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House Passes Gallego and Young Bill to Protect Native American Children

May 12, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House of Representatives passed by voice vote H.R. 1688, the Native American Child Protection Act introduced by Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) and Rep. Don Young (R-AK). The Native American Child Protection Act (NACPA) authorizes three programs aimed at ensuring that Tribes have the tools they need to treat, prevent, investigate, and prosecute instances of family violence, child abuse, and child neglect involving Native American children and families.

If passed, the NACPA would:

  1. Establish a new National Indian Resource Services Center to provide tribes with technical assistance, advice, and training on addressing child abuse, family violence, and child neglect.  It will also support efforts to improve intergovernmental coordination between federal and tribal personnel responding to those issues. 
  2. Authorize grants through the Indian Child Abuse Treatment Grant Program to establish treatment programs and culturally appropriate services for the victims of child abuse and neglect in Indian Country.
  3. Authorize formula grants to Tribes under the Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Program to support the hiring of caseworkers and the establishment and expansion of tribal programs that investigate, prosecute, and prevent incidents of child abuse, child neglect, and family violence in Indian Country.

“The federal government has a solemn trust responsibility to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable members of Indigenous communities: children,” said Rep. Gallego, former Chairman of the House Indigenous Peoples of the U.S. Subcommittee.  “It is time for Congress to pass this bill and finally uphold its trust responsibility to help Tribes ensure that Native American children are safe and healthy. I am grateful to Rep. Don Young, the Dean of the House, for joining me in this important effort and I look forward to getting this bill signed into law.”

“I am very pleased that today, the House passed the Native American Child Protection Act (NACPA). In Alaska and across the country, too many Indigenous children have been victims of violence, abuse, and neglect. Today’s passage of NACPA is a positive development that will help us turn the tide in the fight against child abuse. I am very proud to have worked with my friend, Congressman Ruben Gallego, in addition to countless advocates on this urgently needed legislation. Preventing violence and crime committed against our Native communities will always be one of my highest priorities, and I will continue working to ensure that Indigenous children everywhere can secure a safe, bright future," said Congressman Don Young, Republican Leader of the House Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States.