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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Supreme Court rules to uphold the Indian Child Welfare Act

Advocates in Montana are celebrating the United States Supreme Court ruling to uphold the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). The act guides the removal and placement of Native American children in foster care or adoption, and prioritizes placing them into the homes of family members or other tribal members.

Native American lawmakers in Montana passed a state-level policy modeled after the federal version during the recently adjourned 2023 legislative session. That bill was signed into law last month.

Montana's ICWA policy was not contingent upon the federal case, but was passed to ensure the guidelines would be upheld regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision.

Western Native Voice and ACLU of Montana have both voiced support for the Supreme Court’s decision and Montana’s state policy for maintaining tribal sovereignty.

Ellis Juhlin is MTPR's Rocky Mountain Front reporter. Ellis previously worked as a science reporter at Utah Public Radio and a reporter at Yellowstone Public Radio. She has a Master's Degree in Ecology from Utah State University. She's an average birder and wants you to keep your cat indoors. She has two dogs, one of which is afraid of birds.
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