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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Native American Court to Run Under Bigger Concept of Family

In 2017, Second Judicial District Children’s Court judge Marie Ward and ICWA court hearing officer Catherine Begaye (Diné/Navajo) sketched out an ICWA court blueprint for New Mexico.

But it wasn’t until a November 2018 visit by Judge Katherine Delgado, who helped start an ICWA court in Adams County, Colo., that pushed Ward and Begaye to accelerate. The Second Judicial Court in Albuquerque presides over the largest amount of overall child welfare cases as well as ICWA cases in the state, Ward said. A few months after Blalock’s January 2019 appointment to cabinet secretary, CYFD created an internal, all-Native female ICWA team of four ICWA caseworkers, an ICWA supervisor and two children’s court attorneys. The ICWA unit educates ICWA court caseworkers, guardian ad litems, lawyers and affiliated parties on the historical and intergenerational trauma that a Native family has experienced. “They need that expertise and knowledge so that Indian families can receive support,” Chavers said.

READ: Native American Court to Run Under Bigger Concept of Family - Youth Today

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