Indigenous Justice


The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a non-profit and non-partisan organization fighting government abuse and vigorously defends individual freedoms, including but not limited to speech and religion, a woman's right to choose, the right to due process, and citizens' rights to privacy. 

The HAND Foundation's recent grant to the ACLU is committed to defending the rights of American Indians and tribes to be free from discrimination and governmental abuse of power, whether the government is federal, state, or tribal.

American Indian tribes have long suffered from discrimination and injustice at the hands of the government since the country's founding. Yet, contemporary civil rights discussions all too often ignore the rights of American Indians. American Indian communities are among the most impoverished in the nation. The stigma of past discrimination regularly rears its head in the spheres of public health, education, and juvenile justice.

The ACLU has filed class-action lawsuits challenging discrimination against American Indian families in education, voting, and the child welfare system. In particular, in 2013 the ACLU used the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) to challenge pervasive discrimination and the lack of due process afforded to American Indian families in emergency child custody proceedings.