Call for Presentations

Presenters at NICWA’s 42nd 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 on April 7–10, 2024. This year, we will host more than seventy 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 1,600 conference attendees. The submission process is closed for this year. Check back in the fall of 2024 for more information about applying for next year.

About the Theme

Together We Stand: Preserving the Spirit of ICWA

The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978 powerfully proclaims “…that it is the policy of this Nation to protect the best interests of Indian children and to promote the stability and security of Indian families… (25 U.S.C. § 1902).” The spirit of ICWA ensures our children grow up with strong cultural identities, rooted in the language and traditions of our ancestors, so that our tribal communities remain strong. For over forty years, tribal nations fought to uphold this declaration and constitutional protection of their children. This has never been more evident than the coalitionbuilding, including grassroots efforts, that occurred during the Haaland v. Brackeen case. We saw 502 tribal nations, 62 Native organizations, 23 states and D.C., 87 congresspersons, and 27 child welfare and adoption organizations declare in unity their support for ICWA. Standing in solidarity with one another is how we achieved success. With this decision on the record, Indian Country is emboldened in our work to ensure compliance with ICWA and strengthen its implementation. With ICWA’s solid legal foundation affirmed, now is the time to work together to lift up tribal best practices and increase tribal child welfare capacity. To strengthen ICWA implementation, we must put our sights on tribal and state relationships, state ICWA laws, state-tribal policies and agreements, increased funding for tribal services including culturally based services, and federal policy and data collection. NICWA’s 42nd Annual Protecting Our Children Conference features innovative workshops, presentations, and cultural activities that provide the expertise and experience to support this advocacy agenda and build worker capacity to continue the important work of providing cultural best practices for Native children and families. We welcome you to join us in Seattle, Washington!

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

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.

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.