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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New Scholarship on Removals of Indian Children from their Homes #BabyVeronica #Colonization

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Alyosha Goldstein has posted “Possessive Investment: Indian Removals and the Affective Entitlements of Whiteness,” published in the American Quarterly, on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
In 2013 the US Supreme Court effectively granted custody of an almost four-year-old child to adoptive white parents over the opposition of her Cherokee birth father and the Cherokee Nation in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl (the “Baby Veronica” case). This essay examines the Court ruling, and the protracted custody and jurisdictional struggles in its wake, in order to show how whiteness in the US has been historically constituted not only as a form of property but also as the capacity to possess. Against the perspective that colonialism persists in the US only insofar as indigeneity remains legible as racial difference, this essay focuses on how Adoptive Couple served as a means of reasserting white heteronormative rights to possess and to deny culpability for the ongoing conditions and consequences of colonization and multiple forms of racial violence in the present.
The statements by Alito and the adoptive couple’s attorney are reminiscent of efforts by US policymakers and federal agencies to deny or subordinate the political
terms of indigenous sovereignty and reject historical treaty rights by subsuming
American Indians as racialized “minority” citizens.8
It is also significant for characterizing the separation and custody battle between Maldonado and Brown as a conflict between a woman of color and a man with suspect racial claims, since Brown’s Cherokee citizenship was often depicted in the media as questionable. For instance, National Public Radio’s report on the case began by stating, “Christy Maldonado’s ethnic background is Hispanic” and, in the next sentence, merely that Brown “considers himself Cherokee.”10 The question of ethnicity and race was displaced onto and emphasized in the dispute between Maldonado and Brown in such a way as to exonerate the adoptive couple and authorize their claims as altogether unencumbered by race.

I have the paper so if anyone in reading the entire article, please email me...It's definitely worth a read...It took time but this analysis of colonizers and race is spot-on. ...larahentz@yahoo.com.

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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.