Unpublished Notice Case in California Regarding Alaska Native Villages

Here. The Fourth Appellate District does more research than DPSS (the agency tasked with notice), and put it into the decision:

Respondent argues that there is no federally recognized “Innuit Eskimo” tribe, so notice was not required. It is not quite so simple. The term “Innuit” is a collective term (the plural of Inuk), for a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Alaska, Greenland, Canada, and Siberia. (http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Inuit.) The Alaskan Innuit comprises the Alutiiq, Yup’ik (or Yupiat) and Inupiat tribes. (http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/united-states-and-canada-north-american-indigenous-peoples/.) The term “Eskimo,” as it pertains to Alaskan indigenous peoples, has been replaced by “Inuit.” (Ibid.) There are 229 federally recognized Alaskan villages. (http://www.alaskannature.com/inuit.htm; see also, 81 Fed. Reg. 5023-5025, (No. 19, January 29, 2016).) For this reason, one will not find “Eskimo” or “Innuit” in the Federal Register’s list of federally recognized Native Entities.

The Federal Register lists the 229 Alaskan villages. The names, addresses and telephone numbers of approximately 15 Tribal Leaders and BIA Servicing Centers may be found in the BIA Tribal Leaders Directory. (See, http://www.bia.gov/cs/groups/public/documents/text/idc002652.pdf.) At the very minimum, the social worker should have provided notice to the Native Alaskan Entities through the BIA, if not to the individual tribal entities.[5]

And, in case you were wondering what that footnote five is all about, it’s worth posting as well:

[5] By way of a letter, DPSS requests that we identify the specific Native American entity to which notice should be provided. We have identified four entities listed in the Federal Register in our opinion, whose names comprise a form of the words “Innuit” or “Inuk.” We also recommended contact with the BIA. However, the duty to identity and locate the appropriate Native American entity is more appropriately borne by the DPSS working with the court.


This entry was posted in Author: Kate E. Fort, Child Welfare, ICWA and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Unpublished Notice Case in California Regarding Alaska Native Villages

  1. Lloyd B. Miller says:

    great decision; thanks for posting.

    Lloyd B. Miller Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Miller & Munson, LLP 900 West Fifth Avenue, Suite 700 Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907)258-6377 Facsimile: (907)272-8332 E-Mail: lloyd@sonosky.net

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