Indian Child Welfare Act Constitutionality Questioned in Texas Court Case, Walker Issues Support of the ICWA

    Juneau, AK (KINY) - Governor Walker issued a statement in support of the Indian Child Welfare Act that was called into question in a recent court case in Texas.

    The plaintiffs in that case claim that the ICWA caused complications for the lives of three adopted children, who were threatened with removal from their adopted parents to be placed in another state. The plaintiffs in the case sought to declare particular provisions of the ICWA as unconstitutional.

    The law was passed in 1978 as a response to the abuse and separation of Native children and their families, creating Federal standards for the removal of those children and their placement in foster or adoptive homes. This typically puts placing the child in a home with an extended member of the family, a member of the child's tribe, or other Native families.

    The worry is that District Judge Reed O'Connor's ruling in Texas could have adverse effects on the law, which could create problems for Alaska Native children and families.

    Alaska has 229 federally recognized Tribes, which is almost half of the overall Tribes recognized in America.

    Governor Walker issued this statement via a press release on the matter, "There is nothing more important to Alaskans than the well-being of our children. Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott and I continue to stand with Alaska Tribes in supporting the Indian Child Welfare Act."


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