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The Indian Child Welfare Act: What it is; Why it's under scrutiny

Credit: AP Photo/Latrina Shepherd
Shepherd, Latrina
Credit: AP Photo/Latrina Shepherd

Passed in 1978, the Indian Child Welfare Act - or ICWA - is considered by many to be a gold standard because it was ahead of its time in mandating child welfare best practices and goes to great lengths to keep children connected to their heritage.

Beginning November 9th, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments challenging the constitutionality of Indian Child Welfare Act, in place for nearly half a century. The outcome of the case could affect all federal Tribal laws … a potentially catastrophic blow for Native Americans across the country. Why?

We hear from Rori Collins, Public Policy Counsel at the National Council of Urban Indian Healthand from Chrissi Ross Nimmo, Deputy Attorney General of the Cherokee Nation, to understand why the ICWA is in place, and why it's under the scrutiny of the Supreme Court.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Melissa Gerr is a Senior Producer for On the Record. She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks." Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'