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Tribal Relations

Per RCW 43.376.020, the Department of Corrections (DOC) makes a reasonable effort to collaborate with Indian tribes in the development of policies, agreements, and program implementation that directly affects tribes.


The secretary shall designate a tribal relations liaison who interacts with tribes and reports directly to the secretary.

The tribal relations liaison is responsible for assisting the department in developing and implementing agency policies that promote effective communication and collaboration between the department and tribal governments, and coordinating training of departmental employees in cultural competency in providing effective services to tribal governments and tribal members (RCW 43.376.030).

Tribal Statistics
40.1% Recidivism Rate

40.1% of inmates identifying as American Indian/Alaska Native returned to prison within 36 months of release. (March 2019)

5.5% of Inmates

5.5% of the Department's incarcerated population, or approximately 957 individuals, identify as American Indian/Alaska Native. (March 2019)

1.6% of Staff

1.6% of staff, or 137 individuals, identify as American Indian/Alaska Native. (June 2018)

1.3% of Citizens

1.3% of Washington state's population, or approximately 94, 754 individuals, identify as American Indian/Alaska Native. (U.S. Census Bureau, July 2018)


Laws & Regulations

Below are the state laws (RCWs) that apply to and/or relate to Tribal Relations.


Per RCW 43.376.020, the Department must submit an annual report to the governor's office on agency activities involving tribal relations.

Resource Links

Department of Corrections is proud to be a workgroup member organization of the Governor's Indian Health Advisory Council.

All state tribal relations reports can be found at the Governor's Office of Indian Affairs (GOIA).