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Friday, March 6, 2015

Breaking News for Tribes in South Dakota #NativeLivesMatter #ICWA

Native Lives Matter report cover

Support for Lakota children and families is building. After years of working to get national attention on these serious problems, all of the work we have done together is bearing fruit! Here is a quick update on exciting national developments.
We are not only on the right path, we are gaining momentum. Our "Free the Lakota Children" petition to Obama just clicked over 50,000 signatures. We are in close contact with officials in the U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Interior, and we will foray the petition to further leverage the discussion around federal planning support for the South Dakota tribes. With each signature, our combined voice gets louder and harder to ignore. Please sign, share, and encourage at least one of your friends to sign the petition: Let’s go from 50,000 signatures to 100,000 as fast as we can!
Native Lives Matter: Two recent incidents in Rapid City inflamed the Indian community. First, the police shot and killed an Indian man in his home doorway because he had a small parring knife in his hand. No justice was forthcoming. Second, fifty-four Native honor roll kids between eight and twelve years of age were taken to a hockey game as a reward for all their hard work. In a VIP box above them, the people started pouring beer on the kids, saying “go back to the res” and other slurs. As this got worse, the teachers took the kids, who were being emotionally traumatized, out of the stadium. No justice was forthcoming.
Following these incidents, the Lakota People’s Law Project released a fifteen page report, “Native Lives Matter”, detailing the unequal treatment of Native Americans by the national criminal justice system. The release paralleled a passionate march, led by Lakota People’s Law Project Attorney Chase Iron Eyes, who has spearheaded the Native Lives Matter movement that is gathering momentum in Rapid City, South Dakota. “This fact-based report unequivocally shows that at best the institutions in South Dakota are culturally biased, at worst they are blatantly racist and bent on perpetuating a slow genocide,” said Chase Iron Eyes. “The recent anecdotal incidents along with the statistics presented in this report demonstrate that racism against Native Americans is palpable. It will not go anywhere unless we unite as a people and stand together against it.”

Updated ICWA Guidelines: On February 24, Kevin Washburn and the Bureau of Indian Affairs released new guidelines for the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) to ensure that the rights of Native American families and children are met. Some of these guidelines, among many others, include:
State courts and agencies must ask in every child custody proceeding whether ICWA applies
• Courts should follow ICWA procedures even when the Indian child is not removed from the home in order to allow tribes to intervene as early as possible to assist in preventing a breakup of the family
• Information on how to contact a tribe
• Notice is required for each proceeding in a child custody case, and tribes have the right to intervene at any time
For the entire updated guidelines to ICWA, please go to:
We applaud these guidelines, and we know they will help many people in Indian country. We and our tribal allies, however, have stopped hoping that South Dakota will ever follow the ICWA and are working on “Moving the Money” from the state to the tribes for Child and Family Services.

Although Attorney General Marty Jackley has publicly stated that he was not connected to the Mette case, Black states, "For Jackley to say that he was not involved in the decision making process with respect to my investigation is ludicrous."
Black states that, "I will not pretend to have any solutions to correct the plight of Native American children in the South Dakota Justice system, I will say, it is obvious that changes need to be made now and that the Federal Indian Child Welfare Act needs to be readdressed by the U.S. Congress."
For the entire interview, go to:
We do have the solution: Create foster care for Lakota, by Lakota. The corruption will not stop until this solution is realized! We have been working daily with the Department of Justice since our delegation returned from their trip to Washington DC in December. Please help us if you can by donating to keep the work moving forward. Our Lakota staff and the five remaining tribes are depending on your compassionate heart.
Blessings and thanks to all who watch over these efforts.
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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

Help in available!

Help in available!
1-844-7NATIVE (click photo)

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Diane Tells His Name

Please support NARF

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.

Indian Country is under attack. We need you. Please join the ranks of Modern Day Warriors. Please donate today to help Native people protect their rights.

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.