Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Home page

Office of Indian Policy

OIP staff

Our Vision is:

Safe, healthy individuals, families and communities

Our Mission is:

The Department of Social and Health Services will improve the safety and health of individuals, families and communities by providing leadership and establishing and participating in partnerships.

Our Values are:

  • Excellence in Service
  • Respect
  • Collaboration and Partnership
  • Diversity
  • Accountability

The Office of Indian Policy's - OIP role is to assist the collective needs of  Tribal Governments and Recognized American Indian Organizations to assure quality and comprehensive program service delivery from the Department of Social and Health Services - DSHS to all American Indians and Alaska natives in Washington State.


Message from the Senior Director

"Working together is a great foundation in achieving greater results!"
                                                                            - Colleen F. Cawston, MPA

I am pleased to serve as the Senior Director of the DSHS Office of Indian Policy - OIP and to have the opportunity to share with you my vision for the program over the next several years. As a component of building stronger partnerships with tribal governments, OIP has the critical role of representing DSHS' efforts to work cooperatively and respectfully with Native Americans across the state, both on and off the reservations. OIP also has the responsibility to ensure that the tribes have a voice in state government. It is with the pursuit of fulfilling this dual mandate that I assume my leadership role.