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ICWA for whom?

The Federal Indian Child Welfare Act is at risk. In the closing days of the legislative session, a duel — or a duet? — of would-be replacements plays out

JoVonne Wagner

Montana Free Press Indigenous Legislative Fellow for 2023

A legislative conference committee voted against restoring the original language of a bill that would codify the federal Indian Child Welfare Act into state law, as had been requested by the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy, D-Box Elder.

House Bill 317, which was designed to secure protections for Indigenous children under state care while the federal ICWA is threatened in a Supreme Court case, is moving forward with a contested amendment that would give the law an end date. Another amendment brought by an earlier...


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