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U.T. Austin students speak out to defend Indian Child Welfare Act

By staff

Austin SDS action in defense of Indian Child Welfare Act.

Austin, TX – On Wednesday, March 22, members of Austin Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) gathered on a busy street, Speedway, on the University of Texas-Austin campus to speak out against the judicial attack on the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

SDS members chanted, “When indigenous rights are under attack. What do we do? Stand up, fight back!” and “Defend indigenous sovereignty! Defend ICWA!” SDS also passed out fliers and gave speeches about how repealing ICWA would hurt thousands and further erode indigenous sovereignty.

Students also connected this to an ongoing struggle at UT to return stolen ancestral remains currently being held by the university in a warehouse. SDS member Jake Holtzman said in his speech, “These attacks on indigenous rights and sovereignty are not only happening at the federal level. They are also happening locally, right here at UT. The university has been holding stolen ancestral remains and is refusing to give them back to the people of the Miakan Garza Band, who requested that UT return the remains over four years ago. Students and community members are continuing to organize around this to demand that the remains be returned!”

In another speech, SDS member Jules Lattimore said, “This blatant attack on indigenous sovereignty is not an isolated incident, however. In 2022, the unelected Supreme Court ruled in Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta that the state of Oklahoma can prosecute non-indigenous criminals who committed crimes against indigenous people on indigenous land.”

#AustinTX #StudentsForADemocraticSocietySDS #IndianChildWelfareAct