Responses to ICWA Court Ruling

Treppa: Why the ICWA is critical to the health of native children and tribal communities

A Texas judge’s recent decision to strike down the Indian Child Welfare Act, or ICWA, sets a dangerous precedent that unravels federal policy carefully designed to correct centuries of tragic injustices committed against Indian people.

It not only threatens the wellbeing of Native children and their families, but also tribal sovereignty. Further, the ruling could undo many of the collaborative relationships our tribes have forged with local governments and states that already acknowledge the benefits of preserving Native families.

Read the full op-ed at the Lake County News website.

Preserving the Culture and Traditions of Indian Children and Families

October 23, 2018

In passing the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in 1978, the clear intent of Congress was to protect the best interest of Indian children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families. Oversight and enforcement authority regarding the provisions of ICWA was left to judges presiding over child custody cases.

Read the full statement on the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges website.

Joint Statement on Indian Child Welfare Case Brackeen v. Zinke Ruling

In a decision published by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was declared unconstitutional, jeopardizing the landmark legislation protecting tribal children.

This egregious decision ignores the direct federal government-to-government relationship and decades upon decades of precedent that have upheld tribal sovereignty and the rights of Indian children and families. Through 40 years of implementation, ICWA’s goal is to promote family stability and integrity. It continues to be the gold standard in child welfare policy.

Read the full statement on the Native American Rights Fund website.