By Trisha Ahmed THE ASSOCIATED PRESS North Dakota’s Republican Gov. Doug Burgum has signed a bill into law to protect tribal cultures by codifying the federal Indian Child Welfare Act into state law, Burgum’s office announced Monday. The federal Indian Child Welfare Act, enacted in 1978, gives preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings of Native children. Also known by the acronym ICWA, it was created in response to the alarming rate at which Native American and Alaska Native children were taken from their homes by public and private agencies. Several other states, including Montana, Wyoming and Utah, have considered codifying the act this year, as the U.S. Supreme Court considers a challenge to the federal law. A handful of white families have claimed the law
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