The Philosophical Underpinnings and Negative Consequences of the Indian Child Welfare Act

 Comments Off on The Philosophical Underpinnings and Negative Consequences of the Indian Child Welfare Act
Oct 212019
 
The Philosophical Underpinnings and Negative Consequences of the Indian Child Welfare Act - https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/masters/591/

By Elizabeth S. Morris

A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of the Helms School of Government in Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Arts in Public Policy

https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/masters/591

‘Although the ICWA has some statutory safeguards to prevent misuse, numerous families continue to be hurt by the law.’

Preface

My husband and I began our lives together in a symbiotic alcoholic-enabler relationship in the late 70’s. With our family on the edge of self-destruction in 1987, my husband, an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, born and raised on the Leech Lake reservation, had a transformational experience which changed his worldview and led him to take our family in a new direction. 

Having watched many of his relatives suffer within the reservation system, he began to see reservation violence and crime as an outcome of current federal Indian policy more than it was about past policy. This led us to forming an advocacy in the late 90’s for families hurt by federal Indian policy.  We did our best to share hope and life, as inadequate as we were, by assisting extended family in our home, neighbors in our community, and strangers across the nation. We never did it for money; there was never any money. Everything we did came from passion for the lives of our children, nieces and nephews, and extended communities.

Unfortunately, reservation crime, corruption, drug abuse and violence have continued to increase over the years. My husband has since passed away and I am a widow, continuing the work we had begun in 1996.

This thesis compiles some of the documented history, philosophy, and consequences of federal Indian policy. It also includes a preliminary quantitative causal comparative survey with 1351 participants – 551 of whom identify tribal heritage – and explores the relationship between differences.

We serve a powerful God with whom all things are possible.  Our job is to serve in the capacity He has given us, even if we do not understand why, and then enjoy watching what He does next. 

Abstract

This paper will examine the philosophical underpinnings of current federal Indian policy and its physical, emotional, and economic consequences on individuals and communities.

The U.S. Civil Rights Commission found in 1990 that “[T]he Government of the United States has failed to provide civil rights protection for Native Americans living on reservations” (W. B. Allen 1990, 2). As Regan (2014) observes, individuals have been denied full title to their property – and thus use of the property as leverage to improve their economic condition (Regan 2014). Tribal executive and judicial branches have been accused of illegal search and seizures, denial of right to counsel or jury, ex parte hearings and violations of due process and equal protection (W. B. Allen 1990, 3). Violence, criminal activity, child abuse and trafficking are rampant on many reservations (DOJ 2018). Largely because of crime and corruption, many have left the reservation system. The last two U.S. censuses’ report 75% of tribal members do not live in Indian Country (US Census Bureau 2010).

Research suggests current federal Indian policy and the reservation system are built on philosophies destructive to the physical, emotional and economic health of individual tribal members. This paper contends that allowing property rights for individual tribal members, enforcing rule of law within reservation systems, supporting law enforcement, and upholding full constitutional rights and protections of all citizens would secure the lives, liberties and properties of affected individuals and families.

Introduction

For almost 200 years the U.S. federal government has claimed wardship over members of federally recognized Indian tribes.  Yet, despite the nineteenth century U.S. federal court rulings that propagated this view, disagreement continues as to whether tribes located within the United States are sovereign, whether Congress has plenary power over them, and whether individual tribal members have U.S. Constitutional rights: 

  • Some say the nineteenth century U.S. Supreme Court cases known as the ‘Marshall Trilogy’ contradict tribal sovereignty.  Others say they uphold it.
  • Some say treaties promise a permanent trust relationship. Others point out that most treaties have clearly specified final payments of federal funds and benefits and were written and signed with clear intent for gradual assimilation.
  • Some say the Constitution never gave Congress anything more than the power to regulate trade with tribes. Others claim the Constitution not only gave Congress total and exclusive plenary power to decide every aspect of life in Indian Country – but by unstated extension, gave the executive branch this power as well.
  • Some argue that the Constitution never had authority over tribes or tribal members. Others cite the Constitution when seeking judicial redress. 
  • Some tribal officials argue that international law should not have been forced upon non-European cultures that had no say in it. Others point to natural law and international law – the grounds for treaties between nations – as basis for uninterrupted tribal sovereignty.

Inherent, retained tribal sovereignty was reality for tribal governments prior to the formation of the United States and in the immediate years following its birth, but is not reflected in case law from the 1800s and much of the 1900s. By the time of Andrew Jackson, the United States had taken a position of control. Further, over the last two centuries, the vast majority of tribal leaders accepted large payments for land, accepted federal trust benefits, and submitted to federal government’s de facto power over them.   

Throughout history and every heritage, various men have coveted power over others.  Today, tribal governments, while accepting and playing into Congress’ claim of plenary power, have themselves, also, claimed exclusive jurisdiction and authority over unwilling citizens. Tribal governments regularly lobby and petition both Congress and the White House to codify tribal jurisdiction over the lives, liberty and property of everyone within reservation boundaries as well as some outside reservation boundaries.  While claiming exclusive jurisdiction, tribal governments have requested and given blessing for the federal government to manage children of tribal heritage – asking Congress to write the Indian Child Welfare Act and the executive branch to write federal rules governing the placement of every enrollable child in need of care. Some tribal governments and supportive entities have gone further – asking even governors and state legislators to expand on and strengthen control over children with heritage.

Often cited as justification for the ICWA is a 1998 pilot study by Carol Locust, a training director at the Native American Research and Training Center at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.  Locust’s study is said to have shown that “every Indian child placed in a non-Indian home for either foster care or adoption is placed at great risk of long-term psychological damage as an adult” (Locust, Split Feather Study 1998).  Referring to the condition as the “Split-feather Syndrome,” Locust claims to have identified “unique factors of Indian children placed in non-Indian homes that created damaging effects” (Locust, Split Feather Study 1998).  The Minnesota Department of Human Services noted “an astonishing 19 out of 20 Native adult adoptees showed signs of “Split-feather syndrome” during Locust’s limited study (DHS 2005).

“Unfortunately,” according to Bonnie Cleaveland, PhD ABPP, “the study was implemented so poorly that we cannot draw conclusions from it.” Only twenty adoptees with tribal heritage – total – were interviewed. All were removed from their biological families and placed with non-native families. There were no control groups to address other variables. According to Cleaveland:

Locust asserts that out-of-culture removal causes substance abuse and psychiatric problems. However, she uses no control group. She doesn’t acknowledge the high rates of trauma, psychiatric and substance abuse among AI/AN people who remain in their culture and among the population of foster children. These high rates of psychosocial problems could easily account for all of the symptoms Locust found in her subjects 

(Cleaveland 2015).

Cleaveland concluded, “Sadly, because many judges and attorneys, and even some caseworkers and other professionals, are not familiar with the research, results that may be very wrong are leading to the wrong outcomes for children” (Cleaveland 2015).  While supporters of ICWA cite “Split-feather Syndrome” as proof the ICWA is in the best interest of children, many children have been hurt by application of the law. 

Questions that need more extensive study include whether children who were adopted into non-Indian families as children show greater problems with self-identity, self-esteem, and inter-personal relationships than do their peers.  Are the ties between children who have tribal heritage and their birth families and culture stronger than that of their peers, no matter the age at adoption?  Other considerations include whether all tribal members support federal policies that mandate their cases be heard only in tribal courts and whether a percentage of persons of tribal heritage believe federal Indian policy infringes on their life, liberty and property.

 The central concern of this paper is how current federal Indian policy has affected the lives, liberty and property of those who have tribal heritage – most specifically the Indian Child Welfare Act.  Through research of the historical foundations of federal Indian policy and a nation-wide comparative survey of family dynamics, this paper will attempt to answer these and other questions.

READ FULL TEXT – https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/masters/591

Citation

Morris, Elizabeth S. The Philosophical Underpinnings and Negative Consequences of the Indian Child Welfare Act. Master Thesis, Helms School of Government, Liberty University, Lynchburg: Digital Commons, 2019, 337.  

—————————-

References

Aziz G. Sayigh, Boris V. Babson, A.S. Erickson, Charles S. Dameron, Adam I.W. Schwartzman, Nicholas P. Desatnick. “The Storied History of Dartmouth.” The Dartmouth Review, 10 2006.

25 U.S Code. “15 § 1302.” 1968.

Ablavsky, Gregory. “Beyond the Indian Commerce Clause.” Yale Law Journal 124 (2015): 1012, 1017.

Abourezk, James G. THE OCCUPATION OF WOUNDED KNEE, 1973 – American Indian Movement. House of Representatives, Wounded Knee: U.S. Government, 1972.

ACF. Tribal Child Counts. Washington DC: Child Care Bureau, Office of Family Assistance, 2007.

Adoption of Baby Boy L. No. 53,592 (Kansas Supreme Court, April 3, 1982).

Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl. No. 12–399 (U.S. Supreme Court, June 25, 2013).

Ahrens, Kym R., Michelle M. Garrison, and Mark E. Courtney. “Health Outcomes in Young Adults From Foster Care and Economically Diverse Backgrounds.” American Academy of Pediatrics, 2014: 10.

AIPRC. American Indian Policy Review Commission Final Report, Vol. I. report to provide foundation for understanding of federal Indian policy, law, and history, American Indian Policy Review Commission,, Congress, Washington DC: GPO; Eric.Ed.gov, 1977, 593.

Allen, William B. Commissioner. The Indian Civil Rights Act: United States Commission on Civil Rights Statement. U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, U.S. Congress, Washington DC: USCCR, 1990, 16.

Allen, William B. “Email Correspondence.” June 8, 2018.

—. “ICWA Teach-in, Keynote.” Washington DC: CAICW, 10 2010.

Allen, William. Review of Federal Indian Policy. Havre d’ Grace, MD: Unpublished, 2010, 25.

Allison Randall, Chief of Staff. “Baaken violence.” DOJ/Office on Violence Against Women. washington DC: DOJ, 9 13, 2013.

Ambrose, of the St John Indians. “Speech at a Conference Held at Watertown, in the Colony of Massachusetts-Bay July 12, 1776.” Edited by Peter Force. American Archives. Ser.5 v.1 ([1776] 1837–53): 839.

Arkes, Hadley. “The Natural Law Challenge.” Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy (Harvard Society for Law and Public Policy, Inc) 36, no. 3 (Summer 2013): 961-975.

Attorney General’s Advisory Committee. Committee on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence: Ending Violence so Children can Thrive. Final Full Report, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, Deptartment of Justice, Washington DC: Dept. of Justice, 2014, 257.

Avalon Project. “Treaties Between the United States and Native Americans.” Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Law Library. 2008. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/subject_menus/ntreaty.asp (accessed June 22, 2016).

Banner, Stuart. How the Indians Lost Their Land: Law and Power on the Frontier. 2nd. Cambridge: Belknap Press, 2007.

Bastiat, Fredrick. The Law. New York: The Foundation for Economic Education, 1998.

Bellamy, Jennifer L., Geetha Gopalan, and Dorian E. Traube. “A National Study of the Impact of Outpatient Mental Health Services for Children in Long Term Foster Care.” Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry (University of Chicago) 15, no. 4 (2010): 467-79.

Bender, Albert. “South Dakota Commits Shocking Genocide Against Native Americans by Abducting Their Children.” ICWA INFO. Edited by Native American Rights Foundation. Native American Rights Foundation. February 20, 2015. http://icwa.narf.org/news/1747 (accessed June 22, 2016).

Benedict, Jeff. Without Reservation. New York: Harper, 2000.

Bernholz, Charles D., Laura K. Weakly, Brian L. Pytlik Zillig, and Karin Dalziel. “As long as grass shall grow and water run: The treaties formed by the Confederate States of America and the tribes in Indian Territory, 1861.” Treaties Portal. Love Memorial Library. n.d. http://treatiesportal.unl.edu/csaindiantreaties/.

BIA. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). 2019. https://www.bia.gov/bia (accessed 4 16, 2019).

—. “Indian Child Welfare Act Proceedings.” Federal Register, June 14, 2016: 369.

—. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS. 9 2, 2016. http://www.bia.gov/FAQs/ (accessed Sept 3, 2016).

—. “ICWA Guidelines teleconference.” NWX-DEPT OF INTERIOR-NBC (US). Washington DC: Department of Interior, 2015. 1-114.

—. “Indian Child Welfare Act.” US Deptartment of the Interior: Indian Affairs. June 8, 2016. http://www.indianaffairs.gov/WhoWeAre/BIA/OIS/HumanServices/IndianChildWelfareAct/index.htm (accessed June 8, 2016).

BIA. Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible To Receive Services From the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs. Notice, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of Interior, DC: Federal Government, 2003, 68180 -68184 (5 pages).

Bickel, Alexander M. “Citizenship in the American Constitution.” Faculty Scholarship Series, 1973.

Bird, Allyson. Broken Home: The Save Veronica story. News Article, Charleston: Charleston City Paper, 2012.

Black, Henry Campbell. Black’s Law Dictionary Free. 2. The Law Dictionary, 2018.

Blackstone, William. Blackstone’s Commentaries. Philadelphia: William Young Birch and Abraham Small, 1803.

Bolick, Clint. “Native American Children: Separate But Equal?” Hoover Institution. Oct 27, 2015. http://www.hoover.org/research/native-american-children-separate-equal (accessed July 27, 2016).

Bordewich, Fergus M. Killing the White Man’s Indian: Reinventing Native Americans at the End of the Twentieth Century. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, 1996.

Bouvier, John. A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States and of the Several States of the American Union. 6. J.B. Lippincott & Company, 1856.

Bowdoin, James. “To George Washington from James Bowdoin, 30 July 1776.” Founders Online – National Archives. Edited by Philander D. Chase. University Press of Virginia. July 30, 1776. http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-05-02-0378 (accessed 9 24, 2018).

Brackeen v Zinke. 4:17-cv-00868-O (US District Court, Northern District Of Texas, Fort Worth Division, 10 4, 2018).

Braund, Kathryn. “Summer 1814: The Treaty of Ft. Jackson ends the Creek War.” National Park Service. 8 15, 2017. https://www.nps.gov/articles/treaty-of-fort-jackson.htm (accessed 3 11, 2019).

Brief for Amicus Curiae of Thomas Lee Morris, Elizabeth S. Morris and Roland J. Morris, Supporting Respondent. 03-107 (United States v. Billy Jo Lara, On Writ of Certiorari, December 15, 2003).

Brief of Amicus Curiae Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare in Support of Plaintiffs-Appellees and Affirmation (Brackeen v. Zinke, 2018). 4:17-CV-00868 (U.S. Court of Appeals for 5th Circuit, February 2019).

Brief of Amicus Curiae Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation in Support of the Respondent. 16-1498 (Supreme Court of the United States, Oct 30, 2018).

Brown, Thomas. “Did the U.S. Army Distribute Smallpox Blankets to Indians? Fabrication and Falsification in Ward Churchill’s Genocide Rhetoric.” Plagiary: Cross‐Disciplinary Studies in Plagiarism, Fabrication, and Falsification, 2006: 100-129.

CAICW. “Administrator.” Letters from Families. Ronan: Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare, June 9, 2004.

—. “Administrator.” Growing Crime, Changing Dynamics. Fargo: Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare, June 27, 2014.

—. “Testimony from the Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare to the House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs: Child Protection and the Justice System on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation.” CAICW.org. June 24, 2014.

TESTIMONY: CHILD PROTECTION AND THE JUSTICE SYSTEM ON THE SPIRIT LAKE INDIAN RESERVATION:
(accessed May 19, 2016).

CAICW. The New ICWA Rules. Public Policy, Fargo: CAICW, 2016.

Cano, Regina Garcia. 2 Malnourished Girls Found on South Dakota Reservation. News, Seattle: Seattle Times, 2016.

CDC. “The Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACE).” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. US Dept of Health and Human Services. 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childabuseandneglect/acestudy/index.html (accessed 3 2018).

Center for Native American Youth. Fast Facts on Native American Youth and Indian Country. Statistical Facts, Washington DC: Aspen Institute, 2014.

Center for Native American Youth. Fast Facts on Native American Youth and Indian Country. Statistical Facts, Washington DC: Aspen Institute, 2011.

Cherokee Nation. Tribal Citizenship. 2019. https://www.cherokee.org/Services/Tribal-Citizenship (accessed 5 2, 2019).

Cherokee v. Georgia. 30 U.S. 1 (U.S. Supreme Court, 12 31, 1831).

Chief Joseph, of the Nez Perce. “The Surrender of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, Montana Territory.” Civil Rights and Conflict in the United States: Selected Speeches (Lit2Go Edition). October 5, 1877. http://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/185/civil-rights-and-conflict-in-the-united-states-selected-speeches/4856/the-surrender-of-chief-joseph-of-the-nez-perce-montana-territory-october-5-1877-chief-josephs-own-story/ (accessed November 7, 2018).

Chief Seattle. “Speech Cautioning Americans to Deal Justly with His People.” Civil Rights and Conflict in the United States: Selected Speeches. 1 12, 1854.

Child Welfare Information Gateway. “Determining the Best Interest of the Child.” Child Welfare Information Gateway. HHS/ ACYF/ACF Children’s Bureau. 2016. https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/best_interest.pdf (accessed 3 11, 2017).

Churchill, Ward, interview by Joshua Frank. Accusations and Smear: An Interview with Professor Ward Churchill, (Part 1 of 5) (9 19, 2005).

Cleaveland, Bonnie PhD ABPP. Split Feather: An Untested Construct. Scientific Analysis, Charleston: Icwa.co, 2015.

Cohen, Felix S. “Colonialism: A Realistic Approach.” Ethics (The University of Chicago Press) 55, no. 3 (4 1945): 167-181.

—. Handbook of Federal Indian Law. 1942. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, [1942] 1971.

Cohen, Felix S. “Original Indian Title.” Edited by Lucy Kramer Cohen. Minn. L. Rev. (Yale U. Press) 32 (1947): 28.

Congress. “A Declaration by the Representatives of the United Colonies of North-America.” Journal of the Proceedings of the American Continental Congress, May 1775: 120.

Cross, Suzanne L, Angelique G Day, and Lisa G Byers. “American Indian Grand Families: A Qualitative Study Conducted with Grandmothers and Grandfathers Who Provide Sole Care for Their Grandchildren.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology 25, no. 4 (12 2010): 371–383.

CTWS. “Declaration of Sovereignty.” Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Tribe of Oregon. 2016.

Declaration of Sovereignty
(accessed 4 8, 2019).

Curry, Brett W. “Architect of Justice: Felix S. Cohen and the Founding of American Legal Pluralism, by Dalia Tsuk Mitchell.” Law and Politics Book Review, Sept 2007: 764-767.

Dawes Commission. Congressional Commission, Washington DC: Congress, 1895.

De Venter, M., K. Demyttenaere, and R. Bruffaerts. “The relationship between adverse childhood experiences and mental health in adulthood. A systematic literature review].” Tijdschr Psychiatry 55, no. 4 (2013): 259-68.

DHHS/IHS. Trends in Indian Health. Statistics, Washington DC: Indian Health Service, 1997.

DHS. ICWA from the Inside Out: ‘Split Feather Syndrome’. Article, Dept of Human Services, State of Minnesota, St. Paul: DHS, 2005.

DOI. Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law. Washington DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1958.

DOI/BIA. “Guidelines for State Courts and Agencies in Indian Child Custody Proceedings.” Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 37 /. 2 25, 2015. http://www.bia.gov/cs/groups/public/documents/text/idc1-029447.pdf (accessed March 15, 2015).

DOI-BIA. Indian Population and Labor Force Report. Statistics, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of Interior, Washigton DC: Department of Interior, 2003.

DOJ. “Environment and Natural Resources Division.” The United States Department of Justice. 5 24, 2015. https://www.justice.gov/enrd/timeline-event/congress-passes-first-indian-trade-and-intercourse-act (accessed 2 10, 2018).

—. “Indian Country Justice Statistics.” Office of Justice Programs: Bureau of Justice Statistics. 4 30, 2018. https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=200000 (accessed 8 19, 2018).

—. “Lead up to the Indian Claims Commission Act of 1946.” United States Deptartment of Justice. 5 12, 2015. https://www.justice.gov/enrd/lead-indian-claims-commission-act-1946 (accessed 6 1, 2019).

—. “Transcript from the First Hearing of the Advisory Committee of the Attorney General’s Task Force.” American Indian/Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence. Bismarck: Department of Justice, 2013. 46.

Dudley, Richard G. Jr. MD. “Childhood Trauma and Its Effects: Implications for Police.” Edited by Harvard Kennedy School. New Perspectives in Policing Bulletin ( U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice), 2015: 1-22.

Duro v. Reina. 495 U.S. 676 (U.S., 1990).

Eaglewoman, Angelique, and G. William Rice. “American Indian Children and U.S. Indian Policy.” Tribal Law Journal 16 (2016): 1-29.

Enlow, Michelle Bosquet, Emily Blood, and Byron Egeland. “Sociodemographic risk, developmental competence, and PTSD symptoms in young children exposed to interpersonal trauma in early life.” Journal of Traumatic Stress (International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies), 2013: 686-694.

Executive Office of the President. Native Youth Report. Policy Brief, Washington DC: The White House, 2014.

FBI. “Indian Country Crime.” FBI.gov. 2016. https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/violent-crime/indian-country-crime (accessed July 27, 2016).

Feldon, Gai. Constitutional Government and Free Enterprise. Dubuque: Kendall Hunt Pub Co, 2014.

Felitti VJ, Anda RF, Nordenberg D, Williamson DF, Spitz AM, Edwards V, Koss MP, Marks JS. “Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults: The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study.” American Journal of Preventative Medicine (National Institutes of Health) 14, no. 4 (5 1998): 245-58.

Fiddler, Mark. “Adoptive Couple V. Baby Girl, State ICWA Laws, and Constitutional Avoidance.” Minnesota State Bar Association Family Law Forum (Minnesota State Bar) 22, no. 2 (Spring 2014): 10.

—. “Existing Indian Family Doctrine.” Letter to supporters. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Indian Child Welfare Law Center, 2 21, 2004.

Fineday, Anita. The ICWA Expert Witness and the Role of the Attorney for the Parent. Powerpoint, Casey Family Programs, Seattle: Casey Family Programs, 2012.

Flatten, Mark. Death on a Reservation. Phoenix: Goldwater Institute, 2015.

Fletcher, Matthew L.M. “Anishinaabe Law and the Round House.” Albany Government Law Review, 2017: 24.

Fletcher, Matthew L.M. “The Iron Cold of the Marshall Trilogy.” N.D. Law Rev (Michigan State University College of Law) 82 (2006): 627.

FOCSE. Tribal & State to Establish & Enforce Child Support. Publication, Washington DC: Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement , 2005.

Fort, Kate. Initial Observations on the ICWA Regulations. Blog, Indigenous Law and Policy Center, Michigan State University College of Law, Indigenous Law and Policy Center, 2016.

Fort, Kathryn E. 2018 ICWA by the Numbers. Statistics, Indigenous Law and Policy Center, Michigan State University College of Law, Turtle Talk, 2019.

Fort, Kathryn E. ICWA by the Numbers 2015. Statistics, Indigenous Law and Policy Center, Michigan State University College of Law, Turtle Talk, 2016.

Fort, Kathryn E. ICWA by the Numbers 2016. Statistics, Indigenous Law and Policy Center, Indigenous Law and Policy Center, Turtle Talk, 2017.

Fort, Kathryn E. ICWA by the Numbers 2017. Statistics, Indigenous Law and Policy Center, Michigan State University College of Law, Turtle Talk, 2018.

Franson, Janet, interview by Elizabeth Morris. Homicide Investigator (Ret), Founder, Lost and Missing in Indian Country (9 7, 2016).

GAO. Review of American Indian Policy Review Commission. Accounting and Financial Reporting, General Government Division, Congress, Washington DC: General Accounting Office, 1977, 14.

General Congress. “Declaration of Independence.” University of Oklahoma College of Law. July 4, 1776. http://www.law.ou.edu/ushistory/decind.shtml.

George, Robert P. “Natural Law, the Constitution, and the Theory and Practice of Judicial Review.” Fordham Law Review 69, no. 6 (2001): 2269.

Gerard, Forrest J. Assistant Secretary of Interior. Letter, Department of Interior, Washington DC: House of Representatives, 1978, 32.

Goldwater Institute. GOLDWATER INSTITUTE FILES CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST PARTS OF INDIAN CHILD WELFARE ACT. July 7, 2015. http://goldwaterinstitute.org/en/work/topics/constitutional-rights/equal-protection/goldwater-institute-files-class-action-lawsuit-aga/ (accessed June 20, 2016).

Gould, L Scott. “The Congressional Response to Duro v. Reina: Compromising Sovereignty and the Constitution.” Edited by UC Davis Law School. U.C. Davis Law Review 28, no. 1 (1994): 53, 63 69-75.

GWIF. Foster Care Statistics 2016. U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families; Children’s Bureau. 2018. https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/foster.pdf#page=1&view=Introduction (accessed 3 29, 2019).

Haas, Theodore H. “Ten Years of Tribal Government Under I.R.A.” DOI.gov. United States Indian Service. 1947. https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/migrated/library/internet/subject/upload/Haas-TenYears.pdf (accessed 5 2, 2019).

Hagedorn, Nancy L. “”A Friend to go between Them”: The Interpreter as Cultural Broker during Anglo-Iroquois Councils, 1740-70.” Ethnohistory (Duke University Press) 35, no. 1 (1988): 60-80.

Hagen v. Utah. (US Supreme Court, 1994).

Hallie Bongar White, Jane Larrington. “INTERSECTION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND CHILD VICTIMIZATION IN INDIAN COUNTRY.” Justice.gov. April 21, 2014. https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/defendingchildhood/legacy/2014/04/21/intersection-dv-cpsa.pdf (accessed July 28, 2016).

Harper, Fowler Vincent. “Natural Law in American Constitutional Theory.” Michigan Law Review 26, no. 62 (1927): 62-82.

Hart, H.L.A. “Positivism and the Separation of Law and Morals.” Harvard Law Review (The Harvard Law Review Association) 71, no. 4 (1958): 593-629.

Hazard, S., ed. Pennsylvania Archives (1st Series). Vol. 3. Philadelphia, PA: Joseph Severns, 1852.

Herman, Ellen. Adoption Statistics. Department of History, University of Oregon. 2 24, 2012. https://pages.uoregon.edu/adoption/topics/adoptionstatistics.htm (accessed 3 29, 2019).

Hintz, James R. “Wilson v. Marchington: The Erosion of TribalCourt Civil Jurisdiction in the Aftermath of Strate v.A-1 Contractors.” Public Land and Resources Law Review, 1999: 145.

Holder, Eric. “Attorney General Eric Holder Delivers Remarks During the White House Tribal Nations Conference.” Justice News. Washington DC, 12 3, 2014.

Horwitz, Sara. “The hard lives – and high suicide rate – of Native American children on reservations.” National Security. March 9, 2014. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/the-hard-lives–and-high-suicide-rate–of-native-american-children/2014/03/09/6e0ad9b2-9f03-11e3-b8d8-94577ff66b28_story.html (accessed July 27, 2016).

Hyland, Duane. Running Head: Considering Indian Country. Topic Proposal, Rapid City: NFSH.org, 2014.

ICC. Indian Claims Commission Final Report. Final Commission Report, United States, Washington DC: GPO, 1978.

IHS. Indian Health Service. 2019. https://www.ihs.gov/aboutihs/ (accessed 3 28, 2019).

In re Alexandria Y. G018179 (Fourth Dist., Div. Three, 5 31, 1996).

In re Bridget R. B195282 (Cal. App. 4th, 41 Cal. App. 4th 1483 January 19, 1996).

In re Santos Y. B144822 (Cal. App, 4th, 92 Cal.App.4th 1274 2001).

In re Z.R. and L.R., adoptive parents v . 27-JV-FA-17-117 (MN Court of Appeals, 11 2017).

Indian Country Child Trauma Center. Demographics. Statistical Facts, Oklahoma City: Indian Country Child Trauma Center, 2005.

Indian Treaties Printed by Benjamin Franklin, 1736–1762. Philadelphia, PA: The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1938.

Jackson, Andrew. “President Jackson’s Message to Congress “On Indian Removal” .” Records of the United States Senate, 1789 ‐ 1990 (National Archives and Records Administration (NARA]) Record Group 46 (Dec. 1830).

Jackson, Jack C. “Director of Government Affairs, National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).” National Conference of American Indians. February 12, 1999. http://www.ncai.org/ncai/resource/documents/governance/cvrightcensus.htm (accessed 2007).

James Bell Associates, Inc. “Analysis of Funding Resources and Strategies Among American Indian Tribes.” Administration of Children and Families. March 31, 2004. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/fund_res.pdf (accessed June 22, 2016).

Janney, Samuel M. The Life of William Penn. 2nd. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo, 1852.

Jefferson, Thomas. “To Major John Cartwrigt Monticello, June 5, 1824.” American History: From Revolution to Reconstruction and Beyond. Edited by University of Groningen. 1824. http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/presidents/thomas-jefferson/letters-of-thomas-jefferson/jefl278.php (accessed June 30, 2016).

Jerry Gardner, Executive Director Tribal. “Tribal Law & Policy Institute.” Santa Monica: ACF, 8 2, 2013.

Johnson v. M’Intosh. 21 U.S. 543; 1823 U.S. 293; 5 L. Ed. 681; 8 Wheat. 543 (U.S., 2 1823).

Jones, B.J. Overview of the Indian Child Welfare Act. 2006. http://www2.mnbar.org/sections/children/history.pdf (accessed April 29, 2007).

Jore, Rick, interview by Elizabeth Morris. Former Montana State Representative (11 15, 2016).

Kaplan, Sarah. “Native American couple sues to let their child be adopted by a white family.” Washington Post. June 10, 2015. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/06/10/native-american-couple-sues-to-let-their-child-be-adopted-by-a-white-family/ (accessed June 21, 2016).

Karnowski, Steve. Feds Say Native Mob Gang Dented but Work Remains. Minneapolis: ABC News, 2013.

Katz, Colleen C, Mark E Courtney, and Elizabeth Novotny. “Pre-foster Care Maltreatment Class as a Predictor of Maltreatment in Foster Care.” Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal 34, no. 1 (2 2017): 35-49.

Kelley, Marylouise (ACF). “Service needs in rural North Dakota and Montana.” Family Violence Prevention and Services Program Director. Washington DC: ACF, 9 23, 2013.

Kelly, John. “38 Years After ICWA, Feds to Collect Data on Native American Foster Youth.” The Chronicle of Social Change, April 8, 2016.

Kennerson, Marilyn (ACF). “Changes at ACF: Our own takes Casey position at ACF/BIA.” Washington DC: ACF, 8 5, 2013.

Kingfisher, Billie J. Jr. Dogma: Felix S. Cohen, The Indian Law Survey and the Spanish Model. Dissertation, Masters of Arts in History, Oklahoma State University, Graduate College, 2016.

Kinney, Adam F. “The Tribe, the Empire, and the Nation: Enforceability of Pre-Revolutionary Treaties with Native American Tribes.” Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law (Case Western Reserve University School of Law) 39, no. 3 (2007-2008): 897.

Krakoff, Sarah. “They Were Here First: American Indian Tribes, Race, and the Constitutional Minimum.” Stanford Law Review 69 (Feb 2017): 491-548.

Kunesh, Patrice H. A Call for an assessment of the Welfare of Indian Children in South Dakota. Article, Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); University of South Dakota, Harvard University, Vermillion: South Dakota Law Review, Vol. 52, No. 247, 2007.

LaBeau v. Dakota. 2:92-CV-203 (US Federal District Court: West. Dist. Mich., March 17, 1993).

Lawrence, William J. “In Defense of Indian Rights.” Beyond the Color Line; New Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity in America (Hoover Institution Press), 2002: 391-404.

Legal Inf Inst. Wex Legal Dictionary. Ithaca: Cornell Law School, 2019.

LexisNexis. Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law. LexisNexis, 2005.

Locust, Carol. Split Feather Study. Pilot Study, Native American Research and Training Center, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson: Pathways, 1998.

—. “Split Feathers Study.” American Indian Adoptees. n.d. https://blog.americanindianadoptees.com/p/split-feathers-study-by-carol-locust.html (accessed 2 5, 2018).

—. “Split Feathers: Adult American Indians Who Were Placed In Non-Indian Families As Children.” Native Canadian. n.d. http://nativecanadian.ca/Native_Reflections/split_feather_syndrome.htm (accessed 2 5, 2018).

Locust, Carol. Training Director. Pilot Study, Native American Research and Training Center , University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson: Pathways, 1998.

Lynch, Judy D. “Indian Sovereignty and Judicial Interpretations of the Indian Civil Rights Act.” Washington University Law Review 1979, no. 3,16 (1979): 897.

MacDonald, Peter. “White House Address on the Navajo Code Talkers.” American Rhetoric, Online Speech Bank. Washington DC, Nov. 27, 2017.

Malone, Tim. The Role of Indian Tribes in our Constitutional System – Two Persistent Problems. Conference, Olympia: Unpublished, 1988.

Margold, Nathan R. “Wheeler-Howard Act–Interpretation” Question 9.” Op. Sol. I.D. Ind. Aff 1917-1974 1 (1934): 484, 490-491.

Marston, Blythe W. “Alaska Native Sovereignty: The Limits of the Tribe-Indian Country Test.” Cornell International Law Journal 17, no. 2 (1984): 33.

Martin, Kenneth. “Thomas Sullivan.” Indian Affairs. Washington DC: Indian Affairs, 11 22, 2013.

Mcmullen, Marrianne (ACF). “Region 8 damaging tribal relations.” Spirit Lake. Washington DC: ACF, 11 1, 2013.

McMullen, Marrianne. “Decision on Proposed Removal.” Memorandum. Washington DC: ACF, 5 6, 2016.

McNeil, Kent. “Sovereignty and Indigenous Peoples in North America.” Articles and Book Chapters (Osgoode Hall Law School of York University) 22, no. 2 (2016): 25.

McWilliams, Paul. “English Common Law: Embodiment of the Natural Law.” The Western Australian Jurist 1 (2010): 128-131.

Means, Russell. “Statement to the Senate Special Committee on Indian Affairs.” American Rhetoric, Online Speech Bank. Washington DC, Jan. 30, 1989.

Meggitt, Jane. Government Money for Native Americans. Online, Bisfluent, Leaf Group Ltd, 2017.

Meyers, Peter C. “Frederick Douglass’s America: Race, Justice, and the Promise of the Founding.” First Principle Series, Jan 11, 2011, 35 ed.: 18.

Michael R. Tilus, PsyD, MP (HHS Public Health). “Letter of Grave Concern: Spirit Lake Tribal Social Services Grievances.” To Ms. Sue Settle, Chief, Dpt of Human Services, BIA. Devils Lake, North Dakota, March 3, 2012.

Miles v. Family Court for Jud’l Dist of Chinle. (Navajo Nation Supreme Court, Arizona January 2008).

Mission Indian Agency. “The Wheeler-Howard Bill – Questions and Answers.” Bulletin. Riverside, CA, April 16, 1934.

Mississippi Choctaw Indians v. Holyfield . 87-980 (U.S. Supreme Court, April 3, 1989).

Mitchell, Donald Craig. Wampum. New York: The Overlook Press, 2016.

MN Dept Human Serv. “Tribal/State Agreement.” St. Paul, Minnesota: State of Minnesota, Feb 22, 2007. 37.

Montana v. United States. (U.S. Supreme Court, 1981).

Moore, Johnston. “The Misapplication of The Indian Child Welfare Act.” The Chronicle of Social Change. April 1, 2015. https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/child-welfare-2/the-misapplication-of-the-indian-child-welfare-act/10872 (accessed June 21, 2016).

Morandi, Larry. “Tribal Trust Lands: From Litigation to Consultation.” States and Tribes: Building New Traditions, August 2004.

Morris v. Tanner. 160 Fed. Appx. 600 (9th Cir. 2005) (PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI, April 2006).

Morris, Elizabeth. Child Abuse within Indian Country. Literature Review, Helm’s School of Gov’t, Liberty University, Lynchburg: Unpublished, 2016.

Morris, Elizabeth. Spirit Lake Town Hall, February 27. Primary, witness, Fort Totten: CAICW, 2013.

Morris, Elizabeth. The Implications of Native American Heritage on U.S. Constitutional Protections. Lynchburg: Unpublished, 2017.

Morris, Roland John. Testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs. Seattle: Concerning Tribal Jurisdiction, 1998.

Morton v. Mancari. 417 U.S. 535 (U.S. Supreme Court, 6 17, 1974).

MSU. “The French and Indian War.” MSU College of Social Science. Edited by Randall Schaetzl. Dept of Geography, Environment and Spatial Science. 2018. http://www.geo.msu.edu/extra/geogmich/frenchindian_war.html.

NARA. “Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes (The Dawes Commission), 1893-1914.” National Archoves. June 26, 2017. https://www.archives.gov/research/native-americans/dawes (accessed 4 26, 2019).

—. “President Jackson’s Message to Congress “On Indian Removal”.” Records of the United States Senate, 1789 ‐ 1990;. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA]. Dec. 6, 1830. (accessed 2018).

Natelson, Rob. “Constitutional Law Professor.” Email Correspondence. 1 22, 2019.

Natelson, Robert G. “The Legal Meaning of “Commerce” in the Commerce Clause.” St. John’s Law Review 80 (2006): 789, 805–06.

Natelson, Robert. “The Original Understanding of the Indian Commerce Clause.” Denver University Law Review 85 (2007): 201.

NAU. “Indigenous Voices of the Colorado Plateau: The Merriam Report of 1928.” Northern Arizona University Library. Northern Arizona University. 2005. http://library.nau.edu/speccoll/exhibits/indigenous_voices/merriam_report.html (accessed 6 14, 2019).

NCAI. Trust Land. 2017. http://www.ncai.org/policy-issues/land-natural-resources/trust-land (accessed 11 17, 2017).

Newell, Terry. Statesmanship, Character, and Leadership in America. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan; 2012, 2012.

Nicolai, Shanley Swanson, and Merete Saus. “Acknowledging the Past while Looking to the Future: Conceptualizing Indigenous Child Trauma.” Child Welfare Journal 92, no. 5 (2012): 110.

NICWA. Testimony of Sarah L. Kastelic. Testimony, Washington DC: Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities, 2015, 1-17.

NICWA, SAMHSA. “Native Children: Trauma and Its Effects.” Trauma-Informed Care Fact Sheet. Portland: National Indian Child Welfare Association, April 2014.

NICWA/AAIA. A Guide to the Supreme Court Decision in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl. White paper, Washington DC: Nat’l Indian Child Welfare Assoc. & Assoc on American Indian Affairs, 2013, 1-20.

NPS. “Pushmataha.” National Park Service. Sept. 14, 2017. https://www.nps.gov/people/pushmataha.htm.

O’Callaghan, E. B., ed. Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York. Albany, NY: Weed, Parsons, and Co.,, 1855.

Occom, Samson. “Short, Plain, and Honest Account of my Self.” Edited by Dietrich Reimer Verlag. Bernd Peyer, The Elders Wrote (Dartmouth College Archives), (1768) 1982: 12-18.

Osborn v. Bank of the United States. (United States Supreme Court, 1824).

Otis, D.S. The Dawes Act and the Allotment of Indian Lands. Edited by Francis Paul Prucha. University of Oklahoma Press , 1973.

Pommersheim, Frank. “Written testimony in support of the Indian Child Welfare Act to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.” (104th Cong. 1st Sess.) 1996: 432.

Poore, James A. “The Constitution of the United States Applies to Indian Tribes.” Montana Law Review 59, no. 1, Article 4 (Winter 1998): 51-80.

Poore, James A. “The Constitution of the United States Applies to Indian Tribes: A Reply to Professor Jensen.” Montana Law Review, 1995/1999: 19.

Prucha, Frances Paul. American Indian Policy in Crisis: Christian Reformers and the Indian, 1865-1900. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1976.

Prygoski, Philip J. “From Marshall to Marshall: The Supreme Court’s changing stance on tribal sovereignty.” GP Solo Magazine, 7 2, 2015.

Publius. “Federalist Papers.” Yale Law School: Lillian Goldman School of Law. 1787. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed01.asp.

Pushmataha. “Response to Chief Tecumseh on War Against the Americans.” American Rhetoric, Online Speech Bank. Mississippi, 1811.

Raab. “Andrew Jackson.” Raab Collection. 10 15, 2019. https://www.raabcollection.com/andrew-jackson-autograph/andrew-jackson-signed-sold-president-andrew-jackson-original-instructions (accessed 3 10, 2019).

Reagan, Ronald. “Statement on Indian Policy, 1983.” The American Presidency Project. Edited by John Woolley, & Gerhard Peters. Univ. of Calif, Santa Barbara. 1 24, 1983. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=41665 (accessed 6 30, 2017).

Regan, Shawn. “5 Ways The Government Keeps Native Americans In Poverty.” Forbes. 3 14, 2014. http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/03/13/5-ways-the-government-keeps-native-americans-in-poverty/#739501c6cc62 (accessed 12 16, 2016).

Reid v. Covert. 701 (US Supreme Court, 1956).

Reply Brief for the United States. 03-107 (U.S. Supreme Court, Washington DC 2003).

Rice v. Cayetano. 528 U.S. 495 (U.S., 2000).

Robinson Jr, John. “The Binding Guidance Principle: Using the Indian Trust Doctrine to Trump the APA.” American Indian Law Journal 4:1 (2015): 26.

Roe Bubar, Marc Winokur, Winona Bartlemay. Perceptions of Methamphetamine Use in Three Western Tribal Communities: Implications for Child Abuse in Indian Country. Investigative Report, West Hollywood: Tribal Law and Policy Institute, 2007.

Rollings, Willard Hughes. “Citizenship and Suffrage: The Native American Struggle For Civil Rights in the American West, 1830-1965.” Nevada Law Journal 5, no. 126 (Fall 2004): 126-140.

Rolnick, Addie. “The Promise of Mancari: Indian Political Rights as Racial Remedy.” NEW YORK UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) 86 (2011): 102-183.

Roozen, Sylvia, Gjalt-Jorn Y. Peters, Gerjo Kok, David Townend, Jan Nijhuis, and Leopold Curfs. “Worldwide Prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: A Systematic Literature Review Including Meta-Analysis.” Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 40, no. 1 (1 2016): 18–32.

Roser, Max. Child Mortality. Statistics, Our World in Data, 2019.

Rowley, Sean. 43rd Symposium on the American Indian at Northeastern State University . April 17, 2015. http://m.tahlequahdailypress.com/news/icwa-discussed-at-symposium-seminar/article_08846b3a-e543-11e4-8421-7744ec7971c6.html?mode=jqm (accessed April 20, 2015).

Ruoff, A LaVonne Brown, ed. “Samson Occom (Mohegan) (1723-1792).” n.d.

Russell Means: About. 2014. http://www.russellmeansfreedom.com/about/ (accessed October 5, 2014).

Sampson, Dimitra H. Child and Sexual Abuse in Indian Country. Lecture, Sioux Falls: Dept. of Justice, 2007.

Scheel, Ann Birmingham. Arizona Indian Country Report. Annual Report, Phoenix: U.S. Dept. of Justice, 2011.

Schumacher-Matos, Edward. SD: Indian Foster Care 1: NPR Investigative Storytelling Gone Awry. Ombudsman Report, Ombudsman, National Public Radio, New York: National Public Radio, 2013, 80.

Scofield, Ruth Packwood. Behind the Buckskin Curtain. New York: Carlton Press, Inc., 1992.

Seattle, Chief. “Speech Cautioning Americans to Deal Justly with His People.” Civil Rights and Conflict in the United States: Selected Speeches (Lit2Go Edition). January 12, 1854. http://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/185/civil-rights-and-conflict-in-the-united-states-selected-speeches/4706/speech-cautioning-americans-to-deal-justly-with-his-people-january-12-1854/ (accessed November 7, 2018).

Skillen v. Menz. 1998 MT 43 (Supreme Court of the State of Montana, March 3, 1998).

Spaith, James. The Native American: At What Level Sovereignty? Draft, Exhibit 1, The White House, U.S. Government, Washington DC: Leonard Garment, Assistant to the President, 1974, 77.

Speed, Nathan. “Examining the Interstate Commerce Clause Through the Lens of the Indian Commerce Clause.” Boston University Law Review, 2007, 87 ed.: 467, 470-71.

Stephens v. Cherokee Nation. 423 (U.S. Supreme Court, May 15, 1899).

Strauss, Leo, and Joseph Cropsey. History of Political Philosophy. 3. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1987.

Stuart, Paul. Nations Within a Nation: Historical Statistics of American Indians. New York: Greenwood Press, 1987.

Sullivan, Thomas F. 12th Mandated Report. Denver: ACF, 2013.

Sullivan, Thomas F. 13th Mandate Report. Denver: ACF, 2013.

—. “Continual Rape of 13-yr-old Ignored.” To Superiors at the Administration of Children and Families. Denver, Colorado: ACF, June 10, 2014.

—. “Criminal Corruption continues at Spirit Lake.” To DC Superiors with the Administration of Children & Families. Denver, Colorado: ACF, May 6, 2014.

—. “Prevented from Testifying.” To Ms. McMullen. Denver: ACF, 7 1, 2014.

—. “Response.” To Ms. McMullen. Denver: ACF, 2 11, 2014.

—. “Sullivan rebukes his DC Superiors for their negligence of children on Indian reservations.” To ACF Superiors in DC. Denver: ACF, April 4, 2014.

—. “Summary of Correspondence.” Denver: ACF, 12 19, 2013.

Talton v. Mayes. 163 U.S. 376, 384 (U.S., 1896).

Texas Dept of Family and Protective Services. Legal Basis for Child Protective Services. Houston, n.d.

The Institute for Government Research. “The Problem of Indian Administration.” Edited by Lewis Meriam. Studies in Administration (The John Hopkins Press), February 1928.

The Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. “To George Washington from James Bowdoin, 30 July 1776.” Founders Online, National Archives. 13 June, 2018. http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-05-02-0378. (accessed July 30, 2018).

Turanovic, Jillian J, and Travis C Pratt. “Consequences of Violent Victimization for Native American Youth in Early Adulthood.” Journal of Youth and Adolescence 46, no. 6 (6 2017): 1333 – 1350.

Udall, Representative Morris K. “The American Indians and Civil Rights.” Selected Speeches. Washington DC: Arizona University, 10 4, 1965.

United States. “Agreement with the Sisseton and Wahpeton Bands of Sioux Indians, Appendix.” First People. September 20, 1872. https://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Treaties/AgreementWithTheSissetonAndWahpetonBandsOfSiouxIndians1872.html (accessed 5 2, 2019).

United States Commission on Civil Rights. “Enforcement of the Indian Civil Rights Act: U.S. Civil Rights Commission Hearing, Phoenix, AZ.” Washington DC: GPO, September 29, 1988.

United States. “Constitution.” Cornell University Law School: Legal Information Institute. 1787. https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/.

—. “General Allotment Act of 1887.” 24 Stat 388. Washinhgton DC, December 6, 1886.

—. “Indian Child Welfare Act OF 1978.” Vols. Public Law 95-608, 25 USC Chapter 2. Washington DC, 1978.

—. “Indian Civil Rights Act.” Vols. Public Law 90–284, 82 Stat. 73. Washington DC, 1968.

—. “P.L. 68-175: Indian Citizenship Act.” 43 Stat. 253, Ch. 233. Washington DC: GPO, June 2, 1924.

—. “The Dawes Act of 1887.” The Avalon Project – Yale Law School. 2008. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/dawes.asp (accessed 4 6, 2019).

—. “Transcript of Treaty of Fort Laramie.” OurDocuments.gov. April 29, 1868. https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=false&doc=42&page=transcript (accessed May 2, 2019).

—. “Treaty with the Cherokee 7 Stat., 311.” Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties. Vol. II. Compiled by Charles J. Kappler. Washington, 5 6, 1828. 288-292.

—. “Treaty with the Chippewa.” 2 22, 1855.

—. “Treaty with the Omaha.” Treaties. March 16, 1854. http://resources.utulsa.edu/law/classes/rice/Treaties/10_Stat_1043_Omaha.htm (accessed May 2, 2019).

—. “Treaty with the Sioux – Sisseton and Wahpeton Bands.” First People. February 19, 1867. https://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Treaties/TreatyWithTheSiouxSissetonAndWahpetonBands1867.html (accessed 5 2, 2019).

United States v. Billy Jo Lara. 541 U.S. (U.S. Supreme, 2003).

United States v. Lopez. 93-1260 (U.S.S.C., 4 26, 1995).

United States v. Rogers. 45 U.S. (4 How.) 567 (U.S. Supreme, March 9, 1846).

United States v. Wheeler,. 76-1629 (US Supreme Court, March 27, 1978).

Univ of Illinois. “Full text of “Monthly catalog of United States Government publications”.” LIBRARY OF THE UNIVERSTIY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN. July 1947. http://www.archive.org/stream/monthlycatalogof531947unit2/monthlycatalogof531947unit2_djvu.txt (accessed 11 16, 2016).

Univ. Alaska. Indian Country Statute (1948). 2018. http://tribalmgmt.uaf.edu/tm112/Unit-2/Indian-Country-Statute-1948.

University of Oklahoma. Childhood Trauma Series in Indian Country. Presentation, Health Sciences Center, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City: Indian Health Service TeleBehavior Health Center, 2013.

US Census Bureau. Nonwhite Population by Race. Statistics, Bureau of the Census, Dept of Commerce, Washington DC: Legislative Reference Service, 1960.

US Census Bureau. The American Indian and Alaska Native Population 2010. Statistics, Bureau of the Census, US. Dept of Commerce, Washington DC: US. Dept of Commerce, 2010.

US Census Bureau. Tribal Complete Count Committee Handbook. Bureau of the Census, Department of Commerce, Washington, DC: United States Census 2000, 2001, 4-99.

US Census Bureau. US Census. Statistics, US Census Bureau, Dept of Commerce, Washington DC: Dept of Commerce, 2000.

US Congress. “Congressional Record ICWA.” 95th Cong. 2nd Sess. 124 (1978): 38101-112.

US Congress, House. Concurrent Resolutions, Indian Affairs. House of Respresentatives, Washington DC: GPO, 1953.

—. “Oversight Hearing before the Committee on Resources, US House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Indian Affairs.” Child Protection and the Justice System on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation. Washington DC: GPO: 113 Cong. 2nd Sess, June 24, 2014.

US Congress. Conference. S. 2981: An Act to authorize appropriations for the Indian Claims Commission for fiscal year 1977, and for other purposes. House Report: Rpt No. 94-1695, Interior and Insular Affairs, Congress, Washington DC: GPO: 94th Cong. 2nd Sess., 1976, 4.

US Congress. House. “H.R. 12533 – Indian Child Welfare Act.” Congress.gov. Washington DC: GPO: 95th Cong. 1st Sess., Nov. 8, 1978.

US Congress. House. H.R. 3286: Adoption Promotion and Stability Act of 1996. House Report: H. Rept 104-542, Committee on Ways and Means, House, Washington DC: GPO: 104th Cong. 2nd Sess., 1996.

US Congress. House. H.R. 3828: Indian Child Welfare Act Amendments of 1996. Congressional Report, Natural Resource Committee: Indian Affairs, House, Washington DC: GPO: 104 Cong. 2nd Sess., 1996.

US Congress. Senate. H.R. 3286: Adoption Promotion and Stability Act of 1996. Senate Report, Committee on Indian Affairs, Congress, Washington DC: GPO: 104TH Cong. 2nd Sess., 1996.

—. “Hearing Before the Committee on Indian Affairs, United States Senate.” Amendments to the Indian Child Welfare Act: S. Hrg. 104-574. Washington DC: GPO: 104th Cong. 2nd Sess, June 26, 1996.

—. “Hearing Before the Select Committee on Indian Affairs, United States Senate.” Indian Child Welfare Act: S. Hrg. 100-845. Washington DC: GPO: 100th Cong. 2nd Sess., May 11, 1988.

—. “Hearings before a Subcommittee of The Committee on Indian Affairs United States Senate.” Survey of the Conditions of the Indians of the United States. Washington DC: GPO: 70th Cong. 2nd Sess., 1929.

—. “Hearings before the Subcommittee on Indian Affairs of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs of the United States Senate.” Indian Child Welfare Program. Washington DC: GPO: 93rd Cong. 2nd Sess., April 7.8, 1974.

US Congress. Senate. Indian Child Welfare Act Amendment S. 569. Senate Bill, Indian Affairs Committee, Senate, Washington DC: 105th Cong. 1st Sess., 1997.

—. “Joint Hearing Before the Committee on Indian Affairs, US Senate and the Committe on Resources, US House of Representatives.” Indian Child Welfare Act: S. Hrg. 105-224. Washington DC: GPO: 105th Cong. 1st Sess., June 18, 1997.

—. “Oversight Hearing Before the Select Committee on Indian Affairs, United States Senate.” Indian Child Welfare Act: S. Hrg. 100-574. Washington DC: GPO: 100th Cong. 1st Sess., Nov 10, 1987.

US Congress. Senate. S. 1214: Indian Child Welfare Act. Congressional Report, Select Committee on Indian Affairs, Senate, Washington DC: GPO: 95th Cong. 1st Sess., 1977.

US Congress. Senate. S. 1962: Indian Child Welfare Act Amendment. Congressional Report, Committee on Indian Affairs, Senate, Washington DC: GPO: 104th Cong. 2nd Sess., 1996.

US Congress. Senate. S. 721 – An Act to authorize appropriations for the Indian Claims Commission for fiscal year 1974, and for other purposes. Senate Report: S.Rept 93-53, Interior and Insular Affairs, Congress, Washington DC: GPO: 93rd Cong. 1st Sess., 1973.

US Congress: House. “Hearings before the Subcommittee on Indian Aflairs and Public Lands of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs.” Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978. S.1214, Serial No. 96-42. Washington DC: GPO: 95th Cong; 2nd Sess., Feb-Mar 9, 1978. 308.

Vattel, Monsieur Emer (Emmerich) de. The Principles of the Law of Nature Applied to the Conduct and Affairs of Nations and Sovereigns. 6th American. Translated by Esq. Joseph Chitty. West Brookfield, MA: Merriam and Cooke, [1758,1773] 1844.

Vaughan, David J. Give Me Liberty: The Uncompromising Statesmanship of Patrick Henry. Edited by George Grant. Nashville: Cumberland House Publishing Inc., 1997.

Victoria, Franciscus De. The First Relectio Of The Reverend Father, Brother Franciscus De Victoria, On The Indians Lately Discovered. 1696. Edited by Johann Georg Simon. Translated by John Pawley Bate. Vol. 1. 2 vols. Ingolstadt, Cologne and Frankfort, 1580.

Vieru, Simona. “Aristotle’s Influence on the Natural Law Theory of St. Thomas Aquinas.” The Western Australian Jurist (Murdoch University) 1 (2010): 115-122.

Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. “The Treaty of Logg’s Town, 1752.” 1906: 154–174.

Wald, Patricia M. Assistant Attorney General. Letter, Department of Justice, Washington DC: House of Representatives, 1978, 35, 40.

Washington, George. “The Avalon Project: Washington’s Farewell Address.” Lillian Goldman Law Library. Yale Law School. 1796. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/washing.asp (accessed September 17, 2015).

Weingast, Barry R. “The Economic Role of Political Institutions: Market-Preserving Federalism and Economic Development.” The Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, 1995: 1-31.

White House. “Documents related to the Indian Claims Commission.” Documents 1973-77, Bradley H. Patterson Files, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, Washington DC, 1973-77, 18.

Wilkinson, Charles. American Indians, Time, and the Law: Native Societies in a Modern Constitutional Democracy. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1967.

Wilkinson, Charles F., and John M. Volkman. “Judicial Review of Indian Treaty Abrogation: As Long as Water Flows, or Grass Grows upon the Earth–How Long a Time is That.” California Law Review 63 (5 1975): 601-661.

Wilson, James. “Of the Natural Rights of Individuals.” Founding.com: A Project of the Claremont Institute. 1790-91. http://founding.com/founders-library/american-political-figures/james-wilson/of-the-natural-rights-of-individuals/ (accessed 4 8, 2019).

Woodward, Stephanie. “Suicide is epidemic for American Indian youth: What more can be done?” 100 Reporters. Oct 10, 2012. http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/10/14340090-suicide-is-epidemic-for-american-indian-youth-what-more-can-be-done (accessed July 27, 2016).

Worcester v. Georgia. (US Supreme Court, 1832).

URGENT!! ICWA STRUCK DOWN IN DISTRICT COURT

 Comments Off on URGENT!! ICWA STRUCK DOWN IN DISTRICT COURT
Oct 042018
 
Destination Heaven

FINALLY!
October 4, 2018
Northern District Court of Texas, Civil Action No. 4:17-cv-00868-0
BRAKEEN v.. ZINKE

ICWA DECLARED UNCONSTITUTIONAL

Among several other requests that were granted –

F. Indian Commerce Clause Claim
Plaintiffs also claim Congress did not have the constitutional authority to pass sections 1901–23 and sections 1951–52 of the ICWA under the Indian Commerce Clause. Ind. Pls.’ Br. 66, ECF No. 80; State Pls.’ Br. 49–52, ECF No. 74. Defendants counter that the Indian Commerce Case 4:17-cv-00868-O Document 166 Filed 10/04/18 Page 46 of 47 PageID 4175
47
Clause grants Congress plenary authority over Indian Affairs. Fed. Def’s Resp. Ind. 35, ECF No. 123; Trib. Defs.’ Resp. 21–28, ECF No. 118. But as shown above, Murphy does not permit Congress to directly command the States in this regard, even when it relies on Commerce Clause power. Murphy, 138 S. Ct. at 1479. Therefore Plaintiffs’ request for a declaration that these sections are unconstitutional is GRANTED.

Final Judgment ICWA STRUCK DOWN
167_-_final_judgment ICWA STRUCK DOWN –

Brackeen v Zinke – ICWA UNCONSTITUTIONAL
166_-_order_on_msj

START WRITING YOUR AMICUS BRIEFS

Jan 232017
 

In June 2016, a little girl was beaten and left to drown in a bucket in the shower.

(See the Star & Tribune – http://www.startribune.com/foster-father-accused-in-girl-s-death-had-criminal-record/383206481/)

Had a new law governing background checks been in place earlier – this little girl would not have died. Nathan Daniel Jackson, the man who murdered this beautiful little girl, had a criminal record of fifth-degree assault and theft would have prevented him from being a care provider.

This new law – which was sponsored by Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) and Representative Kevin Cramer (R-ND) – requires tribal members on the reservation to have background checks before becoming foster-care parents. (These checks were not required prior). Senator John Hoeven

Senator Hoeven is now the new chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Please thank him for caring about what was happening to children at Spirit Lake four years ago, and writing this law.

The reality is that it is not uncommon for Leech Lake Social Services, Spirit Lake Social Services, Red Lake, White Earth, Pine Ridge, Cheyenne River and others to place children into dangerous homes. Children are placed in dangerous homes on a consistent basis. Every month or so we hear of another child hurt or dead. Further, tribal members tell us that we aren’t even hearing about all the children who die. There isn’t always publicity when it happens.

Nevertheless, Leech Lake has consistently placed children in homes with criminal records and drug issues. That is because of the extremely high percentage of homes in Leech Lake that have criminal records and drug issues. So they didn’t bother doing background checks – because they didn’t really want to know or have to put in their records – because then they would have to look for another home. It’s too much work to find homes.

When Leech Lake placed four children with my husband and I almost 20 years ago, they did not do any back ground check at all. They never even visited our home until a year after the children were placed with us, and then they only visited for an hour. That was it. That was the last we saw of them – and we raised the kids to adulthood.

Leech Lake continues to operate this way today. We hear numerous stories of children placed into homes known to be dangerous. We are grateful for and praying that Senator Hoeven’s bill mandating background checks will make a profound difference. But we worry that there is no oversight to ensure the background checks are being done, and no consequences to a tribe if something happens due to their not doing background checks.

We need to encourage Senator Hoeven to strengthen the law to ensure compliance.

Lastly – even if a home is not dangerous – social services should be trying to place children into homes that make sense. Hennipen County called me repeatedly throughout 2013 to ask me to take another infant nephew from Leech Lake. I hadn’t had contact with Leech Lake tribal social services in almost 20 years and had never given them indication that I wanted to take care of children again, but a niece had given them my name soon after her son was born. My newborn nephew had never lived in her home – he had gone straight to foster care. I was called soon after. I told them I can’t – and Leech Lake spent over year trying to find a home, occasionally calling and asking me again.

When the ICWA worker from Leech Lake called me about this little boy in December, 2013 – he was already over a year old. Ironically, when Leech Lake’s ICWA office called me that Dec. morning, I was in fact in Washington DC, speaking against the ICWA law. (Needless to say, I found that kind of ironic.)

I had said no to them several times over the year – but this time, they said if I didn’t do it, they would place him in the home of “Xxxxx” – who, according to Leech Lake, they felt was dangerous. Knowing the home she referred to, I had to agree. (Note: according to the worker, they WOULD place him into a home they knew was dangerous if I did not take him. – – trying to make me feel guilty, while at the same time, admitting they are willing to do it, and thus don’t have any real, genuine standards against placing a child in a dangerous home.)

So now I was in a quandary.

I cared deeply what was happening to my nephew, but I was not the right home for him. I have already said – I was not the right home for the four I had raised earlier. They all needed a home with parents TRAINED to deal with their FAS, ADHD and other issues. I was NOT that mom, but I was all Leech Lake would give them. YOU SEE? Leech Lake did great disservice to them by not allowing them to go to a home outside of family – a home that could genuinely meet their needs.

I felt pushed into taking four children twenty years earlier. I cared about the kids – that is why we agreed to do it. – But unlike so many of my great foster and adoptive mother friends – I never really wanted to raise anyone else’s kids. That is the sad truth. As a result, I never did settle down to feel comfortable with the situation. (Further, those were four kids with FAS – and no one had told me that – nor had anyone told me how to deal with it.)

So… was I going to be forced into this corner a second time? How is that fair to my nephew? How is that good for him?

THIS is another part of what ICWA does. We aren’t the only ones who have felt this way. Some families feel forced into a corner – not wanting to take in kids, but feeling guilty if they don’t. ICWA doesn’t give lot of options to the children OR families involved.

Families of other heritages have more options.

Further – at this point, I was a widow over 50. What a crime to this innocent child – to be forced into a situation with an elderly widow. I told Hennipen County this little boy deserved a healthy home with both a mother and a father in their 30’s who were looking for a child such as him – NO MATTER anyone’s heritage!

Look for the RIGHT home for HIM – don’t just put him into ‘any old’ home based on ICWA! Quit making things all about race! Start to care what is BEST for the baby!

The fact is – my nephew needed more than I could give him, and he shouldn’t be forced to settle for me. He deserved to be raised with a healthy Dad in the home. So after much thought and prayer, I said, “no.”

I asked Hennipen County to promise me that my nephew would go to a good home. The Hennipen County worker promised, and said he would let me know the outcome. He said I had a right to know, as I was family. (The baby did not go to Xxxxx’s home.)

But now see? THIS is how some kids end up in dangerous homes. Leech Lake Social services gives up trying to find a good home, and then rather than admit they don’t have a good home and allow the child to go to an appropriate home outside of Indian Country – they go ahead and place the child anywhere. ANYWHERE. And then claim it is in the child’s best interest.

THIS is how that happens. THIS is how the little girl in the attached story ended up in the home of a man with a criminal record.

ICWA – as a law – is horrid. In the first place, it is based on lies. Every time NICWA, NARF, and the Casey Foundation make a claim about what kids of heritage want and need – about how badly they need to be connected to Indian Country – they are lying. I have raised many children who have NOT needed to be connected to Indian Country.

NICWA, NARF, tribal governments and the Casey Foundation do NOT know what every child of heritage wants and needs. They can’t possibly know. To assume all persons of a certain heritage think and feel the same way is RACIST.

Lastly, my children are NOT a ‘treaty right’ for tribal government.
I don’t care what faux laws are passed or what rogue agencies like the BIA and ACF try to shove down our throats – there is NOTHING in any treaty that allows a tribal government to own our kids.

The world can see how Leech Lake Social Services chooses homes for children. Why would I want them to have any say over children of mine?

We are very grateful for the right step taken by Senator Hoeven and Congressman Cramer in pushing for background checks for ALL foster caregivers and EVERY adult living in the home. THANK YOU – to both of them.

But this battle will never be over until ICWA is repealed.

– See http://www.startribune.com/foster-father-accused-in-girl-s-death-had-criminal-record/383206481/

Dec 052014
 

U.S Attorney General Eric Holder Vowed to give Permanent Jurisdiction of Multi-racial Children Across the Nation to Tribal Governments on Wednesday, December 3, 2014.

In reference to the Indian Child Welfare Act, he stated,

…“We are partnering with the Departments of the Interior and Health and Human Services to make sure that all the tools available to the federal government are used to promote compliance with this important law.”
And “… because of the foundation we’ve built – no matter who sits in the Oval Office, or who serves as Attorney General of the United States, America’s renewed and reinforced commitment to upholding these promises will be unwavering and unchangeable; powerful and permanent.”

(READ his remarks in full here – https://caicw.org/2015/05/18/attorney-general-eric-holders-dec-3-2014-remarks-in-full/#)

He made this vow in remarks during the White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, DC. Below is a response from a Parent – the Chair of the Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare.

Attorney General Eric Holder;

Re: Your statement during the White House Tribal Nations Conference, Dec. 3, 2014, in regards to the Indian Child Welfare Act.

What is consistently left out of the ICWA discussion is the civil rights of United States citizens of every heritage – those enrolled in tribal communities and those who are not – who do not want tribal government interference in their families. Shortsighted placation of tribal leaders ignores these facts:

1. 75% of tribal members do NOT live in Indian Country
2. Most families falling under tribal jurisdiction are multi-racial, and
3. Many families have purposefully chosen to raise their children with values other than those currently popular in Indian Country.

Federal government does not have the right to assign our children to political entities.

Further, federal government does not have the right to choose which religion, customs or traditions a child should be raised in. This holds true for children who are 100% a certain heritage, let alone children who are multi-heritage. It holds true because we are a nation that respects the rights and freedoms of every individual citizen – no matter their heritage.

Please recognize that while we agree with you that “any child in Indian Country – in Oklahoma, or Montana, or New Mexico – is not fundamentally different from an African-American kid growing up in New York City” – neither is any child fundamentally different from a Hispanic Catholic, German Jewish, or Irish Protestant child growing up in any U.S. city or rural town. In fact, most enrollable children in America have Caucasian relatives – and many live with their Caucasian relatives. My own enrolled children are no different from their fully Caucasian cousins or their cousins with Filipino heritage. Children are children – with fundamentally the same emotional and physical needs. We agree 100% with you.

We also agree no child “should be forced to choose between their cultural heritage and their well-being.” Tragically, that is the very thing federal and tribal governments are doing to many of these children.

Enrollable children – and at times even children who are not enrollable but are targeted by a tribal government anyway – are currently forced to accept what is purported to be their cultural heritage – at the expense of their safety and well-being. This has even been done under the watchful eye of the Justice Department, as in the case of 3-year-old Lauryn Whiteshield, murdered in 2013.

Concerning your directive regarding cultural heritage, the federal government does not have the right to mandate that my children and grandchildren – or any of the children whose families we represent – be raised in a home “suffused with the proud traditions of Indian cultures.” As parents, my husband and I had a right to decide that our children’s Irish Catholic, German Jewish, and “American” Evangelical heritage is all equally important. It is the parent’s choice, not the government’s, as to how our children are raised (Meyer vs. Nebraska, 1923; Pierce vs. Society of Sisters. 1925)

My name is Elizabeth Sharon Morris. I am the widow of Roland John Morris, a U.S. citizen of 100% Minnesota Chippewa heritage who was born and raised on the Leech Lake Reservation, speaking only Ojibwe until he started kindergarten. I am the birth mother, grandmother, foster and adoptive mother to several enrolled or eligible members, and an aunt and sister-in-law to dozens. Our home was an accepted ICWA home for 17 years and we raised over a dozen enrolled children in it.

I am also the Chairwoman of the Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare, a national non-profit founded by my husband and myself in 2004. CAICW represents children and families across the nation who’ve been hurt by federal Indian policy – most notably ICWA – and who, as U.S. citizens, do not want tribal government control or interference in their families.

The facts are:

1) According to the last two U.S. censuses, 75% of tribal members DO NOT live in Indian Country. Many, like our family, have deliberately taken their children and left in order to protect their families from the rampant crime and corruption of the reservation system. These families do NOT want their children turned over to tribal authorities under any circumstances – and having made a decision to disassociate, should not have to live in fear of their children being placed on the reservation if the parents should die.
2) The abuses at Spirit Lake in North Dakota are well known, but it is also known that Spirit Lake is just a microcosm of what’s happening on many reservations across the country.
3) Gang activity involving drugs is heavy and rampant on many reservations. My husband’s grandson was shot and left for dead at Spirit Lake in July, 2013. To date, your Justice Department, which you’ve highly praised for its work in Indian Country, has not charged anyone for the shooting despite family knowledge of who was involved in the altercation. Many children have been dying within Indian Country whose names don’t make it to the media – and for whom justice is never given.
4) These abuses are rampant on many reservations because the U.S. Government has set up a system that allows extensive abuse to occur unchecked and without repercussion.
5) Many, many times more children leave the reservation system in company of their parents, who have been mass exiting – than do children who have been taken into foster care or found a home in adoption. But tribal leaders won’t admit many parents consciously take their kids out of Indian Country in attempt to get them away from the reservation system and corrupt leaders. It makes a better sound bite to blame evil social services
6) There are many documented cases of children who have been happy in homes outside of Indian Country and who have fought being moved to the reservation, and who have been severely traumatized after being forced to do so. Many in federal government are aware of these children but, as done with the reports of ACF Regional Director Tom Sullivan, have chosen to ignore them.

It is claimed the cause of crime and corruption in Indian Country is poverty and “Historical Trauma,” and that additional funding will solve the problems. Yet, crime and corruption are never made better and can never be made better by giving those responsible for the crime and corruption more money.

It’s time to stop listening to those with vested financial interest in increasing tribal government power, and admit the physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse of tribal members by other tribal members and even many tribal leaders.

Every time power to tribal leaders is increased, tribal members – U.S. citizens – are robbed of civil freedoms under the constitution of the United States. Equal Protection is a constitutional right.

To better protect children, we need to:

A. Guarantee protection for children of Native American heritage equal to that of any other child in the United States.
B. Guarantee that fit parents, no matter their heritage, have the right to choose healthy guardians or adoptive parents for their children without concern for heritage.
C. Recognize the “Existing Indian Family Doctrine” as a viable analysis for consideration and application in child custody proceedings. (See In re Santos Y, In Bridget R., and In re Alexandria Y.)
D. Guarantee that United States citizens, no matter their heritage, have a right to fair trials.

    • When summoned to a tribal court, parents and legal guardians need to be informed of their legal rights, including USC 25 Chapter 21 1911 (b)“…In any State court proceeding for the foster care placement of, or termination of parental rights to, an Indian child not domiciled or residing within the reservation of the Indian child’s tribe, the court, in the absence of good cause to the contrary, shall transfer such proceeding to the jurisdiction of the tribe, absent objection by either parent…”
    • Further, parents involved in any child custody proceeding should have a right to object to tribal jurisdiction. Many tribal members don’t take things to tribal court because they don’t expect to get justice there. For the Justice Department to deny this reveals the Justice Departments willingness to ignore how many tribal courts factually work.
    • Under the principles of comity: All Tribes and States shall accord full faith and credit to a child custody order issued by the Tribe or State of initial jurisdiction consistent within the UCCJA – which enforces a child custody determination by a court of another State – unless the order has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having jurisdiction to do so under Article 2 of the UCCJA.

E. Include well-defined protections for Adoptive Parents equal to protections afforded families of every heritage.
F. Mandate that a “Qualified expert witness” be someone who has professional knowledge of the child and family and is able to advocate for the well-being of the child, first and foremost – not tribal government.
G. Because it is claimed that tribal membership is a political rather than racial designation, parents, as U.S. citizens, should have the sole, constitutional right to choose political affiliation for their families and not have it forced upon them. Only parents and/or legal custodians should have the right to enroll a child into an Indian Tribe.

    • Remove the words “or are eligible for membership in” 1901 (3)
    • Remove the words “eligible for membership in” from 1903 (4) (b), the definition of an ‘Indian child’ and replace with the words “an enrolled member of”

Thank you for your willingness to hear our concerns and take action to protect our children and grandchildren from further exploitation.

Elizabeth Sharon Morris
Chairwoman
Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare (CAICW)

Cc: Tracy Toulou, Director, Tribal Justice
Members of Congress

Aug 132014
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEogtESN5Wo

Sage was 4-years-old and one of the first children to be hurt by the Indian Child Welfare Act in 1978. She was 6-years when she and the family she loved went on the run to protect her from the law that intended to force to live with an abusive birth parent. She was 13 when she was finally forcibly taken from her family to be placed on the reservation with the birth mother who had almost killed her.

She tells her story of going on the run with her chosen parents, her trauma of being taken from them, and ultimate relief when she was finally released from the reservation and allowed to return home. To this day, thirty-some years later, she is upset by what the government and ICWA put her through.

– http://youtu.be/TEogtESN5Wo

Sep 142013
 
Washington DC, January 2011

Yes, Veronica, there may be no Santa Claus, but there is a God and there is work being done to amend ICWA.

Washington DC, February 2013

Washington DC, February 2013

Some very kind, concerned supporters of justice have begun a petition to amend the Indian Child Welfare Act. We appreciate the effort very, very much.   But after having been urged several times to act on the petition, I need to explain why we an’t work on the petition.

Many of our newer friends are unaware that draft legislation to amend the ICWA has already been written and presented to various Congressmen.   I am a little afraid of possibly a conflict in wording or goals.

This legislation was written by one of the best ICWA attorneys in the nation and introduced by the Coalition for the ‘Protection of Indian Children and Families’ to legislative offices last summer, 2012.  The ICWA attorney based his wording on the primary reasons families are coming to him for help – the most noted issues with how ICWA was hurting children and families.

It has been on somewhat of a hold during the Veronica proceedings.  Well… actually, the hold was only meant to be until the United States Supreme Court had ruled.  Congressmen needed to know what the Justices had to say about the case before they could move forward further with the bill.

The court has ruled – but these last two months have been nuts, taking everyone’s time and energy.  Further, Congress recesses in August.

BUT – it is now September.  Thank you all for the reminder concerning the legislation.  According to attorney’s I have consulted – because no real resources of our organization are being spent or used on the legislation – and because I don’t get paid by CAICW but am entirely volunteer, there isn’t much concern about my discussing it a little bit.

So it is time to get back into the saddle with the legislation. I will be rolling up my sleeves and leaving for DC as soon as I put various things in order here at home – hopefully within the next couple weeks.

For your information, here is the amendment wording as it stood last summer.  There MIGHT be changes made following the Veronica events. I can’t say for certain as I am not an attorney.  But this is what we stood on last summer.

 ICWA Amendments 11-11-12

 

PLEASE join us in urging your Congress members – as well as the President – to change ICWA.

 

Washington DC, January 2011

Washington DC, January 2011

 

 

 

Keep Dissing Non-Indians. It brings more people to our site, frightened for their kids ~

 Comments Off on Keep Dissing Non-Indians. It brings more people to our site, frightened for their kids ~
Sep 132013
 
Beth, September 1987

3 enrollable kids

3 eligible kids, happily living with family outside of control of “Indian Country,” without “Split Feather.”

NEWS FLASH:  MOST children targeted by ICWA are multi-racial. Statements by ICWA supporters that Non-members have NO RIGHT to speak about the Indian Child Welfare Act are born of prejudice and delusion …. and are terrifying people.

These statements are made as if hundreds of thousands of enrollable children across the United States do NOT have  non-member birth parents currently raising them successfully – and non-native extended family.

Hello? EVEN VERONICA was born of a non-member mother.  Hello? Veronica has a maternal grandfather who is 100% Hispanic.  What is he, chopped liver?

IMPORTANTLY – – when people make the statement that non-members have no right to speak – what they are saying is that I don’t have a right to speak up for my own kids.   If people don’t think I have any right to speak up about how ICWA works, despite the rhetoric from their own mouths that any enrollable child is “THEIR” child (which would include my children and grandchildren) – and the Tribal Industry claims of potential jurisdiction over MY OWN KIDS and grandkids – – THINK AGAIN.

Like a mother bear, I become even more determined to fight back against those threatening my family.  I become even more determined to fight back against hate-filled people who assume they know my children better than I do – and more determined to fight to my death (yup) to DESTROY this horrendous, unconstitutional, racist, hateful, prejudice, child-stealing law called ICWA.  It is rhetoric like that that fuels me.

Keep it up!  Keep claiming that birth parents and extended family of hundreds of thousands of enrollable children don’t matter at all.  You are doing my work for me – angering almost every non-native family member across the United States. (excepting for non-native family members who have bought the Tribal Industry rhetoric hook, line and sinker.)

PLEASE – KEEP SAYING THAT A CHILD’S OTHER HERITAGES AND FAMILY DON’T MATTER.   Your honesty is doing amazing press for us.   By blurting out your true bottom line as to how ICWA has been written and why – you are opening eyes that would otherwise never have realized that ICWA could affect their families as well.

It is dawning on people that if they, as parents, got in a car wreck, their extended family might have to fight a tribe for custody of their kids.  Grandparents are realizing that if their son or daughter were in a car wreck, a dishonest tribal court could tell them, as grandparents, that they have no right to raise their grandchildren.

You are terrifying families of eligible children every time you open your mouths and claim their kids as your own – every time you make hateful and racist statements toward family members of kids who could potentially end up targeted by ICWA.

I don’t even have to spend money on press releases – You are doing it for us.

Thank you for being so open as to what you honestly feel about the families of so many of America’s children.

 

Non-member mother with eligible child, January 1983

Non-member mother with eligible child, January 1983

 

 

Sep 092013
 
Sweet Girl Don't Die

Baptism in Leech Lake, 2007

Baptism in Leech Lake, 2007

We are told time and again that the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)  isn’t about race or percentages, but about preserving a dying culture.

There is much benefit in enjoying ones heritage and culture.

Everyone of us has a historical heritage. Some hold great value to it and want to live the traditional culture (to a certain extent. Few try to REALLY live traditional), others only want to dabble for fun – but others aren’t interested at all.

My children have the option of enjoying Ojibwe traditional, German Jewish, Irish Catholic, and Scottish Protestant heritage. We told them as they were growing up that each one of their heritages are interesting and valuable. (While at the same time making it clear that Jesus is the only way, truth and life.)

Most of us whose families have been in America for more than a couple generations are multi-heritage. Even most tribal members are multi-heritage. All individuals have a right to choose which heritage they want to identify with. If one of my children were to choose to identify with his or her Irish heritage, it would be racist for anyone – even a Congressman – to say that their tribal heritage was more important.

There are times to speak softly, and other times when people and situations need to be firmly set right.  This is a time for firmness. For those who think I don’t have a right to speak because I am not “native,” think again.  As long as you are claiming multi-heritage children, I have a right to and WILL speak.

Reality Check: It is up to families and their ethnic communities to preserve traditional culture amongst themselves if they value it. That is the same no matter what heritage is the question.  Many groups do this by living or working in close proximity – such as in Chinatown, or Dearborn, Michigan – or even ethnic neighborhoods within a large town. It is a very normal thing for humans to do.

But no other community has asked the federal government to enforce cultural compliance to that community.  The federal government has NO right to be forcing a heritage or culture onto an individual or family.  Contrary to what Congress assumed, my children are NOT the tribal government’s children – nor are they “commerce” under the “Commerce Clause” the ICWA was based on.

To those who constantly parrot that “white people” are “stealing” THEIR children, Wrong:  TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS are currently stealing OUR birth children.

To those who are accusing us of genocide for demanding that tribal government keep their hands off our kids – get something straight, you are free to raise your children in the manner you see best. You are NOT free to raise MY children in the manner you see best.

Targeting other people’s kids to bolster membership rolls might be easier than doing the work necessary to keep your own children within the reservation community – but that isn’t something we are standing for anymore.

Reality Check: 75% of tribal members, according to the last two U.S. Census’, do NOT live in Indian Country. Some continue to value the reservation system and culture, but by your own admission – with your own statistics, such as losing 4 Indian languages a year – that is individual tribal members choosing NOT to speak the language. To continue blaming it on “white” people is disingenuous.

How can that I say that?  While taking Ojibwe language classes for a year to learn more about my husband’s culture – I attempted to encourage our household to speak it more.  Boy, was I in for a surprise.  My husband who spoke it fluently from birth, wasn’t interested in sharing it. His teenage nephews, who I was raising at the time, weren’t the least bit interested in learning it. And you know what? THAT was their choice! My husband was a man – my nephews were free individuals. No one has a right to force them to conform to what tribal government thinks is best.

If people are leaving Indian Country and turning their backs on culture and the reservation system – that is something YOU are going to have to look inward to resolve.

Reality Check: Tribal members are individuals with their own hearts and minds – not robots ready to be programmed by the dogma spewed in “Indian Country Today.”  Further, they are U.S. Citizens – and many, despite the rhetoric of a few – value being U.S. citizens.

If people are turning their back on traditional Indian culture and embracing American culture — that’s life.  (Go ahead and screen shot that and share it with your friends. They need to wake up to reality as well.)

Those yelling and screaming about it being the fault of “white” people who adopted babies and the fault of boarding schools from 50 years ago and the fault of everyone else – need to wake up. Free-thinking individuals have been taking their kids and leaving the reservation system in droves for decades. It is no one’s fault. It is life.  It’s probably even the REAL reason ICWA was enacted. (blaming the exodus on White adoptive homes just sounded better – there was more of a hook in it than “our people are simply taking their kids and leaving.”)

Reality Check: Stealing babies won’t solve the problem because many of them will grow up and leave as well.

Extending membership criteria to match that of the Cherokee Nation – as 60 tribal governments are currently considering doing  – won’t solve the problem either. It is only going to further open the eyes of the rest of America, and further anger those of us who do not want oppressive and predatory tribal govt touching our children, grandchildren, or great-great grandchildren.

You can NOT force other families to submit to your value system. That is why ICWA is totally unconstitutional. You are attempting to force many people of heritage to preserve something they have personally decided isn’t of value to them.

Now – I realize that you are going to turn that statement around and make it about ME – claiming I am out destroy tribal culture and commit Genocide and again totally ignore the fact that tribal members themselves are fleeing Indian Country.

Please note what I factually said. I said you can’t force tribal members who are not interested in preserving the culture to submit to the demands of the few who DO want to preserve it. You are forcing your values down the throats of people who have decided to live differently and have chosen to raise their children differently.

Example. I have a niece that is 50% Native American, 50% African American, who has decided to be Muslim and raise her children Muslim.

That isn’t me doing it.  She knows her Uncle wanted her to know Jesus.  That is an individual making her own decision – no matter how her uncle would feel about it – or how tribal Government feels about it.

 

If you want to believe it is “Un- Christian” to side with individuals, families, and human rights over horrific Government oppression – than so be it. I am tired of hearing the accusation that we aren’t being “real” Christians.

Are you suggesting that Jesus threw money-changers out of the temple and called Pharisees “Dogs” because he was timid and didn’t want to offend anyone?

Or that he was hung from the cross because everyone loved hearing what he had to say?

 

No, actually, this is what being Christian is about:

Ps. 82:3-4 (Psalmist to the kings) ”Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the week and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

Prov. 29:7 “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.”

Prov. 31:8-9 “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

Isa. 1:17 “learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the fatherless , plead the cause of the widow.”

Isa. 10:1-3 (God, through Isaiah, to the Israelites) ”Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches?

Jer. 22:16-17 “He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?’ Declares the Lord, ‘but your eyes are set on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood and on oppression and extortion.”

Acts 5:29 “Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than men!”

Jn. 15:18-21 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world., That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.”

Matt 5:10-12 “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Col. 3:24 “since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

 

My husband and I prayed for years about what we were saying and doing and long ago came to the solid conclusion that it was the right thing to do before God. This org can’t be bullied about it now.  We are past it.

 

Roland Preaching a Sermon in Juarez, Mexico

Roland Preaching a Sermon in Juarez, Mexico

 

 

Court Rules in Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Girl; Clears Way to Finalize Adoption

 Comments Off on Court Rules in Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Girl; Clears Way to Finalize Adoption
Jul 182013
 

By Elizabeth Sharon MorrisAdoptive Couple vs Baby Girl

On June 17, 2013, the South Carolina Supreme Court gave Matt & Melanie Capobianco a victory in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl in remanding to Family Court for prompt entry of an order approving and finalizing Adoptive Couple’s adoption of Baby Girl.

The Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare is relieved that Veronica will be returned to the parents chosen by her birth mother, who, according to the SCOTUS, was the only legal parent and had sole right to decide her child’s best interest.

SCOTUS has confirmed that State law determining abandonment trumps the Indian Child Welfare Act. In doing this, the Court has slightly limited ICWA. This is a good first step in the effort to stop the hurt ICWA is causing children and families across the United States.

We have a long way to go to unshackle other families begging help. To meet their varied concerns, we need the “best interest of the child,” the rights of non-tribal extended family, the “Existing Indian Family doctrine,” and the wishes of all parents who reject tribal jurisdiction to be held in higher regard than the wishes and demands of governments. Our children are not chattel for tribal government.

CAICW continues to appreciate the June 25th concurring opinion of U.S Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in his citing of the work of Rob Natelson, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Jurisprudence, Independence Institute & Montana Policy Institute, concerning the unconstitutionality of the ICWA.

The Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare (CAICW) is both a ministry and advocacy group. CAICW has been advocating since February 2004 for families at risk of harm from the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). Our advocacy has been both judicial and educational, as well as a prayer resource for families and a shoulder to cry on.

Elizabeth Sharon Morris is Chairwoman of the Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare and author of ‘Dying in Indian Country.’ http://dyinginindiancountry.com/

Jun 212013
 

Honorable Senator Hoeven,

A charge has been made in the death of a 3-year-old girl named “Lauryn’ who died last week after she and her twin sister were sent to live on the Spirit Lake Reservation, a community known for widespread violence, crime, tribal government corruption and sexual abuse against children. A member of the family has been arrested and accused of physically abusing the twins as well encouraging her children to beat and kick them.

This child’s death is not isolated. Three other young children have died and countess others have been abused while under the care of Spirit Lake Tribal Services. Thomas Sullivan, Regional Director of the Administration of Children and Families, has documented 40 children living with sex offenders at Spirit Lake after they were removed from safe homes off of the reservation.  His mandated report was given to federal officials overseeing Spirit Lake tribal social services as well as DC officials and U.S. Senators. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) started overseeing tribal services last year to stop the crime and abuse. Yet, little has been done. Today most of these young children are still living with sex offenders.

One month ago, the twins were healthy and happily living with a foster family in Bismarck, ND, but were moved solely due to the Indian Child Welfare Act. Until this Act is significantly altered, many more children will needlessly suffer and even die. Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare (CAICW) is calling for immediate action by Congress to ensure that the lives of children be elevated to higher importance than the demands of tribal government leaders. The Spirit Lake Tribe is not an anomaly. CAICW is frequently contacted by families being hurt by ICWA across the nation.

Our current reservation system rewards dependence on federal government rather than on an individual’s strength and God. It encourages strong people to embrace anger and hide under the mantle of victimhood. A large number of citizens living within Indian Country are dying from alcoholism, drug abuse, suicide, and violence. The prevalence of alcoholism results in a percentage of Fetal Alcohol adults now raising Fetal Alcohol children. While many healthy tribal members move off the reservation to get away from crime, many of the neediest remain. Those who remain submit to a life amid a criminal element that retreats to the reservations to stay out of reach of state law enforcement. Sometimes the criminal element influences, or even becomes, the tribal government. Shockingly, this displays a similar sociological pattern to third world countries or small dictatorships around the globe.

Six months ago, in January 2013, our entire Senate unanimously voted on a resolution calling on Russia to put the best interest of children ahead of politics. The House followed suit with their own resolution.  Why can’t we do the same thing for children who are citizens of the United States?

Further, we are asking you to no longer be taken in by the claims of tribal government that they are only demanding the right to their “own” children.  Tribal overreach has been affecting multi-racial children and families across the nation.  The current case, awaiting ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Girl, involves a child of 1.12% Cherokee heritage.  Her Hispanic mother had made a decision as to the best interest of her daughter, and our government turned around and robbed her of that decision.

But even parents of 100% tribal heritage have a right to decide to raise their children apart from Indian Country and tribal government. The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children is a fundamental right.

We, as an organization, are asking you to be proactive and put an end to this continuing violence against both children and adults.  We are asking you what steps you will be taking to ensure the best interest of children over politics here in America.

 

Apr 142013
 

Baby VeronicaChristinna Maldonado chose Matt and Melanie Capobianco to love, nurture, and raise her soon-to-be-born child. The Capobiancos had long wanted to be parents and after seven failed in vitro fertilization attempts, made the decision to enter into an “open adoption” of Baby Veronica. On all accounts. Veronica was a happy, thriving, child residing in a stable, nurturing environment. To this day, Maldonado remains committed to her choice.

On or around Jan. 4, 2010, Dusten Brown, the biological father, signed away custody of his daughter in exchange for not having financial responsibility. Brown later changed his mind and sought custody of Veronica. Initially, due to South Carolina law, he was denied standing because he was considered an absentee father.

However, because he was 3/128th Cherokee heritage, the Cherokee Nation intervened in the adoption proceedings and argued that this happy, healthy two-year-old be transferred to Brown under the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act.  Baby Veronica, only 1.12% Cherokee heritage, was ordered removed from the Capobianco’s care and placed in Dusten Brown’s custody. On Dec. 31, 2011, despite abundant evidence from child psychologists and attachment experts that removing toddlers from care-givers they’ve bonded to could cause long-lasting psychological damage, Veronica was handed over to her biological father.

Though supporters of ICWA say it has safeguards to prevent misuse, Veronica and numerous other multi-racial children across the U.S have been hurt by it – many of whom have never been near a reservation nor involved in tribal customs. Some opponents of ICWA question the motivation for seeking after children whose families have chosen to be disconnected from Indian Country. The Cherokee Nation alone had over 100 attorneys targeting some 1,500 children across the country in 2012. 

Now Veronica’s case has reached the highest level.  On February 26, 2013, the Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in support of Matt, Melanie and Veronica. SCOTUS will hear testimony of the case on April 16th and will make a ruling by the end of the term in June 2013.

CAICW is asking the Supreme Court to reverse the decision made by the high court of South Carolina and return Baby Girl Veronica to the Capobiancos, family chosen for her by her birth-mother. The statutory and constitutional issues addressed in this case impact the equal protection, due process, liberty, and state rights provisions of children in need of care. A child’s best interests should be considered in every child custody determination.  There is no presumption that residing with members of a child’s tribe is in the child’s best interests, particularly when the child is lives off the tribe’s reservation. Further, tribal governments lack inherent jurisdiction over nonmembers. Application of the federal ICWA to cases involving the parents who are not tribal members violates the equal protection provision of the U.S. constitution, even if a non-member parent lives within reservation boundaries.

If you have any doubts to the how justice should rule in this case – consider Christinna, who is 50% Hispanic (if her heritage isn’t important, but another persons supposed minute heritage is, isn’t that….racism?

SHE was the one in the position of being an unwed mother – told by the biological father that he was not going to help support the baby she was carrying. No one else in this case was in that position. (But if what she went through isn’t important, but the father’s belated “pain” is, isn’t that….sexism?)

Then imagine if this had been your daughter, sister, or niece who had made the mistake of sleeping with a man who later refused to help with a child.  Now pay attention.  This man appeared to be Caucasian.  So at some point he mentioned that he has Cherokee ancestry. However, in the time your daughter was with him, he never made an issue about being Indian, practiced anything traditional, or gave any cause to assume he was anything other than the myriad other Caucasians across the United States who claim to have Cherokee blood. Yes, those people of minute heritage who many tribal members of significant heritage mock  as “wannabe” Indians.

Now, imagine you and the rest of your family had supported her decision to move ahead with adoption and helped her find a good home for this child.  Then imagine a tribal government coming in weeks, months or years later, and telling the courts that this man has 3/128th heritage, and based on this tiny bit of blood quantum, this man many tribal members would have mocked if it weren’t for Veronica –  is now “Indian” and they are there to invalidate the decision your family had made.

What the Cherokee Nation is pushing for and the South Carolina Supreme Court erroneously overlooked – is that any woman, of any heritage, who sleeps with any man of any apparent heritage – even a one night stand – CANNOT go ahead with an adoption without somehow ensuring that this man does not have a smidgen of tribal heritage.

WHAT does this kind of ruling do for the rights of women – of unwed mothers?  What kinds of hoops will teenage girls now have to go through if the Supreme Court rules for the tribal governments? Where is the outrage from women’s groups over this case?

And yet – no one would say a thing of she opted to abort her baby instead.  The tribal government wouldn’t – couldn’t stop her from doing that.   Just consider the ramifications of a tribal government victory in this case.

Our Families are NOT Chattel for tribal governments – no matter how many claim them to be.  As parents, we will continue to fight for full rights and freedom for our families – every one of whom is a United States Citizen – even if this Supreme Court makes the wrong decision.

In the words of Dr. William Allen, former Chair, US Commission on Civil Rights (1989) & Emeritus Professor, Political Science MSU, “… we are talking about our brothers and our sisters. We’re talking about what happens to people who share with us an extremely important identity. And that identity is the identity of free citizens in a Republic…”

 

PLEASE REMEMBER TO PRAY NOW THROUGH TUESDAY – for Veronica, her parents, and all involved with this important decision.

 

Elizabeth Sharon Morris is Chairwoman of the Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare and author of ‘Dying in Indian Country: A Family Journey From Self-Destruction To Opposing Tribal Sovereignty.”

Join Us in DC: February 4-8, 2013

 Comments Off on Join Us in DC: February 4-8, 2013
Jan 072013
 

 

Since January 2011, CAICW has traveled to Washington, D.C. three times to speak and inform lawmakers on the negative and disturbing effects the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) has been having on families across the country.

A recap of these visits:

  • January 24-27, 2011: Three wonderful families joined us to relate their experiences as a result of ICWA to various Congressmen.
  • October 24-28, 2011: We returned to hold an ICWA“teach-in” with Dr. William B. Allen, which was held in the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Hearing room. Dr. Allen moderated the event, and three families joined us on the panel, including Johnston Moore of the organization “Forever Home.
  • July 10-13, 2012: In conjunction with the newly formed Coalition for the Protection of Indian Children and Families (CPICF), our most successful meeting took place with a standing-room-only crowd that included legislative aides, adoption and social services organizations, attorneys, and three representatives from the Cherokee Nation. Dr. Allen joined us again for this forum, as well as attorney Mark Fiddler, and adoptive father/speaker Johnston Moore. Sage DesRochers, who was hurt by ICWA years ago as a child, then subsequently ‘saved’ from the reservation and returned to the adoptive mother she loved by Dr. Allen and others, also gave her testimony.

The goals we outlined at the event:

  • To protect the individual rights of Indian children and their families
  • To ensure they maintain the right to a safe, supportive and stable family
  • To request support for appropriate amendments to the ICWA

Attorney Mark Fiddler gave a powerful presentation on the ICWA law, outlining reasons why it must be changed, and presenting suggestions for how to do so. He pointed out distinct problems with the law, and provided clear instructions on ways to protect the children. Several family stories were cited including the Belford’s, the Helmhoz’, and the Anderson’s.

Johnston Moore presented on problems the ICWA has caused families, and Melanie Duncan presented well researched information regarding attachment issues, citing that children of tribal heritage are no different than any other child in the world in regards to these matters.Dr. William B. Allen and Sage

Dr. William Allen introduced Sage DesRochers, who as a thirteen-year-old was forcibly removed from the only home she knew and loved, to be placed with her birth mother on the reservation. She spoke about the trauma, and ultimate relief she experienced when she was finally “released,” from the reservation a few years later and allowed to return to her chosen family. To this day, some twenty years later, she is upset by what the government and the ICWA put her through.

JOIN US FEBRUARY 4-8, 2013, as we return again to educate our Congress, speaking again to older statesmen and introducing the issue and concerns to new.  Tell your stories, and/or support the rights of children and families across America.  We have some exciting meetings planned.

Thanks to your kind support and contributions over these years. We wouldn’t be where we are today without your help.

CAICW’s Mission
The Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare is committed to seek God’s
guidance in defending the rights of the poor and needy, as instructed in Proverbs 31:8-9: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

Isaiah 1:17: “Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the fatherless, plead the cause of the widow.”

FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/fbCAICW.org 

TWITTER: http://twitter.com/CAICW

EMAIL: administrator@caicw.org

 

Year-End Review: Jan. 6, 2013, CAICW Sponsors “Save Veronica” Campaign

 Comments Off on Year-End Review: Jan. 6, 2013, CAICW Sponsors “Save Veronica” Campaign
Dec 142012
 

It all began at the start of the year, when adorable 2-year-old Veronica was removed from her adoptive parents’ home as a result of the ICWA, and transferred to her birth father. From that day on, there has been no rest for the Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare (CAICW).

Many citizens of the South Carolina town where Veronica was raised witnessed the emotionally inhumane transfer of custody, and a campaign began immediately to“SAVE VERONICA ROSE.”Veronica’s story soon brought national attention to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

CAICW has never seen this kind of reaction before. THOUSANDS of supporters joined Veronica’s Facebook page, and as of this writing, more than 20,000 have signed a petition to Congress to change the ICWA.

A Recap of Veronica’s Story
While pregnant, Veronica’s Latina birth mother had selected Matt and Melanie to become Veronica’s adoptive parents—to love, nurture and raise her child. Although Veronica’s birth father knew the approximate period of time in which Veronica was to be born, he made no contact with her mother during the pregnancy. And because the birth mother didn’t want to marry, the father told her he wasn’t going to support the child. In South Carolina, where the mother resides, the law states that unless a father is physically and financially involved during a pregnancy, and in a timely manner following birth, he is considered to be an absentee father and therefore does not have standing in court. This law is in place to allow a mother time and opportunity to make necessary decisions in the face of abandonment.

In early January 2010, when Veronica was about four months old, her birth father signed papers agreeing to relinquish parental rights to his daughter. Shortly afterward he changed his mind. The Oklahoma state court dismissed his late attempt at intervention, but because of his 3 percent Cherokee heritage, the Cherokee Nation intervened in the adoption proceedings and argued that this happy, healthy two-year-old be transferred to her birth father. As a result of the
ICWA, a family court judge ruled in his favor.

Up until this time, Veronica was a thriving child residing in a stable, nurturing environment. To this day,Veronica’s birth mother remains committed to her original decision. On December 31, 2011, with less than two hours of “transition” time, Veronica was handed over to her biological father. She was placed in a car with literal strangers and taken miles from the only home she had known since birth.

On January 6, 2012, in order to allow Veronica’s supporters to be protected
under a legal entity and receive a tax deduction for donating to the family’s legal defense fund, “Save Veronica” officially became an advocacy and awareness campaign of CAICW.

Veronica’s parents appealed the custody decision, but this past July the South Carolina Supreme Court upheld the ICWAlaw, ruling that Veronica remain with her birth father. On Monday, October 1, 2012, the legal team for the parents filed a petition for review with the United States Supreme Court for their case involving the ICWA. We will know in January if the court will accept the case.

On Thursday, October 18, 2012 Veronica’s story aired on the Dr. Phil show. Representatives of the Cherokee Nation as well as Veronica’s birth parents were interviewed. Much of the discussion centered around whether the ICWA was actually working to protect the rights and well being of children as it was originally intended to do, or whether the law was creating a situation where the
rights of tribes supersede the rights and welfare of the children. The show has ignited a firestorm of responses, which CAICW regards as clear indication of the need to further educate the public about ICWA and the unintended damage it is causing to families and children across the country.

CAICW continues to advocate for the return of Veronica to her adoptive parents, and we encourage all of our supporters to contact your congressional representatives and impress on them the need to change the outdated ICWA law.

So. Carolina High Court Rules in favor of Cherokee Nation in Baby Veronica Case

 Comments Off on So. Carolina High Court Rules in favor of Cherokee Nation in Baby Veronica Case
Jul 262012
 

Veronica RoseCharleston, SC [7/26/12]

by Jessica Munday, Trio Solutions:

The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled today that the 2-year-old adoptive daughter of Matt and Melanie Capobianco will remain with her biological father Dusten Brown. After seven months of living without her, the Capobiancos of Charleston, SC received word that South Carolina’s high court ruled in favor of the Indian Child Welfare Act, the federal law that allowed Brown and the Cherokee Nation to retain custody of the child on New Year’s Eve 2011.

Despite public outcry that the child should be returned to her adoptive parents, the federal law granted the Cherokee Nation, of which Brown is a registered member, the ability to argue that the child is best served with her father’s tribe.

The law was originally intended to preserve Native American culture by keeping Indian children with native families as opposed to non-Native American families. Even though Brown would not be considered a parent by state law because of his lack of support to the birth mother during and after the pregnancy, Christina Maldonado of Oklahoma, the federal law trumps her wishes to select a non-Native family to raise her child.

Brown filed for paternity and custody four months after the child was born in September 2009. He filed for custody with Oklahoma family court. The case was dismissed and jurisdiction was granted to South Carolina. Brown eventually utilized the Indian Child Welfare Act to remove Veronica from her adoptive family on New Year’s Eve. The Capobiancos immediately appealed to the South Carolina Supreme Court.

After learning about the Capobianco’s case, the author of the law, former U.S. Senator Jim Aborzek of South Dakota, was quoted in Charleston’s daily newspaper The Post and Courier as saying this situation is “something totally different than what we intended at the time.” Additionally, he said, “That’s a tragedy. They obviously were attached to the child and, I would assume the child was attached to them.”

The adoption case caught national attention on New Year’s Eve when the Capobiancos were forced to hand over the toddler to Brown. The way the family court handled Veronica’s transfer sparked outrage from child advocacy and mental health communities around the country. Prior to the transfer, the 2-year-old had never met Brown. He refused offers for a transition period, placed the toddler in a pick-up truck and drove more than 1,100 miles from the only family the child had ever known.

Oral arguments were heard on April 17. The court hearing was closed to the public. All parties involved in the case remain under a gag order until clearance from their legal team.

Contact: Jessica Munday

jessica@trio-solutions.com

843-708-8746

Washington DC, July 11, 2012 – BEST ICWA MEETINGS EVER!

 Comments Off on Washington DC, July 11, 2012 – BEST ICWA MEETINGS EVER!
Jul 262012
 

Dr. William B. Allen and Sage I apologize that it took over a week for me to get this letter out to you. The meetings we had in DC this month were the best ever . I want to tell you that so much prayer went into this – and the answers to prayer were amazing. Not only did God give Grace for the compelling and intelligent discussions we were able to have, but He provided for so many to be able to come. Even when I felt discouraged and reluctant to go, God wouldn’t allow me to stand in the way of what he has put together. He is truly worthy of praise in this.

Further, I give credit and am so grateful for the many people who have come on board in the last six months, concerned about what happened to little Veronica and not wanting it to happen again to any other child. We mourn the horrific abduction that our government allowed to happen to a defenseless two-year-old – and are amazed by the attention it has brought to this insanity called the Indian Child Welfare Act. Veronica is not alone. As you and others have talked about her – other parents have come forward and told how the same thing has happened to them. Further, the Cherokee Nation has admitted that they have over 100 attorneys targeting 1500 children this year.

Further, – the New York Times published a horrific story about the Spirit Lake Reservation just two weeks ago. A few days later, another story, this time involving the death of an infant

While not every reservation handles their children in the way that Spirit Lake has, way too many do. Nothing in that story surprised me – it echoed the many things I myself have seen on my husband’s home reservation.

ABOUT DC:

 

Attorney Mark Fiddler gave a powerful presentation on the ICWA law and how and why it must be changed. He went through the notable problems with the law and gave clear instruction on what must be done to protect the children. Several family stories were told – including the Belfords, the Helmholz, and the Anderson’s.

Johnston Moore also gave a wonderful presentation on the problems ICWA has caused families, and Melanie Duncan did a very well researched presentation on attachment issues – and how, surprise, surprise, children of tribal heritage are no different than any other child in the world.

Dr. William Allen introduced Sage DesRochers, who as a thirteen-year-old was forcibly removed from the only home she knew & loved, and placed with her birth mother on the reservation. She spoke about the trauma she went through and the relief she had when she was finally “released” (her words) from the reservation a couple years later and allowed to return to her chosen family. To this day, twenty some years later, she is upset by what the gov’t and ICWA put her through. She asked her adoptive mother (her ONLY mother, says Sage) to join her on this trip to DC.

I told how my husband and I, as parents and granparents of enrolled children, have been affected and hurt by the Indian Child Welfare Act. Jessican Munday did an awesome job MC’ing and organizing the event

Again – this is about the right of individuals to determine their lives – not governments. Most tribal members have left the reservation system. Some move away but choose to continue close relationship with tribal gov’t. Many other persons – with both large and small amounts of tribal heritage – choose NOT to raise their own children within the limited cultural perspective that some tribal gov’ts and other entities define.

Many of us, knowing that our children are multi-heritage, choose to raise and teach our children within other world views, with knowledge of and appreciation for the wide diversity of culture here in the U.S. Many of our children, as American citizens, feel most comfortable within mainstream American culture, working and learning along side all other diverse American citizens. They appreciate ALL of their varied heritages. Neither tribal nor federal government have a right to dictate what culture should be most important to our children and grandchildren.

In the words of Dr. William Allen, Emeritus Professor, Political Science, MSU and former Chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights,

“… we are talking about our brothers and our sisters. We’re talking about what happens to people who share with us an extremely important identity. And that identity is the identity of free citizens in a Republic…”

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT AND SUPPORT! We could not be do this without you!!

Please continue to press in on our Congressmen – they need to hear your voice!!

CONTACTS:

Senator Akaka: Chairman of Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Member of Congressional Coalition on Adoption, Hawaii

CONTACT: Lotaka_Baptiste@akaka.senate.gov

Senator Inouye: Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Member of Congressional Coalition on Adoption, Hawaii

CONTACT: Kawe_Mossman@inouye.senate.gov

Senator Barrasso: Minority Leader; Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (Very interested in ICWA), Wyoming

CONTACT: Travis_McNiven@barrasso.senate.gov

Senator Crapo: Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Idaho

CONTACT: Kathryn_Hitch@crapo.senate.gov

Senator Johanns: Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Nebraska

CONTACT: Ally_Mendenhall@johanns.senate.gov

Senator Cantwell: Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Washington State

CONTACT: Paul_Wolfe@cantwell.senate.gov

Senator Johnson: Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Member of Congressional Coalition on Adoption, South Dakota

CONTACT: Kenneth_Martin@johnson.senate.gov

Senator Conrad: Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Member of Congressional Coalition on Adoption, North Dakota

CONTACT: Jayme_Davis@conrad.senate.gov

Senator Hoeven: Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, North Dakota (helped with Teach-In)

CONTACT: Ryan_Bernstein@hoeven.senate.gov

Senator Murkowski: Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Member of Congressional Coalition on Adoption, Alaska

CONTACT: Kristi_Williams@murkowski.senate.gov

Senator Tom Udall Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, New Mexico

CONTACT: Fern_Goodhart@tomudall.senate.gov

Senator McCain: Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Member of Congressional Coalition on Adoption, Arizona

CONTACT: Nick_Matiella@mccain.senate.gov

Senator Franken: Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Minnesota

CONTACT: http://www.franken.senate.gov/?p=email_al

Senator Tester: Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Montana

CONTACT: Mark_Jette@tester.senate.gov

_________________________________________

Senator Landrieu: Co-Chair of Congressional Coalition on Adoption, Louisianna

CONTACT: Libby_Whitbeck@landrieu.senate.gov

Senator Inhofe: Co-Chair of Congressional Coalition on Adoption, Oklahoma

CONTACT: Ellen_Brown@inhofe.senate.gov

Senator Coburn: Former Member of Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (Very interested), Oklahoma

CONTACT: Michael_Schwartz@coburn.senate.gov

Senator Demint: Member of Congressional Coalition on Adoption, South Carolina

CONTACT: Laura_Evans@Demint.senate.gov

House Committee for Indian Affairs

Chris.Fluher@mail.house.gov – 202-225-2761

Honorable Representative Don Young – Chair, Subcommittee on Indian/Alaska Native Affairs

P 202-225-5765, F 202-225-0425, (From the State of Alaska)

CONTACT: Mary.Hiratsuka@mail.house.gov

Honorable Representative Tom McClintock – Subcommittee on Indian/Alaska Native Affairs

P 202-225-2511, F 202-225-5444, (From the State of California)

CONTACT: Kristen.Glenn@mail.house.gov

Honorable Representative Jeff Denham – Subcommittee on Indian/Alaska Native Affairs

P 202-225-4540, F 202-225-3402, (From the State of California)

CONTACT: Ryan.Henretty@mail.house.gov

Honorable Representative Dan Benishek – Subcommittee on Indian/Alaska Native Affairs

P 202-225-4735, F 202-225-4744, (From the State of Michigan)

CONTACT: Tad.Rupp@mail.house.gov

Honorable Representative Kristi Noem – Subcommittee on Indian/Alaska Native Affairs

P 202-225-2801, F 202-225-5823, (From the State of South Dakota)

CONTACT: Renee.Latterell@mail.house.gov

Honorable Representative Paul Gosar – Subcommittee on Indian/Alaska Native Affairs

P 202-225-2315, F 202-225-9739, (From the State of Arizona)

CONTACT: Kelly.Ferguson@mail.house.gov

Honorable Representative Raul Labrador – Subcommittee on Indian/Alaska Native Affairs

P 202-225-6611, F 202-225-3029, (From the State of Idaho)

CONTACT: Jason.Bohrer@mail.house.gov

Honorable Representative Dan Boren – Subcommittee on Indian/Alaska Native Affairs

P 202-225-2701, F 202-225-3038, (From the State of Oklahoma, 2nd Dist.)

CONTACT: Hilary.Moffett@mail.house.gov

Honorable Representative Dale Kildee – Subcommittee on Indian/Alaska Native Affairs

P 202-225-2611, F 202-225-6393, (From the State of Michigan)

CONTACT: Erin.Donar@mail.house.gov

Honorable Representative Eni F. H. Faleomavaega – Subcommittee on Indian/Alaska Native Affairs

P 202-225-8577, F 202- 225-8757, (From the Territory of American Samoa)

CONTACT: Leilani.metz@mail.house.gov

Honorable Representative Ben Lujan – Subcommittee on Indian/Alaska Native Affairs

P 202-225-6190, F 202-226-1528, (From the State of New Mexico)

CONTACT: @mail.house.gov

Honorable Representative Colleen Hanabusa – Subcommittee on Indian/Alaska Native Affairs

P 202-225-2726, F 202-225-0688, (From the State of Hawaii)

CONTACT: Josh.Dover@mail.house.gov

Honorable Representative Ed Markey – Subcommittee on Indian/Alaska Native Affairs

P 202-225-2836, (From the State of Massachusetts )

CONTACT: Jennifer.Romero@mail.house.gov

_______________________________________________

Congressional Coalition on Adoption

Honorable Representative Michele Bachmann – Co-Chair, Congressional Coalition on Adoption

P 202-225-2331, F 202-225-6475, (From the State of Minnesota)

CONTACT: Katie Poedtke

Honorable Representative Karen Bass – Co-Chair, Congressional Coalition on Adoption

P 202-225-7084, F 202-225-2422, (From the State of California)

CONTACT: Jenny.Wood@mail.house.gov

Join Us in DC July 10-13, 2012

 Comments Off on Join Us in DC July 10-13, 2012
Jul 022012
 

Capitol Building, Washington DC January 2011.

We are gathering in DC in July – Come Add Your Voice to the Call to Protect Children from the Indian Child Welfare Act!

Why?

  • To protect the individual rights of Indian children and their families
  • To ensure they maintain the right to a safe, supportive and stable family
  • To request support for appropriate amendments to the ICWA

While said to have been established with good intentions, the ICWA has frequently hurt families and their children of Native American heritage. Federal dollars are being used to support adherence to this law; however in many cases, the law is destroying loving, stable families.

Though proponents of ICWA argue that the act has safeguards to prevent misuse, numerous multi-racial children have been affected by it. Children who have never been near a reservation nor involved in tribal customs have been removed from homes they love and placed with strangers chosen by Social Services.

Other children have been denied the security of stable home life in preference for a series of foster homes.

Issues of Concern:
— 1) Equal opportunities for adoption, safety and stability are not always available to children of all heritages.
— 2) Some families, Indian and non-Indian, have felt threatened by tribal government. Some have had to mortgage homes and endure lengthy legal processes to protect their children.
— 3) Some Children have been removed from safe, loving homes and placed into dangerous situations.
— 4) The Constitutional right of parents to make life choices for their children, for children of Indian heritage to associate freely, and for children of Indian heritage to enjoy Equal Protection has in some cases been denied

July 10 – Arrive in DC

7 p.m.
Welcome and Kick-Off Reception at the Capitol Hill Suites
Remind everyone of purpose of visit ~ Lobbying Skills 101 ~ Our message to Congress ~ Q&A time

July 11 – Advocacy and Education Day

9-11 a.m.
Raise Awareness on Capitol Hill
~ Visit Legislative Offices
~ Pass out invitations to the afternoon teach-in/luncheon

12 p.m.
Luncheon
~ Invite legislators and staffers
~ Speakers: Johnston Moore and Mark Fiddler

1-4 p.m.
Impact of the ICWA ‘Teach-in’

~ Speakers:

Dr. William B. Allen, former Chair, US Comm On Civil Rights (1989), Emeritus Professor, Political Science MSU
Johnston Moore, national speaker, adoptive and foster care father, and advocate about adoption and foster care. He has personally battled ICWA and can speak from personal experience regarding his two sons.
~ Families share their stories

July 12 – Lobby Day for Amendments

Participants meet one-on-one with members of Congress.

July 13 – Lobby Day for Amendments

Participants meet one-on-one with Congressional offices.

For more information – please contact us at CAICW.org!

PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY!
.
PLEASE HELP ICWA families with expenses for the DC trip – DONATE NOW   🙂

.

Save Veronica Rose!

 Comments Off on Save Veronica Rose!
Jan 122012
 

A terrible injustice that has occurred to a two-year-old South Carolina child named Veronica Rose and her adoptive parents. Two years ago Veronica’s Latina birth mother chose Matt and Melanie to love, nurture and raise her child. To this day, Veronica’s birth mother remains committed to her decision and Veronica has been a thriving, happy child residing in a stable, nurturing environment. On or around Jan. 4, 2010, the birth father signed papers agreeing to give up his daughter.

However, because Veronica has some Cherokee heritage from her birth father’s side of the family, the Cherokee Nation intervened in the adoption proceedings and argued that this happy, healthy two-year-old be transferred to her birth father. Because of a federal law known as the Indian Child Welfare Act, a family court judge ruled that she be immediately transferred to her biological father.


Psychologist who witnessed Veronica’s transfer comments on the detrimental effects –
Click Baby Veronica to hear an audio of the interview

The ruling placed the rights of the birth father and tribe above the best interests of this small child. Child-bonding experts agree that removing her from her home and family would be devastating and have long-lasting consequences. Numerous child psychologists stated this would be detrimental to any child. Yet on Dec. 31, Veronica was handed over to her biological father as if a possession without rights.

We believe that children need protection and should not be removed from loving, nurturing environments. We understand the premise of this law is to protect children; however, in Veronica’s case it has been used inappropriately.

Former U.S. senator Jim Abourezk (SD) authored ICWA. According to the Charleston Post and Courier, after reviewing Veronica’s story, Abourezk called the interpretation in this case “something totally different than what we intended at the time.”

“That’s a tragedy,” he said. “They obviously were attached to the child and, I would assume, the child was attached to them.”

According to the 2000 census, approximately 75% of people claiming to have American Indian or Alaska Native ancestry live outside the reservation. Further, interracial marriages are a fact of life. It is must be recognized that most children of heritage live off the reservation and have extended family that are non-tribal. Though supporters of the Indian Child Welfare Act say it has safeguards to prevent misuse, Veronica and numerous other multi-racial children across the U.S have been hurt by it. Children who have never been near a reservation nor involved in tribal customs are affected. The Cherokee Nation alone is currently tied up in about 1,100 active Indian Child Welfare cases involving some 1,500 children.

Tragically, under the Indian Child Welfare Act:

1) Some children have been removed from safe, loving homes and placed in danger
2) Equal opportunities for adoption, safety and stability are not always available to children of all heritages
3) The Constitutional right of parents to make life choices for their children, for children of Indian heritage to associate freely, and for children of Indian heritage to enjoy Equal Protection has in some cases been infringed upon.

We want more than anything for Veronica to be allowed to come home. As our elected representatives, we urge you to protect Veronica’s rights in all possible ways as well as make legislative changes that will prevent this from happening to any other child again. While we understand you are unable to interfere in court proceedings, we ask you to speak out on this issue and let your constituents know clearly where you stand. We also ask you to sponsor legislation and encourage fellow Congressmen to support the amending of the Indian Child Welfare Act to:

1. Guarantee protection for children of Native American heritage equal to that of any other child in the United States.
2. Guarantee that fit parents, no matter their heritage, have the right to choose healthy guardians or adoptive parents for their children without concern for heritage.
3. Recognize the “Existing Indian Family Doctrine” as a viable analysis for consideration and application in child custody proceedings. (See In re Santos Y, In Bridget R., and In re Alexandria Y.)
4. Guarantee that United States citizens, no matter their heritage, have a right to fair trials.
• When summoned to a tribal court, parents and legal guardians will be informed of their legal rights, including USC 25 Chapter 21 1911 (b)“…In any State court proceeding for the foster care placement of, or termination of parental rights to, an Indian child not domiciled or residing within the reservation of the Indian child’s tribe, the court, in the absence of good cause to the contrary, shall transfer such proceeding to the jurisdiction of the tribe, absent objection by either parent…”
• Under the principles of comity: All Tribes and States shall accord full faith and credit to a child custody order issued by the Tribe or State of initial jurisdiction consistent within the UCCJA – which enforces a child custody determination by a court of another State – unless the order has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having jurisdiction to do so under Article 2 of the UCCJA.

5. Include well defined protections for Adoptive Parents.
6. Mandate that a “Qualified expert witness” be someone who has professional knowledge of the child and family and is able to advocate for the well being of the child, first and foremost.
7. Mandate that only parents and/or legal custodians have the right to enroll a child into an Indian Tribe. Because it is claimed that tribal membership is a political rather than racial designation, we are asking that parents, as U.S. citizens, be given the sole, constitutional right to choose political affiliation for their families and not have it forced upon them.
• Remove the words “or are eligible for membership in” 1901 (3)
• Remove the words “eligible for membership in” from 1903 (4) (b), the definition of an ‘Indian child’ and replace with the words “an enrolled member of”

Save Veronica Supporters Worldwide
www.saveveronica.org
www.facebook.com/saveveronicarose
www.twitter.com/save_veronica

.

Nov 222011
 

Washington DC Teach-In:

The goal of our meetings throughout the week in DC was to let people know what we are about and to invite them to the

Dr. William Allen, Emeritus Professor, Political Science, MSU and former Chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (1989),

Dr. William B. Allen

Teach-in on Friday. We had wonderful speakers lined up for the event, including a mom who is on the verge of losing her daughter – a little girl of LESS than 1% heritage.

After years of practice, we’ve finally figured out that taking four days to visit Congressional offices is way to go. Monday, we focused on the Hart building, with some in Dirksen. Tuesday, Rayburn. Wednesday, Russell and Dirksen, and Thursday, Cannon and Longworth. LOTS less running around and back and forth, and we were able to take time to bop into various extra offices in between the scheduled meetings. We’ll make this into a science yet – (well, I suppose it was already made into an art by lobbyists long ago)

Sarah and I had four meetings scheduled the first day, Monday. While listing names and associations might seem dull, I want to give you all the information so you can make personal decisions about whether or not to contact someone. If you would like me to write more about my poor choice in motel, having to spend $30 in taxi fees a day just to get to a Metro station, or what it is like to ride the underground metro after the taxi driver letting you off tells you that he would never allow his mother to wait at this particular station alone, just let me know.

We began our day with Kawe Mossman-Saafi in Senator Inouye’s office. Senator Inouye (Hawaii) is on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA) as well as the ‘adoption caucus’ – the Congressional Coalition on Adoption (CCA). The meeting with Ms. Mossman-Saafi went well. She had been unaware of these things happening to children under the Indian Child Welfare Act, was very kind and interested, and agreed something needs to be done.

We next met with Kathryn Hitch in Senator Crapo’s office (Idaho), who is also on the SCIA.  This meeting also went well and she told us she would be coming to the teach-in on Friday.

We had a little time before the next meeting, so we dropped into Senator Bingaman’s office and visited with Casey O’Neil. If you live in New Mexico, please call him and tell him about ICWA. He was very nice but needs some help understanding the issue.

Jayne Davis was the aide for Senator Conrad, ND. (SCIA & CCA) She read up on us before hand and had a good idea of why we were there. She was very friendly and agreed to come on Friday.

We thought we had good meeting with Kenneth Martin and Sarah Butrum in South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson’s office (SCIA & CCA). Although he said there is no stomach in Congress to change ICWA, he assured us that either he or his aide, Sarah, would be at the Teach-in on Friday.

That day we also made unscheduled visits to the offices of Senator Akaka (SCIA & CCA), Lieberman (CCA), Rubio, Barrasso (SCIA), Murkowski (SCIA & CCA), and Franken (SCIA).

The aide for Senator Barrasso (WY),Travis McNiven, was extremely friendly and surprisingly apologetic. He said he had intended to get hold of us for an appointment but hadn’t had a chance. He was glad that we had stopped in and asked us to send him a legislative draft, which I did when I got back to the motel that evening.  Senator Rubio’s aide, Jonathan Baselice was also very friendly.

In all, we went to eleven offices on Monday. At a few of the unscheduled visits, there was no aide to meet with so we briefly explained that the Teach-in is an opportunity to discuss the ICWA problems as a community, and then left some information and an invitation to the event.

We started Tuesday meeting with Michele Bachmann’s staff at 10am. Rep. Bachmann’s office is extremely supportive of our efforts and has said they will co-sponsor legislation that will protect children better. Katie Poedtke was our contact this day, and gave us the list of members of the adoption caucus (CCA), which was great to use for unscheduled visits. Rep. Bachmann co-chairs the CCA.  She is not, however, on the House Subcommittee on Indian/Alaskan Native Affairs (SIANA)

We stopped in at offices for Rep’s Don Young (SIANA), Denny Rehberg, Dan Boren (SIANA), Dale Kildee (SIANA), Ed Markey (SIANA) and Jim Sensenbrenner (CCA).

On Wednesday it was back to the Senate offices. This was our day to meet with Senator Hoeven’s staff.  They had been very helpful in assisting us to set up the Teach-in and were very attentive during our this meeting. Deputy Chief of Staff Ryan Bernstein asked several very good questions about ICWA. Sara Egeland, our contact for setting up the Teach-in, was also at there.

Unscheduled visits included Senator’s Burr (CCA), McCain (SCIA & CCA), Snowe (CCA), Blunt (CCA), Rand Paul, and John Thune (CCA). Per the request of one mom, we made sure to drop a packet of letters for her Senator, Jim DeMint (SC).  He is also a member of the CCA.  I was able to meet with Senator Inhofe’s aide, Ellen Brown, briefly.  Senator Inhofe (OK) is another co-chair to the CCA. Ms. Brown was very nice, as was John Zimmer from Senator Mike Johanns’ office (NE) (SCIA).

The one that surprised me the most was Jackie Parker, from Senator Carl Levin’s office. (MI) (CCA).  She was very glad we dropped in but was in a hurry to another meeting, so asked me to walk with her and tell her more about the issue.  She wants to stay in contact and asked for ideas and potential tweeks to the law.

Senator Coburn’s Chief of Staff, Mike Schwartz was incredibly welcoming. He remembered us from our visit in 2007 and was still just as supportive. Mr. Schwartz urged us to visit Senator Landrieu’s office as well. He said that not only is she a co-chair for the CCA, she is a wonderful person and a good friend of his.  I stopped by her office and picked up contact information for a couple of her aides.

One of our Mom’s flew in Wednesday night with her son. Debra had lost a 2-year old to ICWA a few years ago. So we started Thursday with a meeting with her Senator, Maria Cantwell. (WA) (SCIA). Senator Cantwell’s aide, Paul Wolfe, was wonderful and we look forward to corresponding with him more.

We then visited with Todd Ungerecht, an aide to a Representative from Debra’s State.  Rep. Doc Hastings (WA) is the Chair to the Natural Resource Committee, which the House Indian Affairs is a subcommittee of. He was very good to meet with.

At this point, Sarah took Debra and her son sight seeing, and I went on to my Representative’s office, Rick Berg.  There I met with Danielle Janowski. Rep. Berg’s office has got to be the one most on the ball on Capitol Hill, because they had a Thank You card already in my mailbox by the time I got home.

While waiting for another parent, Johnston Moore, to arrive for a meeting with his Representative, I dropped into as many additional offices as I could, including the offices for Rep’s Benishek (SIANA), Gosar (SIANA), Flake, Thompson, Hunter, Denham (SIANA),  Lujan (SIANA), Hanabusa (SIANA), and Speaker John Boehner. I simply explained that we wanted to start a conversation about what is happening to children and families affected by ICWA as well as leave some information.

The staff person for Representative Kristi Noem of South Dakota was not as welcoming this time as she had been last January.  She basically told me that pushing for a change in the ICWA right now would be too difficult. I was very disappointed as their office had seemed so helpful the last time we had been there.  It is important for us (especially families from South Dakota) to continue speaking to Rep. Noem about this as she is on the SIANA. It could be that the NPR series on ICWA, which aired the very week we were in DC and was very condemning of South Dakota’s foster care system, has frightened them.

We had good meetings in the offices of Raul Labrador (SIANA), Tom McClintock (SIANA), and an interesting one in the office of Karen Bass (Co-chair of the CCA).

By Thursday evening, we had visited the offices of every member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, every member of the House Committee on Indian Affairs, and many of the members of the adoption caucus. I went in to several additional offices as well, just to tell the front desk about the Teach-in, why we are having it, and inviting members of their staff to come – especially if I thought that particular Congressman had a heart for the Constitution.

Now the five of us walked a couple blocks to one of our favorite restaurants, a deli called “Cosi,” and enjoyed getting to know each other a little better.  We’ve spent years talking on the phone and had never before met face-to-face.

Waiting for the taxi to come to take us to Capitol Hill the next morning – my stomach was tied up in knots. “Lord Jesus, please be with us as we speak and interact with our guests. Help us to remember that this is all about you – not about us – and all we want is what You want – to care for the children. Lord, in the name of Jesus, please help us to speak as we ought to speak, with wisdom and grace… Amen”

Friday’s presentation was wonderful. The information given by Dr. Allen, Yale Lewis, Johnston Moore, and the mothers who came to tell their stories, Debra and Melanie, was incredible. I can’t say enough about the compelling effort and testimony given. Please keep Melanie and her family in prayer right now.

Congressman Tim Scott from South Carolina, Senator Hoeven from North Dakota, Congressman Faleomavaega from American Samoa, and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota all sent staff to attend the event. Jayne Davis from Senator Conrad of North Dakota also attended for a short time.  A representative from a national adoption council also attended and was very interested.

There were certain Legislative Aides who were quite interested during meetings earlier this week who had already told us they would be unable to attend. Senator Barrasso’s office, Senator Levin’s office, Senator Inhofe’s office, and Senator Tom Coburn’s office, in particular.

While disappointed in the low turnout, the message was phenomenal and we look forward to sharing portions of the video tape. People who hear the stories are always surprised this is happening to children and supportive of efforts to ensure their best interest. To get the attention of Congress, the rest of America needs to know what is happening. We are discussing ways to use the video tape to get the story out.

We have begun posting portions to YouTube. We also want to make a short version for use in churches and speaking events. The wrap up by Dr. Allen is particularly incredible. If you would like to share the video or portions of it in your area, please let us know. You might be able to decide better after we get a couple more things up on YouTube.  Again – if there is anyone that is able to help with this type of thing, we embrace volunteers.

We Won!!

 Comments Off on We Won!!
Sep 292011
 

It’s been a long and difficult two years, but God is good and faithful.  Thank you for your prayers and support. Also thank you for telling us about [the attorney]. We will forever be indebted.

Where do I start? As you probably remember our story started with a baby girl born out of wedlock to an Indian father and Caucasian mother. The mother chose us to adopt (non-native) and the father agreed at the time. Now to bring you up to speed since our last letter Nov ’09. We waited until the bio-father was out of jail in hopes to meet with him and his family about the adoption. It was our understanding that the only reason the tribe intervened in November ’09 was because they believed the paternal family wanted to adopt her and that the father changed his mind. We felt that waiting was our only option because our attorney at the time was not supportive of us. He felt that we would never win regardless of what we did. We wanted our attorney at the time to co-counsel with [the attorney], but our attorney was very negative, made it sound like it was going to cost us thousands and it would all be a waste of time anyways. We didn’t believe that so like I said we waited. Eight months later we met with the father and family. They all agreed to the adoption. After that conversation we believed we would be able to adopt without the tribe interfering (they had originally released us to adopt).  So we hired a new attorney to handle the adoption. We were talking with the father and hoping to finalize in Feb 2011. In Dec ’09 we had asked the father to come for a Christmas visit. He accepted. But the day arrived and he didn’t show up, no call or anything. The next thing we know our attorney receives a letter from the tribe that stated that the father came into the tribal attorney’s office refusing to agree to the adoption and the tribe was intervening. Unfortunately, our case was one of our attorney’s last cases because he was retiring. So needless to say we had to find a new attorney to take our now contested case. We were blessed to find ————. She was willing to co-counsel with [the attorney] and they made an awesome team. Both of them fight for the child’s rights with honesty and dignity. They made our case bullet proof and we won… The tribe still has 42 days to appeal the decision, but —– talked to the tribal attorney and he said that he is recommending that the tribe DOES NOT intervene. Like I said our attorneys made our case bullet proof so it would be unlikely for the tribe to win even in the Supreme Court. We will wait out the 42 days and finalize the adoption after [in] October…

[We] are still in a state of shock or disbelief. Maybe it will hit us when we sign the final papers.

Again, thank you for all of your support and prayers. We truly believe that we would not be holding our precious forever daughter without your guidance to the right attorney, your encouragement and your website to educate us. We have directed others to your website and have been able to educate others because of it. We were surprised how many people including Natives that are not aware of ICWA.

As I have promised in the past I will do what I can to help support you and the people you help as soon as this is over.

Many blessings,

CONGRATULATIONS for Successful Adoptions!

 Comments Off on CONGRATULATIONS for Successful Adoptions!
Sep 292011
 

TO FIVE WONDERFUL FAMILIES –

Who in the last two months have either successfully completed their adoptions or will be completing them shortly –

To the three awesome families in Texas, one in California, and the beautiful family in Idaho – CONGRATULATIONS!

Please also give a very special thanks to a wonderful attorney who ministered for most of these children in very wise and beneficial ways – as well as Johnston Moore and Andy Reum, two board members who were willing and available to speak to and encourage a couple of the families.

AND a VERY SPECIAL THANKS – To all those who have been praying faithfully for these families as well as the many others who contact us!! God Bless all you awesome prayer warriors!

Indian Children: Citizens, not Cultural Artifacts

 Comments Off on Indian Children: Citizens, not Cultural Artifacts
Sep 292011
 

Washington DC, Friday, October 28, 2011

Indian Children: Citizens, not Cultural Artifacts: Supporting the Best Interest of Children –

CAICW will be holdging an ICWA “Teach-In” Friday, October 28, 2011, 9am – 1pm, Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Hearing Room, Wash, DC.
The Indian Child Welfare Act was passed in 1978 in effort to help prevent Native-American tribes and families from losing children to non-Native homes through foster care and adoption. Though well-intentioned, the Act is now harming children all across the country as courts and tribes place culture and tribal sovereignty above children’s basic needs for permanency and stability.

Come hear real stories of children whose lives have been impacted by the Indian Child Welfare Act. Listen to legal experts and scholars discuss the constitutionality of an Act that limits placement options and delays permanency for many of our nation’s most vulnerable children.

The sessions will include:

Initial Overview – The Mandate of Congress
a. Enforce the 14th Amendment
b. First, Do no Harm
c. Remedy Past Injustices

Session 1. ICWA is unconstitutional –
a. Dr. William B. Allen, Emeritus Professor, Political Science, MSU, will discuss Cohen v. Little Six; Granite Valley v. Jackpot Junction, Kiowa v. United Technologies, Choctaw v. Holyfield, and more.

Session 2. Congressional Intent –
a. Attorney O. Yale Lewis will discuss the legislative history of the ICWA and the changing history of the federal / Indian relationship.

Session 3. Political Status Claims threaten Citizenship –
a. Panel of affected families will share their family experience
b. Case studies on coerced enrollment will be presented.

Session 4. Cultural Heritage is a Data Point in Adoption Cases, not a Trump –
a. Who Decides when a citizen is an Indian; can race be politically attributed?
b. Restoring best interests of child as a consideration in adoptions.

Keynote: Dr. William Allen – Why We Must Act Now

JOIN US in support of the ‘Best Interest’ of Children — and THANK YOU!!
CONTACT LISA at WRITEUS@CAICW.ORG

Learn More about How ICWA is Hurting Children!

 Comments Off on Learn More about How ICWA is Hurting Children!
Aug 222011
 
Thank you for your continued support and prayers!!

Come join us for an ICWA “Teach-in” on FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28th, 9am to 1pm in the Senate Committee for Indian Affairs hearing room in Washington DC.

Dr. William B. Allen will be our main speaker and we expect the information and material offered to be exceptional. Dr. Allen is a Professor in Political Science, the former Chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights under Ronald Reagan, and a strong opponent of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)

Remember – the Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare (CAICW) is the ONLY national organization advocating for families who have lost or are at risk of losing children due to application of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and has been advocating for families since 2004.

Feb 26, 2011— “We need help! This child will be dead in this woman’s hands. We feel the good fight to do what’s right but fear this child will be severely marred.”
April 7, 2011— “I have no were else to turn. My girls and i are in desperate need of help. If there is anyway you can help us please contact me as soon possible day or night…”
May 18, 2011—”our kids were taken yesterday. The pain is difficult to bear. We love these kids so much. This will be there third family placement since coming into foster care almost 2 years ago.”

ALL are welcome to come join and support us there. Come on Wednesday prior and spend a couple days visiting with the offices of your Senators and Representatives – and invite their staff to come attend the Teach-in!
Please share this post with friends and relatives that might be interested!

Also – We have SAMARITAN Discount cards available for sale to help with expenses  😉
Contact LISA at administrator@caicw.org if you would like one or would like a few to share some with friends!
Twitter: http://twitter.com/CAICW ( @CAICW )

DONATIONS NEEDED for Teach-in expenses! Thanks!!! 🙂   – Click this Link for direct donations to CAICW, a 501c3 non-profit

.

WE NEED HELP!

 Comments Off on WE NEED HELP!
Jun 072011
 

Hey wonderful peoples – with school out, does anyone have extra time?

We could really use your help – prayer wise as well as hands on.

I am the administrator of CAICW – but only a volunteer in a one man office – and have to work as an RN to support my family. So I am doing the best I can, but it ends up being slow – much too slow. It breaks my heart that I can’t move any faster than I am.

Right now:
1) An attorney in the Twin Cities is working on draft legislation to present to Congress
2) We are setting up a seminar for Congressmen, teaching reality of ICWA.
3) We NEED help fundraising – Families NEED a Legal Defense Fund!
4) We NEED website work on caicw.org
5) We NEED help monitoring this facebook page
6) We NEED another newsletter out

– I appreciate anything you can do – Thanks so much for your prayers –

I am Elizabeth (Lisa) Morris, Administrator
Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare (CAICW)
PO Box 253, Hillsboro ND 58045
administrator@caicw.org
https://caicw.org/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/CAICW
To Donate:
https://npo.networkforgood.org/Donate/Donate.aspx?npoSubscriptionId=1004119&code=Email+Solicitation

Washington DC, January 2011

 Comments Off on Washington DC, January 2011
Apr 122011
 
Dr. William B. Allen

This was by far the best visit to DC that we’d had yet. Our group, including parents from New Mexico, Wisconsin, Virginia, and S. Dakota, began Monday, January 24th with a meeting with Dr. William Allen, Emeritus Professor, Political Science, MSU, who broached the question as to whether the ICWA was intended for the best interest of the child or the best interest of the tribe. How is it being interpreted and enforced? He reminded us that tribal governments are accountable to Congress, which has plenary power over them. He then asked, “Has Congress, in passing the ICWA, taken the position of Pontius Pilate” – and essentially washed its hands of these children?

We can’t allow Congress to do that. We, as families, have been helpless before this law. Many families have had little opportunity to protect themselves or their children. This is about Constitutional rights – our Equal Protection.

Senator-elect John Hoeven

Senator-elect John Hoeven

We next met with the Chief of Staff for Senator Hoeven (R-ND), Don Larson, and his assistant, Kaitland. Senator Hoeven has been assigned to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. (SCIA). Mr. Larson felt this issue was something the Senator could “move forward” with.

We also met with Katherine Haley, Assistant to Policy for Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R-OH). She said that the speaker holds great importance to protecting families and that the Speaker can get behind this. She told us to push for committee hearings and reminded us that federal policy and oversight is a touchy subject.

While some of us were visiting the Speaker’s office, others visited with Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), who is also a member of the SCIA. Those who visited his office were not confident that he would be helpful, and aides to Senator Kohl (D-WI): kept referring us back to the tribes, saying everything is up to them.

Aide to Rep Berg (R-ND), Patrick Buell, was very interested and said he would talk to a staffer friend of his on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs – and he did. The friend called on Wednesday, February 3rd and was encouraging. He thought new hearings might be possible – if the new Chairman agreed.

Some of us began Tuesday, January 25th, with a meeting with Gary Bauer, of American Values.org. He urged us to find one person in the House and one in the Senate who will make this issue their cause – who will see it as an opportunity to become a real reformer. He also encouraged us to find a new Governor who isn’t afraid to make this issue a priority.

We next met with Clay Lightfoot, aide to Senator Coburn (R-Ok). Senator Coburn had been a long standing member of the SCIA up until this year when he was moved from the committee. Still, his office has had an interest in this issue over the years. Their interest continues despite having been moved from the committee.

Fern Goodhart, aide to Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), also on the SCIA, was less encouraging. She said there was little that can be done as the issue is up to the tribes and the Committee.

Rep. Kristi Noem’s office, (R-SD), was very welcoming and interested. We met with her aide, Renee Latterell. Brand new to Congress, Rep. Noem is a Teaparty conservative who has been assigned to House Committee on Resources and its subcommittee on Indian Affairs. Renee was VERY encouraging and said they would like to help.

Rep Michelle Bachmann’s aide, (R-MN), Reneee Doyle was also very kind and helpful. We told her that my children and grandchildren are all enrollable with the Minnesota Chippewas Tribe, and that the State of Minnesota had made it much more difficult for families such as ours when they passed a law three years ago forbidding judges to even consider whether or not a child or family is connected with the tribal community. She said she would do her best to talk to Rep. Bachmann, who is also a foster mom, about it.

On Wednesday, we met with Lea Stueve, aide to Senator Johnanns (R-NE)(SCIA): She wasn’t as encouraging and said that the issue is up to the committee.

John Fetzer, aide to Senator Conrad (D-ND)(SCIA), was very warm and interested. He said that new hearings are worth taking a look at “especially when it affects kids this directly.” He told us to keep in touch with him “if it’s not moving along as fast as you would like.”
Remember – As one Senate Aide told us: we need to get on the phone and preach this: ~ The welfare of children shouldn’t be political; it MUST be about the best interest of the child. We must remove “preference” for tribes and give strength to family. ~

UPDATE – Renee Doyle, Rep. Michelle Bachmann, aide, called two weeks ago and said that she has spent nights thinking about our meeting with her on January 25th. The story that she had heard from one of the mother’s with us had “broken her heart.” She wanted the mother to know that her story had not fallen on deaf ears, and that she was meeting with Don Young’s aide to talk about it. I gave her Dr. William Allen’s contact phone number to get some additional questions answered.

Letters from birth parents, grandparents, foster families, pre-adoptive families, tribal members and non-members can be read at: https://www.caicw.org/familystories.html

DonateNow