The ANA Messenger: Social Development Edition
ANA Grantee Meeting & ACF Tribal and Native American Conference
Grantees were greeted in an opening plenary by Acting Assistant Secretary, George Sheldon this summer as the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) held their annual grantee meeting in conjunction with the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) hosting of their Native American conference. This event took place at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center from June 5th through June 8th.
Information, listening sessions, and networking opportunities were all part of the four day event. A sampling of topics included: ideas for sustainability of projects after federal funding has ended, economic development through asset building, developing support for youth experiencing trauma, capacity building within your community, a basic understanding of the agencies within ACF and what they have to offer, and understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community issues. The ANA grantee poster session was well attended, and enjoyed, as grantees socialized with each other and gained understanding of projects taking place in other native communities.
Plenary sessions offered an overview of ACF’s commitment to understanding the needs of Native American communities and partnering to meet those needs. We also heard from Valerie Davidson, the Chair of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Tribal Advisory Group about how important partnerships are across the HHS family, with a presentation on educating Indian Country about Medicaid and Medicare eligibility as a way to stretch available healthcare dollars. Anna Whiting Sorrell inspired us to work together (across departments, and across party lines) to achieve great things for our children. Carrie McMillan from Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) demonstrated how CITC is putting into operation their motto of “People, Partnerships, and Potential” to serve 40,000 eligible members in their service area. On the last day we learned about current research being funded by ACF’s Office of Program Research and Evaluation and learned why we should never give up on our people with personal reflections by Chaske Spencer.
The four days provided a great deal of useful information for grantees. Comments received from those in attendance demonstrated their appreciation for the event. Some comments included:
From the agency perspective, it was exciting to interact with all our grantees and see the exceptional efforts put forward on behalf of the communities. ANA and ACF look forward to hosting this event in conjunction with each other in the future. Both agencies have benefitted from the experience and will look to feedback from grantees to continue strengthening the event and processes.