What do corporate lawyers, political operatives and right-wing groups have to do with the Indian Child Welfare Act? A whole lot.
ICWA has been around for almost 40 years. It provides protections for Native American kids who are up for foster care or adoption and it says Native kids should be placed with extended family or stay with Native communities whenever possible.
It doesn’t seem terribly controversial on the face of it. But the child custody law has drawn the attention of groups who see the chance to undo ICWA as the first step into doing away with a whole chain of legislation around Native sovereignty, with huge implications for land use, water rights and gaming rights. In short, a successful legal challenge to this one law, which has now reached the steps of the Supreme Court, could mean a lot of money for a whole lot of non-Native people.
“I always say that federal Indian law is the canary in the coal mine, like what the courts are willing to do to tribes. I think everyone should be concerned about and this case for this term, I think will be will be an important one to watch,” said Rebecca Nagle, independent journalist and host of the podcast “This Land,” which focuses on ICWA in its latest season.
On today’s show, we’ll dig into the fight over ICWA, the players involved and who stands to benefit if it’s found unconstitutional on the basis of race.
In the news fix, we’ll talk about today’s Facebook whistleblower testimony, COVID’s two-month cycle and the cost of living in flood zones — speaking of the effects of climate change, Molly’s super secret project, the “How We Survive” podcast, launches tomorrow.
Plus, the birds of “Make Me Smart.”
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Here’s everything we talked about today:
- “This Land” podcast
- “The Native adoption case that could dismantle the Indian Child Welfare Act, explained” from Vox
- “A Court Battle Over a Dallas Toddler Could Decide the Future of Native American Law” from The Atlantic
- “Facebook whistleblower will urge U.S. Senate to regulate company” from Reuters
- “The price of living near the shore is already high. It’s about to go through the roof.” from The Washington Post
- “Covid, in retreat” from The New York Times
- Molly’s “secret” project: “How We Survive”
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