Source: Native News Network
SALLISAW, OKLAHOMA – It was one of those things that should have never happened. Here was an award-winning member of the Oklahoma National Guard who fought for the United States in Iraq getting a mug shot after his arrest for not complying with a South Carolina family court order to turn over his biological daughter, Veronica.
Dusten Brown after his arrest for being Veronica Brown’s father
Here was another American Indian father being penalized for wanting to raise his own child. History is full of American Indian children being taken away. So much so, the US Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act in 1978 to allow more tribal input into American Indian adoptions.
Somehow the US Supreme Court decided by a close vote – five to four – that the Indian Child Welfare Act was misapplied by the South Carolina Supreme Court. The US Supreme Court remanded the case back to the South Carolina high court, who basically punted it back to the South Carolina family court.
So, once again an American Indian parent loses in court. Go figure. No, it should have never come to this.
What is more incredible, a warrant was issued in South Carolina because Veronica was not turned over “immediately” as stipulated by the family court in South Carolina. Dusten Brown was at a mandatory training by the Oklahoma National Guard in Johnston, Iowa.
Most legal experts agree, according to Oklahoma state law, Brown has until August 23 to respond to the South Carolina family court.
So, no it should have never come to this – a soldier being arrested for wanting to raise his own daughter. It should have never come to this – another American Indian losing out on the ability to raise his own child.
The mug shot should have never been taken.
But, it was and we choose it as our Photo of the Week as a reminder American Indians still have a long way to go to gain parity in these United States.
The Native News Network’s prayers are with the Dusten Brown, Veronica, and his entire family.