The ANA Messenger: Social Development Edition
Carmelia (Mia) Strickland,
Director of the Division of Program Operations
Carmelia (Mia) Strickland has more than 15 years of professional experience in the financial assistance field. She comes to our office from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) where she worked as a Grants Policy Advisor in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Division of Financial Assistance Policy and Oversight. Prior to working for DHS, Ms. Strickland worked within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Secretary, Office of Grants Policy and Oversight for more than six years. Ms. Strickland started her career with HHS when she was chosen to be in the Emerging Leaders Program.
Ms. Strickland worked in the private sector at the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), a non-profit organization representing the nation’s Tribal Colleges and Universities. While at AIHEC, she managed several grant awards from HHS agencies and also the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to help build the capacity of the Tribal Colleges. She was able to gain invaluable experience in grant operations while working for a government contractor, CSR, Incorporated, where she helped process grant applications and assist in the grant panel review process for dozens of federal programs.
Ms. Strickland started her career as a Legislative Assistant for a Member of Congress where she developed an appreciation for federal assistance programs, especially for policy and programs that affected Native communities. Ms. Strickland attended the University of South Florida, Tampa, for two years and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland – College Park. She is a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and has one son who is a 2012 high school graduate. She is the oldest daughter of W.J. and Barbara Strickland, both enrolled members of the Lumbee Tribe.
Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma
Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma’s (ESTO) project focuses on diabetes prevention and education services. The program currently has four areas of participation. The specific purpose of the Eastern Shawnee Diabetes Program is to address the high rate of diabetes among the Eastern Shawnee that will serve the elders and other community members. One of the main goals is to prevent the onset of diabetes in the Tribe and community, identify diabetes early in the disease process, and alleviate complications in the lives of those who have diabetes by promoting a healthy lifestyle.
To help combat this epidemic, the Eastern Shawnee Diabetes Program has established successful walking and machine-assisted programs. There are currently a total of 56 individuals enrolled in these programs. Forty-two of the individuals who participate in the programs have been successful in achieving weight loss and meeting their personal goals.
In an effort to keep physical activity fun and exciting, ESTO sponsored a variety of activities. One event, the “Elder Olympics,” consisted of ladder ball, basketball shoot, ring toss and Wii Bowling, to name a few. Having these periodic activities in place of their normal workout helps to keep their interest. Another event everyone enjoys is the elder dances; a monthly dance hosted for those who participate in the exercise programs. ESTO staff tries to teach a different dance each time, such as, the waltz, the stroll, and various line dances.
ESTO has garden beds and some individuals involved in the program have a raised garden bed at their home. The Eastern Shawnee Diabetes Program provides a way for the production of healthy fruits and vegetables that many tribal members find too costly to purchase. By providing raised-bed garden plots, participants can grow fruits and vegetables, contributing to lifestyle changes that may prevent or alleviate diabetes problems. Currently ESTO has a total of 50 participants partaking in the raised garden beds.
The fourth activity ESTO hosts is a monthly meal prepared by a registered dietitian and served to the participants in the tribal nutrition center. An average of 60 individuals attend the dinners and hear the dietitian’s health tips and advice. The dinners are provided to help demonstrate proper food portions and to help educate in choosing proper foods to prevent and control diabetes.ESTO feels very fortunate that ANA provides funding to help combat the growing diabetes epidemic. The Tribe feels successful in their efforts in these programs.
The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
The Grand Traverse Band (GTB) of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians is located in the northwest section of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The tribe is composed of 3,982 members, 46 percent of whom live on the reservation or within the tribe’s six-county service area. GTB recently completed a five year Strengthening Families grant from ANA in September of 2011.
Diabetes, obesity, depression, drug abuse and addiction, and achievement gaps in children’s reading and math scores are prevalent in the GTB community. In addition, a disproportionately higher percentage of natives in GTB’s service region are unmarried when compared to other races. GTB believes poor socioeconomic conditions in the community are related to a lack of stable, committed relationships in families; thus, they sought to provide healthy relationships training for tribal members.
The project’s purpose was to increase family well-being by improving the relationship skills of adults and youth in the GTB community. The first two objectives were to train GTB behavioral health clinicians in the evidence-based relationship curriculum Practical Application of Intimate Relationship Skills (PAIRS) for youth and adult populations. The PAIRS curriculum includes five levels of expertise. Levels one and two provide a basis of general relationship health training that allows trainers to extend the curriculum to a variety of age groups. As the levels progress, the trainers gain more precise knowledge on building intimacy within couples and are certified to teach specific curricula. By the project’s third year, five clinicians completed training in levels one and two of the PAIRS curriculum and three clinicians completed levels one through five; these three clinicians maintained their certification throughout the project. In addition to PAIRS training, staff also attended a training provided by the Native Wellness Institute on culturally appropriate relationship-building activities in native communities.
The third objective was to improve relationships among adult couples in the community. Capitalizing on the advanced training staff received, the project director created a 10-week workshop series called PAIRS for LIFE for adult couples that integrated lessons from the PAIRS and Native Wellness curricula, culminating in a “Passion Weekend” retreat. Seven cohorts, totaling 155 adults, participated in the 10-week training. Project staff held three Passion Weekend retreats for 155 adults, where couples made vows of commitment and participated in elements of a traditional marriage ceremony. Ninety-five percent of PAIRS for LIFE participants responded on post-workshop surveys that they learned important skills they can apply to their relationships.
The fourth objective was to teach lessons from the PAIRS curricula to youth and provide them with interpersonal skills to improve their relationships. The clinicians held six 10-week sessions for 30 at-risk youth living in substance abuse foster homes. In addition to participating in classroom instruction, the youth took part in a ropes challenge course where they learned to rely on each other and participate in teamwork exercises. The youth also learned the native tradition of smudging, burning sage and sweet grass to bring in positivity and push out negativity, before each session.
This project skillfully incorporated cultural practices and wisdom into a non-culturally specific evidence-based curriculum. During the Passion Weekend, couples participated in native traditions to solidify their commitment. They received one bowl, to signify they are a unified couple and no longer two separate people, and they braided sweet grass as a symbol for braiding each others’ hair, to demonstrate trust. They also received a native Pendleton blanket, wrapped around them both, to symbolize walking together through life. Learning about these traditions gave couples a cultural model of healthy relationships they could connect to, and non-native spouses gained a deeper appreciation for their spouses’ native identity. The PAIRS curriculum also taught them valuable skills of conflict resolution and healthy interdependency.
Several PAIRS participants indicated a desire to attend the PAIRS classes again or to come in for one-on-one counseling. GTB has also secured a SAMHSA (Substance and Mental Health Services Administration) grant, which includes a funding allotment for relationship training. With community interest and financial support in place, the tribe will be able to sustain its healthy relationship program.
Let's Move - One Year Later
Last year at this time, ANA staff and program specialists were learning the latest news about the First Lady’s new initiative, Let’s Move! in Indian Country. At ANA we understand that health and wellness is essential to economic and social wellbeing. Many of the projects we support also happen to have a healthy foods or physical activity component, whether it is encouraging a return to traditional foods to combat diabetes or finding fun activities to serve at-risk youth, or expanding a language program into physical education activities, our grantees proved to us that they could make Let’s Move! a part of the important work they are already doing. We hope you will enjoy learning about what these six communities did and get inspired to incorporate health and nutrition components into your ANA projects where possible.
Click here to watch the First Lady talk about Let's Move In Indian Country.
The Eastern Shawnee Let’s Move! in Indian Country
We enlisted 10 children living in the ESTO Housing Complex to assist elders working in raised-bed gardens that are provided by the ANA Diabetes Prevention Program.
Activity two consisted of providing a six-week after-school physical education program for students in the Wyandotte Elementary School. Provided healthy snacks to the children and provided nutritional information to the children. Donate all of the supplies and the school system now implements physical activity into their after school program.
Activity three was we sponsored a summer baseball and football program for elementary school-age children. The equipment that we provided will help the baseball and football leagues for many years to come.
Chickaloon Let’s Move! in Indian Country
Ya Ne Dah Ah Day Camp July 5, 2011 through August 11, 2011. The goal of the day camp was to include the physical aspects of our culture to promote a healthier lifestyle among our people. This summer included trout fishing (C’etnełgets’) at Ravine Lake, making of birch bark baskets (K’elts’axi), construction of a fish trap (Tiz’aani), building of a steambath (Sezel), and identifying plants and berry picking (Gigi ‘unesbae). All of the cultural activities were designed to teach youth about survival skills and how to physically live off of the land that we live on.
Riverside’s Let’s Move! in Indian Country
We collaborated with the diabetes department in hosting the Morongo Canyon walk. A total of 48 people participated in the walk. Some finished 1 mile, some 2 and a few completed the 8 miles.
Morongo tribe participated in a cycling event. Before the event tribal members received education on the importance of daily physical activity and good nutrition. Tribal members then cycled around the tribal reservation covering an average of 9 miles. 28 tribal members participated in the cycling event
We organized a night side basket ball tournament for the Fort Mohave tribe in Needles, CA. The tournament ran for 8 weeks. A total of 150 youths and adults participated in the event. This was an inter-generational activity.
The president’s 8 week challenge was done with participants from schools and different tribes. At the Chemehuevi tribe a total of 19 people participated; at Nicolet High School a total of 38 students participated; and at the Soboba tribe 30 people participated. All participants were given forms to detail their physical activities and they brought back the forms after 8 weeks. The event started with an education session about the Let’s Move initiative and the importance of physical activity for one’s health.
After funding ended for the Let’s Move the fitness specialists continued doing fitness programs in the communities. A schedule has been developed in which the fitness specialist visits different tribes doing fitness activities. Furthermore, we continue to network with Inter-Tribal Sport. These has proved to be a vital sustainability initiative as most Native youth like sports and are always willing to participate in sporting activities.
Native Village of Afognak’s Let’s Move! in Indian Country
We took two primary goals with our supplement; the first was to educate our youth on how to make healthier choices when deciding what to eat. Our second goal was to educate our campers on the health benefits of our traditional foods and how to benefit from eating our foods year round. We used the Let’s Move supplement funding to purchase a vacuum sealer and two pressure cookers, so we could incorporate activities at camp on preserving our foods in order to eat them year round. Both of these activities are easily sustainable throughout our camps.
Niigaane Ojibwemowin Immersion Let’s Move! in Indian Country
American Indian Child Resource Center Let’s Move! in Indian CountryWe are delighted to offer Oakland Native youth unique adventures to help them expand their horizons, build confidence and stay healthy. We chose activities that students have specifically limited access to and structured into our program a process of activity mastery. So far our activities have included horseback riding, rock-climbing, kayaking, swimming, fieldtrips and team adventures. It’s been one of our best summers yet!
September 18, 2012
September 18, 2012
September 24-27, 2012
September 26, 2012
October 2-3, 2012
October 18-20, 2012
October 21-26, 2012
November 7-9, 2012
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.
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.”
ANA 2012 Panel Review
The annual panel review effort for ANA has come to a close. This year ANA conducted a panel review of applications submitted under the Environmental Regulatory Enhancement (24 applications), Language Preservation and Maintenance (101 applications), and Esther Martinez Initiative (14 applications) Funding Opportunity Announcements early in the month of March. The Social and Economic Development Strategies (203 applications) panel review followed from the end of March to mid-April. These two review sessions were conducted via a hybrid method. Panelists accessed applications offsite to begin reading and scoring, then met briefly in Baltimore, Maryland to conduct their panel discussions and finalize application scores. Sixty-four facilitators and reviewers participated in the first session, and 100 participated in the second session. Panel members were from all regions of the country, including Alaska and the Pacific Basin.
As always, ANA feels tremendous gratitude toward the community members who spend their time reading and reviewing applications, then discussing them thoughtfully amongst their peers. ANA is always so appreciative of the hard work and dedication of our facilitators and reviewers. During these onsite discussion sessions there is always an opportunity to network, meet with old friends and new, and share amongst each other our various cultures.
At the close of our two hybrid sessions, we enjoyed a presentation from two of our grantees, who also served as reviewers. Terrie Kinsley, from the Sac and Fox Nation, reminded all of us there are people attached to these applications, community people hoping for funding to do the work needed in each community. Terrie discussed her Master Apprentice language project. The ongoing theme for this presentation focused on how these projects are about the people we serve, not just some statistic we are reading on paper. There is a dire need to capture the language of our communities and to ensure it is preserved. The elders are a precious resource in passing down this information, and unless the communities take action, this precious information will be lost. Ms. Kinsey went on to present the many faces of learning in the Sac and Fox language program which was a spectrum of the younger generation to the elders of the Sac and Fox Community.
Eddie Halealoha Ayau shared the social development project, Hui Ho’oniho, from his community, a comprehensive masonry teaching curriculum to restore and build contemporary structures in Native Hawaiian communities. This project was to restore traditional cultural stone structures and sites in disrepair and build contemporary cultural structures and sites. Participants attended workshops where masons taught and filmed stone-setting techniques; the footage was used to develop a Hawaiian masonry curriculum. Halealoha shared the DVD with our panel review participants. It helps bring to view full circle the end product from one of the groups, which began as an application read in previous years.
This year ANA also conducted a panel review session entirely offsite. Applications submitted under the Native Assets Building Initiative (6 applications) and Tribal Governance Funding Opportunity Announcements (47 applications) were reviewed during this recently concluded session. Twenty-eight reviewers and facilitators received access to applications on June 29th and completed their reviews July 16th.
ANA received 450 new grant applications with a total demand for funding exceeding $250 million. The table below shows the number of applications received and funding requested (for the duration of the projects) by Funding Opportunity Announcement.
Notice Soliciting Peer Reviewers (Field Readers)
The U.S. Department of Education (ED), Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA), Native American and Alaska Native Children in School program (NAM) is seeking peer reviewers (field readers) with experience in English as a Second Language and American Indian/ Alaska Native Education programs to read and evaluate discretionary grant applications for FY 2013.
If you are available to commit, read 2 applications (maximum 35 pages each) per day, and available to panel every day, please email your resume providing information about your educational background and expertise, technology skills, grant reading history, and program experience history to Yvonne.Mathieu@ed.gov.
Vendors and individuals who do business with the Department must also register in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) System and acquire a DUNS number. The CCR is maintained by the Department of Defense. It is a Web-based database of business information on more than 290,000 registered vendors. It is well established, well known, widely used, and provides for fast, free and easy registration. Please read the information regarding vendor registration in the CCR.
The NAM program will be using the G5 e-Reader System www.g5.gov the Department's electronic field reading system to review grant applications.
Field readers must have the following in order to use G5 e-Reader:
The application review process involves orientation, reading and evaluating applications, and discussions with other panelists. Panelists will evaluate and score applications using the U.S. Department of Education's published selection criteria. Selected field readers will receive a copy of each assigned application electronically. Some applications will be mailed to readers, if the applicant had an approved waiver. They will review applications at their home and enter comments and scores on each application electronically into the Department's G5 e-Reader database. Paneling of applications will be conducted through pre-scheduled telephone conference calls that require the participation of all panel members. All scores and comments must be entered into G5 e-Reader by the designated date. No travel to Washington, D.C. will be necessary.
Field readers will receive a flat fee honorarium for the entire review period based on the established number of reading days and applications. Since the number of reading days and applications to be reviewed may vary, you will be informed of the amount of the honorarium at the time of your selection as a field reader.
We will accept Resumes until November 1, 2012. Potential selected reviewers will be notified by email to schedule a telephone interview.