Vickie Oldman-John

Vickie Oldman-John
Distinguished Alumna
Homecoming 2015

Vickie-Oldman-John_smVickie Oldman-John is a national leader in culturally relevant community and organizational development for Native American and rural communities. She is the founding partner and co-manager of Seven Sisters Community Development Group, LLC and Kitseallyboy Consulting, LLC, which serve clients across the country.

Oldman-John earned her master of social work from Highlands in 2004 with a concentration in community planning and administration. She completed her BSW at Arizona State University.

She has been recognized for honors such as the 2006 National Association of Social Workers President’s Award and the 2004 American Indian Graduate Center Women of Vision Award.

Oldman-John has more than 15 years of consulting and community development experience, with expertise in asset building, leadership training, strategic planning, board development, and more. In 2010 she established Seven Sisters Community Development Group.

“Seven Sisters is a consulting firm representing diverse cultures and communities,” Oldman-John said. “Our team of women has a broad range of expertise working in nonprofit, corporate, grassroots and government environments. We strive to facilitate organizational growth and change ranging from executive coaching of community members to building coalitions for native housing programs.”

Oldman-John founded Kittseallyboy Consulting in 2001 and is still the principal consultant. Some other positions include director of the Financial Education and Asset Building program at First Nations Oweesta Corp. and technical assistance counselor for the New Mexico Community Development Loan Fund.

“Seeing the progression of native communities working towards self sufficiency, seeing more native businesses growing, and seeing native art being part of the economic engine is energizing. I’m happy to be a part of it,” said Oldman-John, who is Navajo.

Oldman-John is at the forefront of co-creating curricula for building financial capability and developing a nationwide cadre of Native American trainers to deliver the workshops.

“In this curricula every chapter begins with a native concept and traditional cultural stories about managing resources, like how rare shells were once an important form of currency,” Oldman-John said.

She started her social work career at the micro level delivering one-on-one services to clients in Child Protective Services and Head Start.

“I wanted to move to the macro level – the big picture where you can affect broader change like building financial literacy,” Oldman-John said.

She started the Highlands MSW program in 2002.

“The thing that helped me most in the MSW program was learning about policy development because everything in organizations relates to policy, from finances to affecting change,” Oldman-John said.

She said the professors at the Highlands Rio Rancho Center were very supportive, making it possible to complete her degree while juggling family responsibilities and full-time work.

“I’ll never forget when I became pregnant as a graduate student and considered quitting. Dr. Julius Harrington urged me to stay in school and said to bring my baby to class, which I did,” Oldman-John.

While she was born in Cleveland, Oldman-John was raised primarily on the Navajo reservation in St. Michaels, Arizona.

“My parents were both born on the Navajo reservation and sent to Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding schools. The placement program sent them to Cleveland where my father was a welder and my mother was an administrative assistant. Like many native people they didn’t like the city and came home to their Navajo roots.

“Being Navajo has always grounded me in my work. Just one example is how in the Navajo way, good listening is highly valued and you don’t interrupt. Intentional listening is an essential skill that influences every part of my world, from my interaction with clients to family and friends,” Oldman-John said.