MARQUETTE, Mich. (WZMQ) – Early Thursday morning, The United States Supreme Court votes 7-2 to uphold The Indian Child Welfare Act. The Act, originally published in 1978, was created with the intention of rectifying injustices done upon American Indian children and families.
Dr. Martin Reinhardt with the Center for Native American Studies at NMU says he’s concerned about the potential for the dismissal being appealed or more cases being brought against the act.
In Michigan, the Indian Family Preservation Act gives tribal families many of the same protections that ICWA does and in some case is even stricter. Dr. Reinhardt says it’s good to have acts like The MIFPA that create more protection than the federal statutes do in some cases, but he’s concerned about states without additional legislation if the law were to be challenged again.
“Indian children historically have been mistreated in The United States,” Reinhardt says, “weather that was forcefully removing them and sending them to boarding schools or removing the from their parents, and adopting them out, and parents not having any idea what happened to their children. To right a wrong in history is important”
Dr. Reinhard says he thinks it’s important that the act is upheld to maintain and strengthen the integrity of American Indian families.