The NNCTC is publishing a series of essays on Native child welfare, ICWA, and boarding schools. They are all available here.
In the most recent, Patrice Kunesh reflects on her own family history during this time of boarding school listening sessions and investigation by the federal government.
In January 1888, the year before North Dakota would become a state, their middle daughter Josephine, my great-aunt, was born on Battle Creek in Dakota Territory. When she was nine years old, Josephine was sent to Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, where she was trained in domestic skills. Upon her graduation in 1909 at the age of twenty-one, her mother Nellie presented her with a beaded valise, a small suitcase, depicting the 1863 Battle of Whitestone Hill on one side and the Lakota’s last buffalo hunt in 1882, two momentous losses of life and livelihood for the Lakota people that Nellie had witnessed.
Here is the Dear Tribal Leader letter, the guidance, and the request for comments on it: Draft Guidance for NACSA
This bill and guidance puts certain requirements on tribes, tribal courts, and tribal social service agencies regarding foster care placements and background checks. There have been concerns about the feasibility of the requirements, primarily related to tribal access to individual state databases for the required checks. Here are the important listening session and comment dates (I have to assume that’s March 16, 2018, not 2017 for the written comment deadline):
From the Hawaii Independent. A response to this news.
In moving forward, what should be done? The process for Federal recognition was a knee-jerk reaction to the Rice v. Cayetano decision. Surely there are other legal strategies and plans that the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and State officials can undertake to protect the OHA trust assets and Native Hawaiian entitlement programs. In the 14 years since the decision, the trust and programs have survived without a serious attack. It should be noted that political winds change all the time and there is no absolute certainty with Federal recognition either. For instance, during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s the US Federal government’s policy was to terminate the legal and political existence of some Federally recognized American Indian tribes in California, Oregon and a number of other US States. During the Civil Rights era of the 1960s and 1970s, the US Federal government made a significant change in that policy and worked to empower tribal governments. However, it is impossible to guarantee that future US Federal policies will not shift back in that direction again.
Press release here.
Federal Registry Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking here.
2000 DOI/DOJ Report on the Reconciliation Process here.
BIA letter here.
The second listening session will be April 15th from 1:30pm-3:00pm at the NICWA conference.