Native Americans have suffered discrimination and injustice at the hands of the government since this country’s founding, yet contemporary discussions of civil rights all too often overlook the rights of Native Americans. The federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was passed by Congress in 1978 to address the nationwide epidemic of Indigenous children being forcibly removed from their homes and tribes by child welfare agencies. The need to bring a version of ICWA into Connecticut’s statutes has never been more pressing. This spring, the Supreme Court is poised to decide Haaland v. Brackeen, a case that could overturn ICWA in its entirety. If this were to occur, there would be nothing stopping states from indiscriminately removing Indigenous children from their families and culture while simultaneously depriving tribes of future generations—putting the very existence of tribes in jeopardy. Time is of the essence, and the legislature must act now to protect Indigenous children by passing SB 1204.
SB 1204, An Act Concerning the Connecticut Indian Child Welfare Act