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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Last Day for Comments

Law Professors Comment on Proposed ICWA Regulations

Here. Signed by 21 clinicians, professors, and deans representing more than 15 law schools.
Times have certainly changed since the original Guidelines were issued. Administrative law and the power of the federal government have shifted considerably in the past forty years. In addition, there was no way the federal government could foresee the dramatically different applications of ICWA across the fifty states. These new regulations are necessary because without them the application of the law is arbitrary, with Indian children treated differently depending on which state’s courtroom they are in. Having disparate interpretations of ICWA was certainly not the intent of Congress in passing a federal law, and conflicts with the rationale of the Supreme Court’s decision in Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians v. Holyfield, 490 U.S. 30, 45-46 (1989) (describing the need for uniformity in defining ‘‘domicile’’ under ICWA). These regulations will provide a stronger measure of consistency in the implementation of ICWA and prevent the application of different minimum standards across the United States, contrary to Congress’ intent.
Here is a selection of a few of the major groups in support (as available from Regulations.gov or sent directly to us at fort [at] law [dot] msu [dot] edu):
American Bar Association
Association on American Indian Affairs
Michigan Tribal-State Judicial Forum
National Indian Child Welfare Association
National American Indian Court Judges Association
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

Today is the last day to comment–send an email to comments@bia.gov with “ICWA” in the subject line.


And this is an important paper:


[PDF] The Indian Child Welfare Act's Waning Power After Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl

K Kruck - Northwestern University Law Review, 2015
... These findings were based on a North Dakota study and a study of tribes in the American
Northwest. Id. ... 


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What our Nations are up against!

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Indian Country is under attack. Native tribes and people are fighting hard for justice. There is need for legal assistance across Indian Country, and NARF is doing as much as we can. With your help, we have fought for 48 years and we continue to fight.

It is hard to understand the extent of the attacks on Indian Country. We are sending a short series of emails this month with a few examples of attacks that are happening across Indian Country and how we are standing firm for justice.

Today, we look at recent effort to undo laws put in place to protect Native American children and families. All children deserve to be raised by loving families and communities. In the 1970s, Congress realized that state agencies and courts were disproportionately removing American Indian and Alaska Native children from their families. Often these devastating removals were due to an inability or unwillingness to understand Native cultures, where family is defined broadly and raising children is a shared responsibility. To stop these destructive practices, Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

After forty years, ICWA has proven to be largely successful and many states have passed their own ICWAs. This success, however, is now being challenged by large, well-financed opponents who are actively and aggressively seeking to undermine ICWA’s protections for Native children. We are seeing lawsuits across the United States that challenge ICWA’s protections. NARF is working with partners to defend the rights of Native children and families.

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where were you adopted?

where were you adopted?