Letter to Congress on Native American Child Protection Act, April 19, 2024

April 19, 2024

Dear Senator/Representative,

On behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, we write to you in support of the Native American Child Protection Act (S. 2273/H.R. 663), which addresses child maltreatment and family violence in Indigenous communities.

As the bishops have written previously, we “recommit ourselves to stand with [N]ative peoples in their search for greater justice in our society” and we “must be alert and active regarding federal policies which support or undermine [Indigenous] lives, dignity, and rights.” The bishops have also written that we “have a responsibility to examine these systems and policies in light of the Gospel and the Church’s social teachings and to urge the adoption of more just policies and legislation.” This includes advocacy for social and health care services and “increased levels of funding and technical assistance necessary to aid [Indigenous Peoples] in achieving political and economic self-determination.” Services directed toward domestic violence prevention and support for survivors and children are particularly important. In their pastoral letter When I Call for Help, the bishops called for “a moral revolution to replace a culture of violence,” and they have urged Congress to address the scourge of domestic violence in our communities.

The bishops have long advocated for family-supportive policies, as detailed in their pastoral letter Putting Children and Families First and echoed in their October 2022 letter to Congress on pro-family policies. Here, we lift up the particular needs, and resilience, of Indigenous families. This bill reauthorizes grant programs directed at prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect, as well as family violence, among Indigenous communities. We particularly commend the provisions extending the reach of the grants to urban areas and encouraging the use of culturally appropriate services.

We urge you to pass the Native American Child Protection Act, and to come together in a bipartisan manner to create policies with a “greater responsiveness to the needs and rights” of Indigenous peoples.


Most Rev. Borys Gudziak
Archbishop of Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia
Chairman, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development

Most Rev. Chad W. Zielinski
Bishop of New Ulm
Chairman, Subcommittee of Native American Affairs

Letter to Congress on Native American Child Protection Act, April 19, 2024.pdf
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