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Indian Affairs Awards Grant to Off-reservation Child and Family Service Programs

Indian Affairs announced the award of nearly $2 million in Indian Child Welfare Act grants to 10 Tribal organizations to help support off-reservation Indian child and family service programs, which provide services intended to stabilize American Indian and Alaska Native families and Tribes, prevent the breakup of families, and ensure that the permanent removal of an American Indian or Alaska Native child from the custody of parent or custodian is a last resort.

“The Indian Child Welfare Act represents a national promise to fulfill our moral and legal obligations to protect American Indian and Alaska Native children and families and respect Tribal sovereignty,” said Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland. “These grants will expand access to child and family services to help protect Native children and keep Native families together.”

The grant recipients and funding amounts are:

Southern Indian Health Council, Inc., Alpine, Calif., $200,000
American Indian Child Resource Center, Oakland, Calif., $200,000
Indian Child and Family Preservation Program, Santa Rosa, Calif., $200,000
Denver Indian Family Resource Center, Denver, Colo., $200,000
The ICWA Law Center, Minneapolis, Minn., $200,000
Minneapolis American Indian Center, Minneapolis, Minn., $200,000
Rocky Mountain Tribal Leadership Council, Billings, Mont., $200,000
Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Coalition, Inc., Bloomfield, Neb., $200,000
The American Indian Community Center, Spokane, Wash., $200,000
Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc., Anchorage, Alaska, $170,788

Off-reservation Indian child and family service programs are authorized under the Indian Child Welfare Act, enabling Tribal organizations to provide services which may include, but are not limited to, supporting Indian foster and adoptive homes; providing counseling to families and foster and adoptive children; family assistance, including homemaker and home counselors, day care, afterschool care, and employment, recreational activities, and respite care; and guidance, legal representation, and advice to Indian families involved in child custody proceedings.

The Indian Child Welfare Act was passed by Congress in 1978 in response to the wholesale separation of Indian children from their families. Prior to the enactment of the law, state and private agencies were removing as many as 25-35% of Indian children from their families and placing many of these children in non-Indian foster and adoptive homes. Pic courtesy: Peoples World

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