Recognizing the need for Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) public education materials that can be distributed widely and throughout social media channels, the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) partnered with award-winning Producer/Director Karen Odyniec and Producer Milo Daemgen to produce four short-form digital stories that are both informative and emotionally resonant.
The multi-part digital storytelling series, The Heart of ICWA, features Native families sharing their stories of family upheaval, perseverance, healing, and ultimately, resilience in the face of threats to their well-being. In this series, families convey firsthand what happens when the basic protections of ICWA are followed and the devastating consequences when families and children are deprived of these basic rights.
The videos are posted on NICWA’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRRmU68Ih20mEwUnSKnSavA
Key messages of the videos include:
- Native families love our children deeply and want them to grow up happy, safe, and surrounded by love.
- ICWA is not an antiquated law. ICWA is very much needed today to help vulnerable Native children and disempowered Native families.
- Data, history, and countless heartbreaking personal stories illustrate that Native families in crisis are not treated fairly in the courts and child welfare system, to the great harm of vulnerable children.
- Leading child and family advocacy organizations, including the Children’s Defense Fund, Child Welfare League of America, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Casey Family Programs, call ICWA the “gold standard” in child welfare policy and practice because it keeps children with their relatives whenever possible and recognizes that you do not have to lose your family to have a safe and loving home.