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Gloria O'NeillThe Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children, created by bipartisan legislation, has been tasked with studying federal funding and programs that support Native American youth and making recommendations aimed at improving those efforts and helping Native children thrive. I am honored to serve as Chair of this Commission, which is named, respectively, for the former chairwoman of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation in North Dakota and for an Alaska Native elder, educator and statesman.

Funding has been provided by Congress for the Commission carry out its statutory responsibilities. Federal staff from the Departments of Health and Human Services, Education, Interior, and Justice have been detailed to provide additional support, and to ensure that the Commission addresses issues with government-wide perspective.

For too long, in spite of their resilience and rich heritage, the life experiences of Native children have been disproportionately marred by poverty, child abuse, domestic violence, crime, and substance abuse; it is our job, as Commissioners, to do all we can to change those circumstances for our youngest and most vulnerable Native people. During this time of COVID-19 we have not been able to conduct hearings or listening sessions in the field to aid us in this work. However, we need and value input and participation from Native children and families—and from tribes, governments, service providers, researchers, and other allies that support them—in order to report the best recommendations to the President and Congress for improving the lives of Native children and youth. I encourage anyone who has testimony, information, or data they would like to share to please email.


Ms. Gloria O’Neill
Chairwoman, Commission on Native Children
President/CEO, Cook Inlet Tribal Council