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Support Info: If you are a Survivor and need emotional support, a national crisis line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week: Residential School Survivor Support Line: 1-866-925-4419. Additional Health Support Information: Emotional, cultural, and professional support services are also available to Survivors and their families through the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program. Services can be accessed on an individual, family, or group basis.” These & regional support phone numbers are found at https://nctr.ca/contact/survivors/ .
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Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Religion and Assimilation
Photo by Charles R. Savage/LDS Church History Collection
D. MacArthur is seen here baptizing Paiute Indians in a stream near St.
George, Utah. Augustus P. Hardy is shown standing on the bank.
note: This is the second in a three-part series about the Indian
Student Placement Program, a foster-care and education program for
Native youths administered by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints between 1947 and 2000.
Veronica Wallace pressed her face against the bus window and stared into the darkness.
At 13, Wallace was en route from her home in Shawnee, Oklahoma, to
Lakewood, Colorado, to live with a family she’d never met. The bus cut
across the darkened countryside during the wee hours of the August
morning as its passengers slept, talked quietly, listened to Motown
music or cried, Wallace says.
“It was a very lonely, very sad trip. It was 2 or 3 in the morning, and I had no idea where I was going.”
It was 1970 and Wallace, who is Sac & Fox, had agreed to spend
the next nine months in the Indian Student Placement Program. Run by the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the program matched Native
youths with white Mormon host families who took care of them during the
school year and returned them to their reservations for the summer.
For the half-century the program was in operation (from 1947 to
2000), an estimated 40,000 Native youths from 60 tribes left their homes
in favor of a better education and a brighter future. But the program
had a secondary goal: bringing Indian students in contact with the
morals and cultural practices of the Mormon Church.
Wallace, who was baptized as a Mormon at age 8, was accustomed to the
principles of the church, which is known for its high moral standards
and emphasis on the family. When her host parents welcomed the “little
Indian girl” into their home, Wallace readily adopted this second
Cultural and religious clashes were inevitable, however, Wallace
says. Her birth parents divorced when she was young and a grandmother
raised her, introduced her to the church and encouraged her to go on the
placement program. During a visit to Colorado, Wallace’s birth mother
sat in the host family’s house and smoked a cigarette.
“That was bad,” Wallace says. “Her lifestyle was not keeping with the standards, and so I knew I had to choose.”
Wallace’s choice, though difficult, was common for placement
students. The program, founded on principles of assimilation, forced
some students to choose between birth parents and foster families, and
between Native tradition and the church’s “higher law.” And the stakes
were high: students who failed to meet the church’s standards were sent
The religious organizations that operated the schools — the Anglican Church of Canada, Presbyterian Church in Canada, United Church of Canada, Jesuits of English Canada and some Catholic groups — in 2015 expressed regret for the “well-documented” abuses. The Catholic Church has never offered an official apology, something that Trudeau and others have repeatedly called for.
Almost 7000 bodies found and not one member of the church has been arrested. The names are out there. The church must be held accountable. #NeverForget#EveryChildMatters
The Justice Department is protecting the names of many perpetrators of abuse of Indigenous children. We need a special independent prosecutor who can force the government and church to turn over the documents. There can be no reconciliation without justice.@MumilaaqQaqqaqpic.twitter.com/5TL6OxKM5O
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.
Did you know?
Did you know?
New York’s 40-year battle for OBC access ended when on January 15 2020, OBCs were opened to ALL New York adoptees upon request without restriction. In only three days, over 3,600 adoptees filed for their record of birth. The bill that unsealed records was passed 196-12.
According to the 2020 Census, 3.6% of Colorado's population is American Indian or Alaska Native, at least in part, with the descendants of at least 200 tribal nations living in the Denver metro area.
Diane Tells His Name
Lost Birds on Al Jazeera Fault Lines
click to read and listen about Trace, Diane, Julie and Suzie
As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.” The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.
Original Birth Certificate Map in the USA
Why tribes do not recommend the DNA swab
Rebecca Tallbear entitled: “DNA, Blood, and Racializing the Tribe”, bearing out what I only inferred:
Detailed discussion of the Bering Strait theory and other scientific theories about the population of the modern-day Americas is beyond the scope of this essay. However, it should be noted that Indian people have expressed suspicion that DNA analysis is a tool that scientists will use to support theories about the origins of tribal people that contradict tribal oral histories and origin stories. Perhaps more important,the alternative origin stories of scientists are seen as intending to weaken tribal land and other legal claims (and even diminish a history of colonialism?) that are supported in U.S. federal and tribal law. As genetic evidence has already been used to resolve land conflicts in Asian and Eastern European countries, this is not an unfounded fear.
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