AMBER Alert Staff and Tribal Liaisons: Supporting Our Tribal Child Protection Partners

Janell Rasmussen

Tyesha Wood

 

Valerie Bribiescas

Chelsa Seciwa

 

Inquiries may be directed to askamber@fvtc.edu or by calling 877-712-6237; program personnel will work with tribal liaisons and associates to properly route and coordinate information and assistance requests:


Janell Rasmussen

Janell Rasmussen has spent over 20 years working in Public Safety to develop, implement and operate multiple statewide law enforcement programs that have been highly successful and nationally recognized.  During her time at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), Rasmussen was responsible for the development and operations of multiple statewide programs, including the Minnesota AMBER Alert Plan, the Missing Children’s Clearinghouse, the Communication & Duty Officer Program, the Crimes Against Children in Indian Country Conference and the President’s Initiative on Missing & Unidentified Persons. She also served in capacities as Legislative and Media Coordinator during her tenure at the BCA. Janell is a highly regarded professional known for building collaborative partnerships with diverse stakeholder groups, enhancing government operations and her work in Law Enforcement Training.  Janell recently left the BCA as Director of Criminal Justice Training & Education after 16 years to continue her work in child protection as Deputy Director at the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis. Janell has received certifications from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Training School - Instructor Development Program, International Association of Chiefs of Police - Leadership in Police Organizations Program, National Judicial College - Tribal Faculty Development Program, and numerous training certificates on a multitude of topics including Management, Leadership, Human Trafficking, AMBER Alert, Domestic Violence, Investigative Resources, Information Sharing, Project Management and Program Development.


Tyesha Wood

Tyesha M. Wood is a Project Coordinator with the AMBER Alert in Indian Country initiative. Tyesha is a former Police Detective with 17 years of law enforcement experience with tribal nations in Arizona.  A majority of her police career was comprised of work in criminal investigations, with more than 15 years as a detective working in the areas of sex crimes and crimes against children. Tyesha has experience in working with multi-disciplinary teams in tribal family advocacy centers to ensure the safety and protection of children. She also served for two years as an Executive Protection Officer for the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice-President. Tyesha is an alumnus of the 2018-19 McCain Institute of International Leadership Next Generation Leaders Program. Tyesha holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Arizona, and is a member of the Navajo Nation.


Valerie Bribiescas

Valerie Bribiescas is a retired Detective with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in Arizona where she specialized in crimes of violence, child abuse, and family violence investigations.  She has over 25 years’ experience as a peace officer, with the majority of her policing career with tribal law enforcement.  Her assignments included field operations, professional standards, administration, records, and criminal investigations.

Valerie is a nationally recognized expert on the cultural complexities of law enforcement operations on tribal lands and advanced forensic interviewing.  She teaches law enforcement officers, prosecutors,  and child protection officials culturally based approaches to conducting forensic interviews involving Native American children and adults.  She has taught extensively for the Arizona Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, the Advanced Forensic Interview Training sponsored through Prevent Child Abuse AZ, as well as various tribal, state, local, and federal agencies.

Valerie is currently working as an associate with the AMBER Alert in Indian Country Program, she holds a Masters Degree of Education through Northern Arizona University, and is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, residing in Chandler, Arizona.


Chelsa Seciwa

Chelsa Seciwa joined Fox Valley Technical College April 1st, 2019 as the project specialist for AMBER Alert Training & Technical Assistance.  Working closely with the implementation of the Ashlynne Mike AMBER Alert in Indian Country Act of 2018.  Providing program support in attending Tribal community events to share NCJTC training and resources.  She was born and raised in the Pueblo of Zuni. She’s worked over 10 years in banking and investments, carrying her professionalism to the legal field.  Recently completing her Tribal Court Legal Advocacy Course under the law program at the University of Wisconsin~Madison. She has been admitted to practice in several tribal courts in the Phoenix area and in her home land, Pueblo of Zuni.  Specializing in family law and VAWA rights.  Prior to the legal field, Chelsa worked as a direct care provider working with children and adults within the special need’s community.  She managed a wide range of state reports, allotted hours, and over saw five care providers and their plans, while adhering to state laws and regulations.

Chelsa is also a board member with the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) at the campus of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona.  Sharing her input over programs offered to students, tribal partners, and environmental communities.

The Seciwa Family moved to Tempe, Arizona in 1988 and has strong ties to Arizona State University.  Chelsa continues her late father’s legacy in advocating for American Indian students and higher education.  She is the director of the Cal Seciwa Memorial Endowment scholarship at ASU. Among the distance from home, Zuni Pueblo, she travels back and forth for cultural events and obligations to maintain the beautiful religion of the Zuni people, A:Shiwi.