Call for Presentations

Presenters at NICWA’s 39th Annual Protecting Our Children Conference are the heart and soul of this annual event, recognized as the premiere national gathering dedicated to tribal child welfare and well-being. This year’s conference will be held as a hybrid event, both in Seattle, Washington, and virtually, on April 11–14, 2021. Presenters and attendees will have the option of attending either virtually or in-person. This year, we will host around 50 90-minute presentations, which are selected to lead vigorous dialogue about best practices, current research, advocacy efforts, policy implications, and other lessons learned with over 1,400 conference attendees.

Note that if you were selected as a presenter for the 2020 annual conference and unable to present due to the coronavirus, there is special consideration made. Priority will be placed on these presentations, but this is not a guarantee to acceptance. Please follow instructions on the submission page for more information.

About the Theme

This year’s theme is: Connectedness, Resilience, and Persistence. Just by being who we are, Indigenous peoples know how to survive. Our creation stories, teachings, and traditional practices connect us. They tell us who we are and how we relate to other people and to the natural environment around us. This birthright of worldviews and values encoded in our languages and ways of life instructs us in our connectedness, how to adapt when our environment and context changes, and how to collectively get through situations together and move forward.

From time immemorial we have faced difficult situations—most often not of our own making—and we have endured. Our extended families play an important role in our resilience and ability to persist through shaping our identity, relaying the strength and wisdom of our ancestors, and motivating our determination to stay together and take care of each other through tough times. In our connectedness, there is strength.

Our cultures inoculate us with resilience. They equip us to grieve, heal, and find balance. They prepare us to be of service to and care for the most vulnerable among us. They inspire us to adapt and innovate to meet our communities’ needs. They motivate us to observe and reflect, to care for the well-being of the whole, to seek justice and fairness, to continue to grow and learn, and to be the best we can be for our people.

In the last year, in the face of multiple and layered health, economic, and social crises, we, as Indigenous peoples and communities, have stayed connected, been resilient, and persisted. With hope, and prepared by the ones who came before us, we act to bring ourselves, our communities, and our world back into balance. We don’t know when that will be, nor how rough the road will be as we pass through difficult times, but we do know that we will be stronger together, whether in person or virtually. At NICWA we look forward to a brighter time, and until then and always, we will remain connected, resilient, and persistent.

About the Workshops

The highly competitive selection process aims to select presenters who represent an expertise and mastery of innovative and effective developments in these key areas:

  • Children’s Mental Health
  • Child Welfare, Foster Care, and Adoption Services
  • Judicial and Legal Affairs
  • Youth and Family Involvement
  • Connectedness

Registration Requirement

All presenters of selected workshops are required to register for the conference. NICWA offers a reduced registration rate for up to three presenters per workshop. You may register at the presenter rate once your workshop has been accepted. Additional presenters must register at the prevailing rate. By submitting a proposal, presenters agree to pay registration and travel costs.

The richness of our conference is a direct reflection of the diversity of presenters who come to share their experience and contributions to the field. NICWA truly values a wide representation of presenters from varied backgrounds and communities.

Submission Process

You may prepare your workshop and save a draft before submitting, and all final submissions must be made online.

Submit by October 30, 2020, for consideration.