Misty (Thomas) Flowers

Executive Director
Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Coalition

Misty (Thomas) Flowers is a member of the Santee Sioux Nation of Nebraska and a descendant of the Tlingit of Alaska. She has served as Executive Director of the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Coalition (NICWC), an Indigenous led non-profit organization, since July 2018. Prior to that she was the Director of the Dakota Tiwahe Service Unit and the Social Services Department for the Santee Sioux Nation for 12 years. For her tribe, she administered the Child and Adult Protective Services, Indian Child Welfare Act, Independent Living, BIA Social Services, Native Employment Works Program, AmeriCorps, Tribal Youth Program Grant and the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Program. Misty received both of her degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources and Family Sciences in 2001 and master’s degree in Sociology in 2006). She was recognized as a Champion of Change by the White House and received the Early Achiever Award from the University of Nebraska Alumni Association in 2013.  



The removal and placement of Indian children away from their families and communities is a central component of historical trauma. Indian child welfare practice must contend with both the restoration of balance at the level of the individual the family and the community while negotiating with a system which has been an instrument of community disruption in the past. The 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was designed to address the race equity issues in the child welfare system that historically and disproportionately harm Indigenous youth and families.