Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Department of Justice Seeks ICWA Compliance
Recently, Sheldon Spotted Elk, legal counsel for the Ute Tribe, attended the Tribal Nations meeting in Washington, DC. With Mr. Spotted Elk's permission we are posting his comments, and encourage all to follow the link provided to read the full text of Eric Holder’s address.
Yesterday during the Tribal Nations meeting in Washington DC, Eric Holder, Attorney General announced that DOJ is going to begin to actively file against ICWA violations. This is exciting and fulfillment of the trust responsibility. I feel that some of the work we have done is solid!!!!! And has been recognized at National Conferences that I have been in attendance. Proud to work with all of you and with Misty Butler, she is going to be missed.
“Today, I am pleased to announce that the Department of Justice is launching a new initiative to promote compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act. Under this important effort, we are working to actively identify state-court cases where the United States can file briefs opposing the unnecessary and illegal removal of Indian children from their families and their tribal communities. We are partnering with the Departments of the Interior and Health and Human Services to make sure that all the tools available to the federal government are used to promote compliance with this important law. And we will join with those departments, and with tribes and Indian child-welfare organizations across the country, to explore training for state judges and agencies; to promote tribes’ authority to make placement decisions affecting tribal children; to gather information about where the Indian Child Welfare Act is being systematically violated; and to take appropriate, targeted action to ensure that the next generation of great tribal leaders can grow up in homes that are not only safe and loving, but also suffused with the proud traditions of Indian cultures”.
FULL TEXT of Holder’s Speech: