Image features Waterford Mennonite Church’s congregation holding signs of support for ICWA. The Indian Child Welfare Act, or ICWA, is an important piece of legislation that ensures Native children stay with Native families whenever possible. The Supreme Court may decide that the act is unconstitutional this fall, which would result in more Native children being forcibly placed in white homes. Carol Rose, co-pastor at Shalom Mennonite Fellowship, wrote the following prayer for ICWA.
We thank God for all those who fought for the rights of indigenous people and who, in the 1970’s won the struggle to protect indigenous children and nations through the Indian Child Welfare Act.
We pray for an end to all abuse and neglect of children, including that structural abuse that has willfully separated them from their indigenous nations.
We pray for the children who have been separated from their people.
We pray for adults who grew up without the protective support of their wider community and culture.
We pray for the indigenous nations, communities and families who have lost their children.
We pray that there will be abundant and supported foster and adoptive families to safely hold children within the embrace of their tribal communities.
We pray for the foster families of every race and culture who stand in for the moment, who love the children in their care and do their best to support children’s’ cultural connections, and who willingly release those children back to their communities.
We pray for the lawyers and witnesses who will be defending ICWA in the supreme court in the coming days. Give them clear voices to speak the truth.
We pray for the judges. May they see and do justice by upholding ICWA as the law of the land.
Everyone in this story is yours from the children to the tribes to the Supreme Court to us. Your will be done.