As the current, ultra-conservative U.S. Supreme Court continues its deliberations in the Backeen v. Haaland case, it’s all too clear that the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is in serious jeopardy. While we remain hopeful it won’t, the High Court could easily overturn ICWA or portions of the law, eroding tribal sovereignty and eliminating the federal mandate to keep Native children in kinship care with their relatives.
That’s why it’s critical we protect all the important tenets of ICWA — and, in turn, the heath, safety, and cultural identities of our youngest and most vulnerable — at the state level. As we approach Mother’s Day, in solidarity with Native moms, uncis, and caretakers across this land, please tell your state leaders to codify ICWA at the state level!
Please click above to tell your state to codify ICWA and enforce current ICWA-like laws on the books, where they exist.
Should the Supreme Court overturn or gut this critical law, not only will our children suffer from being placed with non-Native foster care families, but a critical blow will have been struck against our tribal sovereignty. Foster care and adoption is the new method for conservative states to prolong our history of forced assimilation, with evangelical Christianity often motivating Department of Social Services (DSS) workers and foster families to reshape the minds and hearts of our children.
To this day, 90 percent of Native children seized by South Dakota’s DSS are placed into non-Native homes and institutions, and similar statistics exist in Native nations throughout the rest of the country. Dismantling ICWA would take us backward, continuing the genocidal pattern of broken treaties, land grabs, and Indian boarding schools. In this era of judicial overreach, we must exhaust every method to protect Native youth, so please do your part to assist us in this important endeavor!
Wopila tanka — thank you for your solidarity!
Chase Iron Eyes
Co-Director and Lead Counsel
The Lakota People’s Law Project
P.S. It’s critical we use all avenues at our disposal to protect the tenets of the Indian Child Welfare Act. Please tell your state leaders to codify ICWA and protect Native children, families, and sovereignty.
Lakota People’s Law Project
547 South 7th Street #149
Bismarck, ND 58504-5859
The Lakota People’s Law Project is part of the Romero Institute, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) law and policy center. All donations are tax-deductible.