Connection, Culture, Collaboration

Greetings and Welcome to the April Newsletter!

Spring is springing all around us. I don’t know about you, but I am certainly welcoming this change and celebrating the arrival of a new season. Spring is about transition, letting go, renewal and growth. It is a time that marks our walk toward longer and hopefully brighter days. We hope you will find time to celebrate the newness of this time– take a walk, notice what is new in your neighborhood, notice how many new Relatives are greeting you. 

In the spirit of Spring, Tribal STAR is introducing two new features to our newsletter. First, we will be offering Wellness Tips to support all of us in our efforts to heal and to thrive in good health. An Elder recently shared with me the meaning of different words for body parts in her language. She explained that, inherent in these words, was the understanding that Creator has bestowed a sacred gift upon each of us in the form of our whole body and its individual parts– and, as a result, we have a responsibility to care for our health. Wellness Tips will cover a range of topics that are intended to motivate and support our efforts to be healthy, so that we can continue our work on behalf of our families and communities.  

Second, we are introducing an ICWA education component. Each month, we will feature information about different aspects and provisions of ICWA. We hope these will inspire additional learning about ICWA, promote ICWA compliance and will inspire ICWA advocacy. These education components will be connected to a new offering at our quarterly Seventh Generation Workgroup meetings. Prior to each meeting, Tribal STAR will survey our partners to identify educational topics to be explored during the meeting. The intention is to draw upon the expertise of ICWA champions and practitioners to support those trying to address challenges in their work, and to identify and promote ICWA best practices. If you have suggestions for ICWA-related learning topics, please email them to Sunni Dominguez at

Lastly, a reminder that Tribal STAR is hosting a screening of Dawnland at 1 pm April 6, 2022, followed by Dear Georgina and a discussion.  On May 19, 2022 at 10 am we will be hosting Teaming and Engagement with Tribal Nations and Families, which is open to our County, Tribal, Probation and CASA partners. Both events will be held virtually. Please RSVP LaPrincess Greene at

I hope you will spend some time outside and find ways to renew yourself as we move into a new season. Be well!

Kim Mettler 

Tribal STAR Program Manager

Wellness Tip:  Establishing boundaries helps you enhance your mental and emotional well-being, builds self-esteem, supports independence, and supports healthy relationships. In establishing boundaries, communicate clearly and directly your feelings, limits and emotions; don't assume or guess someone else's feelings; follow through on what you say; and be responsible for your choices and actions.
Learning ICWA: ICWA was born from resilience and is an act of healing and love for the generations before its enactment and all of the generations after. ICWA reinforces the resilience of Native families in its provisions and relies on that resilience to create protective factors for children when they remain connected to their culture, community, Tribe and family. 

Voices for Children transforms the lives of abused, abandoned, or neglected children by providing them with trained, volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs).

Voices for Children believes that every child deserves a safe and permanent home and, to that end, will provide a trained CASA volunteer to every abused, abandoned, or neglected child who needs one, and advocate to improve the lives of children in the foster care system.

  • We provide the highest level training, supervision, and continuing education for volunteers in San Diego County and Riverside County who advocate for the best interests of children in foster care and provide vital information to judges;
  • We annually review and monitor the case files of every child in foster care in San Diego County;
  • We increase public awareness about the foster care system; and
  • We advocate for legal policies and practices that enhance the quality of life for children in foster care.
Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO): 
GLS State/Tribal Youth Suicide

Application Due Date: Monday, April 18, 2022
The purpose of this program is to support states and tribes with implementing youth suicide prevention and early intervention strategies.

New legislation aimed at improving support for tribal foster youth
A bill to recruit and support homes for Native American foster youth and another bill to improve county compliance with state and federal child welfare laws have been introduced by Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland).

AB-1862 Tribally Approved Homes Compensation Program
This bill would establish the Tribally Approved Homes Compensation Program to provide funding to eligible tribes and tribal organizations in California to assist in funding the costs associated with recruiting and approving homes for the purpose of foster or adoptive placement of an Indian child pursuant to

AB-1950 Child welfare: Indian children
This bill would instead authorize an Indian child’s tribe to participate by telephone or other remote appearance options in proceedings in which the ICWA may apply, and would authorize the method of appearance to be determined by the court, as specified.

The trainings provide up-to-date, research-based information in a variety of areas for those work with Tribal foster youth and their communities. Click for full schedule.

April 12, 2022   Virtual ICWA  Lineworker Riverside
April 13, 2022   Dawnland Screening
April 28, 2022   Virtual ICWA San Bernardino
How can child welfare systems apply the principles of the Indian Child Welfare Act as the “gold standard” for all children?
The values and spirit embedded in ICWA are critical to the well-being of AI/AN children, youth, and families and should form the basis of child welfare practice for all.
NICWA's current hot topics on Child and Policy 
  • United States Supreme Court Grants Review of Brackeen v. Haaland ICWA Case
  • Department of Interior and Congress Introduce Measures to Address Boarding School Experience







General information, pertinent articles and resources related to Native American Foster Youth can be sent to us at for inclusion in the next edition of the Tribal STAR eNewsletter.  Whenever possible please make submissions 3 weeks prior to publication of the next newsletter.  The next issue will be published the first week of the month. All submissions will be reviewed and are published at the sole discretion of the Tribal STAR editorial staff.

For current news, thoughts and events follow us at #TribalSTARNews

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San Diego State University School of Social Work.

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