Former Senator Dorgan Moderates Discussion on ICWA

Posted on Jun 10, 2013

The future of the Indian Child Welfare Act depends on the federal government's ability to work with state governments and ensuring that tribal courts have enough resources, the chief general counsel for the Department of Interior said Thursday.

Department of Interior Solicitor Hilary Tompkins spoke at a panel discussion in Washington D.C. examining the federal law created to ensure that Native American children removed from homes be placed with relatives or put in foster care with other Native American families, except in unusual circumstances. The discussion, moderated by former U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, was streamed online.

Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act in 1978 because of the once high number of Indian children being removed from their homes by public and private agencies.