The Imprint: Will Supreme Court Hear Challenge to Bedrock Law on Native American Families?

As the Canadian government pays out billions of dollars in reparations to Indigenous families torn apart by foster care, a case up for consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court threatens to strip legal protections from U.S.-born Native American children, families and tribal communities.

At stake in the Brackeen v. Haaland case is the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act, bedrock legislation passed to combat cultural genocide and the devastating history of Native children forcibly sent to boarding schools and the homes of white adoptive families. Modeled after other treaty obligations between tribal nations, the law known as ICWA requires the foster care system to take extra measures before separating Indigenous children from their families and tribes.

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