Partnering Staff: National Native Children’s Trauma Center
Marilyn Zimmerman (Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes)
Senior Director of Policy and Programs, National Native Children’s Trauma Center
Marilyn is the founding director of the National Native Children’s Trauma Center (NNCTC) and has worked as a Senior Tribal Policy Advisor for OJJDP before returning to the NNCTC as Senior Director of Policy and Programs. She brings to the Tribal Youth Program 15+ years of experience in assessing, training, and consulting with tribes and tribal agencies in trauma-informed systems change and intervention implementation projects. A member of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee on American Indian/Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence, in recent years Dr. Zimmerman has particularly focused on projects serving Native justice-involved and crossover youth, helping both justice systems and child welfare agencies approach their work through a trauma lens.
Veronica Willeto DeCrane (Diné)
School Training and Technical Assistance Specialist, National Native Children’s Trauma Center
Veronica is Diné (Navajo), of the Many Hogans Clan, born for the Mexican Clan. Her maternal grandparents are of the Tangle Clan and her paternal grandparents are of the Bitter Water Clan. She was raised on the Navajo Nation in the Eastern Agency community of Ojo Encino. She now lives in Billings, Montana and is married with four children. Veronica holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in History and Race and Ethnic Studies from Whitman College. She is committed to the strong and healthy development of American Indian youth and has worked in the field of Indian education and Native youth development for 9 years. She is currently a School Training and Technical Assistance Specialist at the National Native Children’s Trauma Center. She is also a Multi-Tiered System of Support Implementation Specialist at the Montana Office of Public Instruction and the Director of the Crow Schools Consortium of 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Additionally, she serves on the Steering Council of the Montana Afterschool Alliance and volunteers as an advisor to the Arrow Creek Youth Council in Pryor, Montana. Veronica strives to honor the cultural identity of American Indian youth and actively promotes the unique knowledge and practices of Tribal Nations through her work in braiding Indigenous and Western-based knowledges, cultural responsiveness, and cultural adaptations. Her work also emphasizes equity, youth voice, youth leadership development, family and community engagement, and tribal sovereignty.
Nona J. Main (Aaniiih/Nakoda)
Training and Technical Assistance Specialist, National Native Children’s Trauma Center
Nona is an enrolled member of the Aaniiih and Nakoda nations of the Fort Belknap Indian community in Montana. She was born and raised in Fort Belknap, where she also currently resides with her son, Trenton. She graduated from MSU Billings in 2009 with a Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies/Native American Studies and her career path since, has been in primarily serving Native communities, both her own and around Montana.
Working for and with Native people and youth has always been a passion of hers, which she continues to do in her current job as Training and Technical Assistance Specialist with the National Native Children’s Trauma Center since the fall of 2019. She came to NNCTC from the role of an Outreach Educator for the Native Outreach Project of Planned Parenthood of Montana, where she spent nearly nine years. Her outreach efforts consisted of mainly serving Native youth who reside in the surrounding area of Billings, Montana. In her outreach, she provided comprehensive sexuality education in various formats and activities to middle school and high school aged youth. She had implemented and facilitated three different evidence-based comprehensive sexuality education curriculums with the youth in a classroom setting. In other outreach efforts, she has also provided various presentations such as Healthy Relationships and Cultural Humility, to name a few, to different organizations in the Montana area to professionals who work with the Native population and to clientele who may come from underserved populations such as, incarcerated individuals and/youth in group home settings, etc, as well as been part of state/community advisory councils and coalitions. She has planned, organized and facilitated various events that both served the youth she works with and the general Native population, which include school proms, basketball camps, collaborations with after school programs, an Affordable Care Act symposium, and a Native Women film and discussion series.
In all of her years of serving the youth and people she works for, Nona has always been conscious and respectful of the cultural factors and wishes of the communities she’s serving. It helps in delivering the information, education, and work in a culturally responsive and respectful way, and is received better by the youth and people of each respective community.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her son, family and loved ones. Her interests include reading, keeping active, watching her son play basketball, movies, reading, and cooking.