June 15, 2023

Representative Peri Pourier commends the United States Supreme Court’s Decision upholding the Indian Child Welfare Act

Oceti Sakowin Territory, SD – Representative Peri Pourier celebrates today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). The historical decision represents a seignificant victory for Tribal Nation sovereignty, self-determination, preservation of Indigeous families, and protection of Indian children across the United States.

The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), enacted in 1978, was designed to address the alarmingly high rates of Native children being unjustly removed from their homes and place in non-Native foster care and adoptive homes. It seeks to affir the inherent right of Tribal Nations to govern their citizens, preserve familial bonds vital to the well-being and political and cultural identity of Indigenous communities across the United States. The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold ICWA reasserts its crucial role in safeguarding the best interests of Indian children while respecting the sovereignty of Tribal Nations.

In response to the Court’s decision, Representative Pourier expressed her deep satisfaction stating, “This is a historic moment for Tribal Nations and ICWA. The Supreme Court’s ruling is a resouding recognition of the inherent rights of Tribal Nations to protect their children and the imperative of preserving our cultural identity and political status as citizens of Tribal Nations. It remains clear – we must do more to strengthen families of Tribal Nations, which will require collaborative work from all levels, including Tribal and State leaders and the citizens thereof.”

The Supreme Court’s upheld decision on the ICWA marks a watershed moment in the ongoing struggle for justice, equality, cultural preservation, and sovereignty for Tribal Nations and communities. Representative Pourier joins the tireless advocates and Tribal Nations across the United States in celebrating this triumph in the defense and advancement of the rights and well-being of Indigenous peoples.