State vs. tribe: Implementation of the Indian Child Welfare Act in Arizona

The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was enacted in response to the removal of Indian children from their homes at exorbitant rates by state social services. Many state actors, including state courts, resist the ICWA because they feel the best interests of the child is lost when the Act is followed. This paper analyzes how Arizona's state courts are implementing the ICWA by comparing early appellate cases with current cases. What is lost in most ICWA research is what tribes are doing to implement child welfare on reservations. Thus, this paper also incorporates an analysis on tribal court decisions, tribal child welfare codes, and tribal family preservation programs. When possible interviews of tribal officials were conducted to supplement written material available on tribes. With an understanding of the tribal perspective on the ICWA and child welfare, in general, we will gain a more accurate picture of the ICWA implementation statewide.


Lorinda Mall


Rob Williams





Arizona State Museum: 

M9791 M25s


ATT 1437561
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences