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Warnock projected to win in U.S. Senate race for Georgia; new report urges Governor-Elect to fix PA unemployment system; rising land prices pose challenges for VA farmers.


The nation watches as votes are counted in the Senate runoff in Georgia, the House holds hearings in the lame-duck session, and Capitol Police Officers receive medals for their heroism on January 6.


The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and if Oklahoma is calling to you, a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Brief Urges Supreme Court to Uphold Indian Child Welfare Act


Tuesday, August 23, 2022   

The ACLU of Nebraska has joined a national brief filed in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging a 1978 law passed by Congress aiming to stop harmful assimilation practices separating Native American children from their families and tribes.

Misty Flowers, executive director of the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Coalition, said the Indian Child Welfare Act is still very much needed, in part to help kids maintain their cultural identities.

"We see a lot of times that those that don't have a strong cultural identity have higher rates of substance abuse, mental-health issues, suicide rates," Flowers pointed out. "It's kind of all connected with those assimilation policies and historical trauma."

The ACLU is urging the high court to uphold the constitutionality of the Act, which requires state courts to help keep Native families together. Before its passage, some 35% of Native children were being removed from their homes, from intact families, with 85% placed in non-Native homes.

A U.S. appeals court invalidated portions of the act in a Texas adoption case, for imposing duties on states.

The brief also calls on the Supreme Court to uphold the centuries-long legal precedent of tribal sovereignty, including tribes' right to preserve their unique cultural identities, raise their own children and govern themselves. Flowers explained when the U.S. government consults or does business with tribes, it is nation-to-nation.

"Because we are sovereign nations of this land. We were here first," Flowers asserted. "And we had the ability, and we still maintain the ability, to govern ourselves."

The Indian Child Welfare Act also establishes preferences for placing adopted Native children in Native homes. Flowers, quoting her social worker mother, said Native children will always find their way home.

"It's like an innate human need to have that connection with your family and your tribe," Flowers noted. "Especially when you look different than other people that are around you."

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