Riverton Peace Mission starts monthly online event series with Indian Child Welfare Act discussion Thursday

The Riverton Peace Mission will host an online discussion about the Indian Child Welfare Act at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1.

The topic is “timely,” RPM co-chair Chesie Lee said, noting that the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments this month about ICWA’s constitutionality.

The federal law gives “Tribal governments exclusive jurisdiction over children from a reservation,” Lee explained.

Thursday’s discussion will feature “unique stories” shared by two local residents, Clarisse Harris and Carol Harper, who will talk about the “foster care and adoption experiences of Indigenous children by white settlers,” Lee said.

“Carol was born Northern Arapaho, and was adopted as a 2-month-old infant and raised (by) a white LDS (Mormon) family in Riverton,” Lee said. “Clarisse is Northern Paiute and lives in Ethete, (and) her story was recently featured in a podcast.”

To register for Thursday’s event, click here.  

Monthly series

This week’s ICWA discussion is the first in a new monthly Zoom series the RPM is hosting “to discuss timely topics affecting our community.”

“With Zoom events, friends can join us and be involved from the comfort of our homes,” Lee said. “Please plan to join us to learn and to engage in discussions related to the justice work of the Riverton Peace Mission.”

She said the topic for Jan. 5 will be “What Is Institutional Racism?”

“As the Riverton Peace Mission asks governments and service providers to address racism through changed policies and procedures, we must first understand what racism is, its origins as a social construct and how it differs from prejudice and bias,” Lee said.

In February, the discussion will be on “taking action to address racism, focusing on the City of Riverton,” she said, and in March the group “will take a look at homelessness.”

For more information visit the RPM website.

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