The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in Haaland v. Brackeen, a case challenging the Indian Child Welfare Act and ultimately threatening the legal foundations of federal Indian law. ICWA was created in 1978 to address the systemic crisis of family separation in Native communities waged by the U.S. and requires the government to ensure foster children are adopted by members of their Indigenous tribes, as well as blood relatives, before being adopted by non-Indigenous parents. Now right-wing groups are supporting white foster parents to challenge the law as discriminatory. “Not only are our children on the line, but the legal foundation, the legal structure that defends the rights of Indigenous nations in the United States is literally at stake,” says journalist Rebecca Nagle, who has been reporting on the case for years and says it’s likely the Supreme Court will strike ICWA down. Nagle also comments on the oral arguments, saying the Supreme Court’s majority has “many racist stereotypes in their minds about Native people.”
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