LANSING—Sen. Judy Emmons recently joined Gov. Rick Snyder at the Michigan Capitol as the governor signed into law her legislation to make it easier for local judges to follow and apply state law concerning Indian child welfare.
“The Michigan Indian Family Protection Act is about creating more consistency within the state in how Indian tribes and children are treated,” said Emmons, R- Sheridan. “A uniform set of guidelines will help clear up many of the misconceptions and ensure that everyone has the proper tools to preserve the tribe’s most precious resource: the family. By signing this legislation, the governor is helping to ensure tribal sovereignty by giving tribal courts jurisdiction over Indian children and to set procedures in place for the welfare of every child.”
Emmons’ bill, now Public Act 565 of 2012, codifies the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) into state law and gives a direct link to state child welfare professionals – providing clarity and consistency to areas where the ICWA does not provide adequate explanation or instruction.
Editor’s Note: The above photograph of Emmons and Gov. Snyder is available by visiting the senator’s website at www.SenatorJudyEmmons.com. Click on the Photowire tab.