From The Hill Congress Blog:
Prior to the passage of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in 1978, it had become apparent that Native American children were systematically being taken from their homes and either put up for adoption or placed in foster care. The rate at which Native American children were taken was especially alarming to tribal nations that depend on their youth to preserve a truly unique heritage. Further, the disproportionate rate of these separations raised suspicions that they were based less in decisions about the well-being of children and perhaps more about separating youth from their tribal culture. In a repeat of the forced boarding school era, tribal nations were once again being told that to save their children, they had to be removed from their communities and cultures.