Supreme Court hears arguments in pivotal Indian Child Welfare Act case

News November 10, 2022 News
Supreme Court hears arguments in pivotal Indian Child Welfare Act case

From Arizona Republic by Debra Utacia Krol

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a case challenging the Indian Child Welfare Act, a case that many Native people fear may have broader implications for tribal sovereignty and self-governance.

An attorney attempting to persuade the high court to set aside the act, which many child advocacy organizations call the gold standard of child welfare policy, seemed to bear weight to those fears.

The Indian Child Welfare Act, known as ICWA, was enacted in 1978 to address the near-wholesale removals of Native children from their homes, a process that sent most of them to non-Indian adoptive families. Up to 35% of all Native children had been removed from their homes and 85% of them were sent to non-Indian homes before ICWA became law, according to the National Indian Child Welfare Association, known as NICWA.

Photo by Mariam Zuhaib / Associated Press

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