NIWRC Welcomes New Board Members

Yáʼátʼééh and Taŋyáŋ Yahípi (Welcome) to NIWRC’s New Board Members, Brandi Liberty, Linda Thompson, and tai simpson! We look forward to the leadership they’ll bring with the rest of our Board of Directors—Carmen O’Leary, Leanne Guy, Wendy Schlater, Wanette Lee, and Randi Barreiro. Please join us in welcoming Brandi, Linda, and tai into our NIWRC family. 

Brandi Liberty is a citizen of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska and is a descendant of the United Houma Nation. She offers a unique blend of leadership, advocacy, and a deep understanding of Tribal and domestic violence issues. She is the owner and CEO of The Luak Group, providing consulting services for Tribes and Tribal entities on strategic community planning, leadership growth, and protection of Tribal sovereignty. She is one of the top five grant writers in Indian Country and has over $74.5 million in federal and state-level grant awards for projects and programs serving Indian Country. Her specialties include Business Development, Indian Housing / NAHASDA, Grant Writing, Grants Management, Tribal Housing Human Resources, Technical Assistance/Training, Economic Development, Policy Development, Compliance, and Strategic Planning. 


Brandi Liberty
Brandi Liberty

Brandi is a monthly columnist for Verite News in New Orleans, LA, addressing Indigenous culture, issues, and events for the Tribes located in the state. She is an Enterprising Woman of Color, a program under the Minority Business Development Agency that focuses on providing women of color opportunities to expand their businesses. She has sat on multiple boards, including the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska Election Board and the IPAI Community Loan Fund Board for the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians. 

“My aspiration is to amplify the voices of Indigenous women and drive systemic change, leveraging my vast network and multifaceted expertise, and taking my advocacy efforts to the next steps as a member of the NIWRC Board”—Brandi Liberty. 

Linda Thompson is a citizen of the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe, with ties to both Leech Lake and Mille Lacs Lake. She has worked for the Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition since 2016 as a membership and outreach coordinator and is currently their operations director. From 2008- 2016, Linda was the founding executive director for the First Nations Women’s Alliance, a Tribal coalition serving Tribes in North Dakota, at which time she served as a Tribal Advisory Committee Member for the Indian Law and Order Commission, which released the 2013 A Roadmap for Making Native America Safer Report

Linda has been a domestic violence and sexual assault advocate in both urban and reservation settings since 1992, including with the Spirit Lake Tribe (ND) and Women’s Advocates (MN). She has also served on various boards, including the statewide sexual and domestic violence nonprofit coalition, CAWS North Dakota, Safe Alternatives for Abused Families Shelter, and Northern Plains Resource Conservation and Development. Linda has also served on various trafficking task forces and the North Dakota State Attorneys’ Fatality Review Team. 

“I have long admired the work, and have been proud of the national leadership and work of NIWRC leadership and staff”—Linda Thompson. 



Linda Thompson
Linda Thompson



tai simpson is nimiipuu, a citizen of the Nez Perce Tribe and a storyteller, organizer, and advocate. She takes a passionate human-centered approach to her work. tai believes that progress toward community-focused goals is more important than always being exactly on track. Her leadership style is characterized by her lively and enthusiastic personality, speaking with assurance and conviction to have a stimulating influence on others. Her drive is purposeful, and directed at getting things done quickly. tai responds positively to challenges and pressure, leveraging her problem-solving ability. She maintains an unabashed willingness to learn and grow and believes deeply in community care and supporting collective purpose. tai has a warrior spirit destined for work in social justice, politics, and community organizing. 

Since 2019, tai has been the collective stewardship co-director with the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, and since 2010, she’s been a social justice and anti-racism education contractor and a founder and director/community organizer with the Indigenous Idaho Alliance. In 2019, tai was a TEDxBoise speaker on “Indigenous Storytelling as Political Lens.” She has served on the boards of Planned Parenthood and the Potlatch Fund. tai is committed to the humanness of the work and uplifting our cultural ways of knowing while stewarding NIWRC’s mission into the future. Culture is prevention and our avenue to healing. Board and staff-centering Indigenous ways of knowing and experiences are essential to NIWRC’s work. 

“I am humbled to offer my experience as a Black and Indigenous woman who must navigate torrential sociopolitical spaces to successfully advocate for survivors and families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and persons. I have strong coalitions built with local, state, and federal partners working collaboratively to end violence in Indian country”—tai simpson. 


tai simpson

“Board members are responsible for setting and providing guidance on organizational policies. The role can be fun and challenging, requiring a commitment of time and duty. Exercising my traditional values has been key for me while serving on the NIWRC Board all these years. The role helps continue our commitment to the safety of Native women”—Carmen O’Leary 



Lucy Simpson 

Executive Director



Carmen O’Leary 

Board Chairwoman