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(Portland, Ore., April 1, 2024)—April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) will host the 42nd Annual Protecting Our Children Conference, the premiere national event addressing tribal child welfare and the well-being of Native children, in Seattle, Washington. On Tuesday, April 9, we invite individuals and communities to demonstrate support for Native children by joining in a National Day of Prayer for Native Children.

The National Day of Prayer for Native Children coincides with the conference as an invitation for advocates to join NICWA for this respectful gathering and/or host a community event to demonstrate support for all Native children. Over the month of April, NICWA will share resources to promote child safety as a collective community responsibility with examples of reorienting tribal child welfare systems to stop the intergenerational transmission of trauma and support healing.

“Our communities are a protective factor—what we call a natural safety net,” said NICWA Executive Director Sarah Kastelic. “As Native people, our extended families and connection to community and culture larger than ourselves are central elements of our mental health and well-being. Our communities are essential to preventing child abuse and neglect.”

About the 42nd Annual Protecting Our Children Conference:

For 42 years, NICWA has hosted the Protecting Our Children Conference in April to gather and share our collective wisdom about how to draw on our cultural traditions and teachings to strengthen American Indian and Alaska Native families and children. This year’s theme, “Together We Stand: Preserving the Spirit of ICWA” signifies the importance of ensuring Native children grow up with strong cultural identities, rooted in language and traditions, so that our tribal communities remain strong. The theme reflects our conference gathering as carrying the spirit of ICWA in everything we do in and in all that we are. To learn more about the Protecting Our Children Conference, visit

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About the National Indian Child Welfare Association

The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) 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 levels. For more information, visit