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Tribes protest custody ruling

Tribes protest custody ruling

FORT HALL, Idaho - The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes are protesting the decision of the tribal court in a child custody case.

A tribal member had a child while incarcerated, and a non-native family in Shelley took her in. Shortly after that, an extended family member found out about the child, and he wanted custody.

Her family has had her for about a year, but that changed Tuesday. The Shelley family petitioned the tribal court for custody. A judge agreed and ordered the child back to them.

Tribal members were picketing outside the Tribal Justice Center on Wednesday.

"It is stressed in the law code that our Indian children should be placed with Indian families," said Randy'L Teton, public affairs manager for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. "We are in support of a peaceful rally because of the concerns of having our children with nontribal families."

This happened while the native family was in the process of legally adopting the child.

A similar situation grabbed national attention earlier this year in the custody battle for baby Veronica. In that case, the child's father was enrolled in the Cherokee Nation and protested after she was adopted by a non-Native American family.

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