Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) / Prevention / Youth Coalition Coordinator
Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of the Pueblo of Tesuque has one Case Manager: Donna M. Quintana. Mrs. Quintana is also the Preventionist and the Tesuque Pueblo Youth Coalition Coordinator. The ICWA dept. strives to implement and provide services for the Pueblo of Tesuque’s Indian children utilizing the guidelines of ICWA. The Department ensures access to community-based, culturally appropriate services that increase safety, health and well-being and promote individual strengths that support community wellness for not only children but also adolescents and adults. We uphold the vision of the National Indian Child Welfare Association, which speaks of the right of every child to grow up safe, healthy, and spiritually strong, free from abuse, domestic violence, neglect, sexual exploitation, and the damaging effects of substance abuse. The Case Manager performs a variety of duties to support the efficient operation of the ICWA and Social Services Department. Maintains confidentiality of all privileged information, processes enrollment inquiries and advocates compliance with ICWA in Tribal and State Courts. The Case Manager aids clients deemed to be at risk under the “Law of the Pueblo of Tesuque for Protecting Persons at Risk” who are referred by the Traditional and Tribal Courts, Schools, Law Enforcement, and community agencies as well as individuals who self-refer. The Case Manager provides proper assessment via case management, makes specific counseling referrals while also applying advocacy and care coordination to individuals and families who are members of the Pueblo of Tesuque. The Case Manager assists Social Services to address issues that place children and families at risk, such as abuse and neglect, domestic violence, substance abuse, mental health, grief and loss, trauma, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anger, elder care issues, and other issues that are presented by clients. The Case Manager assists Social Services to identify specialized substance abuse treatment programs for clients in need of inpatient or intensive outpatient treatment (IOP). Deliver culturally appropriate case management and direct services to individuals and families of the Pueblo of Tesuque who are deemed to be at risk as set forth in the “Law of the Pueblo of Tesuque for Protecting Persons at Risk”. Other Codes that can be utilized are the Children’s Code, Juvenile Code, and Domestic Relations Code). Provide services, including assessment and development of a service plan, referral to internal and external agencies for services such as counseling, parenting classes, substance abuse treatment, anger management, domestic violence treatment, support groups, etc. and the monitoring of clients to assess progress toward goals.
The Case Manager provides education and activities related to child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, teen pregnancy, alcohol/drug awareness, suicide prevention and health and wellness. Deliver and/or coordinate culturally appropriate prevention activities such as educational and training programs in areas such as successful parenting, nutrition awareness, employment skills, communication skills, anger management, elder care, substance abuse, health, and mental health issues, etc.
Tesuque Pueblo Youth Coalition
In 2015 through Communities of Care (COC), three youth coalition members established the Tesuque Pueblo Youth Coalition (TPYC) to promote the prevention of bullying, suicide, drugs, and alcohol to become role models and future leaders for a healthy community. Today in 2021, TPYC has twenty-five youth (14 female/11 male) coalition members who continue the prevention efforts and develop skills in leadership, public speaking, finance/budgeting, healthy lifestyles, and conduct presentations, etc. We attend trainings, and conferences to enhance our mind, body, and spirit to become mentors to our younger generation.
In the summer of 2019, the Tesuque Pueblo Youth Coalition attended the United National Indian Tribal Youth Conference (UNITY) in Orlando, FL. where the youth coalition gave three presentations at the national youth conference on “Traditional Language and Teaching” and did a dance performance. UNITY is a national network organization promoting personal development, citizenship, and leadership among Native American youth. UNITY’s Mission is to foster the spiritual, mental, physical, and social development of American Indian and Alaska Native youth, and to help build a strong, unified, and self-reliant Native America through greater youth involvement. The heart of UNITY is its affiliated youth councils, which are sponsored by tribes, Alaska Native villages, high schools, colleges, urban centers, and others. Youth Councils are engaged in annual projects in four areas – cultural preservation, environmental awareness, healthy lifestyles, and community service. UNITY is the only organization to have a formal network of youth councils. In 2019, Tesuque Pueblo Youth Coalition officially became an affiliated youth council of UNITY, along with By-Laws, and a Resolution from Tesuque Pueblo Tribal Council.
Fund-raising is an on-going project throughout the year for the youth coalition; because we not only raise funds for the annual UNITY conference, but many trainings and conferences locally. The funds raised are also used for community service projects for the Pueblo of Tesuque. This past year the youth coalition community projects consisted of cleaning up the plaza in the Pueblo, Helping serve the veterans at the veterans summit, a clothes drive, purchase school supplies for all the children of the Pueblo; pre-school to college students, do a presentation at the Santa Fe Indian School for all the middle school students (approx. 250) on healthy choices, get trained on youth suicide prevention, and Protecting you, protecting me (a curriculum taught to the younger children by the youth coalition on brain development, alcohol/substance abuse/ vehicle safety/ car seat safety), Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, and began the Young Manhood curriculum here in the Pueblo.
With these tools and skills, the youth coalition has developed; we believe we are the voice for the youth amongst the community, and throughout the country.
TPYC strongly feels the efforts of prevention will help sustain the importance of our tribal culture and language practices.