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Tribal Affairs

CDSS is in process of developing a Tribal Affairs team that will serve as the hub for tribal related work at the CDSS. One of the major focus areas for the team will include the Tribal Consultation Policy.

The CDSS’ Children and Family Services Division is in the process of developing a formal Tribal Consultation Policy (TCP) for CDSS to implement when requesting input from California tribes on child welfare issues. On September 19, 2011 Governor Brown issued Executive Order B-10-11 which declares that “…every state agency and department subject to my executive control shall encourage communication and consultation with California Indian Tribes. Agencies and departments shall permit elected officials and other representatives of tribal governments to provide meaningful input into the development of legislation, regulations, rules, and policies on matters that may affect tribal communities.” Accordingly, the CDSS is seeking to establish a formal “government-to-government” tribal consultation policy and process that represents a collaborative platform whereby tribes and the CDSS would share information on a regular basis. Since tribes have the inherent authority to set priorities and goals for the welfare of their citizens, it is critical that tribes’ needs and recommendations are heard so that the CDSS’ policies support California tribal children and families.

The Tribal Consultation Policy is being developed based on the following foundations:

    • Values and Principles: This Policy anticipates a deliberate inclusive participatory process that aims to create effective collaboration and collective informed
      decision-making.All parties in the process should promote respect, shared responsibility and an open and free exchange of information.Meaningful consultation begins at the earliest possible phases of a project or program planning and continues through each phase of development and implementation.This policy is anticipated to promote positive, achievable, durable outcomes and is to be conducted in a timely, respectful, and meaningful manner using open communication.
    • Tribal Sovereignty: This Policy is not intended to waive or diminish any Tribal governmental rights, including treaty rights, sovereign immunities, or jurisdiction.Tribes exercise inherent sovereign powers over their members and territory with distinct governing systems.The CDSS recognizes that Tribal cultures are unique, with their own distinct history and traditions. The CDSS understands that Tribes are interested in CDSS policies or programs that may affect the Tribe, their members and the Native American population in California.
    • Except to the extent already established by law, this Policy is not intended to create any right, benefit, or trust responsibility, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by a party against the CDSS or any CDSS representative.The CDSS does not waive any applicable privilege that it may hold, such as the Department’s deliberative process privilege, including but not limited to the Department’s confidential recommendations to the Administration on proposed legislation or budget proposals.This policy is not intended to create, and does not create, any rights or benefits, whether substantive or procedural, or enforceable at law or in equity, against the State of California or its agencies, departments, entities, officers, agents, or employees.