NACAC recognizes that children and youth of Native American tribes, First Nations bands, and recognized aboriginal communities have an inherent right to continued and positive contact with their tribe or band. Such contact is in the child’s best interest.
All child protection and child welfare decisions should be made by officials of tribes, bands, or recognized aboriginal communities. In the rare cases when this is not possible, decisions must be made consistent with the cultural norms of the tribe or First Nations related to child rearing. NACAC strongly believes that all native children and youth deserve culturally competent permanency options.
Policy and Practice Recommendation
Federal, state, and provincial laws should be adopted that are consistent with the principles stated above.
NACAC encourages tribes and bands and other governmental (state, provincial, federal) organizations to collaborate to achieve children’s best interests. State, provincial, and federal governments should provide indigenous governments and organizations with adequate and sustained resources to ensure that indigenous children and their families receive equivalent benefits under laws impacting their safety, permanence, and well-being in Canada, Mexico, and the United States.