Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
OKLAHOMA CITY Though the US Supreme Court in June deemed the Indian Child Welfare Act was misapplied last summer when the South Carolina Supreme Court rendered its decision to allow Dusten Brown to keep custody of his biological daughter, Veronica, Indian rights supporters rallied at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City on Monday in defense of the Act.
They were there to support Veronica and her father, who was arrested last week on a South Carolina charge. He is fighting extradition. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin can sign the extradition. So, the supporters went to the steps of the Capitol.
The lunchtime Standing Up for Veronica rally was organized by Idle No More Central Oklahoma. There were about 40 supporters at the rally.
To Sarah Adams-Cornell of Idle No More Central Oklahoma, there were several reasons to be there.
“There are many important reasons to support Baby Veronica, the Brown family and the Indian Child Welfare Act,”
commented Adams-Cornell to the Native News Network.
“Adoption is for children who are in need of a safe, loving, family. Veronica has all of these things with her father, Dusten Brown. On top of this, she will have the opportunity to learn about her Cherokee culture.”
She remembers why the Indian Child Welfare Act was passed by Congress back in 1978.
"t's also important to remember that the Indian Child Welfare Act is in existence for a reason. According to a 1976 study done by the Association of American Indian Affairs, up to 35 percent of Native children were living outside of the home. Of those children, 85 percent were living in non-Native homes. That means that we had a quarter of generation that lost their culture and were forced into assimilation. We must prevent this from happening again. Our culture must be preserved and if not by our children then by whom?"
posted August 20, 2013 10:20 am edt