On November 9th, the Supreme Court of the United States hears arguments in the Haaland v. Brackeen case. It challenges the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act passed in 1978, which outlined standards for Native American children being removed from their homes and places in foster care. It also set placement preferences for those children — first, with a member of their extended family; second, with a foster home licensed and specified by their Tribe; and third, with another Native family.

Kendra Lowden is a Citizen Potawatomi Nation member and Curly family descendant. She works as the Senior Program Associate at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work. She is the owner of Ghost Thunder Child Welfare Consulting and previously served as the Board President of the Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Association. Kendra discussed the case with us as well as the Indian Child Welfare Act and the impact its repeal could have on tribes and children across the country.

“ICWA is not based on race. It is based on the political status of tribes. So, our sovereignty is what allows us to have a say in the lives of our children and all of our tribal citizens,” Lowden said.

For more information, visit the National Indian Child Welfare Association at nicwa.org. Find the Citizen Potawatomi Nation FireLodge Children and Family Services online at cpn.news/FireLodge.

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