The Kids are not alright! It’s been nearly 20 years since the state of South Dakota and the nine tribal nations came together to work to better the welfare of Native American children in the state. In 2004, the South Dakota legislature passed a series of bills to address the state’s compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and look at ways tribal nations and the state could work together to improve outcomes for Native youth. The passage of Senate Bill 211 that year created the Governor’s Commission on the Indian Child Welfare Act through then-Governor Mike Rounds Office. ICWA was authored by former United States Senator James Abourezk in 1978, who died this past February, to prevent the removal of Native children from their families and culture. At the time, Native children were being forcibly removed from their families and reservations and assimilated into boarding schools and placed with white families.
UC Berkeley has been slow to repatriate Native American remains and, some may be lost forever, says a report by NBC News and Propublica. The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians fought for years for the return of their ancestors from UC Berkeley. They recently learned some of the remains are still missing. The University of California at Berkeley Phoebe A Hearst Museum is currently housing about 9000 remains…in 1990 this became illegal. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation ACT was passed in that year after a lot of lobbying by tribal leaders. Other academic institutions still have native American remains, but UC Berkeley has by far the most. Those are your headlines at this hour.
I’m Colette Keith in the KIPI News center.