Virtual Faculty Speaker Event hosted by Smith College

Saturday, April 1st, 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Alice Hearst, Professor of Government 


We are excited to invite you to join the Virtual Faculty Speaker event on April 1st hosted by Professor Alice Hearst, Professor of Government at Smith College.  


The event is free and open to all but you will need to register if you would like to attend: Zoom Registration Link


Topic of discussion: Understanding Indigenous Sovereignty and Child Placement in the United States

Professor Hearst’s talk looks at the Indian Child Welfare Act in the United States which gives tribes, as sovereign entities, the authority to make adoptive and foster care placements of children who are, or are eligible to be, members of a tribe.  Where tribal fora are not available, the Act says that state courts must place children with their extended families, tribes or any other Indian family prior to placing a child with non-Indian foster or adoptive parents.  The constitutionality of the Act is now being challenged in a case heard by the Supreme Court in November.  The ruling in that case, which asks, among other things, to declare that tribal membership is merely a racial category, has the potential to dramatically undermine tribal sovereignty in a broad range of issue areas beyond child welfare


Alice Hearst, Professor of Government 

Alice Hearst holds a JD from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. from Cornell University.  Her first research project looked at the emergence of a constitutional right to privacy in matters relating to family and intimate relations, covering a broad range of topics from the rights of unmarried parents to parental control over children's education to abortion to the rights of same-sex couples to recognition and protection. She is now reviving and expanding that project in light of the Supreme Court's recent decision overturning Roe v. Wade.   She is the author of Children and the Politics of Cultural Belonging from Cambridge University Press, which focused on the intersections of foster care/adoption and cultural identity.  Her recent work examines the global migration of norms about child welfare and she is currently inquiring into how the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples affects the movement of children of indigenous communities in foster care and adoption at national levels. 


Virtual Faculty Speaker Event hosted by Smith College

When: Saturday, April 1, 2023 |  2:00 - 3:15 PM ET

The event is free and open to all but you will need to register if you would like to attend:

Zoom Registration Link