store from our website selling t-shirts, teddy bears and kachina dolls. This is an opportunity for those who cannot shop at our physical store in Mesa to obtain NAFFA products. Order your favorite T-shirts, teddy bears or kachina dolls, to be delivered to your home or office. Check out:

FIS/MIS Groups at NAFFA Office

NAFFA offered FIS/MIS, LGSR and AFVA classes for adults on probation and parole, which ran from February 7 to November 20. Attending were people from various communities and worked closely with the City of Mesa Community Court and Mesa Regional Parole Office.

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.

· Mike Duncan: Tribal Affiliation: Con-Cow/Wailaki/ Wintun, California

· Katie Whipple: Tribal Affiliation: Nomlacki/Wailaki/Wintun (Round Valley Indian Tribe)

· Ian Petershoare: Tribal Affiliation: Central Council of Tlingit and Haida of Alaska

· Terry Medina: Tribal Affiliation: Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

· Ruth Garvin: Tribal Affiliation: Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin

· Joe and Stephanie White Eagle: Tribal Affiliation: Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin

· Cheryl Bearchild: Tribal Affiliation: Hoopa Valley Tribe of California

· Jean Swanson: Tribal Affiliation: Sitka Tribe of Alaska

· Kevin Maulson: Tribal Affiliation: Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa; God First Ministries, Phoenix.

Grants and Funds

NAFFA received several funds and donations in 2018:

· Gila River Gaming Enterprise: $1,017.18

· Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples: $400

· Native Voices Rising (through Common Counsel Foundation): $4,000

· Gila River Indian Community State Shared Revenue Program:

Total $203,548 for 2019 and 2020 for our parent resource center.

Coming in 2019

Direct Services at SAFE Parent Resource Center

From the funds provided by the Gila River Indian Community State Shared Revenue Program, NAFFA will be opening its first direct services program called SAFE Parent Resource Center. SAFE stands for Strengthen All Families Effectively. The center will offer parenting classes and workshops, a drop-in group for parents of children with special needs and a monthly family law clinic with a child support clinic. We will also provide day care at no charge to the parents attending our programs.

New Curriculum

Suicide Prevention: This new curriculum will cover the behaviors, signs, and emotional pain and suffering, which someone feels when thinking about suicide. Material also includes positive steps taken for family members and friends after the suicide. The program will help communities feel a sense of belonging, self-worth, enhance hope and teach families to build strong relationships to prevent suicide.

2019 Calendar of Training:

Fatherhood is Sacred®/Motherhood is Sacred™

February 5-7, 2019 – Mesa, AZ

May 7-9, 2019 – Mesa, AZ

August 13-15, 2019 – Mesa, AZ

November 19-21, 2019 – Mesa, AZ

Linking Generations by Strengthening Relationships®

March 12-14, 2019 -- Mesa, AZ

June 11-13, 2019 – Mesa, AZ

September 17-19, 2019 – Mesa, AZ

Addressing Family Violence and Abuse

January 8-10, 2019 – Redwood Valley, CA

January 16-18, 2019 – Mesa, AZ

April 9-11, 2019 – Mesa, AZ

July 16-18, 2019 – Mesa, AZ

October 8-10, 2019 –Mesa, AZ

National Conference Scheduled

Our 16th Annual National Fatherhood Is Leadership Conference is scheduled for October 15-17, 2019. It will again be held at the We-Ko-Pa Resort at Fort McDowell, Arizona.

We will be issuing a Call for Presenters in May. Please contact Karra Papa if you are interested in submitting a proposal or want to suggest a keynote presenter or workshop topic.

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