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NPR: DOJ to assert greater role in Indian Child Welfare Act cases

Attorney General Eric Holder meets with Tribal Youth Ambassadors at White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, D.C., on December 3. Photo from Twitter

During his speech at the White House Tribal Nations Conference, Attorney General Eric Holder said the Department of Justice will be monitoring in Indian Child Welfare Act cases across the nation and intervening when necessary:
In the middle of a lengthy speech to Native American tribes last week, Attorney General Eric Holder planted the Justice Department firmly on the side of tribes against states, as the tribes struggle to keep their families together.

Holder said the Justice Department was "redoubling" the department's support of the Indian Child Welfare Act, a nearly four-decade-old law that attempts to keep Native children close to their relatives and tribes, even in cases where they may have to be removed from their parents.

Indianz.Com SoundCloud: Attorney General Eric Holder at White House Tribal Nations Conference
Holder said the department is hiring more attorneys and working with other federal agencies in an effort to "protect Indian children from being illegally removed from their families," which he said was done sometimes "by those acting in bad faith."

Those possible bad actors are state social service agencies and even judges who push for the removal of Indian children in cases where removal may not be warranted, or they fail to place Native children with their relatives, their tribes or Native American foster families when they are removed.

Get the Story:
Justice Department Vows To Fight States That Violate Indian Child Welfare Law (NPR 12/8)

Federal Register Notice:
Indian Child Welfare Act; Designated Tribal Agents for Service of Notice (December 4, 2014

Related Stories:
Videos from sixth annual White House Tribal Nations Conference (12/4)

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