SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – The former South Dakota lawmaker who authored the law meant to keep Native American families together called Tuesday’s ruling by the Supreme Court that a Native American child doesn’t have to be given to her biological parent “an assault on tribal sovereignty.”
The justices ruled that the Indian Child Welfare Act doesn’t give the father a “trump card at the eleventh hour” to get the girl. The law was passed in 1978 to try to keep Native American families together.
Former U.S. Sen. James Abourezk led the American Indian Policy Review Commission, which investigated conditions among Native Americans in the 1970s.
He says the justices did not go as far as they could have to take away tribal sovereignty with their decision, but fears they are headed in that direction.
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