In May 1994, four North Dakota tribes – the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Three Affiliated Tribes, the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe, and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa – began discussions of common child welfare issues with the North Dakota Department of Human Services Children and Family Services Division, Casey Family Programs, and the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission.
Together, we identified a critical need for training and worked together to build the right tools. We envisioned trainings that anyone in the process, from foster and adoptive parents to tribal courts to law enforcement, would benefit from. The common needs of the Tribes resulted in the shared vision of the Native American Children and Family Services Training Institute, and we opened our doors in 1995. In 2001, we revised our name to the Native American Training Institute (NATI).
Here at NATI, we provide culturally-relevant training and curriculum packages for professionals working with Native American children and families. We offer training in a wide range of topics, including foster parenting, wraparound (community training, care coordinator training, and WRIT training), youth relationship building and HIV/AIDS awareness, Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), cultural competency, and historical trauma.
We also conduct workshops and conferences throughout the year. The North Dakota Indian Child Welfare Act conference is held each February. In addition, we coordinate mini-conferences of state and tribal human services and other professionals throughout the year.
We are also available, by request, to do personalized or specialized training in areas such as strategic planning, tribal funding access for child welfare programs, parenting, and program planning.