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(Portland, Ore., April 5, 2021)—The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) received a $25,000 host sponsorship from the Cowlitz Tribal Foundation Statewide Fund for this year’s 39th Annual Protecting Our Children Conference, to be held virtually for the second year in a row, with over 1,400 attendees expected.

This extraordinary sponsorship will help NICWA bring a wide range of keynote speakers, workshop presenters, and peer learning opportunities for child welfare workers, tribal leaders, and advocates from across the U.S. and Canada to the premiere national event addressing tribal child welfare and the well-being of Native children and families.

The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation Statewide Fund, established in 2019, is an arm of the tribe that exists to provide grants for the benefit of the people and communities of Washington State and to demonstrate the commitment of the Cowlitz Tribe and ilani, the tribe’s casino, to community involvement and improvement. The Cowlitz Tribe is a long-standing supporter of NICWA and its mission of strengthening the well-being of American Indian and Alaska Native children, families, and communities. Collaboration and cooperation between tribal leaders, like the Cowlitz Tribal Foundation Statewide Fund, and child welfare workers help to increase access to community-based services that help Native children grow up safe, healthy, and spiritually strong. The Protecting Our Children Conference is an important gathering for tribal leaders and frontline workers from across the country.

NICWA Executive Director Sarah Kastelic noted, “I am honored by the continued generosity of the Cowlitz Tribal Foundation Statewide Fund. In 2009, the Tribe became a tribal member of NICWA and has grown as Cowlitz has become one of our strongest contributors as Host Sponsor. It is the support of sponsors that makes NICWA’s annual conference possible. Our conference theme this year is “Connectedness, Resilience, and Persistence,” a celebration of the resourcefulness and strength of our communities in the face of the pandemic.”

“The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation Statewide Fund is proud to be a longtime supporter of NICWA and a sponsor for the annual 2021 NICWA conference as we see the value in the critical work of the organization,” said Suzanne Donaldson, Cowlitz Tribal Foundation Statewide Fund.

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About the National Indian Child Welfare Association
The National Indian Child Welfare Association works to support the safety, health, and spiritual strength of Native children along the broad continuum of their lives. NICWA promotes building tribal capacity to prevent child abuse and neglect through positive systems change at the state, federal, and tribal level. For more information, visit www.nicwa.org.

About the Cowlitz Tribal Foundation Statewide Fund
The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation Statewide Fund, established in 2019, is an arm of the Tribe that exists to provide grants for the benefit of the people and communities of Washington State and to demonstrate the commitment of the Cowlitz Tribe and ilani to community involvement and improvement.