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The Protect ICWA Campaign released the following statement after oral argument today in the Haaland v. Brackeen U.S. Supreme Court case:

The Protect ICWA Campaign applauds the defendants’ arguments in support of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), and we strongly affirm both the constitutionality of ICWA and its importance as a law that protects the best interests of Native children. 

Our campaign is part of a large, evidence-based coalition of ICWA supporters. To show the breadth and depth of support for ICWA, we look to the hundreds of experts, legal and child welfare practitioners, and organizations across sectors who stand with us:  

  • Legal experts, lawmakers, and attorneys general–from both sides of the aisle–agree that ICWA is firmly within the scope of Congress’s power. 
  • Hundreds of Tribal Nations have joined together to explain how ICWA furthers tribal sovereignty, which is core to the long-established political relationship between Tribal Nations and the federal government. 
  • Nearly half of all states agree (eight states for every one that disagrees) that ICWA provides a necessary and effective framework for managing state-tribal relations in child welfare.
  • Child welfare experts know that ICWA’s emphasis on strengthening family and community ties is a best practice that produces better outcomes for Native children and all children. 
  • Medical experts agree that ICWA’s provisions address the physical and emotional trauma that Native kids have suffered from centuries of harmful federal and state policies. 
  • Individuals who have interacted with the child welfare system who have come forward to share their stories as vocal supporters of the law.

Haaland v. Brackeen represents a fight for Native children, Native families, and Tribal Nations. ICWA upholds and respects Tribes’ rights as sovereign nations to determine what is best for their youngest citizens. We urge SCOTUS to side with the 502 Tribal Nations, 62 Native organizations, 23 states and D.C., 87 congresspersons, and 27 child welfare and adoption organizations who support ICWA.

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The Protect ICWA Campaign (the Campaign) was established by four national Native organizations: the National Indian Child Welfare Association, the National Congress of American Indians, the Association on American Indian Affairs, and the Native American Rights Fund. Together, the Campaign works to serve and support Native children, youth, and families through upholding the Indian Child Welfare Act. The Campaign works to inform policy, legal, and communications strategies with the mission to uphold and protect ICWA.