Cherokee Nation father supports Indian Child Welfare Act rule

Tulsa World: Indian Child Welfare Act press conference

A Cherokee Nation whose Indian Child Welfare Act case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court is supporting a rule to strengthen compliance with the law.

Dusten Brown was forced to give up his daughter to a non-Indian couple after the high court ruled that he lacked custody. The justices determined that ICWA did not apply because no one from the girl's family stepped forward to assert custody.

Cherokee Nation Chief Bill John Baker discusses an Indian Child Welfare Act case that went before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013. Dusten Brown, in sunglasses, was forced to give up his daughter after the justices ruled against him. Photo from National Congress of American Indians / Flickr

The case represented just one of many in which Indian children were removed from their tribal communities. In hopes of reversing the trend, the BIA developed a new rule to ensure compliance by state courts and child welfare agencies.

"Hopefully, these regulations keep other Indian children, families and tribes from suffering the heartbreak that we experienced over the last five-and-a-half years," Brown said in a statement read at a press conference today, The Tulsa World reported.

The press conference was held as the BIA conducted its final public meeting in Tulsa for the proposed rule. Written comments must be submitted by May 19.

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Dusten Brown issues first public comments since 'Baby Veronica' custody battle (The Tulsa World 5/14)

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