Photo by Timothy Ryan Ornelas.
The Tribe will be hosting a public gathering in honor of the “National Day of Prayer for Native Children.” The gathering will be held on Tuesday April 4 2017 at Rudy Ortega Sr. Park (2025 Fourth Street, San Fernando, CA 91340) at 7:00 pm.
The “National Day of Prayer for Native Children,” initiated by the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA), is a day for all people to pray in their own way for Native American Children. Statistically, Native American families are damaged by unwarranted removal of their children by non-tribal public and private agencies at an alarmingly higher percentage than the general population. In addition, a disturbingly higher percentage of Native American children have been placed in non-Indian foster homes or institutions that discourage Native American heritage. As a tribe in northern Los Angeles County, the Fernandeño Tataviam Tribe is not unfamiliar with external biases placed on their community.
The Fernandeño Tataviam Tribe advocates for both community-based and culturally appropriate services that ensure native children grow up safe, healthy, and spiritually strong. The Tribe also believes it is crucial to instill cultural pride among Native American children because retaining one’s heritage is at the heart of one’s identity.
“We ask that, to commemorate the protection of Native American Children, the public join us for traditional songs and prayer on April 4 2017,” says Tribal President Rudy Ortega Jr. “We will pray that our children are safe from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.”