Managing Director Anita Fineday named to federal commission

Anita Fineday, managing director of Casey Family Programs’ Indian Child Welfare Program, has been appointed to a new federal commission that aims to improve the lives of Native youth.

Fineday joins the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children, created by bipartisan legislation sponsored by Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). The 11-member commission will work for three years to study federal funding and programs that support Native American youth, then make recommendations about improving and streamlining those efforts. Fineday was appointed by President Barack Obama just before he left office. The Commission, named for the former chairwoman of the Mandan, Hidatsa & Arikara Nation in North Dakota, and an Alaska Native elder and statesman, respectively, will hold hearings to gather information, learn more about the experiences of Native youth and seek solutions to the challenges facing them.

“It’s a huge honor, and my hope is that it will lead to improved outcomes for Native children and youth,” said Fineday. “That’s the goal. We have a mix of different funding streams, and we need to bring them together and make them more efficient and effective.”

According to Sen. Heitkamp’s office, the Commission will study issues affecting Native youth, including high rates of poverty, unemployment, child abuse, domestic violence, crime, substance abuse and dire economic opportunities to develop recommendations on the economic and educational tools they need to thrive.

The Commission’s report will also address how to better strengthen and use existing resources, data, private-sector partnerships and best practices.