Tribal Affairs

John Spence, Ph.D.Interim Tribal Affairs Director ​

Office of the DHS Director

John Spence, Ph.D., is a member of the Gros Ventre and Sioux Tribes, has more than 30 years of experience as a caseworker, program manager, teacher and trainer. He has directed a student substance abuse program at Chemawa Indian School in Salem, and the Social Services Department at the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.

He has worked as a consultant with Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest (NARA); Chastain and Associates, mental health counseling and the Native Wellness Institute. He also has taught a master’s level course at Portland State University, School of Social Work for 20 years.

Christine Kamps, ICWA Consultant

Oregon Department of Human Services

Christine began her employment with the Department of Human Services in 2007 in the Indian Child Welfare Unit and worked primarily on ICWA permanency cases. In 2011, she obtained a position in East Child Protective Services as an ICWA liaison, where she developed a leadership project to have one primary ICWA CPS consultant assist the district with ICWA compliance. Currently, as a consultant, Christine assists the Department of Human Services with ICWA compliance and provides ongoing technical support to Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes.

Emily Hawkins, ICWA Consultant

Oregon Department of Human Services

Emily began her employment with the Department of Human Services in 2009 working primarily with permanency cases. In 2011, Emily  transitioned into carrying ICWA permanency cases. In 2014, Emily was hired as the Active Efforts Specialist for Marion, Polk & Yamhill  Counties. During her time as the Active Efforts Specialist, Emily assisted in writing a new ICWA Search Procedure for the Polk and Yamhill offices, she also assisted in developing and implementing many different procedures to ensure ICWA compliance from CPS assessments through Permanency cases. In her current consultant role, her focus is on providing support assistance to the nine federally recognized tribes of Oregon and maintaining ICWA compliance for the Department of Human Services staff and field structure.

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