Friday, September 4, 2015

What Do We Do? Meet the Native American Affairs (NAA) Office

The Michigan Department of Health and HumanServices (MDHHS), Native American Affairs (NAA) office provides a broad range of services to protect, preserve and strengthen American Indian/Alaska Native families both on and off tribal lands.
Native American Affairs (NAA) assists Michigan's tribal population of approximately 130,000 with various services provided in partnership with Michigan's federally recognized tribes, historic tribes, urban Indian organizations, federal government and other community and state organizations.
These services include, but are not limited to:
  • Tribal consultation; 
  • Training/technical assistance to state employees, customers and the general public regarding cultural competence and Indian child welfare; 
  • Advocacy on behalf of American Indians throughout all levels of government and among the general public; 
  • Direct services through Indian Outreach Workers; and 
  • Providing and/or assisting the department/private agencies with meeting the mandates of the Indian Child Welfare Act (1978)/Michigan Indian Family Preservation Act (2013).

Indian Outreach Services are provided in the counties of Baraga, Chippewa, Emmet, Gogebic, Isabella, Kent, Luce, Mackinac, Marquette, Menominee, Van Buren, and Wayne.  These workers provide direct assistance to tribal families requesting services or are referred from the court, tribes, and private agencies for child welfare/direct assistance to mediate family concerns.

Human Trafficking: Native American Affairs (NAA) assists human trafficking survivors and direct service providers through referrals to local state and tribal experts for case management and referral services including but not limited to: 
  • traditional medicine practitioners; 
  • tribal sexual assault and violence advocates; 
  • tribal safe havens/shelters; and 
  • MDHHS Indian Outreach Services/Children’s Protective Services/Adult Protective Services case managers and contractors as appropriate.

Take Action: Reach out to MDHHS and NAA for any of your support and referral needs.
  • MDHHS protects human trafficking victims through its implementation of the abuse and neglect Human Trafficking Protocol and Michigan’s newly amended human trafficking legislation (MCL 750.462 (a)-(i)).
  • If you are concerned about a potential abuse or neglect of a child or adult in Michigan, make an anonymous complaint to report incidents or concerns by calling 1.855.444.3911. 
  • NAA and other MDHHS Policy Manuals are available for free download.
  • For more information, contact Native American Affairs (NAA) at 517-335-7782 or visit the website.  Email your policy questions for Native American Affairs (NAA) to:

Stacey Tadgerson is director of Native American Affairs for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, is a member of the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force (MHTTF) and serves as a state expert on American Indian Alaska Native service linkages and case consults specifically pertaining to Indian child welfare and generally as liaison to Michigan tribes and urban Indian centers.  She is a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and she holds a master’s degree in public administration from Northern Michigan University.