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Annual ICWA (Indian Child Welfare Act) Conference

Started in 2013, the Annual ICWA Conference (known previously as the Winter Institute in Child Welfare) is an opportunity for County and Tribal child welfare workers and administrators to learn best practices in addressing disparities in out of home placement of American Indian children within the State of Minnesota. The University of Minnesota, Duluth Center for Regional and Tribal Child Welfare Studies coordinates this free, one-day conference. The event is typically conducted at a tribally-owned facility, most often the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe's Grand Casino in Hinckley. Through guest speakers and interactive content, the conference offers child welfare practitioners the opportunity to gain a deeper insight into best practices, while providing a great venue for networking. Child welfare scholars are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Summer Institute in American Indian Child Welfare

July 8-10, 2019

Northern Lights Casino, Walker, MN

Registration Closed

Power point presentations:

Historical Trauma Among Native Americans - Tami DeCoteau

Using the Grandfather Teachings to Address Trauma - Priscilla Day

ICWA Compliance Update - MN DHS

Since its inception in 2007, the Summer Institute in American Indian Child Welfare continues as an annual gathering specifically for tribal child welfare workers and administrators to discuss critical issues related to American Indian child welfare in the State of Minnesota. The Center for Regional and Tribal Child Welfare Studies coordinates this free, three-day conference that represents a truly unique opportunity for tribal child welfare staff to develop new practice skills, share collective experiences, and learn with other Indian child welfare professionals and scholars in a supportive tribal context. Attendees can expect to hear from distinguished guest speakers, engage in talking circles, and participate in ceremony that honors the many dedicated and talented American Indians who have committed themselves to improving Indian child welfare, and those who have been impacted directly by child welfare.

Child welfare scholars and other students attending the Summer Institute may be eligible to receive course credit. The Center for Regional and Tribal Welfare Studies conducts learning circles around topics introduced at the conference. Continuing education units are available for licensed professionals.

"Summer Institute provides an undeniable level of genuine experience, practice and learning from Indigenous elders, professionals and programs. The focus of Summer Institute is to train Tribal and ICWA Workers to improve their level of practice skills and each year it surpasses my expectations as a professional and graduate student. To me, it is the most important experiential training to help me work with Indigenous communities and families." - Shad Cook, MSW Student, ICWA worker Ramsey County

Bridging Our Understanding

Known also as course 307-C in the Minnesota Department of Human Services training system, Bridging Our Understanding: American Indian Family Preservation represents a collaborative effort to develop a deeper understanding of the perspectives that may impact a child welfare workers involvement with American Indian children and families. Bridging, developed with the 11 Tribes in Minnesota, is hosted on Tribal land and provides the host Tribe the opportunity to present a section on a topic of their choosing. Bridging Our Understanding serves as a sequential complement to Minnesota's Foundations training, and is also ideal for experienced social service workers and supervisors as it helps in reconciling practice methods with the relational worldview and cultural practices of American Indian Tribes in Minnesota.

Tribal Training Partnerships

Information coming soon.