The Indian Child Welfare Act gives the tribes the power to determine the placement of Indian children. American I;Indian tribes are semi-sovereign entities which retain the power to control their internal affairs and are not constrained by the Constitution. In making child welfare determinations tribes engage in practices which in other cases would be unconstitutional: they apply group rights to trump parental interests and they determine tribal membership on the basis of criteria which are arguably racial. The Act reveals the irresolvable conflict between tribal norms and concepts of identity and those found in American liberalism
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