The Care Advocacy project
OILS recognizes that children are one of the most important resources available to Indian tribes. As such, OILS works to provide assistance to Indian children who are subjects in court proceedings. OILS does this by serving as Guardians Ad Litem or Attorneys Ad Litem in Tribal, State and Federal courts in Oklahoma. The cases involving children range from deprived actions, where children are removed by the state from their parents, to guardianships and adoptions. It is the goal of OILS that any Indian child in a court proceedings should be provided with legal counsel.
However, OILS cannot serve all the children who need assistance. To that end, OILS has partnered with the American Bar Association’s Child Custody and Adoption Pro Bono Project to present standards and education regarding children’s representation in tribal courts. As a result of this partnership, OILS conducts trainings on the ABA standards for representation in divorce, guardianship and adoption cases as they relate to Indian children. These standards offer guidelines to assist the attorney in proper representation of children and help to insure that the child is provided with the finest legal protection available. CAP seeks to train attorneys in the guidelines, and to make sure that tribal courts are aware of the standards and use them when children are involved.
OILS can come to your tribal court system explain the ABA standards and their benefits in cases involving children. If you are a tribal court judge and are interested in training, or if you would like your court to participate in the Care Advocacy Project, contact Stephanie Hudson at firstname.lastname@example.org.