The Voice of the Indian Child: Strengthening the Indian Child Welfare Act Through Children’s Participation

This Article explores the potential benefits and challenges of giving more prominence to the voice of the Indian child in ICWA proceedings, a topic that has received scant attention from scholars and courts. The Act itself authorizes the appointment of counsel for children and provides that state courts may consider the child’s wishes as to placement. Moreover, international law and the laws of many Indian tribes within the United States recognize the child’s right of participation. By including the perspectives of Indian children in the judicial calculus, state courts could affirm the dignity of each child through more individuated decision-making.