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BIA's Indian Child Welfare Act Guideline Revision Applauded

The seal of the Cherokee Nation
Cherokee Nation
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Cherokee Nation leaders are lauding a guideline revision that could have impacted a bitter custody case in 2013.

The BIA's new guidelines prioritize early intervention — with services designed to prevent Native children from being removed from their homes.

The new guidelines also give state courts direction on how to locate family and tribal members for placement if a Native child can no longer safely remain in his or her own home.

Cherokee Principal Chief Bill John Baker says if these practices were employed in the Veronica Brown case, the child could have remained in the care of her family and her Cherokee community.

Throughout much of 2013, a major dispute centered on a Cherokee Nation member in Oklahoma who battled a South Carolina couple over custody of then-3-year-old Veronica.

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