Organizations and Law Professors Comment on Proposed ICWA Regulations

Here is a selection of a few of the major groups in support of the proposed ICWA regulations (as available from or sent directly to us at fort [at] law [dot] msu [dot] edu):

American Bar Association
Association on American Indian Affairs
California Indian Legal Services
Casey Family Programs, with additional signatories including NNABA and TLPI
Children’s Defense Fund
The Donaldson Adoption Institute
ICWA Law Center
Michigan Tribal-State Judicial Forum
Michigan Indian Legal Services
National Indian Child Welfare Association
National American Indian Court Judges Association
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Letter from:
Advocates for Children and Youth
Children’s Defense Fund
Children and Family Futures
Child Welfare League of America
Foster Family-Based Treatment Association
Generations United
National Children’s Alliance
National Crittenton Foundation
National Foster Parent Association
Nebraska Appleseed
Nebraska Families Collaborative
New Mexico Child Advocacy Networks
North American Council on Adoptable Children

Law Professors Comment. Signed by 21 clinicians, professors, and deans representing more than 15 law schools.

Times have certainly changed since the original Guidelines were issued. Administrative law and the power of the federal government have shifted considerably in the past forty years. In addition, there was no way the federal government could foresee the dramatically different applications of ICWA across the fifty states. These new regulations are necessary because without them the application of the law is arbitrary, with Indian children treated differently depending on which state’s courtroom they are in. Having disparate interpretations of ICWA was certainly not the intent of Congress in passing a federal law, and conflicts with the rationale of the Supreme Court’s decision in Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians v. Holyfield, 490 U.S. 30, 45-46 (1989) (describing the need for uniformity in defining ‘‘domicile’’ under ICWA). These regulations will provide a stronger measure of consistency in the implementation of ICWA and prevent the application of different minimum standards across the United States, contrary to Congress’ intent.

One of our second year law students at MSU Law, Whitney Gravelle, was a huge help in researching issues related to administrative authority and getting a first draft going.


3 thoughts on “Organizations and Law Professors Comment on Proposed ICWA Regulations

  1. Gabriella Archuleta May 19, 2015 / 12:03 pm

    Thanks for this. I’m subscribed to Turtle Talk, but somehow missed this article.

  2. nora daniels May 19, 2015 / 10:43 pm

    Since the law was passed in 1978. The failure to uphold ICWA has continued to deny Native Americans the protection and sanctity of the family. I also refer to those stolen Native American children before 1978. Nothing had been done to repair the damages to these grown adults who want to return home to their families. I deal with numerous individuals who can not recall who they were before being taken by child protection services. Lost names, lost families, lost cultural rights and heritage stolen from these men and women. I think we need an amendment to add these people to that weak law. Even if the government can not uphold the very regulations they passed into law through the supreme court. Times have changed. But, the continued stealing of Native American children had not slowed down. I feel a reform is needed. I think suing the states and federal government agencies that have their dirty hands in this form of human trafficking is the only protection Native Americans can do. Human trafficking is illegal. Yet, here it is in adopting Native American children into non native familes. Taken from their parents on bogus excuses to turn a buck. The Catholic churches using these adoption agencies to make a profit. It’s all Human trafficking!!! The very violations of human rights is covered up in red tape from state and church alike. I am looking into starting a non profit to assist those before 1978 find their families again. I am thinking a large data base on each reservation to help track down these families and vice versa. The children taken. We can not fix the past. But, maybe we can find a way to help those stolen children now. Thanks for letting me rant. Nora Daniels

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