Historic Agreement Signed by Tribal Organizations and the State of Alaska
“The Alaska Tribal Child Welfare Compact” Will Help Endangered Children Across Alaska
Anchorage – Earlier today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker used an appearance at the annual Alaska Federation of Natives convention in Anchorage to sign a historic compact between the State of Alaska, tribes, and tribal organizations. The compact allows tribes and tribal organizations to provide child welfare services and programs that previously were delivered by the Alaska Office of Children’s Services. Members of the Alaska House Majority Coalition offer praise for the compact.
“This new compact recognizes that tribes have the responsibility to care for their people and it allows them to take over or assist in the delivery of essential services and programs to protect our children,” said Rep. Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham), the Speaker of the House of Representatives. “What we witnessed today was just another step forward in the growing fruitful relationship between the State of Alaska and the First People of Alaska.”
“This is a historic day. Tribes have always been ground zero when it comes to public safety and the wellbeing of our children. It is important for the state to work hand in hand with tribes to create a safer state that cherishes our children. This compact is the hope we can continue such efforts. Tribes and tribal organizations are vital to the fabric of Alaska and they can help open additional help and funding sources. This compact will create greater opportunities for tribes to do things better and more efficiently than the state government, which is currently hampered by a fiscal crisis and budget cuts that leave too many children in danger. I am honored to serve in an era of tribal recognition and partnership in Alaska,” said Rep. Zach Fansler (D-Bethel).
“For generations the tribes in Alaska have been lobbying the state to recognize that they have the ability and the moral authority to take care of endangered children in their villages and communities,” said Rep. Dean Westlake (D-Kiana). “This historic compact is just the kind of recognition we have been looking for. I believe this compact will improve the lives of children. That is a wonderful achievement that should be celebrated.”
For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.