The Office of Tribal Relations hosted its 4th annual Indigenous Children, Youth, and Families (ICYF) conference on Nov. 1-2, 2023. This year’s theme was Honoring Our Past, Celebrating Our Future: Healing through Native Traditions and Culture, and was offered in a virtual format. Over 300 participants were in attendance, representing a variety of sectors, including caregivers, judicial personnel, social workers, and tribal partners.
This year’s keynote speakers included Sandra White Hawk, founder of the First Nations Repatriation Institute and Elder in Residence at the Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, and Calina Lawrence, Coast Salish vocalist, wellness facilitator, and Tribal Elder Caregiver.
A host of topics were covered over the two-day conference, from Indian Child Welfare updates to a panel discussion on ICWA and the Washington courts system, and presentations on state tribal resources and supports for children, youth, and families. A reoccurring topic included local and state responses to the fentanyl crisis impacting tribal communities throughout Washington State.
“We are incredibly grateful to our esteemed speakers and those who attended this year’s ICYF conference,” said Tleena Ives, Director of Tribal Relations. “I am heartened by the wealth of knowledge and expertise shared and the partnerships that were built and strengthened throughout this year’s event.”
For those who were not able to attend the 2023 ICYF conference, recordings of the presentations will be made available online in the coming days on the Office of Tribal Relations website at https://www.dcyf.wa.gov/
Questions regarding ICYF and the Office of Tribal Relations can be directed to [email protected].