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Native Sun News Today: Big decision in Indian Child Welfare Act case in South Dakota






National Indian Child Welfare Association on YouTube: The Heart of ICWA: Fawn

Court rules in favor of ICWA law
Judgement holds DSS and States Attorney’s feet to the fire
By Native Sun News Today Staff Writers
nativesunnews.today

RAPID CITY –– The Indian Child Welfare Acts was passed by the United States Congress in 1978. The Act is a federal law:
“That seeks to keep American Indian children with American Indian/Alaska Native families. Congress passed ICWA in 1978 in response to the alarmingly high number of Indian children being removed from their homes by both public and private agencies. The intent of Congress under ICWA was to “protect the best interests of Indian children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families” (25 U.S.C. § 1902). ICWA sets federal requirements that apply to state child custody proceedings involving an Indian child who is a member of or eligible for membership in a federally recognized tribe.”

Over the years the Act has been misinterpreted or ignored by local courts while dealing with Indian parents and their children.

After several years of fighting with Rapid City’s court system to enforce the ICWA, Attorney Dana Hanna received judgement from Chief Federal Judge Jeffery L. Viken in the U. S. District Court, District of South Dakota Western Division on Dec. 15, 2016.

The case that finally reached the conclusion was known as “Oglala Sioux Tribe, and Rosebud Sioux Tribe to protect the rights of Madonna Pappan, and Lisa Young, individually and on behalf of all other persons similarly situated.”

Plaintiffs Madonna Pappan and Lisa Young live in Pennington County and are member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The court classified them as class representatives for all similarly situated Indian parents.


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