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Supreme Court Decision Is Latest Injustice Inflicted on Native Americans

June 15, 2023

Today’s Supreme Court decision, rejecting challenges to the Indian Child Welfare Act based largely on legal technicalities, marks only the most recent injustice that the federal government has inflicted on Native Americans.

The Act’s many racially discriminatory provisions deprive our country’s most vulnerable children of the legal guarantees that children of all other races enjoy—making it harder for states to protect them from abuse and neglect and depriving them of possibilities for adoption, based solely on their racial ancestry. That travesty has led in case after case to the preventable beatings, molestation, and murders of Indian children.

While it’s shameful that the Court would turn a deaf ear to the cries of our country’s most at-risk children, it is at least gratifying that the Court left open the door to future lawsuits challenging the race-based injustices caused by ICWA.

We hope in the near future to see state courts make clear that Indian children, no less than black, white, Asian, or Hispanic children, deserve to have their rights respected.



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