The Supreme Court Case That Could Gut Native Sovereignty

Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments on Wednesday in a case focused on the Indian Child Welfare Act, a 1978 law created to prevent family separation in Native communities. The case centers on a Navajo girl known as Baby O, who is being raised by a white couple who sued to overturn the Indian Child Welfare Act. Our next guest says the court’s ruling could have potentially seismic implications for Indigenous nations in the U.S.

Yeah. So, Baby O, when she was born, she was left at a hospital under Nevada’s safe haven law. And she went to live with Heather and Nick Libretti, a white couple who live outside of Reno, Nevada. They thought, given the circumstances, they would be able to adopt her. But the child’s father was identified, and it became clear that she was eligible for citizenship in the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, a federally recognized tribe in Texas, and that her case fell under ICWA. The Librettis were told they would not be able to adopt the child, that her placement with them would be temporary.

And instead of accepting that the child would go to blood relatives, they decided to fight. They hired lawyers. They asked the child’s grandmother to renounce her tribal membership so that ICWA wouldn’t apply to the case. They got in touch with relatives who were considering fostering and adopting the child, and had conversations with them to try

— source | Nov 10, 2022

Nullius in verba


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