CILS wants to thank all of the California tribes (72) and Indian organizations (11) that signed on to the amicus brief in the Brackeen et al. v. Zinke et al. case that is pending before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The following is a statement from the four defendant tribes that intervened in the case:
We applaud the broad coalition of federal lawmakers, attorneys general from 21 states, and 30 child welfare organizations who have joined 325 Tribal governments and 57 Tribal organizations in filing numerous amicus briefs with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to defend the Constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).
The past 96 hours have witnessed an unprecedented and overwhelming demonstration of support for ICWA, and its constitutionality as a wave of amicus briefs were filed urging the Fifth Circuit to reverse the district court’s ruling in Brackeen v. Zinke, which erroneously deemed key provisions of ICWA as being unconstitutional.
Passed more than 40 years ago by Congress, ICWA was designed to reverse decades of cultural insensitivity and political bias that had resulted in one-third of all Indian children being forcibly removed by the government from their families, their tribes and their cultural heritage.
ICWA ensures the best interests and wellbeing of Native American children are protected. ICWA preserves the stability and cohesion of Tribal families, Tribal communities and Tribal cultures. It maintains and reinforces the political and cultural connections between an Indian child and his or her tribe.
Review the amicus brief here. CILS will continue to keep you updated on the progress of the case.