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Law and Policy

May 2019

Federal Law Is Still in The Best Interests of Indian Children
March 13, 2019 David Simmons, director of government affairs for the National Indian Child Welfare Association
Some critics of ICWA say state courts provide a more accurate assurance of an Indian child’s best interest, but the long history and contemporary practice of disproportionate placement and disparate treatment of Indian Proposed law would make it easier for Native Americans to argue their side in child custody cases children leads one to a different conclusion….

Native justice: How tribal values shape Judge Abby’s court
Christian Science Monitor – March 27, 2019
What looks like truancy, to most Americans, some tribal members see as child protection. And Judge Abinanti sees a straight line from Indian assimilation boarding schools 50 years ago to not just truancy, but illiteracy and low graduation rates today; a straight line from children being enslaved and laboring on distant ranches to those same children growing up to be abusive parents; a straight line from surviving a massacre to succumbing to violent behavior or substance abuse….

Proposed law would make it easier for Native Americans to argue their side in child custody cases
Redlands Daily Facts – April 09, 2019
California lawmakers are considering a proposal to make it easier for Native American tribes to make their arguments in child custody cases. Such hearings are held as part of the Indian Child Welfare Act, a federal law enacted in 1978 to stem the systemic removal of tribal children from their families and cultures – a practice that at one time touched as many as one in three Native American children….

Senate Bill Pushes The Feds To Focus On Violence Against Native Women
Huffington Post – April 03, 2019
A bipartisan group of senators unveiled legislation Wednesday to make the federal government step up its response to the largely overlooked crisis of Native American women going missing, being murdered or being forced into sex trafficking. The Not Invisible Act would help establish an overarching federal strategy for addressing the skyrocketing rates of violence targeted at indigenous people. It creates an advisory committee of local, tribal and federal leaders to brainstorm best practices for stemming violent crime and the trafficking of Native women, and then make recommendations to the Justice Department and Interior Department on how to better direct their resources….

California Youth Connection Policy Newsletter

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