The Northern Arapaho Business Council released the following statement Thursday afternoon:
“The Northern Arapaho Business Council (NABC) offers its sincerest appreciation to Governor Mark Gordon for signing legislation that codifies in Wyoming law the vital child welfare protections of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). Wyoming joins at least 10 states in taking this important step to safeguard Native children, families and communities.
“The NABC is proud to have helped lead the advocacy effort for this legislation. Our Members and our families saw first-hand what a pre-ICWA world looked like, when Native children were systematically removed from their families and placed into non-Native homes and boarding schools. This legislation will play a key role in preserving Native families and culture for years to come.
“In addition to Governor Gordon, we thank the Wyoming Legislature for being thoughtful in its consideration of this issue. Today’s achievement would not have been possible without the leadership of the Select Committee on Tribal Relations, including Senators Affie Ellis and Cale Case and Representatives Lloyd Larsen and Sarah Penn. We cannot know which direction the U.S. Supreme Court will take in its review of the federal ICWA, but the signing of this legislation means Native children and families in Wyoming are protected. Thank you.”