Protection Poem – For the baby growing in my womb

Following the recent Indian Child Welfare Act victory in the Supreme Court, NCRP curated a poem from poet, organizer, and Indigenous Mexika dancer, Briana Muñoz. In the continued commitment to tribal sovereignty, Muñoz’s poem showcases a uniquely humanized reflection on parenting an Indigenous child and the importance of continuing Indigenous practices, even as early as in the womb.



Written by: Briana Muñoz

Date: July 05, 2023


You have been accompanying me 

since conception  

to ceremony 

dancing in my belly 


surrounded by fire-keepers 

and elders 

surrounded by Indigenous song


You have been prayed for 

by your momma 

and your grandparents  

and your great grandparents: 

an unbreakable chain link  


I have offered tobacco  

for your spirit arrival 

and in community 

have been gifted 


rosemary, rosehips, 

eucalyptus, and lavender   

to welcome you, 

future leader


You have been sitting quiet 

as if in meditation 

in the pond of my being  

already knowing that water is life 


You, warrior child, 

are the DNA 

of sun and moon  

and a thousand ancestors  


All of the answers – 

you already carry 

within you 



Briana Muñoz is a poet and traditional indigenous Mexika dancer from Southern California. She is the author of two books of poetry including Loose Lips (Prickly Pear Publishing) and Everything is Returned to the Soil (FlowerSong Press). Her work has been published in the anthology How to Reimagine America, Cultural Daily, the Beat Not Beat Anthology, the Oakland Arts Review, Dryland Literary Journal, and several other publications.  


More About the Poem:

As someone immersed in indigenous practices who is currently pregnant, I was reflecting on all of the ways this baby in my belly is already connected to community. I am a traditional indigenous Mexika dancer and continued to dance my first and second trimesters. When my lower back pain began, I moved to drumming which is easier on my body. 

I think of how the baby has been feeling movement and hearing/ feeling the huehuetl (Aztec drum) throughout my pregnancy and how important it is to introduce these practices early on, yes, even before they leave the womb. 

Feature banner photo credit: Azzedine Rouichi
Additional photos: Briana Muñoz