Indian Country Statements and Some Law Regarding the California ICWA Case

NICWA’s statement.

Choctaw Nation’s statement.

NCAI’s statement.

California Children’s Law Center statement.

NAJA’s statement.

We will continue to add statements from other groups as we receive them. And, because it’s what we do, we’ve created a page with all of the publicly available primary source documents in this case. You can find that here.

The foster parents’ attorney has issued a statement claiming she will use this case to appeal ICWA up to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary. We’ve heard this before, and there are very few legal routes left for them to do that, but we still expect they will try them all.

Meanwhile, this case is not just about Indian Country. The role of foster care in this country is clear–to provide a temporary, loving home for a child while her family receives services to so the child can go home safely. It is also provides time for the state to search for other -relative- homes for the child. This is a best practice regardless of whether the child is Native or not. It’s actually state law in California. Ann.Cal.Welf. & Inst.Code § 361.3. In fact, it’s the law in a lot of states. That’s because relative preference in placement is also required by the federal government for states to receive Title IV-E funding. 25 U.S.C. 671(a)(19). Preventing a child from living with her siblings and relatives –family she knows, and who have spent considerable time planning this transition– contrary to court order is not the role of foster parents.

Finally, the use of the media in this case to inflame opinion, spread false information about the situation, publicize a child’s name and face, and to try to dismantle ICWA itself [again] is deplorable. The type of comments that NICWA, the California Children’s Law Center, Choctaw Nation and other individuals are receiving, particularly on social media, should disturb us all. Those taking the brunt of this deserve our full support and thanks.

Additional Resources:

The Michigan Legislature

The Washington Legislature

The Nebraska Legislature

The Minnesota Legislature

The Wisconsin Legislature

The California Legislature

2013 Statement of National Council Juvenile and Family Court Judges

2013 Position Statement of Casey Family Programs

2013 Press Release of the following child welfare organizations in support of ICWA: Casey Family Programs, Children’s Defense Fund, Child Welfare League of America, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Donaldson Adoption Institute, North American Council on Adoptable Children, Voice for Adoption, Black Administrators in Child Welfare, Inc., Children and Family Justice Center, Family Defense Center, First Focus Campaign for Children, Foster Care Alumni of America, FosterClub, National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds, National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators, National Association of Social Workers, National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, and National Crittenton Foundation.


4 thoughts on “Indian Country Statements and Some Law Regarding the California ICWA Case

  1. Nancy Schupp March 23, 2016 / 10:24 am

    Thank you for making this so clear to people who do not understand and think you are running riot over white people.

  2. Robin Walsh March 23, 2016 / 12:23 pm

    There are many of us who support the Choctaw and their role in the childs life. We will continue to support ICWA and the rights of parents/families to raise their own. Good Luck, Blessings given to you.

  3. Raven Healing March 25, 2016 / 7:57 pm

    I am so grateful for Turtle Talk. It’s exhausting constantly explaining to people that what happened here wasn’t just because of ICWA, but is also a part of state law as well. I wish more news sources understood how the law worked and would explain it. I want to respond to every comment that uses this story to try to undermine ICWA by linking to this page. Tiawenhk!

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