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About us

The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) is a national voice for American Indian children and families. We are the most comprehensive source of information on American Indian child welfare and the only national American Indian organization focused specifically on the tribal capacity to prevent child abuse and neglect.

NICWA is a private, nonprofit, membership organization based in Portland, Oregon. Our members include tribes, individuals—both Indian and non-Indian—and private organizations from around the United States concerned with American Indian child and family issues. Together, our partners, board, and staff work to protect the most vital resource of American Indian people—our children.

Our Mission
The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) is dedicated to the well-being of American Indian and Alaska Native children and families.

Our Vision
Every Indian child must have access to community-based, culturally appropriate services that help them grow up safe, healthy, and spiritually strong - free from abuse, neglect, sexual exploitation, and the damaging effects of substance abuse.

Our Philosophy
NICWA was created for the following stated principles:

  • To protect the most valuable resource of Indian people - Indian children.
  • To promote safe, healthy and culturally strong environments for Indian kids.
  • To promote the spiritual strength of Indian children and a positive cultural identity.
  • To be a strong voice for the needs of Indian children and Indian child welfare programs nationwide.
  • To advocate for and facilitate the proper implementation of the Indian Child Welfare Act.
  • To promote the provision of effective services to Indian children by child welfare workers.
  • To provide technical assistance for and information sharing among Indian child welfare programs.
  • To provide education and leadership opportunities for Indian child welfare workers.