NIWRC Welcomes a Deputy Director

By Paula Julian, Filipina, Senior Policy Specialist and Editor, NIWRC Restoration Magazine

Introducing Dorma Sahneyah

The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC) is excited to welcome Dorma Sahneyah (Hopi-Tewa) back as our Deputy Director. Dorma served as the Director of Training and Technical Assistance for NIWRC from 2016 to 2018 and as a Program Specialist from 2011 to 2016. Dorma has extensive experience working with Indian Tribes, Tribal court systems, law enforcement programs, and victims of domestic violence and sexual assault crimes in Indian Country and was honored by being presented the Bonnie Heavy Runner Tribal Victim Advocacy Award at the 2017 13th National Indian Nations Justice Conference. 

Dorma recently served as Executive Director of the Hopi Tribe from 2018 to 2022. Prior experience includes being Executive Director for the Hopi-Tewa Women’s Coalition, Chief Prosecutor for over twelve years with the Hopi Tribe, where she implemented a Tribal domestic violence program with service components that included victim and child advocacy, batterer’s intervention program, intense domestic violence probation supervision, and comprehensive civil legal services for domestic violence and sexual violence survivors. Dorma has focused much of her career on addressing the unacceptably high violent crime rates in Indian country. She received her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Arizona State University and her Juris Doctor degree from Arizona State University School of Law. She is the proud mother of five adult children (four daughters, one son), grandmother of 15 grandchildren, and great-grandmother of one. Dorma is blessed to have her mother, who is almost 86 years old, to support her work and guide her family’s cultural education and activities. She resides in San Tan Valley.



I understand how critically important it is to support Tribes to be self-sufficient by exercising and upholding Tribal sovereignty and to reclaim the culture, traditions, language taken wrongfully from them. I hope to be able to help enhance the work, which NIWRC has been at the forefront of over the past years. —Dorma Sahneyah, Tewa- Hopi, Deputy Director, NIWRC