The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is a Federal law that governs the removal of Indian children from their homes. The law was enacted after Congress acknowledged that Indian children were removed from their homes at an alarmingly higher rate than non-Indian children, often placing them in non-Indian homes and institutions. Because there is “no resource that is more vital to the continued existence and integrity of Indian Tribes than their children”, Congress establishes minimum standards for the removal, placement, termination of parental rights, and adoption of Indian children. ICWA also allows Tribes to intervene in such proceedings to protect the best interests of their children to keep them connected to their families, communities, and culture. This session takes a detailed look into ICWA’s enactment, Federal standards, and application in State court proceedings.
Speaker: Kace Rodwell, Oklahoma Indian Legal Services, Oklahoma City, OK