A Message From The Office of Tribal Relations: DCYF Updates

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A Message From the Office of Tribal Relations

Oct. 12, 2021

Tribal Resources for JR Youth


A special thanks to Darius a youth at a Juvenile Rehabilitation (JR) facility that was brave enough to share his strength and personal story of being incarcerated and having tribal resources available to him at the 2nd Annual Indigenous Children, Youth, and Families (ICYF) Conference. His incarceration was improved knowing and having the tribal connections available at his facility.   

JR is looking for tribal partners, members, and the community to volunteer their time to educate their youth population – just having tribal connections can make a youth's experience less lonely and can make a huge impact like it did with Darius! 

Please contact Brandy Otto, Tribal Relations, for more information.

Centennial Accord

October 26-27, 2021, marks the 32nd year of the presentation and entry of the Washington State Centennial Accord, a statement of re-commitment between the State of Washington and the Federally Recognized Tribes of Washington in their government to government relationships. 

This year, the Accord will be hosted at Squaxin Island, but will also be available to view on Zoom. Visit www.goia.wa.gov for updates.

In This Issue:

Job Opportunities

Seattle Public Schools: Creative Advantage Project Manager, Visual and Performing Arts.

University of Washington Tacoma: Assistant Professor, Native American Education.

Washington Courts: Early Childhood Court Statewide Coordinator.

Youth Engagement Specialist (YES) Team

Echo Glen started a new program this year which is aimed at reducing room confinement. The Youth Engagement Specialist (YES) team supports the school, cottages, and the volunteer programs on campus. They support the cottages by structuring programs during times residents would normally be in their rooms and they assist staff teams by giving them time for treatment work. During school, the team supports classroom expectations by getting commitments from residents and working with them in the moment so they are not sent out of the classroom for behavioral issues. In addition to these responsibilities, the YES team helps oversee some of the volunteer programs that promote pro-social skills and development – all things that will assist and motivate residents to program positively, leading to less room confinement time.

Green Hill Youth Wins National Talent Competition


Green Hill youth, Tim, wins a national talent competition against hundreds!

Performance-based Standards (PbS), a DCYF partner and nationwide juvenile justice standards organization, held video auditions across the country for young people with lived experience in juvenile justice. Six Green Hill School youth advanced as finalists in the annual PbS Kids Got Talent contest, competing against hundreds of talent submissions from other juvenile justice facilities across the nation. But it was 20-year-old Green Hill resident Tim who won the entire competition with an original song titled “Explícame,” backed by acoustic guitar.

"He has one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard in my life," said Superintendent Jennifer Redman.

See Tim's performance and read the story here.

A Reminder About Halloween

"There is always a dance between the oppressed and their oppressors, in this case there is a dance between Native Americans and Americans of this country. Natives who exist in both worlds have the honor and responsibility to continue educating Native and non-Natives on the historical trauma and unresolved grief from our painful past."

"I am NOT a costume!" was a homework assignment in a social psychology course. Using creative tools to persuade others to agree with your stand.”

Watch Noel Altaha’s moving stand: I am NOT a costume.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Opportunity for College Students: If you are a Junior or Senior in college, you may be eligible for an internship with the Washington State Legislature. Work, learn, and serve during the Legislative Session. This is a great experience and would be a highlight on your resume. Applications for the 2022 session are open now with a priority deadline of Oct. 15 and a final deadline of Oct. 20. Apply here.

Funding Opportunities

  • Department of Commerce WA Balance of State Rural Youth Lead Project: Commerce is initiating this Request for Proposals (RFP) to solicit proposals from organizations interested in participating in a project on behalf of the Washington Balance of State (BoS) Continuum of Care (CoC) for the purpose of determining sub-recipients of the Youth Lead Project. Commerce will allocate resources to successful bidders through a direct grant agreement. The grants will be awarded in rural communities in the Washington BoS CoC. Learn more and view the RFP here.
  • Tribal Program Grant Opportunity: The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction has grant funds to offer another round of two-year grants to support Tribal language programs. The purpose of this grant is to provide seed funds to plan and build capacity for effective, sustainable P-12 Tribal language programs. Grant opportunity: $60,000 grant, up to 18 grants will be awarded for this amount to be spent over the 2021-23 fiscal years. The grant application will be available in EDS iGrants. Contact Patty Finnegan if you have any questions or would like more information.

Conferences and Training Opportunities

  • Oct. 15, 11 a.m. to Noon, Considerations for Culturally Centering Evidence-Based Treatments among American Indian and Alaska Native Communities
    with Dr. Kait Hirchak. 
    Research on cultural adaptations of substance use disorder interventions among racially and ethnically diverse adults is both increasing and promising. In this webinar, Dr. Kait Hirchak will highlight two case studies to describe re-centering evidence-based treatments for substance use disorder in partnership with American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. She will also discuss the importance and process of community-based participatory research, and the need for additional effectiveness studies as well as dissemination and implementation efforts to improve treatment outcomes for AI/AN adults participating in culturally adapted interventions. Register here.
  • Oct. 19, 12 p.m., Panel Discussion on Cultural Connectedness and Trauma-Informed Care. Cultural connectedness is one of the strongest protective factors for American Indian youth. A panel of experts from the National Native Children’s Trauma Center will discuss the essential role of cultural connectedness in providing trauma-informed care to Tribal youth. Register here.
  • Oct. 21, Nov. 16, and Dec. 9, Fall 2021 Since Time Immemorial Tribal Sovereignty Curriculum Introductory Training Webinars. Learn more here.
  • Oct. 25, 1-4:30 p.m., Virtual Washington ICWA Court Summit. The Washington ICWA Court Summit is hosted by Washington Administrative Office of the CourtsCasey Family Programs, and National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. This gathering is about capturing the requirements and spirit of the ICWA by improving Tribal collaborations and involvement in the court. View the Agenda | Register Here.
  • Oct. 27, 9 a.m., Harvard University Native American Program Indigenous Health and Well-Being Colloquium Series. "The Role of Research and Data in Advancing American Indian and Alaska Native Health Policy," with speaker Yvette Roubideaux, MD, MPH director of the Policy Research Center at the National Congress of American Indians. Learn more and join here.
  • Nov. 5-7, Exploring College Emerging Leaders "EXCEL." EXCEL is a Native American college prep camp for Native American high school juniors and seniors. Download the FlyerApply Here.
  • Nov. 9-10, Indian Child Welfare Act Qualified Expert Witness (QEW) Training. The Oregon Department of Human Services Tribal Affairs Unit and DCYF Office of Tribal Relations are co-hosting a virtual QEW training. The training is aimed at building a foundation for states and tribes to provide QEW testimony on child welfare cases involving tribal children and families. Download the Flyer | Download the Registration Form.
  • Dec. 6, 1-3 p.m., Building Family Partnerships (BFP) Statewide Virtual Convening. The BFP recently concluded a series of five statewide listening sessions with the parent, foster parent, relative-kin caregivers, alumni, and DCYF staff communities. This project sought to hear directly from individuals who have experience with the child welfare system on how to improve and support partnerships between parents and caregivers in Washington State. The BFP Convening will showcase representatives from each lived experience community presenting the overarching themes and recommendations to a leadership panel comprised of child welfare stakeholders, including DCYF leaders, legislative representatives, and court partners. The leadership panel and each lived experience representative will have the opportunity to engage in open dialogue about the themes and recommendations. Register here.