At Liberty Podcast
Children from the Zuni Pueblo lead the U.S. pledge of allegiance in the Zuni language in the New Mexico state Capitol in Santa Fe, N.M.
At Liberty Podcast

Is SCOTUS Coming for Indigenous Children?

October 27, 2022

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On November 9th, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case of Brackeen vs. Haaland. At the center of the case are the future of Indigenous rights and tribal sovereignty. The case involves the Indian Child Welfare Act, otherwise known as ICWA, an act that was passed in the 1970s to protect native children from removal from their community and culture and to keep families together.

Texas, together with individual plaintiffs, allege that ICWA is unconstitutional because they say it violates the Equal Protection Clause and discriminates against non-native families looking to adopt native children. But honoring tribal sovereignty isn’t about discrimination or race. That’s a fundamental misunderstanding of Indigenous rights.

To learn more about the case, the threat to Indigenous rights and the reasons that ICWA was enacted in the first place, we spoke with Jamie Nelson, a Choinumni Yokuts man and a survivor of pre-ICWA separation abuse, and Stephanie Amiotte, Legal Director for the ACLU of South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wyoming.

In this episode

This Episode Covers the Following Issues