Expands protections & retains tribal connections for Native children in the welfare system 

Santa Fe, N.M. – Today, the New Mexico House of Representatives passed new legislation expanding and codifying protections for Native American children in the state’s child welfare system. 

Sponsored by Rep. Georgene Louis (D-Albuquerque), House Bill 209 creates the State Indian Child Welfare Act (SICWA), establishing a New Mexico version of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).  

Established in 1978 in response to overwhelmingly high numbers of Native American children being forcibly removed from their families and tribal communities nationwide, ICWA establishes standards of protection for Native American families in the child welfare system. It aims to “protect the best interests of Indian children and promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families.” 

“Creating a state version of the ICWA guarantees that Native children in New Mexico’s child welfare system will continue to be safeguarded by the protections in the Act, no matter what might happen at the federal level,” said Rep. Louis. “Based on input from local ICWA workers, tribal leaders, New Mexico’s Children, Youth and Families Department, advocates, and impacted communities, we’ve also expanded our state Act to provide further protections and to recognize and honor the traditions and cultures of New Mexico’s 23 tribes, nations, and pueblos.”  

There is a long and dark history in New Mexico of Native children being removed from their families that continues today with current policy that overlooks the cultural significance of maintaining tribal family ties. Crafted with substantial input by the New Mexico Tribal Indian Child Welfare Consortium which was formed in 2015 to address this issue, House Bill 209 is significant in its inclusion of Native voices to address a uniquely Native issue.  

HB 209 passed the House with 53-15 vote, and will now advance to the Senate for consideration.  

Members of the public can track legislation on the New Mexico Legislature website, access committee meetings and House floor sessions via the Webcasts tab, or participate by Zoom to provide public comment on committee hearings. During the 2021 Legislative Session, the House of Representatives is focused on passing critical legislation while protecting the health and safety of the public, the staff, and the legislators.  

 - NMDP

  

Submitting to the Beat

Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at https://www.grantcountybeat.com/about/submissions. They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as for the editor.

Advertising: Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ads on the Beat.

Classifieds: We have changed Classifieds to a cheaper and shorter option. Check periodically to see if any new ones have popped up. The former software failed us, so it's just a category now, with prices posted. Send your information to editor@grantcountybeat.com and we will post it as soon as we can. Instructions and prices are on the page.

Editor's Notes

Please Note in Classifieds a dog looking for a home. And now a well-loved cat is looking for a home.

Here for YOU: Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News. Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—www.grantcountybeat.com

Feel free to notify editor@grantcountybeat.com if you notice any technical problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.  The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  

Compliance: Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised. 

Content on the Beat

WARNING: All articles and photos with a byline or photo credit are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Disclaimer: If you find errors in articles not written by the Beat team but sent to us from other content providers, please contact the writer, not the Beat. For example, obituaries are always provided by the funeral home or a family member. We can fix errors, but please give details on where the error is so we can find it. News releases from government and non-profit entities are posted generally without change, except for legal notices, which incur a small charge.

NOTE: If an article does not have a byline, it was written by someone not affiliated with the Beat and then sent to the Beat for posting.

Images: We have received complaints about large images blocking parts of other articles. If you encounter this problem, click on the title of the article you want to read and it will take you to that article's page, which shows only that article without any intruders. 

New Columnists: The Beat continues to bring you new columnists. And check out the old faithfuls who continue to provide content.

  • The Beat has a column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues.

Newsletter: If you opt in to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option at the top of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Go to Top