Tribal Veterans Wellness Court Symposium
August 22-23, 2019
The Tribal Law and Policy Institute (TLPI) in partnership with the National Native Child Trauma Center, National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP), Justice for Vets and the American Indian and Alaska Native Addiction Technology Transfer Center are pleased to offer this free two-day Tribal Veterans Wellness Court Symposium highlighting important considerations for serving and treating Native veterans.
The Tribal Veteran Wellness Court Symposium will bring together tribal courts, state courts, and veterans service providers, along with scholars, technical assistance providers, and researchers to discuss veterans treatment courts, strategies for serving rural and tribal communities, partnerships with law enforcement, and addressing the opioid crisis.
The Symposium curriculum will include an overview of the wellness court model, best practices of veteran treatment courts, special considerations for veterans, special considerations for Native populations, and unique resources for tribal and veterans service providers, recent academic observations and insights, along with best practices and field-initiated innovations into best serving tribal veterans.
This event is approved by the U.S. Department of Justice.
This event is approved for 8 Continuing Legal Education credit hours by the Montana Supreme Court's Commission of Continuing Legal Education.
Why Have a Veterans Treatment Court
- Carolyn Hardin, Chief of Training and Research, National Association of Drug Court Professionals
- David Pelletier, Project Director, Justice for Vets, National Association of Drug Court Professionals
This session will provide a brief overview of veterans treatment courts. It reviews the impact that military culture as well as multiple clinical and criminogenic needs have on justice involved veterans. Strategies and best practices when working with this challenging population are discussed. Attendees will be able to identify what a veterans treatment court is; Learn why we have them; identify elements of veteran culture; identify the needs of veterans in the veterans treatment court; and receive resources available for developing a veteran treatment court.
Native Veterans: Considerations (PowerPoint)
- Sean Bear, Co-Director, National American Indian and Alaska Native Addiction Technology Transfer Center
- Ray Daw, M.A., Health Administrator
This presentation will overview the National American Indian and Alaska Native Addiction Technology Transfer Center’s new curriculum for serving Native veterans. Topics will include the history and context of warriors and veterans in Native societies; unique considerations for the role of trauma as distinct from non-veterans; and resources that both tribal and non-tribal communities can leverage to provide culturally competent care.
Military and Veteran Culture (PowerPoint)
- Scott R. Swaim, Director of Adult System of Care for National Aetna Medicaid
When you are part of a culture, it is sometimes hard to see the culture and understand how it impacts the many aspects of your life. So much of our beliefs, world views, and actions have been influenced by the culture we come from and how connected we are to that culture. For those that serve in the military there are variety of sub-cultures based on branches, time in the military, world events and experiences that occur while enveloped in military service.
A Native American Docket: 8th Judicial District of Montana (PowerPoint)
- Hon. Gregory Pinski, District Judge, Montana Eighth Judicial District
- Kathy Hankes, Native American Cultural Coordinator, Montana Eighth Judicial District
- Wes Old Coyote, Executive Director, Indian Family Health Clinic
In light of a significant portion of the docket include American Indians and Alaska Native participants, the Eight Judicial District of Montana established a Native American docket, devoted solely to the Native population. Through this model, the district has been able to provide more culturally relevant services, as well as better collaborate with their tribal partners to serve their participants for better and more long-lasting outcomes.
Mentors in Veterans Court (PowerPoint)
- Brenda Desmond, Standing Master of the State of Montana, Fourth Judicial District Court; Associate Justice, Fort Peck Tribal Court of Appeals
In most veterans treatment courts, volunteer veterans serve as mentors or “trusted friends,” to participants. The Missoula Veterans Court Mentor mission statement includes: “We will support readjustment to civilian life. We will also assist the veteran as he or she navigates through the court, treatment, and VA systems, and act as a mentor, advocate, ally and confidante.” Mentors consistently lend an empathetic ear to court participants. Mentors also participate in ongoing training. Recently, in 38 C.F.R. § 14.628(b)(2), the VA added tribes to the entities authorized to assist veterans with benefit claims. This workshop will overview the role of mentors in veteran treatment court as well as other resources tribes can use to serve their participants.
From Combat to Historical: Identifying and Treating Trauma (PowerPoint)
- Ashley Trautman, Assistant Professor, University of Montana School of Social Work; Juvenile Justice Technical Assistance Specialist, National Native Children’s Trauma Center
- Maegan Rides At the Door, Director and Principal Investigator, National Native Children’s Trauma Center
The National Native Children’s Trauma Center will provide a comprehensive overview of the science of trauma, its manifestations both historical and experiential, and how service providers can provide both a trauma-informed environment as well as responsive trauma interventions. This workshop will focus on trauma as it relates uniquely to veterans, but will also touch on the need for trauma-informed care for all Wellness Court participants.
Veterans, Tribes, and the Critical Role of Data (PowerPoint)
- Julie Marie Baldwin, Associate Director of Research, School of Public Affairs, American University
American University will examine the intersection of Healing to Wellness Courts and veteran treatment courts, and provide a detailed break-down on the type of data that both tribes and Native-serving state treatment courts should be collecting. Only with a comprehensive understanding of our populations, their histories, their families, and their needs, can service providers meaningfully build a responsive program, and improve upon those programs.
Tribal Veterans Treatment Courts – An Alternative Approach for JusticeInvolved Indian Veterans
- Carol Scott, Esq., Legislative and Veterans Affairs Chair, Veterans and Military Law Section, Federal Bar Association
Veterans Treatment Courts increasingly provide a viable alternative to incarceration of combat veterans for offenses often derivative of events experienced in service to their country. This paper seeks to provide an introduction to the concept of applying this approach to tribal justice and tribal courts. It is based in part on the history of the warrior tradition and traditional concepts of justice within the tribal community.