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A proposed new rule and ongoing lawsuit may lead to changes in the Indian Child Welfare Act, or ICWA. The Bureau of Indian Affairs proposed last month that a new subpart of ICWA be created to improve the law by updating regulations for state courts and child welfare agencies. A lawsuit, Oglala Sioux Tribe vs. Van Hunnik, is moving to trial. The plaintiffs (Oglala Sioux Tribe) received a favorable ruling when a federal judge, Chief Judge Jeffrey L. Viken, agreed the state was violating ICWA. State lawmakers in Nebraska and Alaska are also considering new legislation related to ICWA. Do you think changes in the Indian Child Welfare Act would help protect Native children?
Colby Coash – Nebraska State Senator
Dana Hannah – private practice attorney representing the Oglala Sioux Tribe
Addie Smith – government affairs associate for the National Indian Child Welfare Association
Break Music: Scatter Their Own (artist) Earth and Sky (song) Catch a Fire