Denver Indian Family Resource Center | DIFRC.org

About Us

Denver Indian Family Resource Center (DIFRC) was founded in early 2000 as a child welfare agency dedicated to meeting the diverse and emerging needs of American Indian children and families in the Denver metropolitan area. Our goal is to assist families to avoid involvement with the child welfare system and to support and advocate for families already involved. We provide a variety of services that build up the strengths of Native families and that help children thrive.

Our definition of family reflects the reality for most American Indian and Alaska Native families and includes relatives and close friends. When families have already encountered child abuse or neglect charges, our approach is to actively advocate for and refer to culturally-appropriate services, and to provide intensive case management and active effects for family reunification. When families are at risk for involvement with the child welfare system, we provide comprehensive services to assist the family in avoiding the need for systems-level intervention. Additionally, we work with the broader American Indian and Alaska Native community by providing services to strengthen cultural and social connections while gaining practical, real-life skills. Our services are strength-based and empowerment oriented. We work together with our families and other agencies to help promote responsible healing by restoring balance, nurturing pride, and recognizing the extended family and community.

 Staff

Administration

Dennis Swain
Executive Director
720-500-1001
dswain@difrc.org

Whitney Kizer (Choctaw/Washoe)
Finance Coordinator
720-500-1002
wkizer@difrc.org

A.J. Myers
Americorps VISTA
720-500-1019
frontdesk@difrc.org

Development

McKenna Ganz
Development Manager
720-500-1013
mganz@difrc.org

Family Services

Kathryn Redhorse (Lakota/Navajo)
Family Services Supervisor
720-500-1012
kredhorse@difrc.org

Verla Howell (Pawnee/Flandreau Santee Sioux)
Family Engagement Specialist
720-500-1008
vehowell@difrc.org

Wilma Yellow Cloud (Oglala Lakota)
Family Engagement Specialist
720-500-1011
wyellowcloud@difrc.org

Madeline Pielert
Family Services Intern
mpielert@difrc.org 

Ceriss Blackwood (Navajo/Taos Pueblo)
Resource and Referral Specialist
720-500-1010
cblackwood@difrc.org

Rachel Bryan-Auker
Resource and Referral Assistant
720-500-1005
rbryanauker@difrc.org

Community Programs

Katie Brown
Community Program Coordinator
720-500-1006
kbrown@difrc.org

Board (DIFRC Board of Directors ROSTER 3 21 2017)

Chair

Deborah Esquibel Hunt

“Nation” Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama

Position: Retired; Community Member at Large

Residence: Northglenn, CO

Expertise: Social work, Indian child welfare, Indian education, tribal higher education

Term ends: December 2018

 

Vice Chair

Jack Soto

“Nation” Diné/Cocopah

Position: Program Administrator, American Indian

College Fund, Community Member at Large

Expertise: Fundraising, indigenous law and policies

Residence: Denver, CO

Term ends: December 2017

 

Treasurer

Veronica Lane

“Nation” Diné

Position: Business Development Officer, Native American Bank

Residence: Denver, CO

Expertise: Accounting, Finance

Term ends: December 2017

 

Secretary

Michael Johnson

“Nation” Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota

Position: Director of Development for Cultural Survival, Inc.

Residence: Littleton, CO

Expertise: Fundraising, marketing, communications

Term ends: December 2017

 

Del Nutter

“Nation” Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma

Position: Executive Director, Denver Indian Health and Family Services, Inc.

Expertise: Non-profit management, business development

Residence: Phoenix, AZ

Term ends: Annual partnership appointment

 

Emily Petoskey

“Nation” Odawa

Position: Major Gifts Associate, American Indian

College Fund, Community Member at Large

Expertise: Organizational development, strategic

planning

Residence: Denver, CO

Term ends: December 2017

 

David Heska Wanbli Weiden

“Nation” Sicangu Lakota

Position: Associate Professor, Metropolitan State University; Community Member at Large

Residence: Denver, CO

Expertise: Licensed attorney

Term ends: December 2018

 

Teresa Bernie

“Nation” Ihankthunwan Nakota

Position: Facilitator, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless

Residence: Denver, CO

Expertise: Targeted case management, parent education and support group organizer

Terms ends: December 2018

 

Chair

Deborah Esquibel Hunt

“Nation” Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama

Position: Retired; Community Member at Large

Residence: Northglenn, CO

Expertise: Social work, Indian child welfare, Indian education, tribal higher education

Term ends: December 2018

 

Vice Chair

Jack Soto

“Nation” Diné/Cocopah

Position: Program Administrator, American Indian

College Fund, Community Member at Large

Expertise: Fundraising, indigenous law and policies

Residence: Denver, CO

Term ends: December 2017

 

Treasurer

Veronica Lane

“Nation” Diné

Position: Business Development Officer, Native American Bank

Residence: Denver, CO

Expertise: Accounting, Finance

Term ends: December 2017

 

Secretary

Michael Johnson

“Nation” Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota

Position: Director of Development for Cultural Survival, Inc.

Residence: Littleton, CO

Expertise: Fundraising, marketing, communications

Term ends: December 2017

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