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Student Research Guide: Winter 2022 - Child Welfare act of 1978: Home

by Alissa Edge

Introduction to the Indian Child Welfare act

Trigger Warning Contains Racial Violence

In the year 1978 protesters celebrated after Congress enacted the Indian Child Welfare Act. This Law allowed for tribal nations to keep their children, culture, and traditions alive. What many people are starting to figure out is the history and stories behind the act. The history I will say is where the trigger warning comes into play. The history behind the act is only coming to light today and you can see it in news articles from almost every state there was a boarding school. The stories of both the boarding schools and Native American children in foster care can carry the same weight and that is why the Indian Child Welfare act comes into play. But while it was created to stop the cultural assimilation of Native American children, what you might find out is the problems this act caused between the state and tribal governments.


While this image is not completely related to the topic I added to help the missing indigenous women and children. But as well it can help those who have not found their home from the foster care and adoption systems.

Keywords for searching the topic

Keywords used for this research:

  • Indian Child Welfare Act
  • Indigenous
  • Boarding schools
  • Tribes
  • Foster Care
  • Mental health 
  • Transracial Adoption
  • Indigenous Rights

Best Databases/Search Engines

Start Your Research Here

Ewen, A. & Wolluck, J. (2014) Indian Child Welfare Act, Encyclopedia of American Indian in the Twentieth Century, Facts on File Credo Reference: 

This encyclopedia reference describes the origin of the Indian child welfare act. It shows the history behind how Indian children were taken from reservations. How both the assimilation and termination era of Indian children. It shows an insight into how the children of reservations were taken and placed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Mormon church. I choose this for my background research because it shows the history behind the Indian Child Welfare Act. It goes into some detail of why the act was created in itself and gives a good timeline of what was happening. 


Chronology: Key events in the history of transracial adoption. (2011). Retrieved February 22, 2022 from

This source is a timeline of how transracial adoption started out in the United States. It shows the policies put in place for African American and Native American children in foster care as well as adoptions. The timeline is a great representation of the different periods of the adoption system in the United States. I choose this timeline because it gives a concise and to-the-point summary of what happened during which period of history. The reason I choose this source is that it is concise and to the point. It does not show anything other than the facts behind transracial adoption. Another reason I choose this source is because it gives more than one race. Allowing for there to be a diverse amount of information not just for my topic but another one as well.

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