Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Indian Child Welfare Act ruled unconstitutional, tribes vow to protect Native children


October 15, 2018

FORT WORTH, Texas – The future of a law designed to help ensure the survival of tribal cultures and place Native American child custody decisions in the hands of tribes is in jeopardy. The federal Northern District Court of Texas ruled Thursday, Oct. 4 that the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is unconstitutional. Judge Reed O’Conner, an appointee of President George W. Bush (R), stated that the law is a race-based statute and that the law requires state courts to enforce a federal law.

The law placed issues of Native American child custody under the jurisdiction of tribes, and its intent was to protect the integrity of Native American families and culture. The law gave preference to tribes and the children’s families when it came to placement of native children.


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