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Tribal Affairs

ACF Tribal logoWelcome to the Administration for Children and Families’ Tribal and Native American Resources page.  Here you will find information about ACF's work on behalf of Native American children, families and communities including upcoming events or trainings, federal funding opportunities, and resources of interest to Tribal and Native communities.  ACF is committed to working with Tribal Governments in building strong partnerships for our programs and the services they provide.  ACF provides the largest amount of funding to Native Americans located throughout the nation and the territories of Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Marianna Islands outside of the funds provided by the Indian Health Service.  Out of a budget of $50 Billion, ACF awards on the average $647 Million to Native Americans through programs like Head Start, Child Care, TANF, LIHEAP, Child Support and the Administration for Native Americans, to name a few.

By Federal Register notice of December 5, 2016, the Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans was elevated to the dual role of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Native American Affairs. The incumbent serving in this dual role is responsible for handling a variety of assignments requiring knowledge and expertise in advising the Assistant Secretary, ACF, in the formulation of policy views, positions, and implementation strategies related to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Americans as delineated in the Native American Programs Act (NAPA). The incumbent also serves as a key liaison and representative to all ACF program and staff offices on behalf of the Assistant Secretary related to tribal and Native American Affairs.


MMNA Framework


FINAL ACF FRAMEWORK imageMissing and Murdered Native Americans (MMNA) – A Public Health Framework for Action

This Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF) Framework on MMNA is one of the early contributions of the Task Force and will contribute to the coordination of health and human services policies and programs to help Native American women, men, children, families, and communities address the consequences of this tragic problem. The Framework is an essential component of the nation’s comprehensive response to the victimization of Native American individuals, and was informed by the voices of federal and tribal leaders, elected Native American state officials, human services programs, urban Indian organizations, and local advocates for Native American issues.









2020 ACF GM - MMNA Group Photo

The Operation Lady Justice Task Force aims to enhance the operation of the criminal justice system, bring awareness through public education campaigns, and address the legitimate concerns of American Indian and Alaska Native communities regarding missing and murdered Native people. Administration for Native Americans Commissioner Jeannie Hovland has been appointed to the OLJ Task Force to represent HHS.



Commissioner Jeannie Hovland met with South Dakota Public Broadcasting on Thursday, June 11th to bring awareness to Missing and Murdered Native Americans. Visit South Dakota Public Broadcasting online to hear the interview.

Fortune is an American multinational business magazine headquartered in New York City. Commissioner Jeannie Hovland worked with Fortune Magazine to shed light on the crisis of Missing and Murdered Native Americans. Visit Fortune online to read the Op-Ed.

Commissioner Jeannie Hovland and Rear Adm. Michael D. Weahkee share the importance of bringing attention to Missing and Murdered Native Americans. Native communities have high rates of domestic violence, sexual assault, murder, and human trafficking. Together we can raise awareness and help end this crisis.

May 5th is National Missing and Murdered Native American Awareness Day. To celebrate Shinnecock artist Khali Nix drew this beautiful image to showcase the many Native communities that exist and are dealing with the crisis of Missing and Murdered Native Americans. This graphic was shared with hundreds of people and reached 12,000 individuals on social media. Follow Khali Nix on instagram to see more of her work, @Nix_Design.MMNA Awarness Day Graphic

Staff wearing read in photo to the right: On National Missing and Murdered Native American Awareness Day ANA staff showed solidarity by wearing red to help bring awareness to the crisis. MMNA Day Staff In Red








MMNA Day InfographicThe National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that more than 1.5 million American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced violence, including sexual violence, in their lifetimes. Help to bring awareness and protect Native communities by visiting the Strong Hearts Native Helpline, which assists victims in crisis through safety planning, emotional support, and connection to local resources. Strong Hearts Native Helpline is included on this infographic. Please share with your community to help bring awareness, download infographic here





Jeannie Hovland's MMNA interview

Commissioner Jeannie Hovland is is a member of the Operation Lady Justice Task force - OLJ. This past May and June the OLJ Task Force hosted four listening session that welcomed open discussion with tribal leaders and communities to voice their concerns and bring awareness to what each tribal nation faces when dealing with the crisis of MMNA. Each session brought eye opening knowledge to the Task Force that has been helpful to complete their mission of working to end the crisis.

“We have to hear firsthand what Native Communities are facing. To help end the Missing and Murdered Native American crisis it’s imperative that the communities affected are included in the process. Hearing from the different Native communities during the listening session has been immensely helpful and each and everyone that participated has been heard. We are honoring your concerns and working to end the crisis” - Commissioner Jeannie Hovland

Working with Tribal Leaders

  • Tribal Advisory Committee (TAC) supports the Acting Assistant Secretary as he carries out his duties and responsibilities that affect Native Americans.  ACF TAC Membership List.  Recently the TAC approved the attached ACF TAC ACF TAC Charter and ACF TAC Rules of Order.
  • ACF Is soliciting for new TAC members to fill in vacancies. Please see the attached Solicitation Letter for more information about how you can become a part of the Committee
  • Tribal Consultation  ACF is required to consult with Indian Tribes in accordance with E.O. 13175 and President Obama’s memorandum of November 9, 2010.  ACF has a ACF Tribal Consultation Policy that aligns with the HHS Tribal Consultation Policy and annually we hold a consultation session.  ACF posts our written response to testimony below under "Spotlight".
  • ACF developed Principles for Working with Federally Recognized Tribes as a supplement to our consultation policy. These principles establish a policy standard governing ACF’s relationships with federally recognized Indian tribes.  They are designed to build upon, complement ACF’s Tribal Consultation Policy, and to articulate ACF’s commitment to promote and sustain strong government-to-government relationships, foster Indian self-determination, support tribal sovereignty, and to demonstrate transparency in ACF’s actions as public servants.
  • In January 2017, ACF published in the Federal Register a Request for information to identify issues and challenges facing AI/AN populations as well as inform ACF of tribe’s and tribal organizations’ recommendations, promising practices, and innovations to address the needs of AI/AN children, youth, families, and communities. Here is the Dear Tribal Leader Letter was sent out providing an analysis to the tribal input.

Tribal Initiatives at ACF

     Intra-Agency Work

  • Native American Affairs Advisory Council (NAAAC): At the Council, we share information about what is happening within each office and within HHS that may affect Native American communities, and coordinate activities.  The NAAAC is responsible for the Native American Affairs Liaisons who serve as tribal liaisons and are the points of contact on tribal related matters affecting their programs.


  • Looking for economic development resources?  ACF has funding available from the Administration for Native Americans, Office of Family Assistance, and Office of Community Services. See our ACF Economic Development Resource Guide.
  • For information about the impact of the ACA on Native Americans, please visit our Healthy Tribes page.



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