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Board of Directors

Our Mission

Healing Ribbons is a grassroots organization staffed by a dedicated group of volunteers, utilizing the Native American circle leadership model.

Meet our Board of Directors and Founders:

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Tami Buffalohead McGill

Board President, Co-Founder

Tamara ‘Tami’ Buffalohead McGill is an enrolled member of the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma.  She is an advocate for social justice, a developer of people and programs, educator and community organizer. Tami has a long history of involvement in various community organizations and initiatives that promote diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Tami earned a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a Bachelor's degree from Creighton University.  After receiving her Masters degree, she began her career working with tribal members and Tribal Councils on Nebraska reservations in the area of business and economic development. After spending several years working to create revolving loan funds, nonprofit housing organizations and providing individual business development training she took the position as Chief Tribal Officer for the Omaha Tribe. Tami worked for the Omaha in Tribe until the death of her grandmother. After her grandmother passed away she resigned her position and after a six month discernment process decided she wanted to work in higher education to assist Native American, multicultural and underserved populations access and thrive in higher education. She spent twenty years designing, implementing and managing programs that created pipelines to higher education and supported undergraduate students.  She also taught a Native American service learning course that integrated fall and spring break service learning trips to reservations in Nebraska, South Dakota, New Mexico and Arizona.

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Dr. Kateri Hinman Petto

Board Vice President

Dr. Kateri Hinman Petto is UmoNhoN/Hocak/Seneca and an enrolled member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. She was raised in the City of Omaha, but grew up close to her family in Macy/Walthill, Nebraska. She studied pre-pharmacy coursework and Native American Studies at the University of Nebraska Omaha. In 2020, she graduated with her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Creighton University and went on to complete a Clinical Pharmacy Residency at the VA Nebraska-Western Iowa HealthCare System in Omaha, Nebraska. Her goal in obtaining her degree has been to work to address the health disparities facing Native people. Her areas of interest include diabetes and other chronic disease state management, mental health, substance abuse, and infectious disease. Her profession allowed her to provide valuable public health information to the Native community during the COVID-19 pandemic. She currently works as a clinical pharmacist at Nebraska Methodist Hospital. Kateri is passionate about serving the Native community and promoting health and wellness through connection to culture and healing historical and generational trauma. 

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Barbara McKillip -Erixson
Board Treasurer

Barbara is an enrolled member of the Omaha Nation.  She is an educator who is also known for her contributions as a volunteer and advocate for the arts. Barbara earned her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Masters degree in Educational Administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  She is a retired 7-12 grade mathematics teacher.  Even in retirement, Barbara continues to be involved in the mathematics education community as an Adjunct Algebra Instructor at the Nebraska Indian Community College (NICC).  Barbara also served as a consultant to various organizations across Nebraska. She was an Educational Consultant with a team from NICC that worked with the Humboldt Forum in Berlin on an exhibition about Francis LaFlesche, featuring belongings of the Omaha Nation he collected in the late 1800’s. She developed and taught a workshop on Native American Boarding Schools at The Humboldt Forum in Berlin. 

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Lila Dinnel

Board Secretary

Lila Dinnel is UmoNhoN/Hidatsa and an enrolled citizen of the Mandan-Hidatsa-Arikara Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota. Lila holds a Bachelor of Science in Management of Human Resources and is a licensed residential and commercial real estate agent in Nebraska. Lila brings to the table valuable experience in project management, specifically working within Indian country. Having grown up in the city of Omaha, Lila is dedicated to uplifting the Native community. She served as a volunteer for Healing Ribbons prior to joining the board in March of 2024. 

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Valery Kills Crow Copeland

Board Member, Culture Bearer

Valery is a business owner, realtor, Culture Bearer, play writer, author, beadwork artist and regalia maker.  She is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) where she majored in Studio Arts (2002) with a concentration in Graphic Design and a minor in Native American Studies. Valery shares her knowledge through cultural instruction workshops  at the Joslyn Art Museum, Boystown, Union Pacific, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha Children’s Museum, Lincoln Public Schools in Indian Education, Center Point in Lincoln NE, UNO and Lester’s Beading Class. Since 2012 she founded and coordinates the Native American Prime Time Family Reading, a family literacy program for Native American families funded by the Humanities Foundation of Nebraska.

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Reverend Dr. Jessiline Anderson

Board Member, Culture Bearer

Rev. Dr. J, as she is affectionately called, is an enrolled member of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska and a graduate of Creighton University (BA Psychology, MS Counseling) and Utah State University (PhD Clinical Psychology). She is Psychology Professor Emeritus, retiring from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) in 2020. She taught Psychology for more than 25 years at UNO, Wayne State University and Nebraska Indian Community College. While at UNO she also served as a faculty member for both Native American and Black Studies, and served as Faculty Advisor to the Intertribal Student Council. Her specific research interests include cardiovascular reactivity and endocrine disorders and anxiety and depressive disorders among Indigenous populations.

She was ordained the Associate Minister at Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church.  Prior to ordination she served as the Church School Superintendent, Church School Teacher, led reading/discussion groups and chaired several women’s programs.  Rev. Dr. J is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and served as Chair of the Physical and Mental Health Committee and is the current Chapter Chaplain. She served as the Regional Chaplain of the Central Region of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She is a member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women and served as Vice President of Membership. She also serves on the board of the Nebraska Religious Council for Reproductive Freedom.

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Loretta Joyce Jordan

Board Member, Culture Bearer

Loretta Jordan (Standing Rock Sioux) was born and raised on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in Fort Yates, North Dakota and on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana. Maternally, she is from the Walking Eagle-Agard tiospaye and paternally from the Flying Cloud-Zahn tiospaye. She is mother to four sons, grandmother to four grandchildren and one grandchild. She graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a Bachelor Degree in Sociology and a minor in Native American Studies. Loretta had the privilege to learn from two of the top therapists in South Dakota, the late Madonna Blue Horse (Oglala Lakota) and Eileen Lunderman (Sicangu Lakota).  Both therapists were proficient in experiential and drama therapy techniques as applied to historical and generational trauma. Loretta dedicated her life to helping her people heal from addiction and generational trauma within a culturally appropriate context. Loretta retired in 2009 as the Clinical Supervisor for the Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition, Inc. Despite her retirement she remains an active volunteer as a mentor, researcher, behavior health expert and Culture Bearer.  She co-authorized a Lakota story for a meditation app. Using an intergenerational and divested colonialist deficit approach, she is researching and developing a trauma response tool kit to aid persons who need to manage destructive behaviors stemming from survival tactics and trauma-response driven (fight, flight, freeze, dissociation).  

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Robin Seran

Board Member

Robin is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Tribe. Her maternal grandmother left the reservation at 16 years of age and moved to Omaha. Robin has fond childhood memories of going to the reservation with her mother and grandmother.  In her retirement and with her children grown, she wants to devote more of her time and energy by volunteering and getting more involved with the Native American community.  Robin and her husband Orhan have two daughters. Her oldest daughter recently graduated from college and started a job in Chicago. Her younger daughter is currently attending college in Colorado. Robin graduated from Omaha Central High School and earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Earning the distinction of being the first in her family to graduate from college. After working 25 years as a public accountant working in the area of taxation she recently retired. 

Rebecca Rising Moon Sullivan

Co-Founder

Rebecca is a leader, scholar, educator, entrepreneur, business woman, life long learner, mother and proud member of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. She has a bachelor’s degree in education and two master’s degrees in business (Masters of Business Administration and Masters of Arts in Management). Rebecca was the first elected woman to serve as Tribal Council Chair of the Ponca Tribe of NE and is the longest serving tribal Council Vice Chair (six years) and woman Tribal Council member (20 years). She serves on numerous federal, state, tribal and local Boards to represent Native and diverse populations. She also served in administrative roles as the former President/CEO of OSNI (Ponca Tribe of NE’s economic development corporation) and COO/Health Planner (public health, community health, grants and diabetes departments).

Rebecca has a passion for empowering families. As an advocate for Ponca youth, Rebecca serves as the only Osni Ponka Youth Council advisor for the past seven years. She mentors youth ages 14-24 and developed a comprehensive youth program that encourages civic education, responsibility and leadership, career development  and cultural engagement.

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Healing Ribbons

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