Indian Child Welfare

1. What is the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)? (pdf)
(Basic guide for parents and Indian families about the ICWA)

This guide explains what the Indian Child Welfare Act is, why it was passed, and how it applies in California. If you’re a parent or Indian custodian, this guide can help you decide if ICWA applies to your situation, and explains what your rights are if ICWA does apply. It also explains what rights tribes have in your case, if ICWA applies.

2. What is an Indian Custodian? (pdf) (How an individual can be considered an Indian Custodian under the Indian Child Welfare Act. Includes form)

This guide explains what an Indian custodian is. It also explains what responsibilities and rights Indian custodians have. This guide can help you if you are an Indian custodian or you need to become one. This guide can also help you if you are an Indian parent and you think you want someone else to be an Indian custodian for your child. An Indian Custodian Form (“Designation of Indian Custodian”) is attached for you to use.

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Housing

Our Housing materials are under construction but for more information regarding Indian Housing programs, please see HUD’s Public and Indian Housing Program page at: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/public_indian_housing

According to their website, the role of the Office of Public and Indian Housing is to ensure safe, decent, and affordable housing; create opportunities for residents’ self-sufficiency and economic independence; and assure fiscal integrity by all program participants.

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Family Law

1. Birth Records Self-Help Kit (pdf) Note: This link opens the entire 132 page booklet. Some users have experienced problems when using certain browsers such as Mozilla.  Depending upon the browser you are using you may wish to download individual sections of the booklet for faster access.

(How Native American Adoptees Can Get Their Birth Records in California)

This guide explains what you need to do if you were adopted and you think you are Native American and you live in California and/or were born in California and you want to enroll in your tribe.

2. What is a California Caregivers Affidavit? (pdf)
(How a relative can enroll a child in school & obtain medical care for a child)

This guide can help you if you live with a child, but you aren’t the parent and you don’t have legal custody. It explains how to fill out a Caregiver’s Authorization

Affidavit form and use it to:

  • enroll the child in school
  • help the child get medical care

In this guide, you’ll find:

  • A California Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit form;
  • A Jurat form (for a notary to sign);
  • A “List of People Who Have a Copy of the Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit.”

3. What is an Indian Custodian? (pdf) (Defines Indian Custodian under the Indian Child Welfare Act)

This guide explains what an Indian custodian is. It also explains what responsibilities and rights Indian custodians have. This guide can help you if you are an Indian custodian or you need to become one. This guide can also help you if you are an Indian parent and you think you want someone else to be an Indian custodian for your child. An Indian Custodian Form (“Designation of Indian Custodian”) is attached for you to use.

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Indian Ancestry

1. Birth Records Self-Help Kit (pdf) Note: This link opens the entire 132 page booklet. Some users have experienced problems when using certain browsers such as Mozilla.  Depending upon the browser you are using you may wish to download individual sections of the booklet for faster access.

(How Native American Adoptees Can Get Their Birth Records in California)

This guide explains what you need to do if you were adopted and you think you are Native American and you live in California and/or were born in California and you want to enroll in your tribe.2. How do I Trace my California Indian Ancestry? (pdf)
(Much of the information contained in this handout pertains solely to individuals tracing their ancestry to California tribal groups.)

Much of the information contained in this handout pertains solely to individuals tracing their ancestry to California tribal groups. This information is not meant as a guide for those tracing their ancestry from tribes outside of California. While the information is specific to California, the general scope of the information and your particular family’s history may not reflect the experience of the majority of California Native families.

3. For further assistance, please visit the U.S. Department of the Interior’s page on Tracing Indian Ancestry:http://www.doi.gov/tribes/trace-ancestry.cfm

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