Joint Statement on Indian Child Welfare Case Brackeen v. Zinke Ruling


Official Statement from the Native American Rights Fund, the National Indian Child Welfare Association, the National Congress of American Indians, and the Association on American Indian Affairs:

In a decision published by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was declared unconstitutional, jeopardizing the landmark legislation protecting tribal children.

This egregious decision ignores the direct federal government-to-government relationship and decades upon decades of precedent that have upheld tribal sovereignty and the rights of Indian children and families. Through 40 years of implementation, ICWA’s goal is to promote family stability and integrity. It continues to be the gold standard in child welfare policy.

While this disturbing ruling is a pivotal moment for Indian Country, we vehemently reject any opinion that separates Native children from their families and will continue to fight to uphold ICWA and tribal sovereignty.

Read more about NARF’s work to protect the welfare of Indian children.

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