Apr 122015
 

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Visited over 80 offices in last few days concerning how the BIA is hurting not just our kids, but kids of EVERY heritage across the U.S.

NONE of the offices I visited were aware of the new BIA rules, and many of the aides said they weren’t even clear on the ICWA. (You need to be calling your state delegation more, people!!)

However – when told what the new rules say and do, most (ON BOTH SIDES THE AISLE) were shocked.

(Most. I will tell you of the one stomach turning visit at the bottom here.)

Factually…these are NOT rules Congress intended, nor rules most Americans would agree with.

Friends, we need more of your friends and family to understand what the BIA did six weeks ago, as well we need you to call your Congressmen and Senators and TELL them in you own words how these rules could – or do – affect you, your family, your friends, your neighbors… And simply what an unconstitutional affront this is to all Americans of every single heritage – as, (contrary to what its authors portray)… It DOES affect families of every heritage.

1) READ the BIA ICWA Rules – http://www.bia.gov/cs/groups/public/documents/text/idc1-029447.pdf (Beginning in middle of the page, right – “Regulations for State Courts and Agencies in Indian Child Custody Proceedings.”)

2) CALL your State Senators and Congressman! (If you need their phone numbers, please ask us – write ‘admin[email protected]’ )

3) PLEASE COMMENT ON THE NEW FEDERAL RULES CONCERNING ICWA… Comments must be received on or before May 19, 2015. You can submit comments via e-mail to [email protected]; include “ICWA” in the subject line of the message. You may also mail comments or go through the federal rule making portal at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=BIA-2015-0001-0001

According to the new rules, effective immediately

– EVERY child who is presented to ANY court for adoption or foster care MUST be vetted for even the smallest connection to tribal heritage – and the tribal government MUST be notified and given the option to interfere. This is because families of minute heritage have been getting away with shutting out tribal govt, and tribal governments want that to stop. They want the money our children bring.
NOTE: It is proven that when ICWA is raised in a custody issue, a child’s permanency is delayed. It can be held up for months, sometimes years. Bad enough this has already been happening to a number of children, no matter their true needs and desires. Now the BIA has mandated a rule that could delay permanency for EVERY child – of EVERY heritage.

For the children a tribal govt decides it wants to claim –
It doesn’t matter if the child and his family have never lived in Indian Country.
It doesn’t matter the percentage of blood quantum
NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO ARGUE “BEST INTEREST” OF THE CHILD. The BIA claims that Congress has already decided your child’s best interest is ICWA preferences. No other ‘best interest’ is relevant.

FURTHER –
NO ONE is allowed to even question a placement chosen by a tribal court – ‘as questioning it undermines the tribal court.’

…In other words – these rules PROVE what we’ve stated all along; that ICWA IS NOT ABOUT WHAT IS GOOD FOR OUR CHILDREN.

‘Factual good’ for our children is irrelevant.

This issue – the ICWA – is and always has been about what is good for tribal government. It is – and has always been – about power and money.

Remember – federal funds to tribal governments are tied to the US census and tribal rolls. In other words, tribal governments get more money per head.

This is why tribal governments with thriving casinos are not the ones we hear targeting children as much. Reservations such as the one in Shakopee prefer to keep their rolls small. And…people allowed to be members are usually quite happy about it.

However, other tribal governments appear to make an industry out of targeting other people’s children. In 2012, an attorney for the Cherokee Nation stated they have about 125 attorneys targeting over 1500 children across the United States. Many of those children had very minimal heritage and had never been connected to Indian Country.

The ICWA – and these rules, in stating that no other best interest matters – fly in the face of all that is known about child development and child psychology… not to mention what we ourselves know to be true about our own children and grandchildren.

These rules confirm that the true needs of our children don’t matter.

Remember, even our families of 100% heritage – or who HAVE lived on a reservation – have a right to choose their own political affiliation for their families. ALL Americans should have a right to say NO to tribal government interference in their families.

75% of tribal members do NOT live in Indian Country – according to the last two US census’. Many – including my husband and many of our org members – have left due to tribal corruption and crime.

Congress and tribal governments have NO right to mandate political affiliations – and most especially NOT mandate political affiliations for our children.

NO treaty gives them that right. Ask them what treaty – and the wording – that allows it.
It has also already been shown that the Indian Commerce Clause doesn’t allow it.

Lastly – the only LOUSY meeting I have had yet, where common sense simply had no welcome – was in Representative Doug LaMalfa’s office (R-CA) with staff member Kevin Eastman – who did not seem at all interested or concerned about the reality of what the ICWA and these rules do to our children and families. He blamed the courts for the way they interpret the law. He said, essentially, that it isn’t Congress’ problem. This, while courts cite Congress’s intent when they make their rulings. And, this, while the BIA is stating ‘best interest’ doesn’t matter because Congress says it doesn’t matter.

Everyone points the blame at the other – is no one willing to take responsibility and fix it?

Congress needs to fix it. NOW. No more games or pushing off the blame.

SHARE with friends and family – and CALL your Congressmen and Senators! Educate them!!

1) READ the BIA ICWA Rules – http://www.bia.gov/cs/groups/public/documents/text/idc1-029447.pdf (Beginning in middle of the page, right – “Regulations for State Courts and Agencies in Indian Child Custody Proceedings.”)

2) CALL your State Senators and Congressman! (If you need their phone numbers, please ask us – write ‘[email protected]’ )

3) PLEASE COMMENT ON THE NEW FEDERAL RULES CONCERNING ICWA… Comments must be received on or before May 19, 2015. You can submit comments via e-mail to [email protected]; include “ICWA” in the subject line of the message. You may also mail comments or go through the federal rule making portal at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=BIA-2015-0001-0001

There is also a public teleconference concerning these rules to be held on Tuesday, May 12, from 1 – 4 p.m. Eastern Time. The number to call is 888-730-9138, the Passcode is INTERIOR –
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  2 Responses to “Educating Congress on the new BIA Regs hurting Our Children –”

  1. My grandson was in the system for over two years before I was granted custody. St louis county in Duluth mn. Was the agency holding up the process! We as band members of Fond du Lac had an ICWA worker from the reservation. But it seemed as if she let the county worker make all the decisions! The tribal government was of no help!! They are an corrupt agency within itself!!

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