Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians

Choctaws fight to preserve authority over Native American adoptions

“As the only federally recognized tribe in the State of Mississippi, our 11,000 plus members are descendants of those members who chose to remain here in Mississippi to preserve our cultural heritage on our ancestral homelands,” the tribe said in a statement. “Today, just as in the past, the preservation and security of our tribe, and our tribal children and families are of utmost importance.”

Read the full article at Mississippi Today.

Indian Child Welfare Act Conference set for Thursday at Choctaw

The seventh annual Indian Child Welfare Act Conference is scheduled Thursday at the Silver Star Convention Center at Choctaw.

Tribal leaders and as many as 200 attorneys, judges, social workers and other professionals who deal with Native American children in a youth court setting are expected to attend the conference.

Read the full article at the Meridian Star website.

See related coverage at “Choctaw Tribe Works to Prevent Foster Care” on the WTOK-Newscenter 11 website.

ICWA Educational Video Now Available Online

This ICWA educational resource video is the culmination of the ongoing collaboration between the Mississippi Courts, Child Welfare Agency, and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians in consultation with the National Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues and the National Resource Center for Tribes. The video was produced by Mad Genius, Inc., Ridgeland, Mississippi.

The video will be a companion to the National ICWA Judicial Curriculum currently in development, a resource designed for state court judges, courts, and judicial educators.

For more information contact Dennis Perkins, Mississippi Administrative Office of Courts.

See the video at http://courts.ms.gov/trialcourts/youthcourt/youthcourt_ycvideos.html (scroll down to section on Indian Child Welfare Act)

Mississippi – Choctaw Memorandum of Understanding Related to ICWA

In October 2012, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and the Mississippi Department of Human Services signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) related to the Indian Child Welfare Act.

The purpose of the MOU is to initiate coordination of social services between the agencies in situations where Choctaw children and families live off of the reservation.

The agreement also establishes procedures and guidelines for response to Choctaw families, creates a resource system in support of social services, shares expertise and knowledge in the area of child welfare and protection and provides opportunities for training between the agencies.

Read more from the press release at the United South & Eastern Tribes website.  See the full teSigning ceremony for the Choctaw MOUxt of the MOU and other Mississippi resources in the NARF ICWA Guide Online.