NPR on ICWA in South Dakota

From tonight’s All Things Considered: here.

This week, officials from the Crow Creek Sioux Nation and seven other tribes in the state sent an extensive report to Congress accusing South Dakota of systematically violating the federal Indian Child Welfare Act. The federal law says that, with some exceptions, if the state removes a Native American child, the state must place that child with relatives, tribal members or other Native Americans.

The report, which the officials wrote with the help of the nonprofit Lakota People’s Law Project, concludes that in many instances the state does not have the authority to remove native children from tribal land. When the state does have that authority, through a tribal court order or tribal council agreement, the report says the state is failing to place the majority of those children according to the law.