Source: (2006) In, Ross, Jeffrey Ian and Gould, Larry, editors, Native Americans and the Criminal Justice System, Paradigm Publisher, Boulder, London. pp.103-116

Congress enacted the Indian Child Welfare Act in 1978 in response to the gross inequities that Native Americans have endured since Europeans first arrived on this continent. The explicit purpose of this act was to establish minimum federal standards for the removal of Native American children from their families to protect the best interests of children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families. Any meaningful discourse on the enactment and implementation of the Indian Childe Welfare Act of1978 must be preceded by a discussion of the impact of institutionalized assimilation efforts on Native American tribes and their people. Indeed, it was the deliberate, widespread breakup of Native American families through oppressive governmental policies that ultimately prompted the enactment of this federal remedial policy in an attempt to prevent the further destruction of Native American families, communities, and tribes. (excerpt)