Chrissi Ross Nimmo is a Cherokee citizen and a proud mother of three who grew up in Tahlequah, Oklahoma — the capitol of the Cherokee Nation. She’s also the Deputy Attorney General for the Cherokee Nation, making her one of the leading attorneys defending the Indian Child Welfare Act, or ICWA — the 1978 law that was passed to keep Native American children from being separated from their families and communities. So why does she do it?
“First of all, it’s tribal children, and you don’t have a tribe if you don’t have citizens,” Ross Nimmo said. “And if you aren’t able to hold onto and keep connection with those youngest citizens of your tribe, you have issues down the road.”