Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Colville Nations MOA on Juvenile Justice/Rehabilitation
September 29, 2004
Good afternoon. I am honored to be here. This is a great day for the Colville Confederated Tribes and the State of Washington.
Government social services in Washington state have entered a new era. In spite of often limited resources, we have become more resourceful. Service delivery to our citizens is now being shaped—and often improved—through partnership and collaboration. Partnerships with local communities and stakeholders. And now, with this historic agreement today, a partnership with Colville Confederated Tribes.
This inter-governmental agreement between the Colville Confederated Tribes and our state’s Department of Social and Health Services’ Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration is a prime example of the power of partnership. It paves the way to send young offenders to residential custody and care in the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration—the JRA. The Colville Confederated Tribes will now be able to access services available to any Washington youth in the state’s juvenile justice system.
The JRA is uniquely able to meet the acute and often complex needs of young offenders. JRA offers residential treatment as well as research-proven cognitive and behavioral treatment. It helps youth with rehabilitation services in mental health, substance abuse, sexual misconduct, and independent living. JRA provides the kind of comprehensive, effective help that improves lives and gives young people an opportunity to get back on track.
Our state’s juvenile rehabilitation system will also benefit from this partnership. Under this agreement, Colville Confederated Tribes will work with JRA in developing cultural programming services in JRA residential care facilities. Such services will enrich the experiences of native youth. And since any interested youth in JRA care will also be able to receive these services, all will benefit from a stronger element of diversity in the system. Diversity is our greatest strength. Gains like this are gains for all of us.
This agreement didn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of hard work and thoughtful negotiation between the Colville Confederated Tribes and JRA. The process spanned two years!
But it has been a very productive, very positive two-year process. Representatives from both parties have maintained a spirit of cooperation, respect, integrity and dedication in creating common ground. Today we stand on that common ground in signing this agreement. These negotiations put the interests of the youth who need and deserve our help first. As a result, today we are able to best serve those interests.
It’s important that we take just a moment to acknowledge those who have made today possible with their hard work and dedication. I would like to recognize:
· Members of the Colville Confederated Tribes’ Business Council
· The Colville Confederated Tribes Law and Justice Committee
· Jamie Edmonds, Director, Colville Confederated Tribes Legal Office
· Dana Cleveland, Spokesperson/Advocate, Colville Confederated Tribes Legal Office
· Melissa Campobasso, Attorney, Office of the Reservation Attorney
· Marty Butkovich, JRA Region 1 Community Programs Administrator
· Kathleen McBride, Director of JRA’s Division of Treatment and Intergovernmental Services
· Colleen F. Cawston, Director of DSHS’ Division of Indian Policy and Support Services
I am very proud of all of you, and proud of this effort. The agreement we are signing today will improve the lives of young people, now and in the future. This is a great step forward for our state, and for the Colville Confederated Tribes.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to this achievement.
This agreement is the first of its kind in the state. As far as we know it may be the first of its kind in the nation.
This is a pilot agreement—and an important precedent. Our hope is that we can build on this precedent. We would like to see additional partnerships between other tribes and JRA. Partnerships which, like this one, respect the sovereignty and citizenship of the youth who need the services that JRA offers.
Youthful offenders in our state deserve these opportunities to better their lives. And today, we are taking an important step in further opening the door of opportunity for many.
I encourage you all to keep up the good work