DOC, Huy Forge Funding Policy for Indian Prisoner Sweatlodge Firewood

Dec 7th, 2015

The Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC), in collaboration with Huy, has announced a firewood procurement policy and process for Native American sweatlodge ceremonial purposes.

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The DOC and Huy have a standing funding agreement, whereby the state and Washington tribes financially support Indian religious activities like sweatlodge ceremony.

As a DOC news article explains:

Huy, a non–profit organization that supports the religious and rehabilitation needs of Native American inmates, paid $14,100 to outside sources for firewood in 2013, according to Gabe Galanda, an attorney with Galanda Broadman, PLLC, and Huy Board Chair.

“Our funds were being gobbled up by firewood, not allowing enough for other items needed for pow wows to be purchased,” Galanda said.

That reality led to a pilot program whereby, in 2014, the DOC partnered with DNR to provide the wood needed for lodge.  After that program expired earlier this year, the DOC and Huy collaborated to achieve the new sweatlodge firewood procurement policy.

As former DOC Secretary and Huy Advisor Eldon Vail sees it, the DOC “made a statement about what is important to them and that is a very good thing.”

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