The Supreme Court ruled today in Haaland v. Brackeen, rejecting a major challenge to a federal law governing the placement of Native American children in foster and adoptive homes. Jody Rabhan, National Council of Jewish Women chief policy officer, released the following statement:
“Today’s ruling is a hard-fought victory ushered by Indigenous leaders. The Supreme Court has rightly upheld the lower court’s decision, leaving in place the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), which combats the forced removals of Native children from their homes and placement into white families by federal, state, and private agencies.
“The rights of Native families as determined by ICWA is, first and foremost, an issue of Native American sovereignty, but also an issue of Reproductive Justice. Native Americans, and all Americans, deserve the right to have children or not, as well as the right to raise one’s family in safe and healthy environments. ICWA is situated in the very center of major Reproductive Justice implications – when Native children are removed from their families, communities, and cultures, the practices and traditions of their Native identities are often lost. This can have devastating consequences for Native children and their Nations, and today’s decision is indeed a huge win for tribes and Reproductive Justice.
“Jewish tradition teaches us to uphold kavod habriot, respect and dignity for all human beings. National Council of Jewish Women is committed to supporting everyone’s moral autonomy and is relieved ICWA stands. We will continue our work as an ally to the Reproductive Justice movement, ensuring everyone who chooses to parent can do so at home with their families and in traditional practices and cultures.”