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Friday, February 24, 2017

Grandma Regina Among 47 Arrested at Oceti Sakowin Camp at Standing Rock: "This is a Fight for Survival."

1973 Wounded Knee veteran Regina Brave arrested yesterday standing up for Standing Rock
Published February 24, 2017

CANNON BALL, NORTH DAKOTA – Regina Brave, affectionately known to many as “Grandma Regina,” was among those arrested on Thursday as the militarized police swept the Oceti Sakowin
encampment of occupants. Since the 2pm evacuation deadline on Wednesday, there have been 47 arrests made according to the Morton County Sheriff Department.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

South Dakota again? ACLU Fight for #ICWA

Stephen Pevar: “In South Dakota, Officials Defied a Federal Judge and Took Indian Kids Away From Their Parents in Rigged Proceedings”

Here, from ACLU’s Speak Freely blog.

"We will not stand idly by" #ICWA

Petition Granted: Gila River Indian Community Will Argue before Arizona Supreme Court to Protect Indian Children

Gila River Governor Stephen R. Lewis

SACATON, ARIZONA – The Arizona Supreme Court has granted the petition for review filed by attorneys for the Gila River Indian Community, giving the Community the opportunity to argue before the state’s highest court in a controversial case involving the future of a Native American child at risk of being permanently removed from her Community.

The case will be the first of its kind argued before the Arizona Supreme Court focused on the transfer provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act. At its heart are determinations regarding the permanent custody of a Native American child, A.D., a 2-year-old born to a Gila River Indian Community mother who lived on the Gila River Indian Reservation for most of her life. After A.D.’s off-Reservation birth, she was placed into the State of Arizona foster care system. The Community sought transfer of the state court case to its Children’s Court under the Indian Child Welfare Act, but its motion was denied and the Community appealed.

In their petition to the state Supreme Court, attorneys for the Community argue that A.D.’s case is significant to Arizona’s Indian tribes and tribal families and that the Arizona Court of Appeals’ decision was contrary to the plain language of the Indian Child Welfare Act and would lead to “absurd and inconsistent results.”
“The Gila River Indian Community will do everything in our power to protect our Community members and their families, every Indian child and every Indian family,” said Gila River Governor. Stephen R. Lewis. “We will not stand idly by when our children are at risk of losing their tribal roots, their culture and their families, and when the Indian Child Welfare Act is at risk.”
“Since 1978, ICWA and the tribal court system have worked as intended to keep Indian families together. This landmark law should not be stripped of its key role in protecting our people.”
Attorneys for the Community and the State have 20 days to file supplemental briefs with the state Supreme Court, then the matter will be set for oral arguments.

Beauty Without Boundaries

Posted by Native Hope on Feb 16, 2017 
We are all examples of true beauty, yet we live in a culture that tells us differently. The society of today does everything it can to put us in a box, doing its best to contort us into its shallow definition of "ideal beauty." These unrealistic standards are completely one-dimensional, and they fail to encompass the wide variety of beauty that abounds in the human race.

Living in two worlds
American Indians often discuss the struggle of trying to live and thrive in two worlds: the world of their culture and ancestors and the one of a modern day civilization that is a melting pot of ideals, customs, and beliefs. When Indigenous people embrace their physical beauty and inner uniqueness, the conflict between these two worlds becomes even more apparent.

In a recent article titled "She's So Pale" that was posted on Native Appropriations, Adrienne Keene, a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, discusses the stereotypes that so often bombard Native Americans. She explains how so many people “think that Native identity is tied to looking like something off the side of a football helmet...they want to be able to categorize and move on. But Native identity isn’t just a racialized identity. Native identity is political. We are citizens of tribal nations. So we can’t just talk about our identities purely in racial terminology. There’s also a deep power issue here—who has the 'right,' especially as an outsider, to determine someone’s identity for them?”
qgroom.jpgAdrienne’s pale complexion has caused many to cast judgment and challenge her Native heritage. This fact alone exemplifies the danger of trusting our eyes to be the only valid source of truth. She is determined to make a difference and expose these obvious misconceptions, stating “instead of feeling ashamed, I’m trying now to turn the tables and think that I, instead, am the colonizer’s worst nightmare. Because history has tried to eradicate my people by violence and force, enacted every assimilating and acculturating policy against my ancestors, let me grow up in white suburbia, and erased all the visual vestiges of heritage from my face–but still tsi tsalagi (I am Cherokee)....fighting back against misrepresentations, through a keyboard and the internet.” 


Friday, February 17, 2017

Giving Voice to Adoptees

Dear Adoption, Do You Still Think You Own Me? I am the faceless girl—the head-banger from crib 22, biting her own wrists for hours on end, as she sat in a diaper overloaded with day-old shit. “Fail…
READ: Dear Adoption, Do You Still Think You Own Me?

Dear Adoption, You Aren’t Always Right Growing up, my adoption issues lived mostly in the confines of my own head. I was adopted domestically so most people had no clue my parents, siblings a…
READ: Dear Adoption, You Aren’t Always Right

Why does it take us adoptees years to see the injustice of this? What medically happens when we are taken from our mothers at birth – what cruelty is this for a newborn – how is it ever acceptable to do this to another human being? I do know. I was adopted.  ...Trace, Blog Editor

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Stolen Generations: Cultural impact of the Indian Adoption Project still felt today

  1. Listen The stolen childhoods of post-WWII Native children

    Feb 9, 2017
Kip Moon as a child
Kip Moon as a child 
In 1958 the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) created the Indian Adoption Project. Its clear goal was to take Native kids away from their biological parents.

That's according to Melissa Olson, a legal advocate for Native children.

"This was not an accident of history, it was a government program designed to save the government money and dismantle tribes. All under the guise of integrating Native children more fully into American society," Olson said in a documentary she produced exploring the cultural and historical impacts of forced adoption, titled "Stolen Childhoods."

When the BIA started the project it enlisted social workers to visit reservations and convince parents to sign away their parental rights. It was a way to assimilate these children into "civilization," Olson said. The government believed adoption was the best option for dealing with the Native children "problem."

"When you removed a child and put them in a non-Indian family, they wouldn't be getting to know other Indian people as they would in a boarding school, they would hopefully be raised in a middle-class family. And so the idea was that they would be fully assimilated, and at no cost to the government," said Margaret Jacobs, author of "A Generation Removed," a book on forced adoption.

The adoption project sold their idea to white families using advertisements asserting that to not adopt would be choosing to leave children with no chance of survival — as in their own families would not be able to provide and care for them so it was up to these white families to help, Jacobs said.

By the 1960s about one in four Native children were living apart from their families. During this era, social workers found more dubious ways of taking children from their mothers.

"One of the things I found that really shocked me was a form that the Bureau of Indian Affairs developed. It was called 'authorization for discharge of an infant,' something like to a person who's not a family member. So it doesn't say authorization to adopt, or anything like that. It says nothing about losing one's child, or giving up rights to one's child, or putting a child up for adoption," Jacobs said. "It's all this sort of legalistic language that I didn't understand either when I was reading it."

Many of these adopted children, now adults, struggle with memories from traumatic childhoods in abusive homes, while trying to figure out where they fit in as Natives in white communities. Olson followed a few of these people's stories in "Stolen Childhoods."

The documentary was produced at KFAI by Melissa Olson and Ryan Katz and edited by Todd Melby.
To listen to the documentary, click the link above.

When tribes step up, good things happen

Akwesasne Community Social Services Division Earns Top Ranking for Child Placement in State of New York

by Native News Online Staff
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Social Services Division has successfully placed all children under their custody into homes in the Akwesasne in 2015 thanks to the efforts of their Preventive/Foster Care Unit that includes: (front row, from left) Renee Massaro, Home Finder; Ella Fuller, Program Manager; and Heath Kuhn, Caseworker; (back row, from left) Shari Adams, Administrative Assistant; Jade White, Commissioner; Chloe Cebek, Caseworker; Stacee Loran, Caseworker; and Krystal Phillips, Caseworker
Published February 15, 2017
AKWESASNE — The community of Akwesasne has long been known for taking care of its own; whether it be supporting our elders, helping a family recover from a tragedy, dealing with the loss of a beloved one, or providing a welcoming home for a young child. Akwesasne is certainly one of the most caring and giving communities and figures released by the New York State’s Office of Children and Family Services for 2015 can back up that claim— the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Social Services Division exceeded statewide rates for placing children in least restrictive home environments.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment that our community can take immense pride in serving the best interests of our children,” said Social Services Commissioner Jade White. “The unconditional willingness to open their doors to welcome a child in need into their home is true testament to our Relative and Certified Foster Parent’s noble decisions to be involved with our child welfare system. We recognize that this honor would not have been made possible without the cooperation of our Preventive/Foster Care Unity and Foster Parents and we look forward to future collaborations.”
In a statewide-ranking of 60 county and tribal social services departments, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe ranked first in placing 100 percent of children into Relative Foster Care or Home-Based Care. The state average for placement in 2015 was 68.8 percent for Home-Based Care and a 28.08 percent for Relative Foster Care. Every child that was placed into the custody of the Tribe’s Social Services Division was welcomed into a safe, healthy and stable home environment in Akwesasne.
This is the first time in Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Social Services Division history that they have achieved the top ranking for placing children in Relative Foster Care or Home-Based Care. Much of the success in finding homes is due to the outreach they undertake throughout the year, which includes an Annual Foster Parent Recruitment Event in May during National Foster Care Awareness Month. They also participate in local events, such as the Annual Wellness Day that is attended by hundreds of community members where they encourage individuals to “Be a Super Hero” by choosing to be a foster parent to a deserving child.
“Foster parents and relatives play an essential role in providing temporary, safe, and nurturing homes to children when their parents are unable to care for them,” shared Preventive Foster Care Program Manager Ella Fuller. “The safety of the child is always a priority and considerable thought is given to finding the most suitable home environment, whether it be with other family members or foster parents who are looking to adopt. Our goal is to help bring families together.”
If you want to learn more or are interesting in becoming a part of the Foster Care Program, please call the Social Services Division at (518) 358-2728.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Meet Kelly Ironstand

Teaching Early Years from a First Nations Perspective

Reclaiming language and culture is reclaiming the spirit of First Nations.
Kelly Ironstand – Early Years Teacher

Kelly Ironstand, nursery and kindergarten teacher, strongly believes in this maxim.

A visit to her classroom at the Chief Clifford Lynxleg Anishinabe School, in the Tootinaowaziibeeng First Nation, reveals various aspects of First Nations language and culture.

From her hand made rabbit traps, life-size teepee and furniture, to her collection of animal bones used for hunting, Kelly’s students are learning the traditional way of life; and they love it.

Even at this age level, the students are taught how to make animal traps so that they can develop an appreciation and respect for the land, in keeping with First Nations practices. You might even find them making bannock and rabbit stew for lunch, on any given day.

“The children need to get a good grasp of their culture at this level, because they need to know who they are,” says Ironstand.

As someone who attended residential school as a child,  she understands the personal conflicts that many First Nations people deal with when they lose that connection to their culture.

“I don’t want them to feel like how I did as an adult,” she explains. “I don’t want them to feel lost. I want them to know who they are and where they came from.”

Ironstand also believes in developing strong relationships within the community. Because of the busy schedules of some parents, it’s sometimes difficult for them to attend meetings at the school. On Report Card day, Ironstand gives parents the option of scheduling home visits to discuss their children’s progress.

She appreciates the the services offered by Early Learning facilitators at the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre (MFNERC) especially opportunities for professional development like the recently concluded Early Learning conference.

Kelly Ironstand is just one of many amazing teachers helping students to develop a First Nations identity. MFNERC is pleased to be working along with these educators.

Learn more about Kelly Ironstand in this video. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Still #Adoption Warriors

Archive photo
By Trace Hentz  (Blog Editor)

Hi everyone. Huge thanks for visiting this blog and reading this blog.  In case you don't know, I started this blog back in Dec. 2009.  I didn't know what I was doing but I had the notion to find more adoptees like me. Well, well, well... it worked.

Even in 2005 when I was writing and doing research for my memoir ONE SMALL SACRIFICE, I had no idea how many adoptees there are or were... not exactly easy to find out. There could be up to 7 million in the US right now, maybe even more.  That's not counting our relatives in Canada.

Along the way I found others who were blogging their experiences, like Von Coates in Australia. She educated me, and helped me become a better adoptee-activist-blogger.  We became friends and Von and I emailed, and both of us contributed our writing to the LOST DAUGHTERS blog.

Read this latest update from Von HERE  (she started this blog in 2012)

From her blog:
In the world of adoption, there are many phrases and words for describing adoption, the process of adoption or parts of it, adoptees and other characters appearing with regularity. So called experts write books about acceptable adoption language and there are regularly arguments in various venues around social medias sites on correct useage, offensiveness, unacceptability and who is right/wrong/indifferent....

Von had her blogger blog that was taken down. Someone complained about her posts and Google shut her down.  But she is a warrior and didn't stop. She moved her writing over to Wordpress.

After time and so much experience, the activism and blogging changed us.  We may not write as often.  We see the same battles, the same ignorance and we see the same propaganda.  We see over and over how the billion dollar adoption industry silences the adoptee.  In many ways we are seen as the commodity - the one they made their money on... today adoptees are still in the SILENT MAJORITY.

In many states in the United States, adoptees still cannot request their original birth certificate (OBC) or their sealed adoption files. See what states have access in 2016 HERE.

For the past 7+ years doing this blog, I saw that other adoptee blogs were firing up fighting this, as more and more adoptees found their voice. 

And they voiced their anger.  And their disappointment.

And they told their stories of reunions with their first families, or if they were not able to meet their mom or dad, because they were too late, because their parent had already died.

Why?  These adoption laws are archaic and ridiculous. They were written to protect the people who adopted us.

I have talked to adoptees about the anguish of not knowing who they are. And some tell me about reunions that started great and went silent.  (If you don't live close to your relatives, travel and jobs can make reunions very difficult to keep going.)

Adoptees know we have two families to find, our mother and our father's people. We may find one side and go into reunion, after we open our adoption records. The other side of our family might wait years to be found.

I was telling my friend Maggie yesterday that I have not met my two half-sisters on my mother's side.

So I am still an adoption warrior but not as vocal as I had been when I started this blog.  It's time for others to FIND THEIR VOICE and write their truths and BLOG too.

If you are an adoptee and you have a blog and you are writing about adoption, please leave a comment here (below.) Tell us the blog address so we can read you and support you.

We have a long way to go... The Indian Adoption Projects took thousands of us... and many adoptees still need to find our way home.

Friday, February 3, 2017


1.Intergenerational Trauma- Understanding Natives’ Inherited Pain_Azo Sans Bold Smooth 18pt font_webpage cover pic

Intergenerational Trauma: Understanding Natives’ Inherited Pain

Download our free report, Intergenerational Trauma: Understanding Natives’ Inherited Pain, to understand this fascinating concept.
Download Today!

Adoptees Seeking Redress: Canada Confronts #60sScoop

Many of the now-grown, 20,000 indigenous children ripped from their families during the Canadian government's Sixties Scoop want redress for their loss of cultural identity.

READ: Adoptees Seeking Redress: Canada Confronts the Sixties Scoop - Indian Country Media Network

Thursday, February 2, 2017

IN THE VEINS | Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects Book Series Vol. 4 #NoDAPL

Blue Hand Books,
442 Main St. #1061
Greenfield, MA 01301
(413) 258-0115


Indigenous Native Poetry collection IN THE VEINS gives power to words

Greenfield, Massachusetts [2017]  --  “These poet’s words jumped off the page and made their way under my skin, into the chambers of my heart,”  said Editor Patricia Busbee (Cherokee) who has edited the new Native prose and poetry book, IN THE VEINS  (Vol. 4,  ISBN: 978-0692832646, Publisher: Blue Hand Books, Massachusetts). 

“It’s a transformative collection of poetry, truly Medicine for the Soul,” Busbee said, who has contributed poetry and prose to this collection and is Poetry Editor for Blue Hand Books.  I thought about the iron infused blood that flows thru our veins and how our bones, blood and skeletal systems house our history, our stories and our ancestors.”

“Reading these poems I recognized how poetry affects all generations and how it bypasses our cautious minds and relates to us on an intimate soul level. Poetry is a vehicle that transports us from the outer world to the inner,” Busbee said.  Twenty-eight poets from across Turtle Island contributed, including First Nations poet David Groulx (Anishinabe Elliott Lake), Assiniboine playwright William Yellow Robe, Ojibwe scholar Dr. Carol A. Hand who wrote an introduction, notable poet MariJo Moore (Cherokee), and many more.

“These poets come to us from across Turtle Island.  Some are very well-known, even famous, and many will be in the future,” Busbee said.  “Their poetry offers exquisite interpretation of life and story, personal perceptions, and their views on issues of historical trauma, land-taking, loss of identity and culture, and child theft/adoption projects in the name of Manifest Destiny in North America.” 

This highly-anticipated collection is part of a history-making book series Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects.  This series includes TWO WORLDS (Vol. 1), CALLED HOME: The Road Map (Vol. 2), and STOLEN GENERATIONS: Survivors of the Indian Adoption Projects and 60s Scoop (Vol. 3).  IN THE VEINS (Vol. 4) will share part of its proceeds with Standing Rock Water Protectors.  All books were published by the Blue Hand Books in Massachusetts, a collective of Native American authors.

Blue Hand Books founder Trace Lara Hentz, Busbee’s friend and co-editor on the book series, has also contributed to this collection. “These word warriors take us with them to the outer reaches of Indian identity and history.  Reading could not be more powerful,”  Hentz said, adding that she recommends the entire book series and hopes to reach new readers, both Indian and non-Indian.  

“These poems do make clear that words do have power, word by word by word… With the current political climate, we need good thoughts as we all are standing with the Standing Rock Water Protectors to end the Black Snake and Dakota Access Pipe Line.” []

Patricia Busbee is a writer, author, editor, devotee of outsider art and poetry. She is also a soup maker and bread baker. She believes that nourishment is found not only in food but in stories. Patricia is a strong believer in blood memory. She can be found in her kitchen cooking for her family—both the living and the deceased or in her too small office that is over-run with geriatric cats and hand crafted altars, writing about family dynamics, multiculturalism, adoption, ancestry or whatever else is clamoring for her attention. Most likely she is scrolling thru her Twitter feed pretending to be busy. She enjoys adding poetry, proverbs, folklore, recipes and snippets of conversations to her work. Her heart's desire is to write a magical realism novel in 2017.  She is the co-editor of Two Worlds, Called Home: The RoadMap and editor of IN THE VEINS.  Her noir-fiction “Remedies” was published in 2013. Her website:

IN THE VEINS contributors and their poems:

Reflections about Veins by Dr. Carol A. Hand (Introduction)
Red by Tanajsia Slaughter
Dance of the Soul | Indian on the Milk-Box | Somewhere by Janelle Black Owl
Tante by Jen Edwards
She Speaks with Crows by Evelyn Red Lodge (Tipi Luta Win)
Go Child by Rez Chick
god’s river by Billy-Ray Belcourt
Residential School Orphans by David Groulx
After Sneaky | SENDING WORDS | Whiteness makes me William S. Yellow Robe, Jr.
You, Seeing Me See You | We Walk Our Way by Dr. Raeschelle Potter-Deimel
When a trickle… becomes a river…then a flood | find home | sum of our ancestors by Trace L. Hentz (Winyan Ohmanisa Waste LaKe)
River In The Blood | Women's Work by Terra Trevor
Open-Heart Breeze, Then Rock by Anecia Tretikoff (Alutiiq)
Everyone Needs Someone by MariJo Moore
The Shallow Place | The Red-Headed-Bastard At The Family Reunion | A Visual Prophesy by Patricia Busbee
Rebellious Child | With You | When I found Ophelia by Crystal Dawn Draffen
Untitled 1 | Untitled 2 | Memorial Service by Andi Hill
Mother of Nations | The Penance of Genocide | NO EUCHARIST FOR GENOCIDE by Dr. Dawn Karima
Final Score | Perfect Son | SplitFeathers by Drew RedBear Rutledge
Ties That Bind | Living Apart | Here I Lay by Samantha Franklin
Josie and Mickey 1928 by Suzannne Z. Murphy
Truth | Our People by Sharon Euleen Bankhead Lammers
Who's Face Do I Carry | My Story by Tara Dawn
Reserve by Lance Guilbault
Who granted you this power? By Karen Belanger
Anxiety Dreams by Jagade
Haiku by Elizabeth Miyu Blake
Come Home by Judi Armbruster

ISBN: 978-0692832646 (Blue Hand Books)
Paperback $9.99   Kindle ebook $3.96
IN THE VEINS: Poetry (Book 4)

Blue Hand Books Collective is a small Native American-owned publishing company based in western New England.  Website: or
Media Contact: Trace Hentz, Greenfield, Massachusetts,

see book preview in sidebar on this blog
CLICK: Blue Hand Books Collective

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

2017 National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network Gathering #60sScoop

2017 National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network Gathering

Save the dates!! Mark your calendars!!
When: September 28, 29, 30 and Oct 1st, 2017
Where: Waupoos Farm, Ottawa ON

Four days of  ceremony, cultural teachings, learning, sharing, support and friendship in a fun, safe, supportive environment.

For ’60s scoop’ Indigenous adoptees , foster care survivors and their families

New: ICWA Guide for Tribal Governments and Leaders


New from the Capacity Building Center for Tribes: ICWA Guide for Tribal Governments and Leaders. Available here

Our Children, Our Sovereignty, Our Culture, Our Choice
A word from the authors: Our tribes are threatened by the removal of our youngest and most vulnerable members, our children. As leaders we want to make informed decisions to protect the future of our tribe, our culture, our children and families. Historically, we have seen state and federal programs compromise our dignity and culture by breaking up our families and tribes. Even today we hear of unwarranted removal of our Indian children and the attempts to keep them separated from their culture and tribal identity. The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), when complied with, can help prevent these unwarranted removals and ensure Indian children are kept safe while remaining with their families. The purpose of this Guide is to recommend actions that tribal leadership can take towards ensuring compliance with ICWA.
The recommendations that appear in this guide were made by Tribal Court judges, Tribal attorneys, Tribal educators who train on ICWA, Tribal legislators, a former Tribal Governor/Social Services Director, Counsel for the County (who was also a Tribal member), and Directors of Social Services for Tribal child welfare programs. It is important to note that these are recommendations, not mandates, made by individuals who work in various arenas in child welfare.

Happy Visitors!

They Took Us Away

They Took Us Away
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You are not alone

You are not alone

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.

Diane Tells His Name

click photo

60s Scoop Survivors Legal Support


Lost Birds on Al Jazeera Fault Lines

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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