The Supreme Court deliberated a major decision Thursday, June 15, 2023, in the Haaland v. Brackeen case, affirming the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act by a 7-2 vote.

Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito were the two to vote against the act. 

The decision represents a HUGE victory for federal Indian law and tribes nationwide.

The goal of the ICW act of 1978_ was to keep Native children within tribes in adoption, custody, and foster care cases.

It was articulated to correct centuries of racism against Native Americans.

Three states challenged the act, along with a non-Native white couple seeking adoption. They sued stated that the law illegally gave preference to Native families but was outvoted by the Justices in majority.

Advocates, including President Biden, are celebrating this victory. They see it as a way to keep in place a vital protection for tribal sovereignty and Native children!

This significance reaffirms the protect that Native Americans were eluded to; Efforts by the Federal and State governments to take away children from Native American families to assimilate Native children, cut their hair, make them speak English, and distance the children from their traditions.

– By Delaware Nation Public Relations Officer Wesley Boone 6/16/2023