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Tribal Alert Devon FINAL 021908 img 0   California Indian Legal Services

Sharing is a Native American tradition. We invite you to participate in this tradition by contributing to CILS. With your support, CILS can continue to achieve justice on behalf of Native Americans.


Last year, CILS assisted more than 32,000 Indians with legal services for matters that involve issues unique to Native Americans. CILS also has 604 cases that benefit the entire population of Native Americans in California- some 578,623 Indians.

Why Contribute to CILS

For more than forty eight years, CILS has provided legal assistance to Indian tribes, organizations and individuals who may have otherwise gone without adequate representation. CILS has successfully asserted and defended the most important rights of Indians and tribes in hundreds of major cases, and has achieved significant results in such critical areas as tribal sovereignty, natural resource protection, and Indian education.



California Judges Benchguide: Indian Child Welfare Act (2012 edition) now available.

Note: Due to the length of the publication's sections, each section can be separately viewed, downloaded and printed.

Please click on the appropriate link to view each section below:


Table of Contents

Section I - Scope and Use of Benchguide

Section II - Historical Context

Section III - Overview of Indian Child Welfare Act

Section IV - General Application of the Act

Section V - Jurisdiction under the ICWA

Section VI - Notice

Section VII - Intervention

Section VIII - Evidentiary Requirements

Section IX - Placement

Section X - Invalidation

Section XI - Dependency Proceedings

Section XII - Delinquency Proceedings

Section XIII - Probate Guardianship Proceedings

Section XIV - Family Law Proceedings

Resource Directory

Please allow time to load the Appendices. Some of them are quite large.

Appendices Table of Contents

Appendix A: The Indian Child Welfare Act

Appendix B: BIA Guidelines

Appendix C: Senate Bill 678 

Appendix D: Assembly Bill 1325

Appendix E: All County Letters and All County Information Notices

To download the Benchguide in its entirety, please use this link.

All pages are offered in .pdf format and can be viewed using a Reader. To download Adobe Acrobat Reader, please click here:

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This publication can be reproduced without the express permission of California Indian Legal Services. However, this work may not be altered, changed or amended in any manner.

California Judges Benchguide - The Indian Child Welfare Act, © 1998, 2000, 2010, 2012 California Indian Legal Services