ICWA Guide for Tribal Governments and Leaders

Our Children, Our Sovereignty, Our Culture, Our Choice

Introduction – A Word From the Authors

Our tribes are threatened by the removal of our youngest and most vulnerable members, our children. As leaders we want to make informed decisions to protect the future of our tribe, our culture, our children and families. Historically, we have seen state and federal programs compromise our dignity and culture by  reaking up our families and tribes. Even today we hear of unwarranted removal of our Indian children and the attempts to keep them separated from their culture and tribal identity. The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), when complied with, can help prevent these unwarranted removals and ensure Indian children are kept safe while remaining with their families.

The purpose of this Guide is to recommend actions that tribal leadership can take towards ensuring compliance with ICWA.

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