(Portland, Ore., April 1, 2023)—The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) recognizes April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Since our establishment in 1983, the month of April has been central in our work to build the capacity of American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and communities to support the well-being of Native children and families. This year, the 41st Annual Protecting Our Children Conference, the largest gathering on American Indian and Alaska Native child advocacy issues, will take place from April 2–5, 2023. On Tuesday, April 4, we invite advocates for Native children to join in a National Day of Prayer for Native Children.
Each year, NICWA hosts the Protecting Our Children Conference during National Child Abuse Prevention Month as the premiere national event addressing tribal child welfare and the well-being of 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 their own community event to demonstrate support for all Native children.
“April is a time to celebrate the important role that communities play in protecting children and strengthening families,” said Sarah Kastelic, NICWA’s executive director. “As Native people, a sense of family and connection to community and culture larger than ourselves are central elements of our mental health and well-being. Our communities are the essential, natural safety nets needed to prevent child abuse and neglect.”
About the 41st Annual Protecting Our Children Conference:
For 41 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, “Healing Our Spirits: Nurturing and Restoring Hope,” reflects coming together for our first in-person conference since 2019 to gather energy, share burdens and joys, and reaffirm the indispensable truth that we are healing for ourselves, for the seven generations before us, and for the seven generations after us. To learn more about the Protecting Our Children Conference, visit https://www.nicwa.org/conference/.
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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 www.nicwa.org/about/.