I stand alongside Tribal Nations as they celebrate today’s Supreme Court decision. This lawsuit sought to undermine the Indian Child Welfare Act – a vital law I was proud to support. The Indian Child Welfare Act was passed to protect the future of Tribal Nations and promote the best interests of Native children, and it does just that. The touchstone law respects tribal sovereignty and protects Native children by helping Native families stay together and, whenever possible, keeping children with their extended families or community who already know them, love them, and can help them understand who they are as Native people and citizens of their Tribal Nations. The Indian Child Welfare Act safeguards that which is most precious to us all—our children. Today’s decision from the Supreme Court keeps in place a vital protection for tribal sovereignty and Native children.
Our Nation’s painful history looms large over today’s decision. In the not-so-distant past, Native children were stolen from the arms of the people who loved them. They were sent to boarding schools or to be raised by non-Indian families—all with the aim of erasing who they are as Native people and tribal citizens. These were acts of unspeakable cruelty that affected generations of Native children and threatened the very survival of Tribal Nations. The Indian Child Welfare Act was our Nation’s promise: never again.
Tribal Nations fought hard to pass the Indian Child Welfare Act, and I am proud to have joined them in the ongoing efforts to defend it. Vice President Harris and I will continue to stand with Tribes to protect Native children, honor tribal sovereignty, and safeguard the essential principals of the Indian Child Welfare Act.