A 41-year-old law designed to protect Native American families is under attack.

Judge Katherine Delgado, who presides over child welfare cases in Adams County, helped create the county’s specialized court two years ago. Every other Tuesday afternoon, Delgado’s courtroom exclusively adjudicates cases related to Native American families, bringing in tribal court specialists, Native American resource centers, social services and attorneys for the children. Delgado said the judicial system for Native families has come a long way since the specialized courts were started.

“It’s frightening to me,” Delgado said, regarding the prospect that the law could be overturned. “This is about sovereignty; it’s not race-based. When you have children involved in the child welfare system who are not placed with people who look like them, who understand where they come form, we do such a disservice to them.”Popular in the Community

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