Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs had published revised, sweeping new guidelines to ensure the rights and protections of Native families and children under the Indian Child Welfare Act as ICTMN reported.
The announcement was made February 24 at the National Congress of American Indians winter session.
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker released the following statement upon hearing the new guidelines.
“The Cherokee Nation applauds Mr. Washburn and his staff for taking the time to listen to the concerns of tribes and Indian families. The Cherokee Nation, along with many other tribes and Indian organizations, submitted comments to the BIA on the need for updated guidelines following the case of Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl.
“Tribal governments nationwide have known for years the requirements in these new guidelines are the best practices and should be followed when an Indian child is involved in the state court system,” Chief Baker said. “It is our hope the changes will lead to increased tribal involvement, safer communities, and the preservation, retention and protection of our most vital resource – our Cherokee children.”