The University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD), along with the NCJFCJ, hosted an ICWA Court Retreat on June 21-22. Involving ICWA Courts from; St. Louis County (Minn), Yellowstone County (Mont), Pima County (Ariz), and Clallam County (Wash). Alongside the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth Minnesota, some of the major themes shared over the two-day retreat were about cultivating a power-sharing partnership between Tribes and families. As well as changing agent leadership among hearing officers, agency representatives, attorneys, and tribal representatives who center families in the ICWA Court. Another exciting innovative practice highlighted by ICWA case management, within St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services, was the “Family Transfer Process.” When a court petition is now filed, the initial family contact is organized through a joint investigation between a tribal and state worker. A plan is then created for child safety and services to keep children with their families and communities through a facilitated conversation, based upon the principles of Ojibwe 7 Grandfather Teachings and Safety Organized Practice. Furthermore, the St. Louis County ICWA Court (Minnesota Sixth Judicial District) is in the process of developing a Parallel Protection Process, also known as the “Triple P,” which is an out of court peacemaking and mediation process for family centered engagement.
Was great to hear from all the ICWA Courts who attended and learn about their commitment to Tribal collaboration and Indian family empowerment! Sponsored through the State and Tribal ICWA Implementation Partnership Grant.