Celebrating the Supreme Court Ruling on the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)

June 29, 2023
Five people stand outside the steps of the Supreme Court, waving signs in support to uphold the law.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Brackeen v. Haaland, a case that challenged the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) applauds the court's decision to uphold a law that ensures that American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) children retain opportunities for permanence with tribal community, kin, and family.

The court ruled 7-2 in favor of the law, rejecting challenges posed and leaving ICWA intact. 

View the full news release: DCYF's Response to the U.S. Supreme Court's Decision on Brackeen v. Haaland (govdelivery.com)

Tleena Ives, DCYF Director of Tribal Relations

"We are elated by the decision. This challenge to ICWA was in direct opposition to tribal sovereignty and the rights of AI/AN families and children. We are heartened by the court’s commitment to family integrity and to fostering healing and progress.”

Robert Smith, ICW Program Manager

“This has been a stressful time for the tribes and for all of us that strongly believe that the provisions in ICWA are what is best for children and families. Today is a huge win for everyone and leaves in place our uninterrupted Government to Government relationship DCYF has with the tribes. Moving forward we are able to put our focus where it belongs, on how we can partner and serve our families in the best way possible.”

Betsy Tulee, Region 3 ICW Program Consultant/Tribal Liaison

“We are very happy to celebrate the Supreme Court ruling upholding the Indian Child Welfare Act with a solid 7-2 majority. The foundation of the ICWA, which is rooted in the inherent tribal sovereignty of Indian nations, was passed to protect the rights of Indian children, their families, and the very existence of tribal nations. DCYF remains committed to partnering with tribes in our shared efforts to serve Indian children and families and to support the social, cultural, spiritual, and political connections with their tribes that is so essential to their wellbeing. We are so thankful to the Tribal Leaders and Indian Nations throughout the US and organizations such as NICWA, Casey Foundation, NCAI, NICWA, AAIA, NARF, ally states and all others who battled for this victory.”