Tribal Consultation

In October 2018, DHSS Commissioner Jay Butler signed the department’s Tribal Consultation Policy into effect. This policy recognizes the inherent sovereignty of Alaska Tribes and sets the framework for regular communication between DHSS and Tribes to better serve all Alaskans. The policy outlines how DHSS and Tribes will set annual consultation meetings and facilitate on-going communications to develop shared goals that further the government-to-government relationship between the state and Tribes.

Alaska Tribes have maintained organized societies, distinct traditional cultures, and self-governance for millennia. Working with Alaska Tribes is the right thing to do – it will ensure better delivery of services, develop more efficient government, and promote better health outcomes for all Alaskans.

DHSS Tribal Liaisons

Each DHSS division has a designated tribal liaison to help facilitate communication between the department and Alaska Tribes and Tribal Organizations. The Liaison Contact directory provides a current list of contacts.

Overview of DHSS Tribal Programs

DHSS works with Alaska’s Tribal Health Organizations (THOs) on a daily basis through many of its ongoing programs. Visit the Overview of Programs to learn about how DHSS divisions partner with Tribal organizations. Within the Commissioner’s Office, the Section of Tribal Health serves as an important liaison between DHSS and THOs.

The 2017 Alaska Tribal Child Welfare Compact is one of the many ways DHSS is partnering with Alaska Tribes and Tribal Organizations to better serve Alaska families. The compact acknowledges the government-to-government relationship between the state and Tribes and establishes a collaborative system to better deliver child welfare services.