The ANA Messenger: Social Development Edition
ACF/ANA Two Day Training
On June 1 and 4, 2012, ANA held a two-day training for all ACF staff titled “Working with Native Communities” in response to an employee-driven desire to learn more about the federal-tribal relationship, regional history, and strengths and challenges within native communities. Over 115 ACF and HHS staff attended the training.
The first day of training, themed “Laying the Context,” included a presentation of cultural stories, a cross-regional historic timeline of Native American affairs, and a discussion of contemporary social issues faced by native people. The second day, themed “Application,” provided strategies for cross-cultural communication, outlined native values and strengths that ACF programs can build upon, described the federal and tribal government-to-government relationship, and highlighted resources available to ACF program offices working with native communities.
Drawing on decades of experience living and working in native communities, ANA’s Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA) providers, Kesley Edmo, Robert Parisian, Candi Carmi, Anthony Caole, and Keone Nunes, provided a wealth of information on the federal government’s evolving relationship with native people. The T/TA providers described how federal policy eras of treaty-making, removal, reservation establishment, allotment, reorganization, termination, and self-determination affected native people in the lower 48, Pacific Island, and Alaska regions differently. The social assets of native people were emphasized thereby illustrating areas that ACF programs may consider when creating policy and funding opportunities, such as strength, resiliency, the support system of extended families, and pride in cultural traditions.
ANA Commissioner, Lillian Sparks, presented on the government-to-government relationship, highlighting ACF’s commitment to recognizing tribal sovereignty through established processes and infrastructure, such as: ACF Tribal Consultation, the Intradepartmental Council for Native American Affairs, ACF Tribal Initiatives, Tribal Resource Day and the Native American Affairs Advisory Committee.
Stacey Ecoffey, Principal Advisor for Tribal Affairs at the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Immediate Office of the Secretary at HHS, presented on the important work of the Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee and elaborated further on the tribal consultation process. Kimberly Romine, Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist at ANA; Sheila Cooper, Senior Advisor for Tribal Affairs at SAMHSA; and Steve Henigson, Regional Administrator for ACF Region 10, also provided an overview of resources available to ACF program offices. Resources include the ACF Native Grantee Meeting, SAMHSA Culture Cards and the Go Learn Portal online training on “Working Effectively with Tribal Governments” (available at no cost at http://tribal.golearnportal.org).Training participants completed evaluations; respondents expressed appreciation for “the panel’s wisdom, honesty and speaking from heart and head,” “learning how to be more culturally competent,” and learning communication “do's and dont's from the various speakers.”