Alaska judge rules for tribe in Indian child welfare case

The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes can resolve Indian child welfare cases in its own court, a judge in Alaska ruled last week.

The tribe sued the state for refusing to recognize child-support orders issued by its court. Judge Philip Pallenberg said federal law supported the tribe.

“This is a very important court ruling for our tribe's children," Chairman Ed Thomas said in a press release. "We will make every effort to work with the State of Alaska in carrying out our responsibilities to our Native families.”

Earlier this year, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that tribes should be able to initiate child custody proceedings under the Indian Child Welfare Act. The state has been opposing tribal court jurisdiction.

Get the Story:
Judge grants Tlingit, Haida courts child support jurisdiction (The Juneau Empire 10/31)
Child-support ruling another victory for Alaska tribes (The Alaska Dispatch 10/30)

Related Stories:
Alaska Supreme Court supports Native villages in ICWA matters (3/7)

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