2014 Advisory Committee Comment
With respect to [Rule 34.03] subdivision 1(j) and (l), in cases where the application of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is unclear, such as when it is not yet known whether the child is or is not an Indian child, it is advisable to proceed pursuant to the requirements of the ICWA unless or until a determination is otherwise made in order to fulfill the Congressional purposes of the ICWA, to ensure that the child’s Indian tribe is involved, and to avoid invalidation of the action pursuant to 25 U.S.C. § 1914 and Rule 46.03.”
A court can’t go back and apply heightened standards after the fact. Makes more sense to do so from the beginning. No child is hurt by applying higher standards to their case, even if it ends up ICWA ultimately does not apply.
Thanks to AS.