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Tribes battle state of South Dakota over removal of Indian children




The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments last week in a long-running Indian Child Welfare Act case from South Dakota.

The Oglala Sioux Tribe, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Indian parents and guardians won a huge victory when a federal judge ruled that officials in the state have been violating the federal law. At issue are the repeated removals of Indian children from their homes, with little notice to tribes or their families.

"An Indian child is 11 times more likely to be placed in foster care than a white child in South Dakota," attorney Stephen Pevar of the American Civil Liberties Union wrote in a blog post describing the situation. Pevar represents the tribes and the parents in the case.


The state parties are fighting the judge's orders. According to The Associated Press, their appeal is primarily based on procedural issues.

Arguments took place February 13, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Chief Judge Lavenski Smith called it "a very difficult case," the AP reported.

Turtle Talk has posted documents from the case, which was originally known as Oglala Sioux Tribe v. Van Hunnik.

Read More on the Story:
Court hears tribal challenge to South Dakota child removals (The Associated Press February 13, 2018)

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