Support for the Indian Child Welfare Act: Education, Health Care, and Welfare

2016 Book of Resolutions, #3346

Historically, a high percentage of Indian families in comparison to the general population have been broken up by the often unwarranted removal of their children by non-tribal public and private agencies. A disturbingly high percentage of such children have been placed in non-Indian foster and adoptive homes and institutions.

Indian children have a unique political status as members of sovereign tribal governments. Congress, through the US Constitution, statutes, treaties, and the general course of dealing with Indian tribes, is charged with the responsibility for the protection and preservation of Indian tribes and their resources, including Indian children.

The special political status of Indian tribes, as well as the history of biased treatment of Indian children and families under public and non-Indian private child-welfare systems, is the basis for the enactment of the Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. § 1901).

Recent high-profile cases underscore the importance of enforcement of the Indian Child Welfare Act and assurance that children are not illegally separated from their tribal connections.

Therefore, The United Methodist Church strongly supports the Indian Child Welfare Act and the critical connection between children and their respective tribes and tribal cultures and traditional practices.


See Social Principles, ¶ 162A.

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