KNBA - KBC

ICWA

A lawsuit challenging the Indian Child Welfare Act received a split decision in federal appeals court on April 6, 2021. The law, the lawsuit and the split resulted in a 300-plus-page decision that confounded experts and lay people alike. The decision won’t impact Alaska directly. But legal experts  say Alaska should still keep an eye on the case.

A Washington state Supreme Court decision could mean a legal victory for Native communities in terms of child welfare cases.

Washington Supreme Court ruled Thursday, September 3, 2020, that state courts must use a “broad interpretation” when determining whether children who face removal from their parents -- have Native heritage. The decision also says that a Tribe has the exclusive role to determine who is a member, not states.

Conference Committee, House and Senate scheduled to meet Friday

Representatives of the state House and Senate serving on the Legislative Conference Committee are scheduled to meet tomorrow at 10 a.m. Their assignment is to come up with a compromise operating budget. The Senate calendar shows it plans to convene tomorrow at 11 a.m. and the House at 2 p.m. Friday. Lay off warning notices were sent Monay to about 10-thousand state employees, giving them 30-days-notice they’ll be laid off if the Legislature doesn’t pass a budget by July 1.

Gov. Bill Walker, rally-goers urge Legislative vote on Medicaid expansion

Governor Bill Walker spoke at a rally Thursday in favor of Medicaid expansion outside the capital in Juneau. As KSKA’s Zachariah Hughes reports, the event is another strategy from the administration to get lawmakers to bring the issue to a vote in the Legislature.

Standing on the capital steps in an on-again, off-again drizzle, Anica Ord of Juneau said that as a recent college graduate she falls into the coverage donut hole for health insurance that expanded Medicaid would fill.

Tununak v state of Alaska is "potentially explosive"

Yesterday, the state Department of Law asked the Alaska Supreme Court for more time in a case tribes say will show whether Governor Bill Walker is serious about campaign pledges to work cooperatively with tribes, and determine how the Indian Child Welfare Act, or ICWA, will be implemented in Alaska.

State asks Alaska Supreme Court for a 30-day extension in Tununak vs. State of Alaska case

Tribes say the Governor's position creates obstacles for relatives and tribal members who want to adopt a Native child

Alaska Native advocates ask Walker to ensure the Indian Child Welfare Act is properly implemented in Alaska

The Alaska Federation of Natives, and all the regional Native nonprofit organizations in the state are asking Governor Bill Walker to change his position in a case involving the adoption of an Alaska Native child. They say the state’s position in the case Tununuk II vs. the state of Alaska erects barriers between tribal children and tribal homes. The state has said it’s only arguing for compliance with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

The Department of Justice may intervene in an Alaska Supreme Court case involving the adoption by a non-Native family of an Alaska Native child. Lower courts ruled the provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act that give preference to Native families in adoption, do not apply because a formal adoption petition had not been filed.  DOJ requested an extension, and has until Nov. 24 to decide whether to intervene.

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