Photo Courtesy National Indian Child Welfare Association
Published October 9, 2018
PORTLAND, Ore. — On Monday, October 8, 2018 the National Indian Child Welfare Association, National Congress of American Indians, Association on American Indian Affairs and Native American Rights Fund released the following joint statement on last week Thursday’s ruling by a federal district judge in northern Texas striking down the 40-year-old Indian Child Welfare Act.
Read the statement:
In a decision published by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was declared unconstitutional, jeopardizing the landmark legislation protecting tribal children.
This egregious decision ignores the direct federal government-to-government relationship and decades upon decades of precedent that have upheld tribal sovereignty and the rights of Indian children and families. Through 40 years of implementation, ICWA’s goal is to promote family stability and integrity. It continues to be the gold standard in child welfare policy.
While this disturbing ruling is a pivotal moment for Indian Country, we vehemently reject any opinion that separates Native children from their families and will continue to fight to uphold ICWA and tribal sovereignty.