Advanced Topics in Indian Law: ICWA (Spring 2013)


Partial Class Assignments (additional book readings and paper deadlines are listed in your syllabus.):

# 1 Placing ICWA Historically

Matthew L.M. Fletcher, The Indian Child Welfare Act: Implication for American Indian and Alaska Native Children, Families, and Communities, in American Indian and Alaska Native Children and Mental Health, eds. Michelle C. Sarache et al. 274-277 (2011).

# 2 ICWA and the Constitution

House Report No. 1386

DeCoteau Senate Testimony

Morton v. Mancari, 417 U.S. 535 (1974)

Wisconsin Potowatomies of the Hannahville Indian Community v. Houston, 393 F.Supp. 719 (1973)

Fisher v. District Court424 U.S. 382 (1976)

Adoptive Couple v Cherokee Nation, No. 27148 (S.C. 2012)

Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, Cert Petition

Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, GAL Response

Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, Brief in Opposition

Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, No. 12-399, Questions Presented

#3  ICWA and Application

Jurisprudence Classical and Contemporary, pp 157-168; 615-619; 660-663; 666-672

Charles Gardner Geyh, Judicial Politics, The Rule of Law and the Future of the Ermine Myth, 1-27; 38-61

Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez, 436 U.S. 49, (1978)

Matter of A.B., 663 N.W.2d 625 (N.D. 2003), cert denied ___, U.S. ______;

Debacker v. Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians, Unpublished Opinion, (Mich. Ct. App. 2012)

# 4 ICWA and Jurisdiction

Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians v. Holyfield490 U.S. 30 (1989)

In re N.E.G.P626 N.W.2d 921 (Mich. Ct. App. 2001)

In re M.S.237 P.3d 161 (Okla, 2010)

Matter of Appeal of Maricopa County Juvenile Action No JD-6982922 P.2d 319 (Ariz. App. Div. 1 1996)

#5  ICWA Provisions

In re Francisco W.,139 Cal.App.4th 695 (Cal. App. 4th 2006)

In re Skyler H., 186 Cal.App. 1411 (Cal. App.  4th Dist., 2010)

In re Morris No. 142759 (Mich. 2012)

Kathryn Fort, The Cherokee Conundrum, available at

#6 ICWA Provisions

In re J.L., 483 Mich. 300; 770 N.W.2d 853 (2009)

Jon S. v. State of Alaska212 P.3d 756 (Alaska, 2009)

In re Nicole B., 410 Md. 33; 976 A.2d 1039 (2009)

#7 ICWA Provisions

In re M.F., 290 Kan. 225 P.3d 1177 (2010)

Michigan Court Rule 2.615

In re Mellinger672 A.2d 197 (N.J. 1996)

Hanson v. Doe188 Mich.App. 392 (Mich. Ct. App. 1991)

#8 ICWA & Identity

In re Adoption of M. 832 P.2d 518 (Wash. Ct. App. 1992)

In re S.E.G.521 N.W.2d 357 (Minn. 1994)

ICWA by the Numbers, Turtle Talk post

In re R.S., Opinion – Published

#9 Extra-Statutory/Statutory Interplay

Baby Boy L643 P.2d 168 (Kan., 1982)

In the Matter of A.J.S. 204 P.3d 543 (Kan., 2009)

In re N.J., 221 P.3d 1255 (Nev., 2009)

B.J. Jones, Differing Concepts of “Permanency”, in Facing the Future, 127-147 (eds., Fletcher, Singel, Fort)

#10 ICWA and Policy Choices

Matter of Baby Girl Doe., 856 P.2d 1090 (Mont. 1993)

In re T.S.W., No. 104,424 (Kansas, 2012)

Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994 Implementation Testimony

Dorothy E. Roberts, Is There Justice in Children’s Rights?, 2 U. Pa. J. Const. L. 123 (1999)

 #11 Tribes and Family Law

Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Constitution, Art. I, II

Matthew L.M. Fletcher, American Indian Tribal Law (2011), p. 459-473

#12 Tribes and Family Law

James v. Window Rock Family Court, SC-CV-06-12 (Navajo Nation S.Ct., 2012)

#13  Is ICWA Working?

Limb, Chance & Brown, An Empirical Examination of the Indian Child Welfare Act and its Impact on Cultural and Familial Preservation for American Indian Children, 28 Child Abuse & Neglect 1279 (2004)

MacEachron et al, The Effectiveness of the Indian Child Welfare Act, 70 Soc. Serv. Rev 451 (1996)



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