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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Diane Tells His Name on NPR #NDN #Adoption

NPR StoryCorps on American Indian Adoption

by Matthew L.M. Fletcher
Listen Here.
Transcript:
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And it's time now for StoryCorps, the project recording the stories of everyday Americans. And today, we're going to hear from Diane Tells His Name. She's a Lakota Indian. Growing up, she never knew anything about her heritage. She was adopted when she was a baby. And at StoryCorps, her daughter, Bonnie Buchanan, asks Diane about her childhood.
BONNIE BUCHANAN: When did you first feel like you were different?
DIANE TELLS HIS NAME: Probably elementary school. I had a younger sister, and I really didn't like doing the same things that she would do. She would do tea parties and play with dolls and things like that, and I was outside looking at the clouds and the stars. And my sister was blond, tall and thin like my mother, and I was round and brown.
(LAUGHTER)
NAME: I remember going through the family albums, looking for my face in the old photographs, and I didn't see me. And eventually, when I was 37 years old, I happened to see a picture of my mom in October of 1951 - and it shocked me, because I was born in November of 1951 - and my mother was not pregnant. So that's when I knew that I was adopted.
BUCHANAN: How did you feel?
NAME: It was very satisfying to know that I wasn't crazy. I didn't blame them. I wasn't angry with them. In 1951, you just didn't talk about those things. So when I got my original birth certificate, it said on there my birth mother's name, and it said that she was born at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
So I went to South Dakota to receive my Indian name and get a crash course in how to be Indian. After that, my husband and I told Indian Family Services we wanted to adopt a child from my tribe, a Lakota child. And, finally, they faxed us a picture of a little Indian child, and she was drinking chocolate syrup out of a Hershey's bottle. And our son said, that's her. That's the one we need to adopt. And it was you.
I started doing research on your family, and when I started looking at your family tree, I saw one of my relatives on your paper. So we are cousins. I thought that was just - that was amazing. I'm glad you're my baby.
BUCHANAN: I know. I'm glad you adopted me.
NAME: I am, too. It's like our whole family was just planned out so that it would be best for all of us.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: You can take a moment to collect yourself. That's Bonnie Buchanan with her mom, Diane Tells His Name, at StoryCorps in San Francisco. Their story will be archived with thousands of others at the Library of Congress. The podcast is at npr.org. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
I am so happy that Diane was able to record her story with her daughter. She is a contributor in the new anthology TWO WORLDS: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects.  Her photo is on the cover, next to the book title. I am blessed to call her my relative and friend! ...Trace

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Takeaway Podcast ICWA

What our Nations are up against!

What our Nations are up against!
Survivors, write your stories. Write your parents stories. Write the elders stories. Do not be swayed by the colonizers to keep quiet. Tribal Nations have their own way of keeping stories alive.... Trace

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Diane Tells His Name

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Indian Country is under attack. Native tribes and people are fighting hard for justice. There is need for legal assistance across Indian Country, and NARF is doing as much as we can. With your help, we have fought for 48 years and we continue to fight.

It is hard to understand the extent of the attacks on Indian Country. We are sending a short series of emails this month with a few examples of attacks that are happening across Indian Country and how we are standing firm for justice.

Today, we look at recent effort to undo laws put in place to protect Native American children and families. All children deserve to be raised by loving families and communities. In the 1970s, Congress realized that state agencies and courts were disproportionately removing American Indian and Alaska Native children from their families. Often these devastating removals were due to an inability or unwillingness to understand Native cultures, where family is defined broadly and raising children is a shared responsibility. To stop these destructive practices, Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

After forty years, ICWA has proven to be largely successful and many states have passed their own ICWAs. This success, however, is now being challenged by large, well-financed opponents who are actively and aggressively seeking to undermine ICWA’s protections for Native children. We are seeing lawsuits across the United States that challenge ICWA’s protections. NARF is working with partners to defend the rights of Native children and families.

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where were you adopted?

where were you adopted?

To Veronica Brown

Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.