Aurene Martin: ICWA protects Indian children
Note: Aurene Martin, a member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa in Wisconsin, served as principal deputy assistant secretary at the Bureau of Indian Affairs under the Bush administration. She now works as a lobbyist for Ietan Consulting.

"The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) provides protections to Native American children to prevent their unnecessary removal from their families, but it does not prevent them from receiving the help necessary to protect their best interests.

The ICWA was passed in 1978 in response to the staggering number of children being removed from their homes, the vast majority of whom were placed out of their communities and lost their connection to their tribes.

Unfortunately, most attorneys and courts don't learn about the ICWA until it is too late. Once confronted with its requirements, they find that they have failed to meet its standards.

Most tribes understand this and are willing to work with authorities to make sure that the children involved receive the best care possible. Although tribes would like to place children within their communities, they first prefer that children are placed with family members."

Get the Story:
Aurene M. Martin: Whose Best Interest? (The Washington Post 10/15)
pwpwd

Relevant Links:
National Indian Child Welfare Association - http://www.nicwa.org

Related Stories:
Editorial: ICWA shouldn't hurt Indian children (10/9)
Man charged with murder of Cherokee boy, 5 (10/4)
Oregon tribes hold Indian child welfare conference (9/27)
Court denies tribal jurisdiction in ICWA case (9/14)
Native kids overrepresented Oregon foster care (07/25)
Maryland appeals court issues first ICWA ruling (07/09)
More Native children being abused and neglected (7/6)
Florida court rejects Seminole Tribe in ICWA case (5/31)
Minnesota tribes to control Indian child welfare (5/25)
Indian child welfare conference opens in Oklahoma (04/17)
Opinion: Partner on Alaska Native child welfare (4/16)
Indian child welfare conference in Oklahoma City (4/12)
Seneca appeals court rules in child custody dispute (4/6)
Woman fought for custody of nephew under ICWA (4/4)
Opinion: ICWA tears children from their families (3/29)
MSU law school discusses Indian Child Welfare Act (03/16)
Cheyenne-Arapaho girl battles chronic lung disease (03/16)
Court asserts jurisdiction in Seneca child case (03/14)
White boy most dangerous threat to Seneca Nation (3/5)
Film to focus on Alaska Native woman taken from family (3/2)
Minnesota tribes sign child welfare agreement (2/23)
Death of teen ruled an accidental overdose (02/15)
Judge won't let siblings attend teen brother's funeral (12/20)
Washington teen's death called a failure of ICWA (12/18)
Court wants Tohono O'odham twins with siblings (12/07)
Navajo Nation seeks role in adoption of baby (10/30)
Navajo Nation seeks role in adoption of baby (10/30)
Navajo Nation challenges adoption in Utah (10/26)
Woman connects adopted Indians with tribal roots (07/03)
U.S. Supreme Court won't hear Indian child welfare case (05/02)
Christian Mag: Children at mercy of ICWA tribes (04/14)
California appeals court rules in ICWA transfer case (03/10)
Paper concludes series on Indian child welfare (01/06)
Rapid City Journal runs series on Indian child welfare (1/5)
South Dakota panel pressed on Indian child welfare (10/04)
White Earth Band seeks control of child custody case (09/15)
Meskwaki mother decides not to give up baby son (08/26)
Oglala Sioux Tribe seeks role in child welfare case (8/25)
Indian mother gives up son to non-Indian couple (08/15)
Child welfare case handed to Ute Mountain Ute Tribe (8/8)
Meskwaki mother asks tribe not to hold up adoption (07/28)
9th Circuit rules against tribe in California ICWA case (07/20)
Meskwaki mom wants son to go to non-Native family (07/06)
Adopted Navajo child to return home to reservation (06/22)
Wisconsin tribes form child welfare partnership (06/16)
GAO calls for better state data in ICWA cases (04/08)
Failures cited in child abuse on Utah reservation (03/21)
Couple says mother didn't want son in her tribe (03/01)
Hearing slated on custody dispute over Indian boy (02/28)
Yellow Bird: A nation cannot flourish without children (02/01)
Indian mother in South Dakota wants adopted son back (01/31)
Navajo child welfare case sparks legal battle (01/31)
New Mexico infant law said to conflict with ICWA (01/28)
Iowa announces foster care plan for Indian children (11/24)
Alaska opinion backs away from tribal courts (11/01)
Alaska wants to reduce tribal powers in child welfare (09/09)
Fort Peck Tribes sign child welfare agreement (09/07)
Dispute over child welfare contract continues (09/06)
South Dakota Supreme Court supports ICWA case (08/27)
Choctaw Nation helping man in child custody battle (07/06)
Foster care commission seeks tribal inclusion (05/19)
Judge cites ICWA in returning drug addicted baby (03/22)
Native children living in poor, single-parent homes (03/19)
S.D. tribes unhappy with gutting of ICWA bill (02/24)
Bill seeks study of Indian child welfare system in S.D. (02/05)
High rate of Indian adoptions in Iowa protested (01/13)