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4th Annual Winter Institute

April 20, 2016

This event brought together over 260 child welfare stakeholders from the tri-state area.


The Center for Regional and Tribal Child Welfare Studies 4th Annual Winter Institute brought together over 260 child welfare stakeholders from the tri-state area to address American Indian Child Welfare Policy and Practice in Minnesota. The one-day, free conference was held February 23, 2016 at the Grand Casino Hinckley. A record number of public and tribal child welfare agencies were in attendance. Three tribes representing 7 bands, 19 counties, and 8 universities with over 30 child welfare scholars and faculty, more than 30 non-profit and private agencies and over 40 St. Louis county professionals who serve children and families came together. Participants had these words to share about the conference:


  • Larry did a fantastic overview with an essential message(s) “teach me what you have” and “take a closer look”. Good humor. Emotional, Personal, Impactful.
  • Informative, insightful, thoroughly explained. Loved it! Thank you for sharing.
  • First Winter Institute I attended. Accommodations and Informed Approach speaker, presenter (Larry) was awesome.
  • Stats were informative, comparison showed great disparities.
  • Great that an ICWA Court is being implemented and helping families stay or come back together.
  • I work in tribal court all the time; this type of court is needed in every County.
  • This is a very awesome initiative and very exciting for ICWA.  I am looking forward to seeing/hearing future developments (St. Louis County pilot ICWA court). Learning new initiatives is inspiring for others.
  • Larry is an excellent storyteller.  He was absolutely engaging.
  • The description of how family roles are different in Indian families was extremely helpful!
  • Description of active vs. reasonable efforts was valuable!
  • Collaborative efforts bring additional important information to the table, which help families stay together. Kids want to stay with parents.
  • What I liked most is the fact that the training was given by presenters that are directly part of and involved in the topic. Experts that live the life are the best presenters.