Judge Rules Indian Child Welfare Act Unconstitutional

A U.S. District Court Judge in Texas has ruled the Indian Child Welfare Law Act (ICWA) unconstitutional, calling it a race-based policy. The decision could reverse a 40-year-old federal law to protect indigenous families and cultures.

Expect an appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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‘Stolen Childhoods’ Documentary Brings Home Historical Trauma in the Native Community

I’m sure many of you have had the experience listening to you car radio and getting caught up in an interesting MPR story; you get to your destination and regret missing the rest of the piece.

That was my experience recently, listing to: ‘Stolen Childhoods’: a documentary about the Indian Adoption Project. It is available online, and I just finished listening. It is a powerful way to understand the impact of federal assimilation policies and the tremendous trauma they created in the lives of children — and how that trauma got passed on to the next generation.

We have blogged in the past about the impacts of historical trauma, such as What Does Historical Trauma Look Like? The Native American Youth Suicide Rate and Native American Opoid Overdoes in Minnesota and Native Responses. The KFAI-produced radio documentary brings it home in a more powerful way, through personal stories by adults who suffered deeply from the adoption experience. One adoptee recalled the isolation she felt living in a rural, all-white town where none of the boys were allowed to date her; others recalled the shaming and abuse from their adopted families. (Props to producer Melissa Olson, who includes her mom, Judy, in the story.)

While this was federal policy, we need to remember that just as the case with boarding schools, churches had a big role in the harm that was done.

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Yukon Presbytery Apologize to Native Alaskans; This Day in History: The Indian Child Welfare Act

OK, it’s election day, so we’re going to blog with some good news: Presbytery of Yukon offers apology to Native Alaskans. (The Yukon Presbytery covers all of Alaska.) As the Presbyterian News Service reported it:

Native representatives and the presbytery both acknowledge this significant gesture is the start of a long process to address the abuses of the past century, especially as it relates to the treatment of Native Alaskan children at church-affiliated boarding schools.

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