The Supreme Court today issued a landmark victory for tribal sovereignty by rejecting all the constitutional challenges to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). Throughout history, federal and state governments have sought to undermine and threaten the existence of tribes through the forced separation and assimilation of Native children. The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), passed by Congress in 1978, established basic requirements to protect Native American children from removal from their homes and communities by the government.
The Court’s decision recognizes the centuries-long history of Native child removal by the U.S. government and the overwhelming evidence that being removed from homes and disconnected from their culture, tradition, and identity is deeply harmful to Native children. But, the work is far from over. States still continue to remove Native children from their families and tribes at alarmingly high rates. Fourteen states already have ICWA laws on the books – but there are still many states to go. Please, join the ACLU in this fight to protect Native families: Send a message to your state legislature today and tell them to use their power to pass a state ICWA law.