Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) President and CEO and original CIRI shareholder Gloria O’Neill was recently appointed to the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children, an independent federal committee that aims to identify the complex challenges facing Native children in Alaska and across the U.S.
Shortly after her appointment by House Speaker Paul Ryan, O’Neill’s fellow members on the committee elected her to serve as its chair.
An initiative put forth by Senators Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota) and put in place by President Barack Obama in 2016, the commission is tasked with conducting a comprehensive study of federal, state, local and tribal programs that serve Native children. The goal of the committee is to develop a system that delivers wrap-around services to Native youth.
“I am excited about this work and the huge impact it will have for all Native communities across the nation,” said O’Neill. “We’re taking a broad look at the status of Native children and providing recommendations on how to help improve the opportunities available to our young people.”
During her 20-year tenure as CITC’s President and CEO, O’Neill has transitioned the organization into one that acts as an ambassador of Native interests on a regional, statewide and national level.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to take all of the knowledge and understanding developed over the course of my career and apply it toward the work of this important commission,” she added. “The positive impact we can have on the lives of our Native youth makes my heart sing.”
For more information on the commission, visit Senator Heitkamp’s website at www.heitkamp.senate.gov.