Protecting Native Children: Take Action for ICWA-Sea Witch Botanicals

Protecting Native Children: Take Action for ICWA

Just 45 years after it was passed, the US Supreme Court is evaluating whether or not to overturn the Indian Child Welfare Act. It’s not too late to act. Here’s what you need to know.

What is the Indian Child Welfare Act?

Children at 49th annual United Tribes Pow Wow, one large outdoor event that gathers more than 900 dancers and musicians celebrating Native American culture.

"Thousands of children went missing or died of sickness or abuse, never making it home."

ICWA is a law passed in 1978 that protects the rights of Indigenous children to grow up in their own communities. Throughout the greater part of the 19th & 20th centuries before the law was passed, it was completely legal and widely practiced for American governments to quietly steal Native children from their tribes and force them into Christian residential schools. This means most any Indigenous person in this part of the world has been affected or knows someone who’s been affected by residential schools.

These schools were assimilation grounds for Indigenous children to be converted into euro-centric ways of life. The practice of any traditional customs or languages was banned and Christianized codes of conduct were strictly enforced through unforgiving punishment. It was nearly impossible to escape. Thousands of children went missing or died of sickness or abuse, never making it home.

We at Sea Witch Botanicals support Indigenous sovereignty unequivocally and believe every child has the right to grow up in the knowledge and practice of their cultural heritage. We stand with ICWA.

So what is there to do?

ICWA Actions

A sign held up at a Canada Day protest against treatment of Indigenous people in Canada reads: "They tried to bury us / They didn't know were the seeds"

The Supreme Court will make their decision by June 30th of this year (2023). Until then, we have to make noise. 

The Lakota People’s Law Project (LPLP) has created a resource for you to send an easy, auto-generated message to the White House directly urging Biden to protect ICWA.

You can also text ‘Sign PCGYYN’ to 50409 to urge your representatives to support the Truth & Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies Act (H.R.5444 and S.2907), which is a measure to begin a chapter of transparency and healing between the US & its Indigenous peoples.

If you're able to donate to Indigenous law organizations who are working to protect ICWA, this is very helpful as well! We’ve listed a few groups defending ICWA below.

Association on American Indian Affairs
Native American Rights Fund
Ikiya Collective

Otherwise, the most important thing you can do is to spread the word. Considering the history of ostracization, cultural violence, and genocide against Indigenous nations in America, we must rise to support and defend present generations. Not only must we show solidarity and allyship toward our Indigenous communities, but we must demonstrate that ICWA and the protections it offers to Native children, families, and nations will not go down without a fight.

Every single voice makes a difference.

Thank you for taking action.



Further Resources

Protect ICWA Resources
Additional Resources for ICWA & Residential Schools compiled by @ShowMe_YourMask

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