American Indian tribes have suffered discrimination and injustice at the hands of the government since the country’s founding, yet contemporary civil rights discussions all too often ignore the rights of American Indians. American Indian communities are among the most impoverished in the nation, and the stigma of past discrimination regularly rears its head in the spheres of public health, education, and juvenile justice.

The ACLU is committed to defending the rights of American Indians and tribes to be free from discrimination and governmental abuse of power, whether the government be federal, state, or tribal.

The ACLU has filed important class-action lawsuits challenging discrimination against American Indian families in education, voting, and the child welfare system. In particular, in 2013 the ACLU used the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) to challenge pervasive discrimination and the lack of due process afforded to American Indian families in emergency child custody proceedings.

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