Webcast Information

Webcast Information

Photo of Drew Allmond
Drew Allmond

Photo of Nerissa Birdsell
Nerissa Birdsell

Photo of Heath Ducheneaux
Heath Ducheneaux

Photo of Cline Griggs
Cline Griggs

Photo of Whitney Jones
Whitney Jones

Photo of Norman Shawanokasic
Norman Shawanokasic

Indigenous Community-Centered Solutions: Best Practices For Serving Indigenous Populations
Drew Allmond, EdD, NYCP Project Director, Virginia Tribal Education Consortium
Nerissa Birdsell, ESS Teacher Lead, Baboquivari Unified School District
Heath Ducheneaux, OST VR Counselor and Youth Transition Coordinator
Cline Griggs, Former Wt Mountain VR Director and current Administrator at Rainbow Treatment Center
Whitney Jones, Oyate Circle and USD Center for Disabilities
Norman Shawanokasic, President of Menominee Tribal Enterprise

Date: 4/24/2024, 12:00pm - 2:00pm Eastern

Register Online     (Registration is free but required.)

Organizations discuss effective models created to better provide services to Indigenous youth and adults with disabilities in Indian Country. Presenters will discuss the challenges faced and the actions taken to form Indigenous Disability Service Models.



Drew Allmond spent more than a decade as a faculty member at Temple University in Philadelphia before becoming the project director of the Virginia Tribal Education Consortium's (VTEC) Native Youth Community Project (NYCP) grant in 2022. This five-year grant facilitates collaboration between Virginia tribal nations and external community stakeholders to provide college- and career-readiness opportunities for Indigenous youth. He also provides editorial support for Virginia Humanities' "Virginia Indian Initiative," an effort to update and expand Encyclopedia Virginia coverage of each Virginia tribal nation's respective culture and experience. Drew completed a doctoral degree in Education Leadership in 2020.

Nerissa Birdsell is an educator, transition specialist, teacher leader, and consultant. Nerissa has been an educator for 19 years in rural public school, Baboquivari High School, in Arizona holding multiple roles; special education teacher, transition specialist, coach, mentor, and Instructional Leadership Team teacher leader. As a Transition Specialist, she developed  the school district's transition program, designed the program's framework, and implemented activities centered on students' education, exposure, and experience in preparation for the students' post-school life. Nerissa has presented locally and nationally, sharing her work in transition and her experiences working in Native American community and disability field. She continues to collaborate with service professionals on creating career opportunities for students. Nerissa values relationships with families and respects their community's culture and traditions.

Heath Ducheneaux is a citizen of the Cheyenne River Lakota. Currently a Vocational Rehabilitation counselor/youth transition specialist for the Oglala Sioux Tribe Vocational
Rehabilitation Program.

Cline Griggs was born in McNary, AZ and grew up in Whiteriver also spending his summers in Canyon Day. He is of the tí’ slèdñt’í dn clan (“cottonwoods joining people”), born for the t’ùàgàidn clan(white water people). He is married to Dorthea (Armstrong) Griggs for 40 years they have four children and 11 grandchildren. Since graduating from Alchesay High School in 1984, Cline has continued to gain knowledge in the Apache Way of Life. For the last 39 years Cline has work for the White Mountain Apache Tribe. Presently as a Behavior Health Tech, with Rainbow Treatment Center. 4 years on the White Mountain Apache Tribal Council, 15 years at the Tribal Education Department, 13 years work to improve the lives of tribal members with disabilities with the Work Adjustment Program and the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. He is also served on the following Boards: Theodore Roosevelt School, Fort Apache AZ; Riverside Indian School, Anadarko, OK; WMAT Community Development Corporation. Other community involvements includes: Parent Advisory Council for Cradleboard Elementary School; Arizona State Independent Living Council Outreach Committee; Lectures at local schools, ceremonies, and conferences on White Mountain Apache History and Culture.

Whitney Jones is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and resides on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation in south central South Dakota. He is a survivor of Residential Boarding Schools attending from 1976 -1988 both in St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain SD and Flandreau Indian School in Flandreau SD.  He received his BA in Counseling with an emphasis on Chemical Dependency from Sinte Gleska University in Mission, SD.  After graduation, he worked at the tribal Indian school, Saint Francis Indian School. Then, he worked in the mental health department of the school. For the next five years, he worked as a Mental Health Counselor. He continued contact with the Center of Disabilities and helped the University get students signed up for LEND. In October of 2023, he was offered a position with Oyate Circle and the Center of Disabilities. Since working with Oyate Circle, had had the chance to present in Washington DC and work with different organizations, and continue to learn more about this field. 

Norman Shawanokasic is a member of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin.  He is the Advocate for quality Services for American Indians with Disabilities.  He has provided basic guidance and counseling, prepared monthly reports to Sr. Administration, grant writing, developed policy and procedures, Developed Operation Manuals and compliance reviews for Tribal VR programs, and provided follow-up to legislation as well as programmatic rules and Federal Laws.  He assisted Tribal VR programs with program reviews, ensured compliance, and made suggested recommendations to tribal VR programs for federal compliance purposes. He has a graduate degree from San Diego State University and an undergraduate degree from NAES College Chicago, Illinois.  He has an Associate of Arts Degree from NWTC Green Bay, WI.  He is a National Trainer for American Indians with Disabilities, a lecturer of the American Indian Child Welfare Act Bethel Alaska, a Certified Counselor Level I FOSAC Fundamentals of Substance Abuse Counseling, and a Certified Federal Law Enforcement officer.