Who is she?
A nationally-recognized champion of Indian
health and justice, JoAnn Kauffman has given
more than 40 years to the cause. She’s come
a long way since she shuttled between a
chaotic childhood home in Seattle and the
Nez Perce Indian Reservation in Kamiah,
Inspired by her ancestors, JoAnn helped
found the National Association of Native
American Children of Alcoholics. As
executive director of the Seattle Indian
Health Board, she brokered an agreement
to create the Chief Leschi Center in Seattle.
Kauffman later won federal recognition
for key historical sites of the Nez Perce—
including the Bear Paw Battlefield in Montana
where Chief Joseph surrendered in 1877.
After one of the worst school shooting
sprees in American history unfolded on a
Minnesota Indian Reservation, Kauffman
helped form Native Aspirations. The national
effort prevented youth violence, bullying and
JoAnn is the owner of Kauffman & Associates,
Inc., with offices in Spokane and Washington
D.C. “She often petitions the government
on behalf of Native Americans—particularly
in the area of healthcare—and wins,” the
Freedom Forum wrote in 1998 when
Kauffman received the Free Spirit Award.