Reclaiming Sacred Beings

terry child learning to weaveOne man’s fascinating quest to decolonize indigenous peoples of North America and restore their cultures.

Terry Cross  is the founder & Executive Director of the National Indian Child Welfare Association. He is a member of the Seneca Nation with four decades of child welfare experience, including 10 years of direct children & family work, and 15 years of the faculty of Portland State University School of Social Work Terry has authored several curriculum and related child welfare material.  He has also received awards and accolades such as the PSU Civic Engagement Award, Eco-Trust Indigenous Leadership Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps. 

Food For Thought & Conversation 

  • Terry describes several factors that made the colonization of Indigenous People possible. Were you aware of this history and mistreatment?
  • Are there other instances in history (or current events) in which the same tactics have been used to neutralize a group of people?
  • Terry describes the traditional parenting practices that NICWA recovered from elders and is now teaching in positive parenting classes.  How do those compare to ones you or the parents you know use?
  • Terry is proud of the work that NICWA has done in the village in Alaska, where they have successfully intervened to prevent  any child from going into foster care for the past 5 years. Thoughts?


  • Learn more about the National Association of Indian Children’s Welfare at NICWA
  • Research organizations similar to NICWA in your community and share your findings. What ways could you support the work of the organization in your town?
  • Invite friends, colleagues, or community members to view this video with you and have a conversation together.

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