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Background Baby Veronica and the Indian Child Welfare Act 

Supreme Court Case Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Girl

On Tuesday April 16, 2013, the Supreme Court heard the case of Adoptive Couple vs Baby Girl, which challenged the core principles of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and of Indian law generally.

Update Recognizing the Lumbee Indians of North Carolina? 

Native American Legislative Update

Lumbee members, who number some 55,000, have been pressing for federal recognition since 1888. Although Congress enacted legislation recognizing the Lumbee in 1956, the Act also inexplicably denied tribal members the privileges and immunities, financial benefits and services that are afforded to other federally-recognized tribes due to their status as Indians.

Background Department of Justice Policy on Eagle Feathers 

Eagles hold a special significance for many Native Americans. Eagle feathers and other eagle parts are central to certain spiritual ceremonies, and they play an important role in Native American cultures. However, eagles are an endangered species.

Background Native American Trust Fund: Massive Mismanagement 

Elouise Cobell has posthumously received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her advocacy for Native American self-determination and financial independence. FCNL lobbied Congress to approve the settlement in Cobell's lawsuit against the U.S. government to ensure Native Americans were paid for the income on land held in trust for them.

Background The Origins of our Trust Responsibility Towards the Tribes 

The federal government has a general trust responsibility towards the tribes, meaning that it should look out for the welfare of tribal members. The general trust concept has become solidified in law and policy, and has become a keystone of decisions regarding American Indians reflected in congressional policies, executive branch directives and decisions, and judicial opinions.

Background Reclaiming Identity: The Repatriation of Native Remains and Culture 

Repatriation involves a return to one's own people. In the Native American context, repatriation involves returning Native American human remains and cultural objects back to tribal members or governments centuries after their collection. 

Background Hawaiian Native Rights and Self-Determination 

The "Akaka Bill" to give Native Hawaiians similar self-governance rights to Native American tribal authorities did not become law.

Background Religious Freedom for Native Americans 

Native American religious practices and the sanctity of sacred sites should be protected as de facto First Amendment rights.

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