National Indian Child Welfare Association’s
Protecting Our Children Conference
April 19, 2015 11:00 ET to April 22, 2015
33rd annual Protecting Our Children Conference is hosted by the National Indian Child Welfare Association, the event is the nation’s largest gathering on American Indian and Alaska Native child advocacy issues. This three-day conference creates a space where participants can learn about the latest information across Indian Country in child welfare. Conference attendees are a cross-section of experts including child welfare, mental health, and juvenile justice service providers; legal professionals; students; advocates for children; and tribal and federal leaders. This year’s conference theme is “Healing from Trauma: Supporting Native Communities, Family, and Children.”
Bill aims to keep American Indian children with families
Published on Tuesday, 07 April 2015 21:37 Written by ANNA GRONEWOLD, Associated Press
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – While applying for her driver’s license at age 16, Karen Hardenbrook saw her birth certificate and learned what her adoptive parents from Broken Bow never told her: she was born in Winnebago and her mother was a member of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska. As a baby, the state removed her from her biological grandmother’s crowded home on the reservation.
Today Hardenbrook, 57, lives on the Omaha Reservation in Walthill. She’s an enrolled member but at times still feels like an outsider.
“I had a wonderful, beautiful (adoptive) home. I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” Hardenbrook said. “But I still wish I would have never left the res. I would have learned to dance. I would have learned to sing the songs. Now when I get out to the arena, I have to watch everyone, at 57 years old, because I don’t know the steps.”
A bill slated for a committee vote this week in the Nebraska Legislature would further strengthen protections of cultural identities for children like Hardenbrook by engaging tribal government and extended family mediation before removing children from tribal homes.
In 1978, Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act in response to what it deemed “a crisis of massive proportions.” Between 25 percent and 35 percent of American Indian children were living in out-of-home placement, endangering the preservation of already dwindling American Indian tribes.
For more: http://www.nativetimes.com/index.php/news/federal/11358-bill-aims-to-keep-american-indian-children-with-families
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, SECRETARY JEWELL KICKS OFF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S NATIVE YOUTH LISTENING TOUR
WASHINGTON – Last week, Secretary Jewell kicked off President Obama’s Native Youth Listening Tour. The tour is a key part of the Obama Administration’s Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) initiative, a program meant to break down barriers standing between Native youth and their opportunity for success.
The Department of the Interior put together this short video below to show why the Administration is doing this listening tour and why it’s important for the next generation of Indian Country.
Ending Youth Homelessness
Luke Tate May 08, 2015
No young person should lack a stable and safe home, or be without a caring adult they can count on. Too many of America’s youth have been robbed of that essential foundation — and thanks to the extraordinary work of practitioners and volunteers across the country, we are learning what it takes to reestablish that footing and end youth homelessness nationwide.
In 2012, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) issued the Framework to End Youth Homelessness detailing the steps necessary to achieve the goal of ending youth homelessness by 2020, and strategies to improve outcomes for children and youth experiencing homelessness. This framework articulates the need for government, non-profit, civic, and faith community partners to focus together on the overall well-being of youth experiencing homelessness — addressing not just their need for stable housing, but also their educational and employment goals, and the importance of permanent adult connections in their lives.
It’s clear that success in those ambitious goals requires better data on youth experiencing unaccompanied homelessness, stronger capacity in the systems and organizations serving youth directly, and clearer evidence on what works. To advance those efforts, last week we welcomed youth, service providers, advocates, policymakers, and researchers to the White House on 40 to None Day, for an afternoon of discussions on the strongest approaches for serving youth in need, and the path forward, leveraging better data and evidence and strengthening our partnerships to end youth homelessness.
For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/05/08/ending-youth-homelessness
Champions of Change: Native American Youth Leaders
In honor of the National Native American Heritage Month, the White House honored eleven Native American Youth leaders as Champions of Change. These young people are Champions in their tribes and communities as they work to improve the lives of those around them through innovative programs that help others, raise awareness of important issues like suicide and bullying prevention, energy efficiency and healthy eating. Watch the video from the Champions of Change discussion with White House and Administration officials which focused on the great work that these young people do every day.