As we start 2022, we are very excited to announce some changes at Tiwahe Foundation. Our board chair of the past two years, Nicole MartinRogers, ended her board term in December 2021. We are pleased to announce Wakinyan LaPointe as the board chair for 2022. In addition, we welcome several new board members including: Joe Hobot, Maggie Lorenz, Kelly Miller, and Nigel Perrote.
Our biggest update is that we made Nikki Pieratos our new Executive Director starting in January 2022, after serving several months in an interim role and nearly three years as a board director prior to that. Nikki brings a strong background in Indigenous philanthropy and related fields, many local and national connections, and a long history with and strong commitment to Tiwahe Foundation and our stakeholders. Prior to joining Tiwahe Foundation, Nikki worked at NDN Collective and the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank’s Center for Indian Country Development. She also started and ran a federal credit union for her home reservation, Bois Forte Band of Chippewa. Nikki has an academic background in public policy and economics from the University of Chicago.
Nikki has been and will continue to work closely with Tiwahe Foundation’s staff to carry out the mission and strategic goals of Tiwahe Foundation, which include plans to expand our flagship American Indian Family Empowerment Program to greater Minnesota and relaunch our Oyate Leadership Program and Network. A major goal of 2022 is more outreach and connecting with our Native community to ensure they are aware of the programs we already offer, but also how we can better serve and uplift the talent and leadership of our Native individuals, families, and the organizations serving them. She will also be leaning in more to solidarity movement work with other key organizations in our BIPOC communities at home and across the country as our pursuit of equity, access, and sovereignty is bound together.
We welcome feedback and questions from our community, so please reach out if you want to talk! We will also be planning a virtual zoom townhall session (or more like bingo hall) in February via Facebook where folks can get to know Nikki and ask her questions, as well as learn and inform more of our plans for 2022 and beyond. Please stay tuned for the event notice!
Our American Indian Family Empowerment Program grant round is open now and closes on February 15. Please let us know if you want to apply or have any questions at 612-722-0999.
Happy New Year!/Mino Oshki Biboon!/Oiyaokipiya Omaka Teca yelo!
Nicole MartinRogers (descendant of White Earth Band of Ojibwe)
Outgoing Board Chair
Wakinyan LaPointe (Rosebud Sioux Tribe)
Incoming Board Chair