WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) reiterated his support for the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) as Brackeen v. Bernhardt is re-heard by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. In support of ICWA, Rep. Cook released the following statement:
“The Indian Child Welfare Act is critical for the future of tribes, tribal families, tribal sovereignty and most importantly, tribal children. ICWA’s success is undeniable, and it has become the gold standard for child welfare practices by the nation’s most respected child advocacy organizations.
“As long as I’m in office, I’ll stand behind the legal concepts and traditions that benefit our native peoples and allow them to persist despite tremendous odds.
“Earlier in my career, I had the privilege to author a bipartisan bill on tribal customary adoption, and I learned firsthand the importance and sensitivity of ICWA within tribal communities. As the Ranking Member to the House Natural Resources Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States, I stand for protecting the best interests of Indian children, and I’m hopeful the Fifth Circuit will again honor the constitutionality of ICWA.”
A member of the House Natural Resources and Armed Services Committees, Rep. Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.
Rep. Cook serves as the Republican Leader of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States, which oversees all matters related to the Federal trust responsibility to Native Americans and their sovereignty. It also has purview over measures relating to the welfare of Native Americans, including management of Indian lands in general.
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