American Indian Mental Health Organization Granted NGO Consultive Status by United Nations

The Native American Fatherhood and Families Association in Mesa, AZ. (photo by Darren Thompson)
The Native American Fatherhood and Families Association in Mesa, AZ. (photo by Darren Thompson)

MESA, AZ—A mental and behavioral health organization dedicated to Native American fathers and families was recently granted special status by the United Nations.

The Native American Fatherhood and Families Association (NAFFA) was granted Non-Government Organization (NGO) Special Consultative Status on December 7, 2022, which allows it to designate official representatives to the United Nations headquarters in New York, Geneva, and Vienna.

“We are delighted to be accepted as an NGO as this will give us the opportunity to share our culture and strengthen families that will have an impact around the world,” NAFFA Executive Director Amy Fa’atoafe told Native News Online.

As an NGO with Special Consultative Status, NAFFA and its delegates can attend the United Nations’ public meetings of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Human Rights Council, and the General Assembly under certain conditions.

Founded in 2002 by Navajo and Hopi family therapist Al Pooley, NAFFA is an Arizona-based non-profit that offers evidence-based family training centered around Native cultural values. It has served more than 400 Indigenous communities in the United States and Canada with courses designed to strengthen families, with a focus on fathers reentering society from incarceration. NAFFA programs include:

  • Fatherhood Is Sacred® Motherhood Is Sacred® (FIS/MIS)

  • Linking Generations by Strengthening Relationships®,

  • Addressing Family Violence & Abuse® and

  • Suicide Prevention.

As well, through its Wellness Center, NAFFA offers 12 and 24-week intensive outpatient treatment programs to Native American fathers and mothers living in the Phoenix area.

“With the NGO Special Consultative Status, NAFFA can spread the message of Fatherhood is Sacred and Motherhood is sacred to the world,” NAFFA said in a statement.

About the Author: "Darren Thompson (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe) is a staff reporter for Native News Online who is based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Thompson has reported on political unrest, tribal sovereignty, and Indigenous issues for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Indian Country Today, Native News Online, and Unicorn Riot. He has contributed to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Voice of America on various Indigenous issues in international conversation. He has a bachelor\u2019s degree in Criminology & Law Studies from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. "