Earlier this year, the Oglala and Rosebud Sioux Tribes and three Indian mothers filed a lawsuit in federal court in Rapid City on behalf of all parents of minor Indian children in Pennington County. That lawsuit, Oglala Sioux Tribe v. Van Hunnik, charges that the South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS), the Pennington County State’s Attorney’s Office, and the presiding judge and other judges in the Seventh Judicial Circuit routinely violate the constitutional and ICWA rights of Indian parents in child abuse and neglect cases. In a nutshell, the Indian plaintiffs charge that state court judges, assisted by DSS and state prosecutors, routinely order Indian children into long term foster care placements, based on allegations of neglect or abuse, without giving their parents any kind of fair and meaningful hearing. The Indian plaintiffs are seeking an order from the United States District Court that would prohibit state court judges, DSS and the State’s Attorney’s office from placing Indian children in foster homes unless they first give Indian children, parents and Tribes the fair hearing that is their right under ICWA.
Read more at the Indianz.Com website.