BIA and tribes participate in ICWA summit in South Dakota

The Great Plains Indian Child Welfare Act Summit takes place next week in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Tribal leaders have pressured the Bureau of Indian Affairs to host the conference. They say the federal government needs to do more to ensure the state of South Dakota complies with the Indian Child Welfare Act.

“The Oglala Sioux Tribe, like the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, is very eager to develop a direct relationship with the federal government when it comes to the provision of foster care services for our children," Oglala Sioux Tribe President Bryan Brewer said in a letter to the BIA, according to a press release from the Lakota People’s Law Project.

Last year, tribal leaders produced a report to Congress that outlined ICWA compliance problems in the state. Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn, the head of the BIA, said he wants to learn more about the issue.

“The Great Plains Indian Child Welfare Summit is a venue to continue to address the critical issues of the well-being and safety of American Indian and Alaska Native children and their families,” Washburn said in a press release. “I look forward to sitting down with tribal leaders and our public and private partners to exchange ideas on how to better implement the Indian Child Welfare Act and protect Indian country’s children.”

The summit is being held May 15-17 at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel and Convention Center in Rapid City.

Get the Story:
Press Release: Kevin Washburn to Participate in Indian Child Welfare Summit in South Dakota (BIA 5/8)
Press Release: Bureau of Indian Affairs to Host Summit on Native Foster Care in Rapid City, May 15-17, after Strong Pressure from South Dakota Sioux Tribes (Lakota People’s Law Project 5/6)

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