ICWA: Victory for Tribes as Judge Reaffirms South Dakota Decision

The class action case is now in its third year, having been filed in March 2013 by three Indian mothers and the Oglala and Rosebud Sioux Tribes in South Dakota to address ongoing violations in that state. According to tribal officials and advocacy groups, approximately 750 Indian children a year are swept into foster care, sometimes for months on end, with virtually no compliance with state and federal law.

For decades, Indian parents in Pennington County have been refused court-appointed counsel as stipulated in ICWA, the right to speak in their own defense, cross-examine witnesses or present evidence at the emergency hearings, many of which lasted less than 90 seconds, their suit alleged. They were also denied the right to review the secret petitions filed against them, documents which are routinely available only to the judge.

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