Why was ICWA passed?

Before ICWA was passed, Native American children were being removed from their families and communities at alarming rates, with a devastating impact on their upbringing and wellbeing. According to the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA), “research found that 25%–35% of all Native children were being removed; of these, 85% were placed outside of their families and communities—even when fit and willing relatives were available.” ICWA was passed to help address these egregious practices and provide protections to Native children that keep them safely within their families and communities.