ICWA Guidebook for Families

Picture of the cover of the ICWA Guidebook for Families, showing a large Lakota family standing beneath a tree

After years of technical assistance work and research into the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), the Lakota People's Law Project has developed a unique resource for Native American families and tribes.

Designed for Indian parents and relatives dealing with the threat—or reality—of a child being seized by the state Department of Social Services, the Indian Child Welfare Act: A Guide to Rights, Recommendations and Court Processes for Parents in Abuse and Neglect Cases is a step-by-step guide for action. It explains in clear, easy-to-understand language a family's rights under the ICWA and the process of getting your kids back.

From the moment that children are taken, there are many procedural "traps" that parents can fall into. Accidentally saying or doing the wrong thing may result in children being taken permanently. LPLP's ICWA Guidebook is a tool that can help you quickly learn how to navigate each step of the process. You have rights under the Indian Child Welfare Act, and this Guidebook tells you what they are.

You can download a copy of our ICWA Guidebook by clicking the picture to the left (note: this is a large file and may take a while to download). If you do, we ask that you send us your contact information so that we can keep track of the individuals and organizations making use of this resource. Additionally, if you have comments, feedback, or want to share your experience using the book, please contact us—we would love to hear from you. And if you can, please make a contribution so that we can continue to provide this resource to tribes, families, and ICWA offices around the country free of charge.


Mitakuye Oyasin: All My Relations
Picture of the cover of the Mitakuye Oyasin booklet, showing a Lakota mother holding and kissing her child

This booklet provides a portrait of several families impacted by South Dakota's disregard for the Indian Chld Welfare Act (ICWA).These families have struggled heroically with South Dakota over custody of their children—sometimes successfully, sometimes not. It includes artful photography by Jesse Newman.