About OICWA- The Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Association, Inc. (OICWA) is a 501 C 3 non-profit, membership organization representing the Indian Child Welfare programs in the State of Oklahoma. OICWA's membership includes tribes and individuals dedicated to promoting the well-being of American Indian children, their families, and their tribes. OICWA originated from an Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Task Force created in 1981 to address common areas of service and issues among ICWA programs in the state. During initial meetings, members of the Task Force identified needs critical to protecting Indian children in Oklahoma and worked diligently to address those needs.
Perhaps the most significant activity of the Task Force was advocating for the Oklahoma legislature to pass a law supporting the Federal Indian Child Welfare Act. As a result of the Task Force's tireless efforts, the Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Act was signed into law in 1982. As its members continued to advocate for Indian children and families, the
ICWA Task Force evolved into the Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Association and, in 1984, was officially recognized by the State of Oklahoma as a corporation. Today, through the ongoing dedication from current members, OICWA continues to uphold the original vision and mission of its founding members. As a voice for the Indian Child Welfare programs in Oklahoma, OICWA continues to strive to protect the most vital resource of Indian tribes in Oklahoma - their children.
FRONT ROW: TRACY HANEY, KIMME WIND-HUMMINGBIRD
BACK ROW: NETHIA WALLACE, CAROL MITHLO &
TRACY HANEY - PRESIDENT
Tracy Haney is the Child Welfare Director for the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma and has been in the Children and Family Services field for over 29 years. Previously, he has held state and tribal positions as a child protective services worker, foster care worker, family violence coordinator, juvenile detention administrator, juvenile justice program director, and an institutional programs supervisor. Mr. Haney graduated Cum Laude from Saint Gregory’s University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Science and criminal justice and has been admitted to the Delta Epsilon Sigma National Catholic Honor Society.
Mr. Haney is qualified as a certified child sexual abuse investigator, certified law enforcement officer with the State of Oklahoma and the Department of Interior, certified child forensic interviewer, and a certified child care worker. He currently serves as the President of the Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Association, Chair of the Tribal/State Collaboration Workgroup, member of the Shawnee Area Native American Child Protection Team, Board of Directors of Project SAFE Domestic Violence Agency, member of the Court Improvement Program ICWA subcommittee, and member of the Children’s Justice Act Advisory Board.
His previous appointments include the Oklahoma Child Death Review Board, Child Abuse Training and Coordination Council, Pottawatomie County Child Abuse Team, District V Child Abuse Task Force, State Interagency Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect, and the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club. Mr. Haney was the recipient of the 2001 District V Child Abuse Task Force’s “Outstanding Efforts in Child Abuse Prevention” award and received the 2007 Sonya Atetewuthtakewa Award for “Distinguished Service in the Protection of Native Children.” Mr. Haney is a foster/adoptive parent and has four children and four grandchildren. He is a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma and is of Seminole/Creek descent. He is of the Hecete Band and Alligator Clan. He resides in Tecumseh, Oklahoma.
KIMEE WIND-HUMMINGBIRD - VICE PRESIDENT
Kimee Wind-Hummingbird has devoted 20 years to Indian Child Welfare. She began her career at Cherokee Nation Indian Child Welfare in 1999, spending time in different areas of their ICW Program assisting with the day-to-day operations; supervision of ICW workers; writing of policy and procedure; as well as the development and implementation of various programs.
In 2013, she joined Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s Children and Family Services Administration as a Program Manager for the State Reunification & Permanency Program working within the reservation boundaries of Muscogee (Creek) Nation. Since 2016, Kimee has served as the Program Director for MCN Children and Family Services Administration. She is committed throughout the state in many different aspects including being the current Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Association Vice President. While also serving as the OICWA Chair of the Public Relations Committee, Co-Chair of the Special Projects Committee and previously the Chair of the Legislative Committee and a member of the OICWA Substitute Care Committee.
Other community partnerships include being newly appointed as the Chair of the Court Improvement Program (CIP) ICWA Taskforce and an active participant with Tribal/State Workgroup and the Tribal/State Workgroup Bylaw Sub-Committee. She feels very fortunate to spend time as an adjunct professor for Northeastern State University instructing students on the Indian Child Welfare Act. Additionally, presenting every summer semester for the University of Oklahoma on ICWA and Community Partnerships in the Masters of Social Work Program.
Also lending expertise as a member of the Tribal Child Welfare Leadership workgroup developing the Tribal Core Competency Training through the Simulation Center at OU Tulsa (SCOUT). Kimee understands the importance of taking the steps necessary to keep Indian children together with their families and connected to their culture through advocacy for the children and families. She accomplishes this by educating non-Indian professionals throughout the nation on the tenets of the Indian Child Welfare Act. Hoping to strengthen the level of service afforded to all Indian children and tribes, thereby, assuring the protection of all Indian children and the continuation of tribal cultures.
BIO COMING SOON
RITA HART - SECRETARY
Rita Hart is a native of Oklahoma and a citizen of Jicarilla Apache Nation and affiliated with the Choctaw Nation. A graduate from Murray State College, East Central University, and University of Oklahoma with a Master of Social Work. Rita is the Tribal Training Project Co-Coordinator for the OU School of Social Work in Tulsa and a Senior Program Associate with the Capacity Building Center for Tribes with Butler Institute.
Both positions provide training, technical assistance, and capacity building for Tribal Social Service and Indian Child Welfare programs. She has 27 years of Child Welfare including Indian Child Welfare through all levels of Federal, and State programs. Rita serves on the Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Association Executive Board and the Chair of the Children’s Court Improvement Program for the ICWA Taskforce. Awards include the OU Hall of Fame Professional Development Award,Oklahoma Native American Heritage Award, County Director Leadership Award, CASA Distinguished Community Servant, OU Native American Student Award, OU State Leadership Award, and National Social Work Honor Society.
Rita has several years of experience in training and presentation at both the local, State, and National level.When not working or traveling, you will find her sewing regalia and beadwork, elk hunting, and antique shopping.
NETHIA WALLACE - MEMBER AT LARGE
Nethia Wallace’s Indian Name is Ki-se-ko-tha-quah – “Sun beams shining through the clouds hitting the earth.” She is a member of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma and was raised with a traditional Kickapoo upbringing. Nethia works for the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma serving as the Indian Child Welfare Director. She started her career in ICW in November 2006 working as the KTO ICW Director’s Assistant. While working her way through college, she remained invested in ICW with the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma and served in various positions to include ICW Caseworker, Family Preservation Caseworker, and Child Protection Service Worker. Nethia has ten plus years of experience working in Indian Child Welfare.
She attended college and graduated from Mid America Christian University (MACU) with a degree in Business Administration. She has worked for the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma from 2006 to 2015. Nethia is a member of the Shawnee Area Native American Child Protection Team (SANAPT) and served as the SANACPT President from 2012-2014. Along with other SANACPT members, Nethia worked with Mountain Plains Child Welfare Implementation Center to develop a Foster Care Curriculum “Circle of Keepers.” Nethia previously worked for Sac and Fox Nation as the Child Welfare Specialist which encompassed all aspects of child welfare; CPS, Foster Care, Casework, and Family Preservation.
Nethia is currently the Secretary/Treasurer for SANACPT and serves as the OICWA Board Member At Large as well as the OICWA Nomination Committee Chair. Nethia states, “It has always been my passion to work with youth. I am a strong advocate for ICWA to better help our Native Children and families and enjoy the opportunity to help our families.”