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Wednesday, March 8, 2023

1987: Oversight Hearings on the Indian Child Welfare Act


442 PAGES - 10 year review after ICWA was passed into federal law

Indian Child Welfare Act. Hearing on Oversight Hearings on the Indian Child Welfare Act, before the Select Committee on Indian Affairs. United States Senate, One Hundredth Congress, First Session (November 10, 1987).

Congress of the U.S., Washington, DC. Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs.
This Senate hearing produced testimony on how the  Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA) has been administered by government agencies and the courts. Three members of the Select Committee on Indian Affairs presented background information on the act's intent to confirm the tribe as the primary authority in matters involving an Indian child's relationship to parents or extended family. Seven tribal members from Washington, Montana, Alaska, Oklahoma, California, and Arizona discussed the importance to Indian children of maintaining contact with their cultural roots; the high rates of placement of Native children in non-Native foster and adoptive homes, particularly in Alaska; and the problems of vague wording in ICWA and poor funding for tribal child welfare activities.  A witness from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) testified about the extent of the BIA's role in child placement proceedings and its funding and monitoring of tribal child welfare activities.  State officials from Washington and Alaska described problems of inadequate funding and lack of Native foster homes.  A Canadian speaker reported the unique problems of tribes that straddle the border.  The Association on American Indian Affairs submitted proposals for two bills, one to fund Indian social services out of four existing federal programs, and the other to amend ICWA by clarifying and expanding its coverage, increasing tribal involvement and control, keeping families intact when possible, providing quicker proceedings, and creating compliance monitoring mechanisms.  An advocacy group proposed an ICWA amendment that would extend coverage to indigenous Hawaiians.  Twelve additional tribal groups submitted recommendations. (SV)
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402.



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