Tribal officials blame state for stalled child welfare talks

    Fairbanks, Alaska (AP) - Alaska Native officials have criticized the state for backing out of negotiations over the Alaska Tribal Child Welfare Compact.

    The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Thursday that the Alaska Federation of Natives and state tribal officials blamed Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy and his administration in a May 17 statement for the breakdown of negotiations over funding.

    The compact signed by former independent Gov. Bill Walker in 2017 says Alaska Natives make up about 20% of the state's children but more than half are in foster care. The agreement enables tribes to manage services for those children.

    A spokesman says the state entered negotiations expecting all tribal funding for fiscal year 2020 would go toward "direct services and deliverables."

    Tribal officials say the state refused to transfer funding agreed upon in January.

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