The 2023 Standing Bear Powwow featured the active participation of the Kaw Nation’s Indian Child Welfare (ICW), collaborating with other tribal ICWs and the DHS Foster Care Team to create the “Pawnee Area Tribal and Department of Human Services Child Protection Team.” This alliance aims to raise awareness about the need for Tribal foster homes in Oklahoma and the importance of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

This partnership addresses the shortage of foster homes that preserve Native American traditions. One critical issue discussed at the powwow was the need for Tribal foster homes to prevent Native American children from losing their cultural heritage and identity.

The ICWA is a federal law designed to keep Native American children connected to their families and tribes. Kaw Nation ICW and its partners at the Standing Bear Powwow educated the public about the importance of ICWA in preserving Native American children’s well-being and family bonds.

Through this collaboration, they seek to prevent the separation of Native American children from their communities, ensuring they grow up in nurturing environments that honor their cultural identity. These organizations remind us that each child in a traditional foster home represents a piece of our culture lost, and it’s our duty to protect families for future generations.