Today’s post continues our assessment of TRC Call to Action #4, specifically in relation to the following requirements of the national standard for Indigenous child welfare:
ii. Require all child-welfare agencies and courts to take the residential school legacy into account in their decision making.
iii. Establish, as an important priority, a requirement that placements of Aboriginal children into temporary and permanent care be culturally appropriate.
Indian Child Welfare Act: The Gold Standard
The United States enacted the Indian Child Welfare Act (CWFA) in 1978, in response to overrepresentation of Indigenous children in the child welfare system. The CFWA is exemplary as it empowers Indigenous communities with inherent jurisdiction to resolve matters involving children in need of care.
When determining the best course of action for an Indigenous child, the ICWA requires US courts to consider the following:
- A genuine desire from the biological parents to place an Indigenous child in care.
- Active efforts to keep the family together (e.g. rehabilitative programs) to be unsuccessful before any placement is ordered. 
- A higher burden of proof to require placement/adoption.
- A legislated order for placement to keep the child close to their family and community.