2021 Agenda
 

From Social Distancing to Suicide: The Many Challenges Clients are Facing During These Trying Times

(Session Recording) (PowerPoint)

  • Jill Campoli, Clinical Director, Pueblo of Pojoaque

  • Kristina Pacheco, Tribal Wellness Specialist, Tribal Law and Policy Institute

  • Lori Vallejos, Counselor III, Pueblo of Laguna Behavioral Health Services

Plenary DescriptionThe COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges to many throughout Indian Country.  Most notably, those clients who benefit from additional support during their recovery have been uniquely impacted.  This plenary will discuss the range of mental health and substance use issues that clients have faced throughout the pandemic and how these issues can be addressed by providers within the Tribal Healing to Wellness framework.  Presenters will discuss current trends in tribal communities related to mental health, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide, as well as substance use and how these challenges are being addressed to cultivate safety and well-being for tribal members in recovery.

 

Creating Safe Spaces for Youth and Caregivers in the Juvenile Healing to Wellness Court- Addressing Grief and Loss (Session Recording) (PowerPoint) (Handout 1) (Handout 2)

  • Veronica Willeto DeCrane, School Training and Technical Assistance Specialist, National Native Children’s Trauma Center

  • Kimee Wind Hummingbird, Training and Technical Specialist National Native Children’s Trauma Center

  • Anna Clough, Co-Director, Tribal Youth Resource Center, Tribal Law and Policy Institute

Workshop Description: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, youth experienced many and varied losses such as loss of learning, loss of relationships, loss of community, loss of physical touch, loss of rites of passage, loss of a loved one, loss of grieving rituals, and loss of healthy ways to cope. This is compounded by the fact that more than two-thirds of youth in the juvenile justice system have complex histories of interpersonal trauma, including neglect, emotional, physical and sexual abuse, family and community violence, traumatic losses, and disrupted relationships with primary caregivers. Oftentimes, juvenile justice involved youth also come from families experiencing adversities such as substance abuse, mental health problems, unemployment, discrimination, legal problems, or incarceration. American Indian youth are disproportionately involved in the juvenile justice system and American Indian communities are disproportionately impacted by trauma. This workshop will address grief and loss, including the loss of loved ones and other losses as a result of abrupt changes in society and life style due to the pandemic. Information on common reactions to grief and to the pandemic will be covered. We will also discuss the impact of traumatic stress in general on juvenile justice involved youth and their families. We will consider how to apply a trauma lens to support youth and their families impacted by trauma. This will include learning trauma-informed, healing centered practices that create a sense of felt safety. We will also consider how to integrate resiliency factors, including cultural resiliency factors that buffer youth and their families against the impact of grief, loss and trauma. Specific skills that can help youth and their families foster their resiliency and cope with grief and loss will be shared to support Juvenile Healing to Wellness Court practitioners. Our aim is to arm juvenile justice professionals with knowledge and practices to support trauma-impacted youth and families and prevent re-traumatization.

Tribal Healing to Wellness Court Veterans Panel (Session Recording) (PowerPoint) (Handout 1)

  • Sean Bear, Co-Director, National American Indian and Alaska Native Addiction Technology Transfer Center

  • Ray Daw, Consultant, Tribal Law and Policy Institute 

  • Regina Begay-Roanhorse, Court Administrator, Navajo Nation Judicial Branch Judicial District of Alamo and Judicial District of To’Hajiilee

  • Mark Panasiewicz, Program Director, National Association of Drug Court Professionals

Workshop Description: Tribal veterans treatment courts target the underlying causes of veterans' criminal behavior. The goal of these courts is to resolve criminal cases through treatment and support, taking into account the unique treatment considerations for tribal veterans. In tribal veterans wellness courts, veterans take part in a program tailored to address their needs. As part of the program, participants meet frequently with a judicial officer, other veterans, treatment providers, mentors, and support teams. This workshop will include an expert panel of tribal veterans wellness court experts. Panelists will share their unique perspectives and clarify key considerations to help attendees maximize the effectiveness of their own programming for tribal veteran participants.

Substance Use Coercion in the Context of Intimate Partner Violence: Implications for Tribal Court Professionals

(Session Recording) (PowerPoint)

  • Carole Warshaw MD, Director, National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health

  • Gwendolyn Packard, Training and Technical Assistance Specialist, National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center

Workshop Description: It has long been recognized that abuse by an intimate partner can have traumatic mental health and substance use-related effects. Less well recognized are forms of abuse targeted toward a partner’s mental health or substance use as part of a broader pattern of control - tactics referred to as mental health and substance use coercion. Common tactics include deliberately undermining a partner’s sanity or sobriety, interfering with their access to treatment, sabotaging their recovery efforts, and leveraging the stigma associated with mental health and substance use to discredit them with potential sources of safety and support, including law enforcement and the courts. These forms of abuse not only jeopardize the well-being of survivors and their children, but also compromise the effectiveness of mental health and substance use disorder treatment and pose significant barriers to safety, recovery, custody, and economic stability. This workshop will provide an overview of the current state of research on mental health and substance use coercion, and strategies for responding to the intersecting issues of mental health and substance use coercion, trauma, and intimate partner violence (IPV).

“The Warrior Tradition” Documentary Screening and Film Maker Q&A (Session Recording) (PowerPoint)

  • Patty Loew, Professor, Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism and Co-Director of NU's Center for Native American and Indigenous Research at Northwestern University and Co-Director of NU's Center for Native American and Indigenous Research

  • Lawrence Hott, Documentary Producer, Florentine Films

  • Jordan Martinson, Tribal Law and Policy Specialist, Tribal Law and Policy Institute

Workshop Description: The Warrior Tradition, tells the astonishing, heartbreaking, inspiring, and largely-untold story of Native Americans in the United States military. Why would Native American men and women put their lives on the line for the very government that took their homelands? The film relates the stories of Native American warriors from their own points of view – stories of service and pain, of courage and fear. This film screening will be followed by a Q&A session with documentary makers Lawrence Hott and Patricia Loew.

Outreach and Engagement in the time of COVID (Session Recording) (PowerPoint)

  • Medina Henry, Director of Community Justice Initiatives, Center for Court Innovation

  • Adelle Fontanet, Director of Tribal Justice Exchange, Center for Court Innovation

  • Karen Otis, Associate Director of Treatment Court Programs, Center for Court Innovation

  • David Lucas, Senior Program Manager of Treatment Court Programs, Center for Court Innovation

  • Shelia McCarthy, Senior Program Manager, Center for Court Innovation

Plenary Description: COVID-19 presented myriad challenges to healing to wellness courts and their participants. Courts struggled to communicate with participants and devise solutions to keep them engaged, connected, and accountable. A new remote world forced Healing to Wellness Courts to rethink standard court processes such as team staffing, phase advancements, and incentives and sanctions. Participants often struggled with insufficient access to technology, and limited access to treatment and services. In the absence of these needed services, many tribal communities saw increases in overdoses and withdrawal-related deaths. The gaps in access to technology compounded these issues for many Healing to Wellness Courts that struggled to keep participants engaged and safe during the height of the pandemic. Despite the difficulties that arose during this period, some jurisdictions took these obstacles and turned them into opportunities. Some courts actively grappled with considerations around equity and access to technology to frame adaptations of existing court practices. Many court teams found ways to keep their provider networks engaged and accessible through remote options using virtual platforms to connect participants to support groups, phone check ins, phone trees, mobile outreach, and pop events to connect participants to much needed resources. As courts plan to reopen their doors, this plenary explores remote practices and social distancing adaptations court teams have put in place to ensure safety and increase connections to needed services. These lessons learned can inform court practices moving forward as Healing to Wellness Courts continue to conduct outreach to those most isolated and in need during the pandemic and beyond.

 

Healing to Wellness Courts Confidentiality and Ethics (Session Recording) (PowerPoint) (Handout 1) (Handout 2)

(Handout 3)

  • Hon. Lawrence King, Juvenile Court Judge, Morongo Band of Mission Indians

  • Hon. Charlene Jackson, Owner/Managing Attorney, Jackson Law Firm, PLLC

Workshop Description: The Tribal Healing to Wellness Court is operated through a multidisciplinary approach that moves and promotes open lines of communication.  To build trust and accomplish transparency it is important for providers to consider the ethical and professional considerations related to the sharing of privileged information. This session will discuss issues related to confidentiality and participant privacy and steps that teams can take to promote information sharing and communication with wellness court participants.  

Addressing Trauma with Tradition and Humor – Tribal Veteran Perspectives

(Session Recording) (PowerPoint) (Handout 1)

  • David Natseway, LASS, Addiction and Substance Abuse Counselor

  • Sean Bear, Co-Director, National American Indian and Alaska Native Addiction Technology Transfer Center

  • Ray Daw, Consultant, Tribal Law and Policy Institute 

  • Marc Yaffee, Comedian, Actor, Writer

Workshop Description: Tribal veterans participating in wellness court programs often hold distinct cultural and personal identities that should be individually addressed by Tribal Wellness Court team members. This workshop will explore the therapeutic value of tradition and humor in a Tribal Veterans Court context. Facilitators will discuss the Tribal warrior tradition, including the role traditional activities play in treatment. Additional topics of discussion will include a discussion of humor, unique to tribal veterans, and its therapeutic value in treatment settings.

Family Treatment Court Best Practice Standards Through the Eyes of Healing to Wellness Courts: Practice Applications of the Standards (Session Recording) (PowerPoint)

  • Dr. Kirstin Frescoln, Senior Program Associate, Children and Family Futures

  • Will Blakeley, Program Associate, Children and Family Futures

  • Hon. Carrie Garrow, Chief Judge, St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Court

  • Hon. Staice FourStar, Chief Judge, Fort Peck Tribal Court

Workshop Description: Well-functioning Family Treatment Courts (FTCs) rely on multi-disciplinary and collaborative family-centered approaches and produce outcomes that include significantly higher rates of participation and longer stays in treatment, higher rates of family reunification, and less time for children in out of home placement when compared to standard services. After 25 years of practice experience and scholarly research, FTC practitioners now have a shared definition of the elements required to establish and sustain an effective FTC. The Family Treatment Court Best Practice Standards (FTC BPS) describe research and practice experience from child welfare, substance use and mental health treatment, and the court system to improve practice and outcomes for children, parents, and families involved with child welfare and affected by substance use and co-occurring disorders. Discussion of trauma-responsive, culturally relevant practice is woven throughout the eight Standards. This workshop will provide an overview of the FTC BPS and share site examples of how Family Healing to Wellness Courts (FHWC) incorporate the FTC BPS into their practice.

Promising Practices in Tribal Community Policing – Perspectives from Experienced Officers in the Field

(Session Recording) (PowerPoint)

  • Officer Francis Bradley Sr., Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Police Department 

  • Special Agent Maria Galvan, Criminal Investigations Bureau - Pueblo of Laguna 

  • Jordan Martinson, Tribal Law and Policy Specialist, Tribal Law and Policy Institute

Workshop Description: The workshop featuring experienced Tribal law enforcement officers will provide an update on the latest developments in tribal community policing, particularly in light of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Discussion will include an examination of community policing as it is practiced and as it relates to policing in Indian country. Additional topics of discussion will include specific strategies and challenges observed in each officers’ respective communities. Presenters will field questions from attendees.

The Other Quadrants (Session Recording) (PowerPoint)

  • Medina Henry, Director of Community Justice Initiatives, Center for Court Innovation

  • Adelle Fontanet, Director of Tribal Justice Exchange, Center for Court Innovation

  • David Lucas, Senior Program Manager of Treatment Court Programs, Center for Court Innovation 

  • Karen Otis, Associate Director of Treatment Court Programs, Center for Court Innovation

Plenary Description: As intensive interventions, Healing to Wellness Courts are designed to work best with high-risk/high-need individuals with substance use disorders. However, many Healing to Wellness Courts grapple with the desire to support participants who are not high-risk/high-need. In many tribal communities, Healing to Wellness Courts are the only court programs structured to respond to substance use related offenses. This creates a desire for Healing to Wellness Courts to provide supportive services or treatment for individuals who fall into the ‘other quadrants.’ These other quadrants are comprised of individuals who are classified as low-risk/high-need, high-risk/low-need, and low-risk/low-need.


Defendants who are low-risk/high-need may present with severe treatment or service needs but do not have serious risk factors for recidivism. Individuals who are high-risk/low-need may have extensive criminal histories, and may have some service needs, but they do not suffer from severe substance use disorders. Individuals who are low-risk/low-need may not have lengthy criminal records or be diagnosed with substance use disorders; however, they may be engaging in concerning behavior related to substance misuse.


Individuals who fall into these ‘other quadrants’ would not normally be ideal participants for Healing to Wellness Courts. However, adaptations to Healing to Wellness Courts practices could create different tracks to support individuals from these other quadrants. This presentation will discuss the science behind risk/need levels and identify justice system responses that are catered to the different risk and need levels. Presenters will provide examples of how Healing to Wellness Courts can create different tracks to respond to individuals of different risk/need levels in ways that can best support those individuals while lowering their overall future risk of recidivism.

Engaging a Culturally Responsive Approach to Support Juvenile Healing to Wellness Court Participants- Blackfeet Juvenile Healing to Wellness Court

(Session Recording) (PowerPoint)

  • Chaniel Grant, Coordinator, Healing to Wellness Court Projects Blackfeet Tribal Court

  • Charlene Burns, Cultural Advisor, Blackfeet Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts Project

  • Tasha Fridia, Assistant Director, Tribal Youth Resource Center, Tribal Law and Policy Institute

Workshop Description: Wellness Court[s] can put court-involved individuals and their families on a path to healing and wellness. Each Native Nation must define the nature of this healing journey. The paths to be taken should reflect each Native nation’s culture, tradition, and vision.” (Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts; The Key Components, 2nd Ed., 2014) Within the context of the local community, the Juvenile Healing to Wellness Court is a treatment-oriented and non-adversarial approach that will take into account local culture, values, and available resources. This workshop will provide an overview of service offerings within a Tribal Juvenile Healing to Wellness court, and the efforts to provide services that demonstrate Tribal cultural values.

Recovery Management: Helping People Move from Active Addiction to Lasting Recovery

(Session Recording) (PowerPoint)

  • Mark Panasiewicz, Program Director, National Association of Drug court Professionals

Workshop Description: Recovery is more than abstinence.  Recovery is more than substance use disorder (SUD) remission.  Furthermore, research demonstrates that most people living with SUD will eventually achieve stable long-term recovery.  Unfortunately, not everyone has the same likelihood of moving from addiction to remission to recovery.  This workshop will explore the critical steps in achieving stable recovery, the factors that differentiate those who recover from those who do not, and how treatment courts and especially SUD treatment professionals can help. In this workshop, the presenter will define common features of addiction, remission, and recovery, explore the essential features of effective treatment, and discuss how SUD treatment providers can understand and utilize recovery capital to improve treatment and recovery success.  Information regarding lessening SUD-related stigma from Day 1 will be continued during this workshop.

How Your Healing To Wellness Court is a Family Focused Court and You Might Not Even Know It: How To Improve Recovery Outcomes for the Entire Family (Session Recording) (PowerPoint)

  • Dr. Kirstin Frescoln, Senior Program Associate, Children and Family Futures

  • Will Blakeley, Program Associate, Children and Family Futures

  • Hon. Kim McGinnis, Chief Judge, Pueblo of Pojoaque

Workshop Description: All Healing to Wellness Courts are family courts because every participant is part of a family system. Substance use disorders have a profound effect on all relationships in the family unit and recovery support must extend beyond the client to a more family-centered approach. This general workshop will offer judicial leaders and healing to wellness court professionals key strategies for implementing a family-focused approach. This presentation will make the case for why all treatment courts should pay greater attention to children and families and how cross-system collaboration and communication promote family well-being, health, and recovery. Addiction impacts the entire family and community. That journey must attend to the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing for each affected individual and family unit. By treating the entire family unit, all treatment courts can help families break the cycle of substance use and pave the way to healthy, stable home environments where adults attain stable recovery and children can thrive. This presentation will review the importance of focusing on family recovery, quality family-centered treatment, and practical strategies to move to a family-centered approach.

Culture is Our Best Protective Factor and Healing Practice

(Session Recording) (PowerPoint)

  • Tiana Teter, OVC Program Specialist, Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center

  • Janelle Chapin, OVW and FVSPA Program Specialist, Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center

Workshop Description: Many of our cultures have cues built in that are designed to connect us to each other and the natural world around us. We are taught from a young age to use them in everyday life both for safety and learning new skills. Our cultures are visual and use many cues making us comfortable with extended periods of silence when learning and in everyday life. As a result of learning by observation we are taught not to question systems and this lead us not to question initially the introduction of systems that harmed us. As our cultures teach us resiliency we are learning to speak out and heal from those traumas. We need to change our perspective from intergenerational trauma to intergenerational resiliency. This workshop will explore how culture provides both barriers and the skills to overcome them in our modern world.

The Development of a Risk Assessment Tool for Tribal Courts

(Session Recording) (PowerPoint)

  • Adelle Fontanet, Director of Tribal Justice Exchange, Center for Court Innovation

  • Alisha Morrison, Senior Program Manager, Tribal Justice Exchange, Center for Court Innovation

Plenary Description: To date, there are no widely known or used risk-need assessment tools that have been developed or adapted specifically for the Native American population. Research indicates that mainstream risk-need responsivity tools (RNR) may not accurately categorize risk for indigenous defendants. The lack of accurate or culturally responsive RNR tools creates challenges for Healing to Wellness Courts that are seeking to address participants’ needs while ensuring that their risk level is appropriate for tribal justice programing. Tribal justice practitioners have repeatedly requested instruments and technologies that are tailored to their populations and for the past two years the Center for Court Innovation has been working to meet these requests. The Center, in collaboration with staff from the Confederated Salish-Kootenai Tribe, has developed a tribal specific risk-need tool. This tribal RNR tool has been designed with the unique characteristics of tribal court populations in mind. The audience will hear about the development of the tool; from the research phase to the creation of domains and inclusion of individual questions, and finally to assembly and plans for implementation. The discussion will center around domain choice and the intentionality behind including elements of cultural awareness throughout the tool. Presenters will also highlight some of the concerns and challenges that the team grappled with during the development of this tool and will discuss the research process for piloting and validating the tool. Participants will be asked to share input and feedback as well as discuss ideas for implementation and pilot testing.

Special Considerations with Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts in Alaska and the Prospects for an Inter-Tribal Juvenile Healing to Wellness Court (Session Recording) (PowerPoint)

  • Hon. Pat Sekaquaptewa, Assistant Professor, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Department of Alaska Native Studies & Rural Development (DANSRD), Justice, Hopi Appellate Court

Workshop Description: As more and more tribes in Alaska move from self-administration to self-determination (and as the state of Alaska has finally come to recognize both tribal sovereignty and tribal jurisdiction over tribal members), tribes seek to design and implement tribal courts with both therapeutic and cultural elements. Their target groups tend to include youth and families.  However, as legal scholars have noted, there is a "complex non-system of entities in rural Alaska," that challenges wellness court design and operations in rural Alaska. This workshop will focus on the Alaska tribal juvenile wellness court case study and the associated upcoming publication exploring a model for an inter-tribal juvenile wellness court. Specifically, we will look at the challenges and possibilities for tribes in rural Alaska with respect to the establishment and implementation of tribal juvenile healing to wellness courts, inter-tribal courts, and related justice and therapeutic system elements.

Transition to Civilian and Sober Life – Pro-Social Activities in Veterans Treatment

(Session Recording) (PowerPoint)

  • David Natseway, LASS, Addiction and Substance Abuse Counselor 

  • Sean Bear, Co-Director, National American Indian and Alaska Native Addiction Technology Transfer Center

  • Ray Daw, Consultant, Tribal Law and Policy Institute

Workshop Description: The transition to civilian and sober life provides a multi-layered challenge to tribal veteran wellness court participants. A key aspect of the recovery process for tribal veterans includes addition of positive activities to create and reinforce healthy behavioral change in the wellness court context. This workshop will discuss veterans treatment courts and pro-social activities. Speakers will provide real-world examples of how a treatment court can implement pro-social activity programming into their treatment regimens.

The Indian Country Collaborative Values Inventory: Creating More Effective Collaborations to Serve Families Affected by Substance Use (Session Recording) (PowerPoint)

  • Suzanne Garcia, Child Welfare Specialist, Tribal Law and Policy Institute

  • Ashay Shah, Senior Program Associate, Children and Family Futures

Workshop Description: When coming together to serve families, differences in beliefs and values among partners can be a barrier to productive and meaningful collaboration. Understanding where members agree or disagree, therefore, can be a crucial step towards improving services. The Center for Children and Family Futures (CCFF) entered into a partnership with the Tribal Law and Policy Institute to take the idea behind the existing Collaborative Values Inventory survey tool to develop a culturally grounded way of assessing if partners serving Native families impacted by parental substance use disorders (SUD) share values that underlie their work. This workshop will give participants the opportunity to use the survey tool that was created by staff and consultants at the Tribal Law and Policy Institute, and then take part in a discussion about the process that was used to develop it, how the tool can be used to deepen their own partnerships, and how to request technical assistance to use the tool.

Tribal Healing to Wellness Court Talking Circle (PowerPoint)

  • Kristina Pacheco, Tribal Wellness Specialist, Tribal Law and Policy Institute

Workshop Description: The purpose of the Talking Circle is to provide an opportunity for Healing to Wellness Court practitioners to converse with others about concerning topics, issues, barriers, and successes occurring in Healing to Wellness Courts. Also, for those individuals interested in Healing to Wellness Courts the opportunity to ask questions of those in the field. 

 

Healing to Wellness Court Code Development (Session Recording) (PowerPoint) (Handout 1)

  • Lauren van Schilfgaarde, Director, Tribal Legal Development Clinic, UCLA School of Law

Plenary Description: The Healing to Wellness Court is expressed in many diverse legal forms across tribes, from a treatment program to a specialized docket of the judiciary. The Wellness Court therefore takes a variety of distinct forms when appearing in the tribal code. Codes have accomplished a variety of goals, including established the Court, set limits on how cases or participants can enter the Court, set minimum due process protections for participants, and set guidelines for incentives and sanctions. This plenary will explore considerations for why the Wellness Court should be codified at all, how a Wellness Court code interacts with other code provisions, and what creative strategies can be used when engaged in code drafting.

Data Management Considerations, Tools, and Resources (Session Recording) (PowerPoint)

  • Jacob Metoxen, Training and Technical Assistance Specialist, Tribal Youth Resource Center, Tribal Law and Policy Institute

  • Anna Clough, Co-Director, Tribal Youth Resource Center, Tribal Law and Policy Institute

Workshop Description: There are a variety of reasons why Juvenile Healing to Wellness Courts (JHWC) collect data. From initial planning stages to program implementation, data collection can measure performance, identify needs, and provide information to invested departments. Data collection can also provide an advantage for communities who tailor efforts to specific participant needs. Some courts may wish to utilize self-developed methods for data tracking, including: word processing, spreadsheets, and community-specific programs to track participant progress/court outcomes. Others may utilize case management software and programs. Regardless of system preference, meaningful data collection can contribute to sustainable programming for your court. 

 

Strong data efforts can also be an advantage for communities with limited resources; resulting in output that can be continually interpreted by staff. Overall, efficient collection efforts can help relieve the stresses that go along with operating a successful JHWC. Please join Tribal Youth Resource Center staff as we delve into data collection methods and discuss options for your court to begin with or to fine tune current efforts.  

Working with Veterans Organizations in Navajo Indian Country to Develop Veterans Treatment Courts (Session Recording) (PowerPoint) (Handout 1) (Handout 2)

  • Regina Begay-Roanhorse, Court Administrator, Navajo Nation Judicial Branch – Alamo Judicial District and To’Hajiilee Judicial District

Workshop Description: Participants will learn how to work with grassroots veterans’ organizations and their family members to develop tribal Veterans Treatment Courts. You will learn how native Veterans and their families with their shared values of wellness and healing can be powerful partners to increase your competency in identifying activities to increase communication, successful relationships, and behavior change, with or without Veterans Affairs (VA) services.  While the challenges in rural and remote tribal communities are barriers to VA treatment, the veterans in these organizations can help reduce barriers to treatment by providing community-based supports. You will learn how the mission, ideals, and core values of the military extend beyond discharge particularly for Native Veterans.  This is a strength that can be harnessed to help justice-involved veterans.  The presenter will provide detailed information on how the Navajo Veterans Justice Outreach Project worked with 32 Eastern Navajo Veterans organization members on their strategic plan to address veteran suicide and community supports.  These activities are part of a program logic model.  The presenter will share this Native Veterans Treatment Court logic model with participants. There are approximately 110 Navajo Veterans Organizations organized in five (5) agencies in the New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah portions of the Navajo Nation.

Building Collaborations to Reduce Prenatal Substance Exposure and Keep Families Together (Session Recording) (PowerPoint)

  • Suzanne Garcia, Child Welfare Specialist, Tribal Law and Policy Institute

  • Terri Kook, Senior Program Associate, Children and Family Futures

Workshop Description: There are many reasons to focus your wellness efforts on families that become pregnant. Very few, if any, birthing hospitals are on tribal lands, meaning that the family, even if in recovery with the support of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), may have contact with state child welfare. In recent years, substance use has been a factor in over half of the state child dependency cases involving children who are under one year of age and many of those cases result in a termination of parental rights. Given the rates of disproportionality, Native families are over represented in these cases. In addition, alarmingly, substance use is often a leading cause of death for women who have given birth in the past year and Native women are, again, over represented in this group. Healing to Wellness Courts, with their existing collaborations and the power of the bench to convene partners, are uniquely placed to bring hope to this population. During this workshop, the presenters will provide information about existing collaborations that are successfully serving families in state systems, information to facilitate linking up with those collaborations to improve their ability to serve Native families, and practical tips for building tribally driven collaborations that include medical partners to better serve these families, reduce prenatal substance exposure and keep families together.

Tribal-State Collaborations (Session Recording) (PowerPoint)

  • Lauren van Schilfgaarde, Director, Tribal Legal Development Clinic, UCLA School of Law

Workshop Description: The maze of jurisdiction often means that tribes are with limited authority to meaningfully serve their communities. But in partnership, tribal and state jurisdictions can leverage their resources, ensure holistic case planning, and provide restorative accountability. The Healing to Wellness Court, an intentional deviation from the compartmentalized, adversarial, offense-centric approach, provides an apt opportunity for innovation in collaboration. Needs like housing, social services, vocational training, child care, physical and mental health treatment, can be addressed by both jurisdictions. Court can negotiate supervision, defense counsel, conditions of probation, and other legal motivations. This workshop will explore ways in which tribes have experimented with their neighbors and strategies for building collaborative infrastructures.