Bureau of Indian Affairs


Court: Trauma Impedes Native American Education Programs, Feds Must Address It

A federal court has ruled, for the first time, that the federal government is obligated to meet the mental health and wellness needs of Native American students as part of its educational obligations to those children.


Native Youth: Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice and Maintaining Cultural Connections

The Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) at The Aspen Institute introduced its first-ever online roundtable, Generation Indigenous (Gen-I), to further its reach in garnering the opinions of its stakeholders. In the resulting first annual report, titled The State of Native Youth and released in 2016, close to 700 youth aged 25 and younger answered questions about their top priorities and the resources they believe would help them succeed.


Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Final Rule: FAQs on ICWA Proceedings

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has released a series of frequently asked questions related to its recent final rule pertaining to Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) proceedings. ICWA, enacted by Congress in 1978, governs state child-custody proceedings in multiple ways, including: (1) by recognizing Tribal jurisdiction over decisions for their Indian children; (2) by establishing minimum federal standards for the removal of Indian children from their families; (3) by establishing preferences for placement of Indian children with extended family or other Tribal families; and (4) by instituting protections to ensure that birth parents’ voluntary relinquishments of their children are truly voluntary.


ICWA Is Politicizing the ‘Best Interests’ Determination

“[V]arious debunked mental health theories continue to exert inappropriate influence over the decisions of family courts.” – Nichols (2013) We all agree we want what’s best for children. To do that, we must base our legal decisions on the best possible science.