In Oliver N. v. State, Department of Health & Social Services, the supreme court held new federal regulations issued by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) materially changed the qualifications required of an expert testifying in a child in need of aid case under the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). The BIA issued formal regulations in December 2016 to ensure consistency in the application of ICWA. The regulations required experts that could formerly qualify to give testimony about cultural and social standards in a tribe to also be qualified to testify about the causal relationship between the child’s conditions and the likelihood those conditions would result in serious emotional or physical damage. Two parents separately appealed orders terminating parental rights under the new regulations, arguing that the expert witnesses at their respective trials were not qualified to testify as witnesses about whether returning to the parent’s care would result in serious harm to their children. Both expert witnesses were qualified to testify about tribal customs and values. The supreme court reversed the orders, finding that under the new regulations, neither expert witness qualified under ICWA. The court reasoned the requirements of the new regulations apply to experts on tribal customs if they are the only expert to testify in the case. Because the experts in the consolidated orders were the only experts to testify, they were required to have sufficient expertise to testify whether returning the child to the parent’s care would be likely to result in serious emotional or physical damage. The supreme court held they did not have sufficient expertise as required by the new federal regulations and reversed the order terminating parental rights.
 444 P.3d 171 (Alaska 2019).