Supreme Court to Test Indian Child Welfare Act

On November 9, 2022 at 10:00 (eastern time), the U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments on four related cases challenging the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act. This law allows children born to a Native American parents to remain with their close relatives and tribe, even when there is a need to move them from their homes. This federal law was passed in 1978 as an attempt to counter the disproportionately large percentage of Native children who were being taken from their own extended families and tribes – even when there was a relative able and willing to care for them, and moved to non-Indigenous homes. The Association on American Indian Affairs has reported that, by the time the law passed between 25 and 35 percent of all Native children had been taken from their families and put in foster homes, adoptive homes, or institutions.

Opponents of the law argue that it creates a race-based distinction for Native children and that it represents interference by the federal government in local and state matters. Both of these arguments are troublesome because they overlook the central fact of Native American sovereignty, and the constitutional requirement that the federal government – not the states – relate to the tribes on a government-to-government basis. Oral arguments can be streamed from the U.S. Supreme Court website, beginning at 10:00 am eastern time on November 9. (Click on “live audio.”)

Pendle Hill Presents:

Land Acknowledgment — A First Step Towards Right Relationship with the Land and its Peoples

A two-part webinar presented by tom kunesh (Lakota/Mixt), Aug 9 and 11, 2022, 7:30pm-9:00pm Eastern Time (US & Canada) via Zoom.

Living on what was another peoples’ homeland through their coerced removal carries with it a generational responsibility to recognize and honor their history and their legitimate claim to places where we live. Recognizing that preparing a land acknowledgment is a first step towards creating right relationship with the land and its native peoples, this program will review:

  • the Euro-colonial principles and means used to take Turtle Island from its original inhabitants;
  • sources for identifying accurate local native history;
  • ways to correctly identify and contact culturally affiliated tribes; and
  • current land-return movements in the United States.

Read more and register here. Pendle Hill is committed to the accessibility of our programs. If cost is a barrier to your participation, we welcome your request for financial assistance.

Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s Recent History

Patricia R. Powers has now published Respect & Justice for Indigenous Peoples: A Quaker Advocacy Group’s Experience Recounted (1940 to present). The book is available only on line, in order to facilitate reference to the many sources and resources listed in the text.

Baltimore Yearly Meeting formed a Committee geared to Indigenous concerns in 1795, only a few years after European settlers established a nation that became the United States on this continent. Particulars of the activities of volunteers who served on that Committee after 1940 are recorded here for posterity. A companion volume, As They Were Led: Quakerly Steps and Missteps Toward Native Justice – 1795 – 1940, was published last year in paperback, and is available from Quaker Heron Press, Quaker Books (FGC), Pendle Hill, other independent booksellers, and Amazon. Read more here.

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