The American Indian-owned security firm Personnel Security Consultants, Inc. (PSC) kicked off Native American Heritage Month with a reception honoring the winners of a national children's art contest for a child abuse awareness calendar.
The firm sponsored the reception for the 12 art contest winners for the firm's 2012 child abuse prevention and awareness calendar, held at the Route 66 Casino Hotel near Albuquerque, New Mexico on November 7. PSC named the winner of the calendar cover art, which was determined by public vote online. PSC received 52 contest entries from children grades kindergarten through eighth from Alaska to Oklahoma based on the theme, “What my Heritage Means to Me?”
The firm held the contest earlier this fall to give children a voice and aid adults in identifying child abuse in Native communities.
In 1990, Congress passed the Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act, which requires background investigations for employees, contractors or volunteers who have contact with Indian children. But despite the law, abuse, incest and other crimes against Indian children still prevail. Twenty American Indian/Alaska Native children out of every 1,000 are victims of abuse, compared with 10 white children, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“Although the calendar is a small step, it’s one that we hope will begin to empower the community to help put a stop to this vicious cycle. And through our training and calendar event, we can show that anyone can be an advocate for children,” said PSC President and CEO Michele Justice (Navajo). "We continually hear stories such as the trusted retired Penn State defensive coordinator who was accused of sexually assaulting eight boys. It was the mothers of the boys who spoke out. We need to all work together to make sure that those reporting and receiving the information are protecting our children."
The reception yesterday kicked off a three-day child abuse train-the-trainer workshop sponsored by PSC for Native American Heritage Month in November. The reception included a silent auction and proceeds of the auction will go toward Native American child abuse prevention programs at the Albuquerque-based First Nations Community Health Source.
For more information about the reception or to view the calendar artists’ work, go to PSC’s website at www.pscprotectsyou.com.
To place an order for the calendar by phone or email, contact Jayme Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-214-9117. For more information about PSC’s train-the-trainer series, contact Amanda Rogers at email@example.com or 505-214-9163.
The investigative firm, which specializes in personnel security and employment suitability, is one of the few American Indian-owned and -operated security expert businesses in the nation with more than 20 employees. PSC focuses on personnel security training, adjudications and tailored employee background investigations. PSC is the only authorized liaison between the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the FBI to aid tribes in obtaining employee fingerprints for a FBI criminal history record search to meet the requirements of the 1990 Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act.
A trusted source of expertise in investigations and program development in Indian Country, PSC serves more than 200 tribes and tribal programs, in addition to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. PSC’s mission is to provide extensive investigative services, keeping in mind cultural teachings of honesty, hard work, humility, fairness and kindness.
Justice was named New Mexico’s 2009 Small Business Person of the Year and received former Vice President Al Gore’s National Performance Review Award during her service with the BIA and the U.S. Department of Energy.