WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Brackeen v. Haaland on the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). In response, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr., Morongo Band of Mission Indians Chairman Charles Martin, Oneida Nation Chairman Tehassi Hill and Quinault Indian Nation President Guy Capoeman issued the following statement:
“In arguments today, we heard clearly how ICWA adheres to the U.S. Constitution and congressional authority and how this critical law has kept generations of Native children connected to their tribes, culture, and heritage.
Child welfare advocates, constitutional scholars, bipartisan elected leaders, and tribes from across the country strongly support ICWA because it is the gold standard of child welfare law and protects the safety and health of children. The justices are now faced with a stark choice: on siding with the U.S. constitution and centuries of precedent, or with a political campaign that would reduce tribal sovereignty and create instability throughout the U.S., in areas ranging from criminal justice to child welfare.
We believe the Supreme Court will rule on the side of families and of history. To do otherwise would be a devastating blow to not only Native children and the rights of tribes, but to principles in place dating back to the United States’ founding. We look forward to seeing ICWA once again upheld.”