The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) protects American Indian and Alaska Native children in child welfare proceedings by keeping them in the care of extended family or tribes whenever possible. A fast-approaching challenge to ICWA will be heard by the Supreme Court in Haaland v. Brackeen this November. This case could have far-reaching effects on the well-being of children and families.
Family separation is not just a piece of history; ICWA’s protection is deeply needed today. Statistics tell us that Indian children today face many of the same issues as when ICWA was enacted; Native children are currently removed from their homes at 2–3 times the rate of white children and often are not placed with relatives or other Indian families, even when such placements are available and appropriate.
ICWA, like other federal Indian legislation, is based on the unique political status of tribes and Indian people, not race. This status—established by Congress, the Constitution, statutes, and treaties—has been affirmed and reaffirmed by U.S. Supreme Court decisions for 200 years.
The Protect ICWA Campaign, was established by four national Native organizations: the National Indian Child Welfare Association, the National Congress of American Indians, the Association on American Indian Affairs, and the Native American Rights Fund. The Campaign works to serve and support Native children, youth, and families through upholding the Indian Child Welfare Act. Together, the Campaign The Campaign works to inform policy, legal, and communications strategies with the mission to uphold and protect ICWA.
The Protect ICWA Campaign has released the following materials to assist advocacy organizations and policy makers in supporting the goals of the Campaign: