A MONUMENTAL VICTORY: SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS ICWA
On June 15, 2023, the Supreme Court voted 7-2 in favor of upholding the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), a 45-year-old law that protects American Indian and Alaska Native kids in child welfare proceedings by keeping them in the care of their extended family or Tribes whenever possible.
In Haaland v. Brackeen, SCOTUS ruled against a group of white adoptive parents, backed by a powerful law firm and right-wing groups with ties to Big Oil, who aimed to dismantle ICWA. This is a historic win for Native children, Native communities and Tribes’ right to self govern.
Credit: Gregg Deal
STAY VIGILANT: OUR FIGHT CONTINUES
Enormous thanks to our partners, relatives and allies – including the 100,000+ who signed the petition – in achieving this resounding victory in our fight to #ProtectICWA.
As Indian Country celebrates, Tribal leaders remind us to stay vigilant, as vulnerabilities loom for future challenges to ICWA and other crucial statutes. Follow IllumiNative on Instagram, along with our partners at the Protect ICWA campaign for updates on ways to advocate for Native families and Tribal rights in your state and beyond.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
Before ICWA, in the 1970s, 25%-35% of all Native children were separated from their parents and communities by state child welfare and private adoption agencies.
Since its implementation in 1978, ICWA has been considered the gold standard of child welfare policy by advocates and leaders in the space.
497 TRIBAL NATIONS
Supporters of ICWA include 497 Tribal Nations and 26 child welfare orgs. Opponents include a right-wing think tank and the law firm that represented the Dakota Access Pipeline.
ICWA RESOURCES: LEARN MORE, DO MORE
“Opinion: I’m a Jersey girl born into the Salt Clan. My Navajo identity was taken from me”
In this CNN op-ed, Hilary C. Tompkins, a member of the Navajo Nation, describes being ripped from her family and culture before ICWA was implemented.
“A Right-Wing Think Tank Is Trying to Bring Down the Indian Child Welfare Act. Why?”
This article in The Nation shines a light on the Koch brothers, Big Oil and others attempting to dismantle ICWA.