The report found that state and local agencies still struggle with the law, according to Kimberly Cluff, a task force member and staff member of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. She said the tribes feel like they’re at “ground zero.”
“The law provides the tribes and, more importantly, tribal children with a bunch of rights, but if the tribe doesn’t know the child is in foster care, or if nobody asks the question of family tribal status, then all those protections are lost,” Cluff said. “If we don’t know that child is an Indian, we can’t protect them as an Indian and it’s just somewhat shocking that 40 years after the passing of this law, we’re still talking about basic implementation.”
A copy of the Report is here.