War of Words: ICWA Hearings Reignite Ancient Clash Over Indian Children

Throughout the day, one after the other, witnesses on both sides had pulled back and forth in a tug-of-war regarding perhaps the most seminal issue confronting American Indian tribes in the 21st century: The right to raise their own children in their home communities.

The debates at the public hearings reopened old grievances and unhealed wounds at the core of an ongoing conflict over Indian children that has been raging for more than 500 years. Beginning with the Spaniards, who landed in the West Indies in the late 15th century, Indian tribes have been at war over possession of their children with one power after another—including the British, the French, the Dutch and the United States—ever since.

Read the full article at the Indian Country Today Media Network website

Read the related opinion from Matthew Scraper, “In Response to War of the Words: ICWA Hearings Reignite Ancient Battle Over Indian Children.”