The Tiwahe model is effective because it allows Tribes to create their own potential by building communities of hope through cultivating culture and connection. Tiwahe provides freedom to design programs and integrate services within Tribal culture and tradition to produce powerful outcomes beneficial to Tribal communities and families living there. Thus, it allows flexibility in the administration of key Tribal programs, supports Tribal economic self sufficiency, and strengthens Tribal cultural connections. Tiwahe fosters systemic change in the delivery of services to children and families through the integration of Tribal practices, customs, values, and traditions. Tiwahe offers Tiwahe organizations the flexibility to design programming and services to address the gaps and needs of its communities. Tiwahe focuses on improving collaboration and coordination across six core programs:

  • Social Services
  • Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) programs
  • Tribal Courts, Pathways to Wellness
  • Recidivism Reduction
  • Housing
  • Job Placement and Training.

Tribal Nation Demonstration Projects

Demonstration Site Selection Requirements

The Tiwahe Initiative helps Tribes build communities of hope through cultivating culture and connection. It is not a grant, rather it is meant to be reoccurring funding added to the base of demonstration Tribes which they can depend on year after year, as long as the program continues to be supported by Congress.

  • The selection process is Tribally driven, with selections made by members of the Tiwahe Initiative Demonstrate Sites.
  • Each Tribe identified their goals and/or outcomes that they would like to achieve through participation in Tiwahe. Additional considerations for selection included Tribal leadership interest, community support for change, and the willingness for the Tribe to be an active partner in the Tiwahe Initiative.
  • As part of the application, Tribes also submitted a Letter of Intent that provided background about the Tribe, a description of the issues the Tribe would use Tiwahe funding to address, an explanation of what Tribal priorities are, and a description of how Tiwahe funding would be used to address the identified issues. Finally the letter also outlined what the Tribe’s proposed outcomes would be and how would Tiwahe funding could shape the future for the Tribe’s community and families.
Tiwahe Letter of Intent

Final 2021 Tiwahe Congressional Project Report

In consultation with participating Tribes, the Bureau published a final report that includes measures of success and guidelines for other Tribes wanting to implement the model with Tribal Priority Allocation funds. The Report provided the Congress with the pilot cites’ and the Bureau's experiences and viewpoints in implementing the Tiwahe Demonstration Project.

Congressional appropriations supported the pilot communities across key BIA programs, including Social Services, Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), Housing Improvement Program (HIP), Job Placement & Training (JPT), Tribal Courts, and the Public Safety Recidivism Reduction Initiative (RRI).

Reflections and Evaluations of a Five-Year Pilot Demonstration Report

December 2020 — The Bureau invited a cross-section of six American Indian and Alaska Native communities to participate in a five-year pilot of the Tiwahe Initiative. The Red Lake Nation, Fort Belknap Indian Community, Spirit Lake Nation, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Pascua Yaqui Tribe and the Association of Village Council Presidents received funding to assess their needs and design their models to improve the health, safety and well-being of families by implementing a coordinated service delivery model. Their aim was to increase access to family and social services; create alternatives to incarceration; improve links to appropriate prevention, intervention and treatment opportunities; improve case management services; and improve partnerships among the available providers of services for tribal children and families. This report is an evaluation of that process.

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Tiwahe Initiative
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