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Expand National Tribal TANF InstituteNational Tribal TANF Institute

2011 National Tribal TANF Institute

July 18-21, 2011
Sandia Resort and Casino, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Download the program from the 2011 institute.

Review of the 2011 National Tribal TANF Institute

In July 2011, we hosted the sixth annual National Tribal TANF Institute at the wonderful Sandia Resort and Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Nearly 200 participants from 42 different programs in 15 states nationwide came together to share, learn and grow over the three and a half day program.

The event began with four Pre-Institute Intensives with topics ranging from Time Management to Using Data to Improve Program and Client Services. One of the Pre-Institute Intensives transported participants into true-to-life scenarios of TANF clients in native communities through an interactive experience designed to revive the vision of cultural values and compassion in Tribal TANF. The interactive learning environment created by a training simulation can be a powerful tool for learning and change. For many, the result was a profound shift in thinking. One participant remarked:

This put me in my place, and I needed to be put in my place. Who am I to expect such change from our clients, who am I to demand these things from people that are going through so much and facing such hardship? Who am I to judge my clients when I don’t/won’t change what I need to change in my life?! This was a deep experience for me personally and professionally, and I will not soon forget.

The intensives were followed by a welcome dinner and keynote speaker leading into two days of workshops with 26 specialized selections for program staff of various levels. The workshops provided an opportunity for participants to network, share information, gain skills, increase knowledge and identify best practices for operating Tribal TANF programs that meet the needs of their people. One participant commented on the workshops stating:

All of the workshops I attended gave me new ideas, new skills and inspiration to return to work and guide my staff and myself to our common goal.

On Thursday, the group came together to process the resources, skills and knowledge they had gathered during the institute and to develop a plan to weave what was gathered into a daily practice when they returned home.

We would like to thank everyone who participated! We hope you had an engaging learning experience and have returned to your programs with new and enhanced skills and a renewed dedication to serving families in your communities.

Participant Comments

“I have gained very helpful and useful information that has motivated me to work with more compassion and understanding for my community, clients and families.”

“This was the best conference I have attended!”

“It is so wonderful to be in a room full of people who all have one common goal: to help our people.”

“I was able to learn not only from the instructors but from other individuals who shared stories and perspective from their programs. It is invaluable to have this Tribal TANF specific networking opportunity.”

“I have attended other trainings that are offered by different providers, and I have not been able to walk away with so much information. The classes were great and the teachers did an awesome job and were very knowledgeable.”

“I learned so much! The instructors pointed out things that I did not know where a problem or an issue before—it was very, very helpful! I cannot wait to apply the things I learned!”

“The sessions flowed together very well! All of the questions that I had were answered, and I was able to see where improvements needed to be made in my program and for me personally.”

“The workshops were fun and not stagnant! They were very interactive, and the instructors were able to teach a so much and keep it interesting.”

“Each time I attend, I learn so many new things. It made me think deeper into additional areas that can be improved to enhance our TANF program.”

“Everyone was made to feel accepted and welcome. Thank you for the community you created.”