CB Letter to State and Tribal Leaders Regarding Families First and Kinship Funding


The Family First Transition Act authorized and appropriated $500 million for this new one-time grant to assist with implementation of FFPSA and other child welfare activities. The funding is available to all states, territories and tribes approved to receive grants * * * in light of the current public health emergency and the increased burdens facing child welfare agencies, the Children’s Bureau has determined that we will not require a separate application for this funding. Instead, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) will proceed to make awards to all eligible grantees as soon as possible. Acceptance of the grant by the agency will indicate its agreement to provide required programmatic and financial reports.

TLPI Tribal Healing to Wellness Court Webinar during the Pandemic


Fri, Apr 10, 2020 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT

The Tribal Law and Policy Institute (TLPI) in partnership with the Center for Court Innovation (CCI) will host a webinar providing guidance for Tribal Healing to Wellness Court programs in adapting treatment court operations during the COVID-19 crisis. A panel of Healing to Wellness Court practitioners will share how they have modified program operations in response to tribal, federal, state, and local mandates.

The webinar is scheduled for 2 hours: – For the first 30 minutes, the Tribal Law and Policy Institute and Center for Court Innovation staff will present information on priority responses to COVID-19, the use of technology, and Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) grant updates related to COVID-19; – The following 60 minutes will be reserved for panelists to share their experiences and program modifications related to court operations, treatment services, client engagement, and communication; – The last 30 minutes will be reserved for questions from webinar participants directed to panelists; – Unanswered questions will be used to inform a follow-up online event to provide a more in-depth sharing of modified Wellness Court practices as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

NAICJA Tribal Court/Pandemic Webinar Tomorrow


Administering Justice in Tribal Courts during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Rapid Response Webinar. Continuation Planning for Tribal Courts
The National American Indian Court Judges Association hosts its first rapid response practice webinar to assist courts to answer some questions related to administering justice in the middle of court closures, restricted court access, and the telephonic/videoconference era. Join to discuss questions your courts should consider when closing, what your administrative orders should address, limiting access to certain cases and parties, and whether and how to move your dockets and hearings to a virtual format.

Apr 2, 2020 01:00 PM in Mountain Time (US and Canada)


Call for Presentations for NAICJA Annual Conference!

Call for Presentations_NAICJA-NationalConf_02-28-20_final


National Tribal Judicial and Court Personnel Conference Deadline:

Friday, April 10, 2020, 5:00 pm MST

Submission form: https://naicja.wufoo.com/forms/m10hpejn06xrvqf/

The National American Indian Court Judges Association (NAICJA) invites presentation proposals for the 51st Annual National Tribal Judicial and Court Personnel Conference to be held October 20-23, 2020, at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin. NAICJA’s Annual Conference offers innovative and timely tribal justice information through high quality presentations by national experts. This is your opportunity to share your expertise and display your creativity by developing an original program for presentation. Proposals specifically tailored to meet the needs of the 300-person NAICJA audience are strongly preferred.

MN ICWA Law Center Request for Matching Funds

The ICWA Law Center in Minneapolis is one of the most important groups defending ICWA today. Their model is excellent, and honestly should be imported to other urban centers. They do the individual representation most of us do not, and support those individuals with attorneys, social workers, parent mentors, and an elder in residence. They work with tribes and in tribal courts. I could go on about all of the individuals who work there for a long time. I received this email today, and though they did not ask us to post this, we are (especially because it’s a matching campaign from Shakopee):

Dear ICWA Law Center Supporters,

The ICWA Law Center has been presented with a wonderful opportunity to secure much needed funding with your help!  The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Business Council has generously awarded a matching donation to the ICWA Law Center in the amount of $12,500.00.  This means that we must first raise $12,500 in order to receive the matching funds.  Whether it is a small contribution or a larger contribution, each contribution is significant and we ask you to partner with us in achieving this goal. You can donate now by clicking on the link below.

The ICWA Law Center’s mission is unwavering – to strengthen, preserve and reunite Indian families, consistent with the mandates and spirit of the Indian Child Welfare Act.  The ICWA Law Center provides legal services and advocacy to Indian families impacted by the child welfare system in both state courts and tribal courts.  The Center’s core values of justice, engagement, collaboration and compassion guide our work.

Reflecting on the twenty-five years that the ICWA Law Center has been a part of our community, those of us who have had the honor of working for or volunteering for the Law Center are forever grateful for the opportunity to ensure that family’s voices are at the forefront of decisions involving their children.  Relationships matter and the ICWA Law Center values the opportunity to provide guidance, support and hope to the families we serve.   Advocating for families allows us to create a space where connections to family and tribe are valued as fundamental to healing. These connections are the foundation of our work.

The ICWA Law Center serves over two hundred families every year. We see the desperation of a mom struggling with opiate addiction and crying for help, the heartbreak of a grandma who is unable to see her grandchild, the fear of a father whose teenage daughter is missing, and the weariness of a family who spends their days looking for a safe place to sleep at night.  The ICWA Law Center works to restore power to all we serve through giving voice to their struggles and courageousness. Through advocacy, we strive to tell their stories with integrity and purpose, in hopes that sharing their strengths will create a compassionate response to meet their needs.

We  look forward to the ICWA Law Center’s next 25 years.  Please consider helping us to secure the matching grant from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community through a financial contribution today.  The ICWA Law Center is a 501(c)(3) organization and all donations are tax deductible.

Many thanks,

Shannon E. Smith