Purpose of the Office of Tribal Relations
The Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES or Department) works to strengthen and build strong relationships with Arizona’s 22 Sovereign Tribes. The Department is committed to working with American Indian Tribes to improve the quality, availability, and accessibility of human services to children, youth, and adults.
Office of Tribal Relations Team
To ensure the Department thoroughly engages and is accessible to the 22 Arizona Tribes, the Office of Tribal Relations (OTR) has three (3) Tribal Liaisons, as well as a Tribal Relations Manager.
- The Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) and the Division of Benefits and Medical Eligibility (DBME) both have a dedicated, full-time Tribal Liaison.
- The Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS), Division of Child Support Services (DCSS), and Division of Employment and Rehabilitation Services (DERS) have selected staff to assist with Tribal matters on an as-needed basis.
Standard of Work
To ensure constant communication and contact with the 22 Tribes, the role of the Tribal Liaison is to:
- Conduct outreach and engagement and serve as a representative of their respective Division.
- Provide Divisional/Programmatic information and updates
- Attend tribal meetings
- Provide technical assistance to the Tribes
Liaisons provide feedback to the Tribal Relations Manager so issues can be addressed and resolved for tribal members.
The Tribal Relations Manager and Tribal Liaisons also serve as a Tribal Ombudsman who can assist with individual cases involving tribal members. These cases could include: feedback/complaints, assistance with program eligibility, navigation of programming, and streamlining communication between tribal members and DES staff. Request for assistance can be requested with any DES program.
Separate presentations can also be requested outside the regularly scheduled Tribal Consultations/Informational Sessions and Tribal Informational Forums should members need additional information.