PORTLAND, OREGON — The National Indian Child Welfare Association received a $20,000 host sponsorship from the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians for this year’s 35th Annual Protecting Our Children National American Indian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, to be held at Harrah’s Resort Southern California, a facility owned by the Tribe, in Valley Center, California.
This year’s sponsorship by the Tribe will help NICWA bring a wide range of workshops and relationship building opportunities for child welfare workers, tribal leaders, and ICWA advocates from all across Indian Country and maintain the conference as the premier national gathering to discuss best practices in Indian child welfare.
Established in 1875, the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians traces its Southern California ancestry back 10,000 years, and the tribal council governs 500 members with jurisdiction over a 6,000 acre reservation in Valley Center, California. Rincon uses profits from its commercial enterprises located on reservation to fund government services and economic diversification on behalf of the reservation and Rincon people. Engaged in an economic partnership with neighboring communities, the Rincon Band shares its good fortune with North County San Diego, through tribal government donations to worthy causes that contribute to the welfare and health of the region, including NICWA’s annual conference.
When reflecting on the Tribe’s sponsorship for the annual conference, Rincon tribal chairman Bo Mazzetti remarked, “Native people have a unique task of overcoming the past and the sobering statistics that haunt reservations. We must find ways to treat the trauma, health, mental, and social problems that pass from one generation to another. We must give our children love, mentoring, and positive examples. We must educate all of our families on how to raise healthy, resilient children. It behooves each and every individual to take responsibility for creating a world where our children are loved, where their needs are met, and where they are valued for their unique strengths and gifts.”
NICWA executive director Sarah Kastelic noted, “We are truly grateful to the Rincon tribal government and people. NICWA’s annual conference is only possible with the generous contributions of sponsors. With Rincon’s support and partnership, 2017 will be NICWA’s largest conference on record. More than 1,100 people have pre-registered to participate in this incredible training and networking opportunity that builds the knowledge and skill set of service providers and leaders working to protect Native children and keep Native families together.”