WASHINGTON, D.C. – Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Deputy Attorney General Chrissi Nimmo, Secretary of State Tina Glory Jordan and Delegate to Congress Kim Teehee listened to oral arguments in Brackeen v Haaland before the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday.

Supreme Court Justices will decide the constitutionality of the longstanding Indian Child Welfare Act, which since 1978 has protected Native children in the foster and adoptive system by making sure there is a priority to place them with their family or other Native families and give the tribe notice that a Native child is subject to a proceeding.

The Cherokee Nation, Morongo Band of Mission Indians, Oneida Nation and Quinalt Indian Nation are also the four defending tribes in Brackeen v Haaland.

“We heard oral arguments today and hope the court rules on the side of families and history,” Chief Hoskin said. “Before ICWA, there was an awful history in this country of Native children being removed from their homes. About 35 percent of our children were removed from their parents, extended families and tribal communities by state child welfare and private adoption agencies, and majority placed outside of their families and tribes. Congress decided the best way to address that was to put into place this federal law with these priorities and protections. It continues to be a gold standard and has kept Indian Nations whole and Indian children in tribal homes so that elders and tribal citizens can pass down their ways, language and culture and so these children can know who they are and where they came from.”

To hear the oral arguments: https://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/audio/2022/21-376

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