The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments about the Indian Child Welfare Act last week. Though the surface issue is adoption, this case concerns indigenous ways of knowing and living, i.e., sovereignty and self-determination, identity, and the relationship between Indigenous Nations and the United States. The podcast This Land, Season 2, digs deep into the larger historical and political contexts of the issues about ICWA.
“The award-winning documentary podcast This Land is back for season 2. Host Rebecca Nagle reports on how the far right is using Native children to attack American Indian tribes and advance a conservative agenda.”
“ALM – as referred to in court documents – is a Navajo and Cherokee toddler. When he was a baby, a white couple from the suburbs of Dallas wanted to adopt him, but a federal law said they couldn’t. So they sued. Today, the lawsuit doesn’t just impact the future of one child or even the future of one law. It threatens the entire legal structure defending Native American rights.”
Also, check out these various threads by Joseph M. Pierce, “ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ, Cherokee Nation citizen, and Associate Professor at Stonybrook University, about his analysis and thoughts on ICWA, and his personal experiences with adoption.
The book, Facing the Future: The Indian Child Welfare Act at 30, Edited by Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Wenona T. Singel, and Kathryn E. Fort, is also a valuable legal and historical resource.