Indian Child Welfare Act experts agreed that the Bright Star contract potentially misled the adoptive parents by saying the law “does not apply” in their situation.
“That is just wrong,” said Professor Fort, who also serves as director of the Indian Law Clinic at Michigan State University and authored a case law book titled American Indian Children and the Law.
She pointed to a section in the Indian Child Welfare Act that states the law does apply in adoptions of Native children. And she invoked a federal regulation published in 2016, which states that the Indian Child Welfare Act applies in any “voluntary proceeding that could prohibit the parent or Indian custodian from regaining custody of the child upon demand.”
In other words, the Indian Child Welfare Act applies in voluntary adoption cases when a Native birth mother gives up her parental rights. It’s unclear from the September Bright Star contract whether the birth mother agreed to give up her parental rights after the birth of her child.
This is the gentleman who is also now indicted for trafficking Marshallese women and selling their babies.
A federal judge on Monday rejected the Ute Indian Tribe’s “emergency” request for a preliminary injunction that would have blocked prosecutions of several tribal members charged in state court with offenses that allegedly occurred on tribal lands.
The tribe argued it faces “irreparable harm” if the state prosecutes them before U.S. District Judge Bruce Jenkins has a chance to rule on the merits of its jurisdictional dispute with Uintah and Duchesne counties. At issue is where exactly does tribal jurisdiction end and state jurisdiction begin in the “checkerboard” pattern of tribal trust lands in the Uinta Basin.
But the state has agreed to stay the criminal cases in question pending the outcome of this latest dispute, the judge found. The tribe was not satisfied and wanted assurances that the state would refrain from bringing new cases against its members.
“They are only willing to stay the existing cases. There are several thousand members. We don’t want this issue of the tribe’s boundaries litigated in state court without our knowledge. [When new cases are filed] they should be required to bring it to our attention,” argued the tribe’s lawyer Frances Bassett.
In the judge’s frustration with the attorneys’ failure to agree on the issues to be resolved, he sequestered them in the jury room, giving them until 2:00 that day to “identify genuine issues” in the case. Here.
South Dakota students protest ‘Fighting Sioux’
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Indian students at the University of South Dakota protested the “Fighting Sioux” logo and nickname of the University of North Dakota.
Holding signs that read “There is no honor in racism” and “American Indians are people not mascots,” the students protested outside of a game against UND. They said the “Sioux” name was offensive. “I believe what they’re doing is disrespectful to our people,” Sinte Nupa Gilbert, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, told The Volante Online. The students want USD to refuse to play games with UND until the “Sioux” name and logo are eliminated. UND signed a settlement that calls for elimination of the name within three years unless tribal approval is obtained.
Get the Story:
American Indian students protest UND nickname (The Volante Online 11/14)
From USCHO: “The NCAA and the state of North Dakota have agreed to an out-of-court settlement over the use of the University of North Dakota’s Fighting Sioux nickname and logo.”The agreement gives UND three years to obtain permission to use the nickname from two Sioux tribal governments within the state on the Standing Rock and Spirit Lake reservations. After both sides sign the settlement as expected, the lawsuit will be dismissed with prejudice, according to North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.”
“Some advocated the end of all UND programs and opportunities for American Indian students if the two Sioux tribes didn’t grant approval. ”
The details are exactly the same as I heard earlier (two specific tribes needed to “ratify”), but the same issues are raised.
Also, it occurs to me given the mutterings from pro-Fighting Sioux people (advocating the end of American Indian programs at UND) that the next three or more years for American Indian students and faculty on campus will be very, very hard.
Indianz.com reported today that UND and the NCAA are in the midst of discussing a settlement whereby UND would have three years to find a Sioux nation that is willing to extend official support to the Fighting Sioux name and logo or else they will retire it.
I’ve been troubled from the beginning by the NCAA’s pattern of allowing universities to find a tribe to “ratify” their Indian names, mascots, and logos. Utah, Central Michigan, and (most famously) Florida State come to mind. On one hand, it’s an expression of sovereignty for the tribes to come to their own conclusion as to whether they want to take this action — and I support that discussion that tribes undertake. But on the other, it is a denigration of the sovereignty of the other tribes that would reject a university’s name and logo (for example, the Oklahoma Seminoles and the other Chippewa tribes in Michigan and elsewhere). Now, as it had been doing, UND will lobby, cajole, and probably bribe (in a legal way, one hopes) the North Dakota Sioux nations for authority. And they might get it — who knows? But if one breaks down and “ratifies” the Fighting Sioux, what about the other nations?
My real point in raising this question is to ask — what is the price of ratification? We think the Florida Seminole nation (there was another that did not) that “ratified” FSU’s use of the Seminole name did so for political purposes, perhaps related to gaming compacts. But there, Gov. Jeb Bush (who likely was in gaming compact negotiations with the tribe) made big political hay over the NCAA’s actions as to FSU and other schools on the question of their use of Indian names, logos, and mascots. It made some sense (I suppose) to placate Jeb Bush at that time. But what does UND have to offer the Sioux nations? Not gaming, certainly. Full tuition and fees and living costs to all Sioux Indians? Contract bidding preferences to Sioux nation business entities? UND extension schools on reservations? I don’t really know.
UND could turn the next three years (assuming the settlement goes through) into a brutal campaign of North Dakota Sioux nation against Sioux nation against Sioux nation. What if UND made clear that the the first Sioux nation to “ratify” the Fighting Sioux name and logo would get all the benefits, creating a race to the bottom (assuming there were any competitors)?
Or maybe UND compromises and offers to share the trademark and other property rights associated with the Fighting Sioux name and logo with the Sioux nations (in N.D. and in S.D., Minn., and Mont.). Then the Sioux nations would have a say in how the name and logo are used — and, likely, a say in whether or not to continue them at all. Or what if UND offered to make their name more politically correct, for example, changing the name to the Lakota?
I’m not supporting any of these ideas (and I really hope they don’t go anywhere, because the use of Indian names and logos should just go away), but I’m trying to demonstrate how this settlement could become a major problem for the Indian nations in question. Remember — no Indian nation is a party to these negotiations. As is almost always the case, the interests of Indian people will be decided according to the whims of non-Indians.