The Tiwahe Foundation announced today that Shirley Sneve, President and CEO, is leaving the organization effective July 24, 2020. The Foundation wishes Shirley the best of luck in the future.

Despite the significant turnover in staffing our organization has experienced in the past three years, Tiwahe Foundation finances are strong. We continue to grow our endowment and build partnerships with funders and individual donors who share our mission and values. The board’s intent is to refine our business practices and policies as needed to ensure a healthy workplace and retention of valuable and effective employees going forward. We appreciate and honor the ongoing support and generosity of our funders, donors, and partners as well as your patience and continued support during this transition.

The Tiwahe Foundation board of directors is taking this opportunity to refresh our vision and strategic priorities. We have always espoused the core values of family, respect, trust, generosity, circle of giving, and Indigenous worldview. We will continue to strengthen our practices, programs, and partnerships to ensure we live these values in all of our work and interactions. In short, we’re going to decolonize our Foundation.

Tiwahe Foundation remains committed to racial equity and social justice. Especially during these current times of racial strife, pandemic, and social unrest – when our community needs us most – Tiwahe Foundation continues to work with and for our American Indian relatives.

In the coming months, Tiwahe Foundation will be conducting a search for a new President and CEO and other new staff. During this transition period, it will be our priority to find the best qualified individuals to lead and staff the Foundation, while continuing our day to day operations under the interim leadership of Joy Persall and Roger Meyer. Questions during the Foundation’s transition process should be directed to Joy at or 612.722.0999.

Joy will be serving as the Interim Executive Director, working with the Board and staff on the day-to- day operations of Tiwahe and Roger will be providing general transition support to the Board of Directors and Joy, as well as supporting the Search.

Joy brings a wealth of experience working with organizations locally and nationally. Having served as Headwaters Foundation of Justice Associate Director, and Executive Director of Native Americans in Philanthropy and Dream of Wild Health, Joy supports Native American, Indigenous and People of Color in transition and developing community-based leadership. Roger brings over 20 years of working with organizations in transition and experience working in the Twin Cities urban American Indian community, having been Interim Executive Director of the Tiwahe Foundation, St. Paul’s American Indian Family Center and Minneapolis’ Division of Indian Work.

About Joy Persall

Joy Persall, Ojibwe Metis’ serves as a Leadership Coach, Facilitator, and Strategic Organizational Consultant. Joy has 30 years of experience leading nonprofit, philanthropic and community organizations, guiding transitions and developing leaders. Persall supports leadership and organizations through coaching, team building and strategic facilitation for systemic change. Joy is a Bush Leadership Fellowship Alum. M.A. in Organization Development & Management and CEBC Coaching Certification, is a World Institute for Action Learning Senior Coach, certified in Leadership Circle Profile and Organizational Culture, and the Intercultural Development Inventory. Joy’s leadership experience includes Associate Director of Headwaters Foundation for Justifce, Executive Directors of Native Americans in Philanthropy and Co-Director of Dream of Wild Health.

Joy is committed to community, family, working for equity, justice, and caring for Mother Earth. Primarily, Joy is a gardener of people, teams, and organizations, developing their ability to grow, learn and create new solutions in a grounded atmosphere of human dignity and deep respect.