A Message From The Office of Tribal Relations: DCYF Updates

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A Message From the Office of Tribal Relations

November 8, 2019

November is Native American
Heritage Month

Indigenous peoples have overcome many hardships over many years and now hold a vital cultural, political, social and moral presence in our society. Tribal Nations are distinct sovereign Nations who are “partners” with the State of Washington. We honor Native American Heritage Month by acknowledging the indigenous people who have stewarded these lands since time immemorial.

It is a month to recognize the indigenous collectivist way of life rather than an individualist way of life. Valuing community and family and coming together. Indigenous people were never a singular people but always considered themselves as a collective that lived, worked and communicated collaboratively in everything, in life. They created an atmosphere of teamwork that relied on each other and inter-personal relationships were highly valued.

A common Squaxin term, “kwedigwsaltxw,” means to “walk with gratitude.” It is a holistic look at the world to value our surroundings and be thankful. Also to value honesty, respect, compassion and empathy. The indigenous “7 generations mindset” is the obligation and want to protect future generations; to acknowledge and respect the past; and to be “present” by living in “kwedigwsaltxw.”

November is commonly thought of as a month of giving thanks and family; it is also a fitting time to acknowledge the heritage, culture, history and way of life of our Native American friends.

Read Governor Inslee's proclamation on Native American Heritage Month and Native American Heritage Day.

Upcoming Events

Nov. 13: DCYF Learning Sessions in Tacoma and Spokane

Nov. 13: ICW Subcommittee, 9 a.m. Meeting Number: 803 706 652, password: Tribal

Nov. 14: IPEL meeting in Olympia, 9 a.m. Meeting Number: 808 444 752, password: mupaBqFW 

Nov. 29: Native American Heritage Day

Job Announcements

Indigenous Curriculum Consultant, part-time/temporary

Public Health Project Coordinator, National Indian Health Board (Washington D.C.)

Pacific Mountain Workforce Development, My Journey Out Beyond (MyJOB) Program Manager

DCYF Updates

DCYF and OSPI Are Working Together to Better Understand How to Support Effective Kindergarten Transition Practices in Washington

Entering kindergarten is a big milestone for children and their families. And when kindergartners arrive feeling welcome and excited, they are more likely to find success in school. A smooth transition to kindergarten calls for families, schools, early learning programs and communities to work together to provide the best pathway for every child, beginning long before the first day of kindergarten.

Input is being gathered from stakeholders and partners across the state to illustrate what kindergarten transition commonly looks like in Washington, discover what unique transition practices have been developed in specific communities and illuminate barriers and challenges to providing effective transitions for children and families – particularly those further from opportunity.

We are reaching out to our tribal partners specifically because we believe that native communities’ strengths are key to understanding how to support effective kindergarten transitions. Viewing transition as a process, rather than a single point in time, allows us to consider the interactions and relationships among schools, programs, families and community as they relate to a child’s experience.

There will be a presentation and opportunity for discussion and input at the November 14 IPEL meeting. We appreciate the opportunity to share our work with you and hope you will feel inspired to share your stories and thoughts regarding kindergarten transitions.

DCYF Welcomes New Assistant Secretary of Child Welfare Field Operations

DCYF welcomes Kwesi Booker as the Assistant Secretary of Child Welfare Field Operations. Kwesi will begin his position with the agency on December 1.

Booker has more than 20 years of experience working in child welfare and began his career in 1998 as a group home case manager in New York City.

Read More

#GenIndigenous Response Fund 
Grant Application is Due Nov. 11

GenIndigenous graphic

Native Americans in Philanthropy is very excited to announce that the 2019 grant application period for the #GenIndigenous Response Fund is now open.

All Native-led non-profit organizations that support Native youth organizing are encouraged to apply.

The purpose of the grant is to provide responsive funding to support youth organizing and activism that requires immediate response across communities. This Response Fund bridges funders and organizers to support youth organizing and a collective commitment to systemic change and social justice in Indigenous communities.

The grant application deadline is Monday, November 11, 2019. 

Apply Now

Webinars and Training Opportunities

  • Nov. 12 at 10 a.m.: The Easy Basics of Telehealth and Telemedicine. This webinar, part of a recurring series, is intended as introductory training for health care and health education groups that have an interest in using telehealth. Click here to register.
  • Nov. 12 from 3-4:30 p.m.: National Native American Heritage Month - Celebrating School Readiness in Tribal Early Childhood Programs Across the United States. The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is pleased to announce a webinar focused on tribes’ school readiness efforts. This webinar will celebrate National Native American Heritage Month by highlighting steps taken by tribes in their work to support children and families for success in school and beyond. This webinar will also include information about national, regional and state-level support, research and resources to strengthen efforts by American Indian and Alaska Native early childhood programs as they implement culturally responsive school readiness strategies in their tribal communities. Click here to register.
  • Nov. 18-20 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: The National Judicial Institute on Domestic Child Sex Trafficking. The interactive format enables judges from different jurisdictions and with varying levels of experience to learn from one another. The workshop is led by a faculty team of experienced judges and other experts from across the country who have pioneered work on domestic child sex trafficking in the courtroom and beyond. Click here to register.
  • May 1-2, 2020 in Seattle at the University of Washington: "The Living Breath of wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ" Indigenous Foods and Ecological Knowledge Symposium. This symposium brings people together to share knowledge on topics such as traditional foods, plants, and medicines; environmental and food justice; food sovereignty/security; health and wellness; treaty rights. Click here for more information.