Tribal Victim Services Training and Technical Assistance

Who We Are

Tribal Victim Services Training and Technical Assistance (T-VSTTA, pronounced T-Vista) is a resource for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities serving victims and survivors of crime. T-VSTTA’s no-cost support helps grantees and potential grantees navigate administrative requirements and increase their capacity to walk alongside victims and survivors of crime in their healing journey.

Contact us at [email protected]

Our Team

The T-VSTTA team is a blend of Native and non-Native professionals. Over the coming months, we will expand our support to include more service providers from the Alaska Native Community. Check back in as our team grows. Keep the communication going and let us know what support you need. 

Susannah Numa
A trusted advisor and skilled capacity builder, Susannah has worked with hundreds of local, state, and Tribal communities to address systemic justice and organizational and management challenges. Her work with the Alaska Department of Juvenile Justice adopted culturally appropriate client behavior management systems for justice-involved Alaska Native youth. She worked with the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians on enhancing their public safety response, followed by work with the Red Lake Nation on enhancing their use of technology to support public safety, address drug-related crimes, and assess plans for a juvenile justice treatment facility. With more than a decade of diversity, equity, and inclusion work, Susannah’s ability to lead national training and technical assistance programs, create tools, templates, and reference materials, and develop publications comes with a deep and nuanced commitment to operate in a culturally responsive framework.

Talk to me about: Program strategy, resilience programming, community partnerships, strategic planning, victim services program implementation, organizational change, and data collection and analysis.

Sheree Hukill
Sheree has worked with AI/AN communities as a victim services advocate for the past 25 years to strengthen resiliency in Indigenous communities. An attorney with certification in Native American Law, Sheree provided legal services to Native Americans in the areas of family law and criminal matters and served as a Public Defender and Assistant Prosecutor for various Tribes in Oklahoma. Sheree launched and implemented a national Tribal financial management training and technical assistance center. A compassionate and wise collaborator, Sheree generously offers her education, experience, and expertise. Sheree is a beneficial presence, listening to clients' needs and supporting them in implementing solutions.  

Talk to me about:  Grant preparation and management, programmatic and budget alignment, resilience programming, community and collaborative partnerships, strategic planning, victim services program implementation, scheduling training and technical assistance opportunities.

Elsie Boudreau (Yup'ik)
Located in Alaska, Elsie has over 30 years of experience in victim services, with 20+ years working within Al/AN communities. She is an empathetic and authentic voice in trauma, trauma-informed care, sexual abuse, substance use, and the child protection system. Elsie has significant experience working with Alaska Native villages and victim service providers. She profoundly understands AI/AN communities' challenges in navigating crime and victimization and supporting survivors and their families. She uses that experience to educate communities, create platforms that unify voices, and strengthen and heal communities.

Talk to me about: Alaska Native victim services, healing-centered engagement, trauma-informed care, child protection, sexual abuse, and community support.

Shannon Swimmer
An enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Shannon is a passionate and authentic leader in the field of Tribal justice. An attorney with certifications in Tribal Law and Advocacy, Shannon has more than 10 years’ experience working with, and advocating for, Tribal communities. Shannon served a four-year term as an appointed Associate Judge for the Cherokee Courts, the first female member of her Tribe to serve in this position. Her personal, professional, and educational experience place her in a unique position to assist AI/AN communities as they navigate the Federal grant process. From working in the non-profit sector as a funder and grant manager, Shannon brings experience in grant, policy, procedure, and ordinance writing. Shannon is also trained in alternative dispute resolution and providing trauma-informed services.

Talk to me about: Tribal law and justice, grant navigation, dispute resolution, human resources management, workforce development, and trauma-informed services.

Melissa Lopez
After working in the victim services field with the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma in Indian Child Welfare and Domestic Violence for fifteen years, Melissa is intimately familiar with the challenges of victim service providers in AI/AN communities. As the Director of the Domestic Violence and Indian Child Welfare Department, Melissa was responsible for crafting grant proposals, developing program budgets, building partnerships, developing policies and procedures, and collecting/maintaining relevant data for reporting purposes. Her tenure with the Absentee Shawnee Tribe gave her first-hand knowledge of grant writing, management, and compliance. Melissa is compassionate and possesses a wide range of knowledge to support front-line victim service professionals as they balance time between survivor support and administrative responsibilities. 

Talk to me about: Victim advocacy, case management, community outreach and awareness, program management and development, confidentiality, transitional housing, and grant management and reporting.

Ashley Pina
After working in law enforcement for over ten years as a Detective in the Domestic Violence Unit and the Special Victims Unit with the Gila River Indian Community, Ashley understands the importance of trauma-informed practices, innovative collaborations, and victim-centered investigations. She has seen first-hand the unique challenges faced by AI/AN communities which underscore importance of tailored access to services for victims. She is a strategic thinker with experience delivering training and technical assistance to child advocacy centers and multidisciplinary teams on domestic violence, sexual assault, teen dating violence, and child abuse. Ashley's combined experience and education in clinical counseling complement her dedication to teaching others. She is passionate about implementing new solutions to streamline victim services.

Talk to me about: Crisis intervention, risk and safety assessment, child advocacy center models, trauma-informed responses, compassion fatigue, multidisciplinary collaboration, mandatory reporting, community outreach, child welfare, and law enforcement partnership building.

Amy Filko
Amy is a creative and empathetic communications leader who concentrates on bringing people together to solve problems and make the most of scarce resources. Amy has over 20 years of leadership experience guiding organizational change, shaping meaningful and clear communications, and designing culturally sensitive initiatives. She has worked in federal, commercial, and non-profit spaces. With over five years of diversity, equity, and inclusion work, she is committed to cultural humility and providing a platform for authentic voices and stories. Amy’s user-focused and adaptable approach aligns well with the highly individual needs of OVC grantees.

Talk to me about: Communication strategy, social media, grassroots outreach, data analytics, digital solutions, writing, storytelling, graphic design, and videography.

Linda Self​​​​​​​
Linda is a skilled meeting and events planner with more than 20 years of direct oversight and comprehensive management of large-scale, world-class meetings, events, and conferences for the federal, public, and private sectors. She has led planning activities, vendor selection and management, content development, marketing, and after-event reporting. Linda has worked on behalf of Tribal nations and communities, increasing Native American and Alaska Native populations’ participation in the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute and the Office of Cancer Survivorship meetings and increased awareness of National Cancer Institute research and training grants. In addition, Linda worked as a consultant in resource planning projects with tribes primarily in the Midwest.

Talk to me about: Meeting planning and logistics, project management, strategic content development, culturally sensitive gatherings, and event-related communications, qualitative and quantitative research, data analysis, and visualization.