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Lawmakers ask BIA to investigate Indian child welfare cases

Two House Democrats are asking the Obama administration to determine whether the state of South Dakota has violated the Indian Child Welfare Act

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts), the ranking member on the House Natural Resources Committee, and Rep. Dan Boren (D-Oklahoma) were motivated by the National Public Radio investigation that cited the high rate of Indian children being placed in foster care in South Dakota.

"If the information in the NPR article is accurate, it would appear that the State of South Dakota has failed not only to abide by the mandates of federal law but has also failed its Indian children, their families and their tribes by violating the letter and the spirit of the ICWA," Markey and Boren wrote in the letter to Assistant Secretary Larry Echo Hawk, the head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The lawmakers said they will investigate the state's actions and they expect a response from the BIA by November 28.

Get the Story:
Press Release: Markey, Boren Open Investigation into Indian Children Foster Care Practices (Rep. Markey / Rep. Boren 10/31)

Related Stories:
Related Stories:
NPR: Boy was taken from Winnebago Reservation at age 8 (11/1)
NPR Investigates: Foster children finding their way home (10/27)
NPR Investigates: Indian children being taken from tribes (10/26)

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