To All Tribal Leaders:

Time is running out. If your tribe or tribal organization has not yet signed on to the amicus brief in the Brackeen v. Zinke being submitted by NARF, NCIA and over 100 tribes and 15 tribal consortia and Indian organizations please do so now.

Brackeen v. Zinke is a challenge to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in which a federal district court judge in Texas recently found ICWA to be unconstitutional. The case is currently on Appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. ICWA has never been challenged as unconstitutional by any state, until now, and this case is therefore of significant concern to tribes, both for its potential effect on ICWA but also on potential ramifications for all of federal Indian law.

To sign on to the brief and/or obtain a copy of the draft brief to review, please send an email to NARF attorneys Dan Lewerenz and Erin Dougherty Lynch at and In your email please provides the following:

  1. A statement from an individual (chairperson, executive director, general counsel, etc.) or body (tribal council, board of directors etc.) authorized to do so, asking to be added as a signatory on the brief; and
  2. The full name and correct spelling of the tribe or organization as it should appear on the brief.
  3. For tribal consortia and Indian organizations, we will also need a short 50- to 75-word description of your organization. We can provide examples from other organizations if that is helpful. Tribes do not need to submit such a statement.

There is no cost to join the brief.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dan Lewerenz at, Erin Dougherty Lynch at, Dorothy Alther at, or any CILS office.