Editorial: Oglala Sioux Tribe helps foster kids
"We applaud the efforts of the Oglala Sioux Tribe to better address the needs of its children who must leave the custody of their parents each year.

Almost 850 Oglala Lakota children experienced the trauma of being removed from their families last year in South Dakota. Many of them — about 250 — were from Pennington County. Because of those high numbers, the decision of the Oglala Nation Tiospaye Resource and Advocacy Center (ONTRAC) to open a Rapid City office is a wise one.

The new office will oversee the Indian Child Welfare Act as it applies to the adoption and foster care of Native children in this area. ICWA was created in 1978, thanks in large part to former Sen. James Abourezk (D-S.D.) Chief among its goals is to place neglected or abused Native children who need foster care with other relatives or Native families who can love and protect them.

In theory, ICWA is a noble effort to strengthen and preserve Native American families and culture. In reality, it does not always live up to its original vision for one simple reason: governmental and tribal agencies cannot give a Native child a Native family. Only individuals can do that."

Get the Story:
Editorial : People, not ICWA, meet cultural needs of kids (The Rapid City Journal 10/16)

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

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