Métis National Council
- LOST CHILDREN BOOK SERIES
- Karen Vigneault - Helping Native Adoptees Search
- About Trace
- How to Open Closed Adoption Records for Native American Children
- The reunification of First Nations adoptees (2016)
- You're Breaking Up: Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl #ICWA
- FAQ ICWA 2016
- About the Indian Adoption Projects
- Soaring Angels (search help for adoptees)
- THE PLACEMENT OF AMERICAN INDIAN CHILDREN - THE NEED FOR CHANGE (1974)
- NEW: Study by Jeannine Carriere (First Nations) (2007)
- Split Feathers Study
- NEW STUDY: Post Adoption (Australia)
- Help for First Nations Adoptees (Canada)
- Oklahoma Supreme Court RULING: Brown v.Delapp (9-2...
- Dr. Raven Sinclair
- Laura Briggs: Feminists and the Baby Veronica Case...
- Lara Trace Hentz blog
- Adopt an Elder: Ellowyn Locke (Oglala Lakota)
- TWO NATIONS: Navajo (Boarding School)
- #MMIWG MAY 2019
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Saturday, December 29, 2018
Métis National Council
But too few Westerners are aware that in too many countries, there’s a heartbreaking underside to international adoption.
For decades, international adoption has been a Wild West, all but free of meaningful law, regulation, or oversight. Western adoption agencies, seeking to satisfy consumer demand, have poured millions of dollars of adoption fees into underdeveloped countries.
Those dollars and Euros have, too often, induced the unscrupulous to buy, defraud, coerce, and sometimes even kidnap children away from families that loved and would have raised them to adulthood.
Since the fall of 2008, the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism has been releasing our reporting on aspects of this problem. Where did Westerners get the idea that the world was overflowing with healthy orphaned babies in need of new homes? How is a child with a living family transformed into a “paper orphan,” adopted for someone else’s profit? Whose lives have been scarred by corrupt adoptions? What U.S. policy changes might prevent children from being wrongfully taken from their birthfamilies, simultaneously helping to keep Americans from unwittingly creating an orphan instead of saving one?
This website offers a collection of the Schuster Institute’s releases on intercountry adoption, as well as many of the source documents, independent research, government materials, and other resources that will help interested readers pursue the topic further if they wish.
Read: Fraud and Corruption in International Adoption | Gender & Justice Project | Schuster Institute | Brandeis University
Friday, December 21, 2018
|Timothy Sandefur speaking at the 2014 International Students for Liberty Conference.|
The Institute’s claim that ICWA harms Indian children relies on dubious assertions and dog whistles.Mary Katherine Nagle Perspective Dec. 20, 2018
Passed in 1978 to protect Indian children from predatory state welfare and adoption practices, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) keeps Native children with Native families and prioritizes Native homes in adoption cases. A longtime target of evangelical Christian organizations and anti-Indian hate groups, ICWA’s most recent challenge came this fall from a federal judge in Texas, who ruled the law unconstitutional in Brackeen v. Zinke. In Brackeen, the plaintiffs argued that because ICWA’s language refers to “Indian” children, the act violates equal protection and is therefore unconstitutional.
The Goldwater Institute, a libertarian think tank, litigation organization and veteran opponent of ICWA, joined Brackeen earlier this year to challenge the law. In September, Timothy Sandefur, vice president of litigation at the Goldwater Institute, spoke at the Cato Institute, another libertarian think tank based in Washington, D.C., about the 40th anniversary of ICWA...
Mary Katherine Nagle of Pipestem Law checked the facts and Sandefur’s analysis of them and provided context to some of the statements.
BIG READ: Fact check: the Goldwater Institute’s statements about the Indian Child Welfare Act — High Country News
This is a gross mischaracterization of the law. It’s hard to understand what Goldwater means by “Indianness generally” — but ICWA does not apply to humans who have “Indianness generally.” ICWA only applies to citizens of federally recognized tribes. Indeed, the statute has no application unless an “Indian child” is at issue, and “Indian child” is defined as “Any unmarried person under the age of 18 and is either (a) a member of an Indian tribe or (b) is eligible for membership in an Indian tribe and is the biological child of a member of an Indian tribe.“ The act is directly and inextricably linked to citizenship in a sovereign nation. If a child and his/her parents are not citizens of a sovereign nation, ICWA will have no application to that child‘s foster placement, adoptive placement, or the possible termination of the parents’ rights — regardless of how much “Indianness” generally that child may have in the eyes of Goldwater or anyone else. –Mary Katherine Nagle
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
|by Native News Online Staff|
Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Bitterroot : A Salish Memoir of Transracial Adoption
About the BookIn Bitterroot Susan Devan Harness traces her journey to understand the complexities and struggles of being an American Indian child adopted by a white couple and living in the rural American West. When Harness was fifteen years old, she questioned her adoptive father about her “real” parents. He replied that they had died in a car accident not long after she was born—except they hadn’t, as Harness would learn in a conversation with a social worker a few years later.
Harness’s search for answers revolved around her need to ascertain why she was the target of racist remarks and why she seemed always to be on the outside looking in. New questions followed her through college and into her twenties when she started her own family. Meeting her biological family in her early thirties generated even more questions. In her forties Harness decided to get serious about finding answers when, conducting oral histories, she talked with other transracial adoptees. In her fifties she realized that the concept of “home” she had attributed to the reservation existed only in her imagination.
Making sense of her family, the American Indian history of assimilation, and the very real—but culturally constructed—concept of race helped Harness answer the often puzzling questions of stereotypes, a sense of nonbelonging, the meaning of family, and the importance of forgiveness and self-acceptance. In the process Bitterroot also provides a deep and rich context in which to experience life.
NEW INTERVIEW: When Native American Children Are Adopted By White Families, It Isn't Always A Happy Ending
Author BioSusan Devan Harness (Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes) is a writer, lecturer, and oral historian, and has been a research associate for the Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research at Colorado State University. She is the author of Mixing Cultural Identities Through Transracial Adoption: Outcomes of the Indian Adoption Project (1958–1967).
LINK TO BUY
Susan also contributed to the anthology Stolen Generations, book three in the Lost Children Book Series
Monday, December 17, 2018
Dr. Phil’s Hollywood-ized Adoption Propaganda : Earlier post
NPR has done this before.
In October 2011, NPR aired a three-part series of programs on its investigation of foster care for Native American children in South Dakota.
check this out
Some Native American advocates have since issued their own report supporting the reporters' findings.
Tuesday, December 4, 2018
BREAKING: NICWA, @NCAI1944, @NDNrights, @IndianAffairs issue joint statement on the Fifth Circuit Court granting the motion to stay the District Court's Decision on the Indian Child Welfare Act. #ICWA https://t.co/54QGfjbFdX pic.twitter.com/mAE2G9s1XU
— NICWA (@NativeChildren) December 4, 2018
NCAI President Jefferson Keel (Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma) said:
“The stay granted yesterday by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is a welcome and positive step. It means that no Indian child who encounters the child welfare system in Texas, Indiana and Louisiana during this time should be denied the protections and safeguards afforded them under the Indian Child Welfare Act. NCAI will continue to support the intervening Tribal Nations and the Department of Justice as they fight to protect the best interests of all Indian children across the United States through the Indian Child Welfare Act.”
Sunday, December 2, 2018
Indigenous children represent 52.2% of children in foster care in private homes in Canada. The over-representation of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation children in the child welfare system is a humanitarian crisis.
Indigenous children who have been in care face greater risks of adverse health outcomes, violence and incarceration.
This broad-based legislation will be inclusive of all Indigenous peoples while respecting a distinctions-based approach. The legislation would affirm inherent Aboriginal and Treaty rights as well as affirm principles consistent with the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
READ: Government of Canada, with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation leaders, announce co-developed legislation will be introduced on Indigenous child and family services in early 2019 | Benzinga
- Indigenous children represent 52.2% of children in foster care in private homes in Canada but account for only 7.7% of the overall child population.
- The first five Calls to Action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission relate to child welfare.
- Call to Action #4 calls "upon the federal government to enact Aboriginal child-welfare legislation that establishes national standards for Aboriginal child apprehension and custody cases and includes principles that:
- Affirm the right of Aboriginal governments to establish and maintain their own child-welfare agencies.
- Require all child-welfare agencies and courts to take the residential school legacy into account in their decision making.
- Establish, as an important priority, a requirement that placements of Aboriginal children into temporary and permanent care be culturally appropriate."
"For the larger part of Canada's history, Indigenous children have suffered as a result of racist and misogynistic colonial policies. As legislators, we have an obligation to do better for Indigenous children. We must support the development of policies that do not force an ultimatum between the well-being of children and their Indigenous identities."
Senator Marilou McPhedran, Senate of CanadaManitoba
Friday, November 30, 2018
Terry Cross - Founder of the National Indian Child Welfare Association Terry Cross (Ha-ne-ga-noh), an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation, received his master’s degree in social work from Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. He is the founding executive director of National Indian Child Welfare Association, now serving as senior advisor. He is the author of Positive Indian Parenting and co-authored Towards a Culturally Competent System of Care, published by Georgetown University. He has 40 years of experience in child welfare, including 10 years direct practice.
Presentation slides: http://gathering-wisdom.ca/wp-content...
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Recognizing 40th Anniversary Of Indian Child Welfare Act
“The Indian Child Welfare Act or ICWA is landmark legislation enacted four decades ago to end the abusive practice of ‘adopting out’ Native children in need of aid,” Murkowski said. “Its premise is that Native children who grow up with a connection to their heritage and culture become strong adults and parents. The State of Alaska and Alaska’s 229 tribes have partnered to ensure that this important legislation fulfills its promise to our Native children. It is important that we celebrate this partnership during this 40th anniversary year for ICWA is as vital today as it was on the day it was enacted by Congress.”
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
BLOOD MEMORY MOVIE
Over the past several years, as part of a coalition of groups including for-profit adoption agencies, the right-wing Goldwater Institute has spearheaded attacks against ICWA in multiple states, including California, Arizona, Oklahoma and Minnesota. They finally made inroads last month: After a Texas couple sued for the right to adopt a Cherokee Nation toddler, a federal district court judge, Reed O’Connor, struck down portions of the ICWA, finding that the disputed sections violate the Fifth Amendment’s equal protection guarantee by mandating racial preferences. The case may wind up before the Supreme Court, where Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh is widely believed to be a deciding vote against it.
BIG READ: Why conservatives are attacking a law meant to protect Native American families - The Washington Post
Thursday, November 8, 2018
Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Indian Child Welfare Act, which was passed to address America's ugly history with child removals from Native American families. #DefendICWA #UpholdICWA @ChronicleSC https://t.co/hp0GNdIUVN
— NICWA (@NativeChildren) November 8, 2018
As the Indigenous peoples of this land, countless generations have built a base of wisdom about how to raise our children in community.Last month, a federal district court made an egregious ruling ignoring the government-to-government relationship between tribal nations and the federal government. In Brackeen v. Zinke, the U.S. District Court in Northern Texas ruled in favor of Texas, Indiana and Louisiana and several foster and adoptive families, declaring that the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is a race-based law lacking a present-day articulation of its need. The court found ICWA to be unconstitutional. In this context, it is important to elevate the lingering effects of historical governmental policies and practices on Native children and families — including the removal of tribal nations from their traditional homelands to reservations, relocation of Native peoples to major cities, and numerous efforts to assimilate Native children.Prior to contact with European immigrants, tribal practices and beliefs about raising a child allowed a natural system of child protection to flourish. Traditional Indian spiritual beliefs reinforced that all things had a spiritual nature that demanded respect, including children. Not only were children respected, they were taught to respect others. Extraordinary patience and tolerance marked the methods that were used to teach Indian children self-discipline. At the heart of this natural system were beliefs, traditions and customs involving extended family with clear roles and responsibilities. Responsibilities shared by extended family and community members made protection of children the responsibility of all people in the community. Within the natural safety net of traditional tribal settings and beliefs, child maltreatment was rarely a problem.As European migration to the United States increased, traditional tribal practices in raising children were devalued or lost as federal programs sought to systematically assimilate Native people. Efforts to “civilize” the Native population were almost always focused on children. It began as early as 1609, when the Virginia Company, in a written document, authorized the kidnapping of Indian children for the purpose of civilizing local Indian populations through the use of Christianity. The “Civilization Fund Act” passed by Congress in 1819 authorized grants to private agencies, primarily churches, to establish programs in tribal communities designed to “civilize the Indian.”Removing and relocating Native people onto reservations between 1830 and 1871 forced tribes to leave behind customs tied to their traditional lands, adjust their economies, and change their ways of life without the support promised by the federal government.From the 1860s through the 1970s, the federal government and private agencies established large boarding schools, far from reservations, where Indian children were placed involuntarily. Agents of the federal government had the authority to withhold food and clothing from parents who resisted sending their children away. In boarding schools, children were not able to use their Native languages or traditional customs, were required to wear uniforms and cut their hair, and were subjected to military discipline and standards.As the federal government began to recognize how the removal and reservation of tribal communities hurt Native people, it instituted the Indian Relocation Act of 1956, moving thousands of Natives to large cities. This program not only broke down family systems, but also left families and individuals stranded away from their communities and natural support systems in unfamiliar environments.In the 1960s and 1970s, the child welfare system became another avenue that state and federal governments used to force the assimilation of Native children. During this era, 25 to 35 percent of all Native children were separated from their families — and 90 percent of children removed were placed in non-Native homes.In 1978, the passage of ICWA acknowledged the inherent sovereign right of tribal governments and the critical role they play in protecting their member children and maintaining families.
In the face of centuries of unjust treatment of Native families and communities by federal and state governments, tribal governments have a responsibility to maintain the integrity of our families and to raise our children within tribal communities. Advocates in Indian Country are uniting because we know the adage “it takes a village” is truer now that it ever has been — today, it takes a movement to raise an Indian child.
Sarah Kastelic is executive director of the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) — the only national American Indian organization focused specifically on tribal capacity to prevent and respond to child abuse and neglect. Before coming to NICWA, Kastelic served the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), including founding the NCAI Policy Research Center.
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Friday, November 2, 2018
Each year, the Minneapolis American Indian Center fills with adoptees, formerly fostered individuals and families for the Gathering For Our Children and Returning Adoptees Powwow. Now in its fifteenth year, the powwow is held on Saturday, Nov. 3 2018 at the Minneapolis American Indian Center (MAIC) to once again provide a vital space for community healing and celebration.
“There are so many things that happen that day that are always miracles,” said Jacque Wilson, coordinator of the Bois Forte Urban Office and an organizer of the powwow.
The morning of the powwow, Sandra White Hawk (Sicangu Lakota) gathers with adoptees, formerly fostered individuals and birth relatives to visit with one another and share their experiences. White Hawk has been an organizer of the powwow since its beginning, and she remains an intrepid advocate for First Nations people impacted by foster care or adoption. Among her myriad roles, she serves as the director of First Nations Repatriation Institute.
Too often, conversations about the trauma caused by family separation and adoption remain buried under a veil of silence, explained White Hawk. Some attendees have never had the opportunity to attend a powwow or connect with the American Indian community. White Hawk works hard to foster a ceremonious and welcoming environment. “We mostly want to give them an opportunity to share in a way that they’ve probably never been able to,” White Hawk said.
For over a decade, a group of Native adoptees and formerly fostered individuals in Minneapolis have met each month to support one another. Many of them come out every first Saturday in November to welcome those returning to the circle. “Because of their healing as part of this community, they are there to greet our new people who have never been here before,” said White Hawk. Elders also share stories about the painful history of removal and cultural erasure in American Indian communities that ripped thousands of youth away from their families and tribal identity.
The space also welcomes and receives birth mothers. White Hawk hopes that the gathering can serve as a time for birth mothers to develop compassion for themselves and shed layers of guilt or shame. “For our mothers who lost [children] under all kinds of circumstances, our hope is that we continue to encourage them to be a part of our circle,” said White Hawk. “They gave us life and that was the most important thing.”
Following the morning gathering, the powwow begins in the auditorium. Community members are invited and encouraged to attend. The entrance of the color guard in the grand entry signals the celebration’s beginning. Adoptees and formerly fostered relatives follow in their stead, making their way back to the circle. In the eyes of White Hawk, the following “Wablenica ceremony” is dedicated to “taking care of the hearts of our relative who are making their way back to this circle and the hearts of our relatives who lost us.”
The ceremony can be laden with emotion, particularly grief, at the beginning, she said. But by the end, the adoptees and formerly fostered individuals stand in the circle and the community comes forward to welcome them. “Our hearts are just lifted,” she said. “Some people have never heard the phrase, ‘welcome home,’ and it makes them feel the acceptance and sense of belonging that is so needed for our people.”
For many, this is the day that healing begins.
Fifteen years of dedication from three Native womenThe powwow started in 2003 with a call for healing. And Jacque Wilson, Sandra White Hawk and Tina Knafla are three women whose lives have been touched both personally and professionally by the impacts of American Indian adoption and foster care. Throughout their lives of service, they each have seen and felt the intergenerational trauma present in their communities. “There is so much pain around adoption and the loss of children because of the Indian adoption era and the boarding school era,” said Knafla, who in 2003, worked with Hennepin County as an ICWA adoptions recruiter. “I really felt like we needed to address that.”
In addition to the forcible placement of American Indian children into abusive boarding schools beginning in the 1860s, the Child Welfare League of America instituted the Indian Adoption Project from 1958 to 1967. The Bureau of Indian Affairs and the U.S. Children’s Bureau were also complicit in this program. The government ripped American Indian children away from their tribes and families and placed a vast majority of them into non-Native foster or adoptive homes. According to a 1976 surveys commissioned by the Association on American Indian Affairs, 25 to 35 percent of American
Indian children were removed from their families between 1941 and 1967.
After exhaustive calls for justice from Native communities, The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was enacted in 1978 by Congress. It requires the state to place American Indian children experiencing foster care with family or relatives as often as possible. But only about half of Native children in foster care in Minnesota find Native homes, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services. And the trauma from these twentieth century policies linger in the lives of adoptees and their communities who still reckon with family separation.
After attending a National Indian Child Welfare Association conference in Duluth in 2003, Knafla felt compelled to expand opportunities for healing with the support of the county. She began reaching out to community agencies and colleagues, including White Hawk and Wilson, to uplift resources for Native communities processing the impacts of family separation. The three women believed that a powwow would provide a needed space for healing and celebration.
Organizers obtained the sponsorship of Hennepin County and the Minnesota Department of Human Services, among other community agencies. This support continues to keep the powwow strong and sustained. “That collaboration is very unique between Hennepin County and the community,” said Knafla. “We’re still here, 14 years strong.”
The year the powwow began, Wilson worked in the juvenile justice courts representing state tribes in child welfare cases. She yearned to see foster families participating in more culturally-relevant activities. In her eyes, the powwow would provide an opportunity for foster youth to establish a connection to their identity.
“The more the children know about who they are and where they come from, the less traumatic it is for them,” explained Wilson. “It also gives them a place to look for answers when they become older.”
Although her job has since changed, Wilson continues to support people who she said have been away from their families or tribes for a generation or more. The gathering would also be an opportunity to connect families with foster care agencies to expand the availability of culturally-involved, Native homes for youth still in foster care.
“This powwow is still important to me because that trauma has not gone away on many levels,” she said. “It’s always important for [returnees] to learn who they are, because in order to be a full human being, it’s best that you know who you are, where you came from, or your people.”
Adoptees from all over the country attend the powwow in Minneapolis. “We’re trying to share what we’ve learned and get other tribes and communities to recognize their returning adoptees and birth mothers in whatever kind of ceremonies they want to do,” said Wilson.
Organizers of the powwow envision a time when reservations and Native communities across the country create their own spaces that encourage returning relatives to heal.
Thursday, November 1, 2018
Official Statement: Joint Statement on the Federal District Court of Northern Texas denying to stay the court’s ruling on constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act(Portland, OR, October 30, 2018)—The National Indian Child Welfare Association, the National Congress of American Indians, the Association on American Indian Affairs, and the Native American Rights Fund are disappointed that the Federal District Court of Northern Texas has denied a motion to stay their decision in Brackeen v. Zinke pending appeal by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
This will likely cause great uncertainty and disruption for hundreds of vulnerable Indian children and their families who are currently in state child welfare systems within the states of Texas, Louisiana, and Indiana, especially as we enter the holiday season and the Fifth Circuit moves forward with what may be months of proceedings.
Indian children and families deserve better, and we hope that the Fifth Circuit will move quickly to consider a motion to stay this lower federal court decision.
# # #
Read the full joint statement here.
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
The government wanted access to mineral deposits on treaty lands. Rather than going to war with their indigenous population, they stole their children to extinguish them as communities and nations.
The last boarding school closed in 1996.
Most of the film consists of interviews with boarding school survivors. They talk of being forbidden to speak their native language, harsh beatings for minor infractions, a continuous diet of mushy oatmeal, lack of heating in winter and frequent sexual abuse. The death rate for children who attended these boarding schools was 24-40%.
In 1980, a group of boarding school survivors began a long court action that in 2008 resulted in the formation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The goal of the TRC hearings, which went on for seven years, was for boarding school survivors to document their years of abuse and trauma for posterity.
Sunday, October 28, 2018
Beyond high fives and selfies … Indian youth explore policy issues
“The Indian Child Welfare act was created in order to protect the best interest of Indian Children and to promote the stability and security of tribal communities and families. We as youth leaders know that our identity; is who we are, is within our culture, and within the tribal community that raises us. Our membership and blood quantum has never defined us as members of our tribal communities. To us, we are raised by tribal communities, because we learn not just from our family but from the community as a whole. They teach us our languages, our traditions, they show us who we are as American Indian/Alaskan Native youth, that is a right every American Indian/Alaskan Native child should have. They should not be taken from their tribal community, because when they are, a piece of our culture is lost.”
“And Our Mothers Cried” vividly brings to life the Indian boarding school era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For several generations of Native American children, including some Chickasaws, attending boarding school meant separation from their families and indoctrination into a culture that wasn’t their own. The schools, which were guided by the infamous slogan, “Kill the Indian. Save the Man,” prohibited most students from speaking their own language and emphasized labor-intensive trades that would assimilate them into white culture through military-type institutions.
The documentary presents a stark contrast between these schools and schools established and operated by the Chickasaw Nation, which were designed to prepare Chickasaw children to compete in a rapidly changing world. “And Our Mothers Cried” presents compelling stories from some of the Chickasaw elders who lived through the boarding school era. Their experiences weave a complex story of sorrow and survival, but also one of hope and resilience from a time when tribal governments and culture were under attack.
Click here to watch the EMMY® Award-winning “Winter Fire—And Our Mothers Cried.”
READ MORE: Chickasaw Nation Documentary Wins Heartland Emmy Award - Native News Online
Thursday, October 25, 2018
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Native perspective: Sherry Treppa: Why #ICWA is critical to the health of native children and tribal communities
Congress passed the ICWA in 1978 in an attempt to reverse the ravages that forced separation of Native children from their families wrought on Indian people. In Native cultures, families are the center of our communities, and children are sacred gifts from the Creator. Judge O’Connor’s ruling not only threatens our future – it outright discounts generations of historical anguish. The ruling also ignores the rights of tribes as sovereign governments. The ICWA only applies to children from federally recognized tribes, and tribes – as sovereign governments – are the only legal authority to determine the membership of a tribe. Destroying a tribe’s ability to speak out for its future – our children – undermines the modern efforts of tribal government to overcome hundreds of years oppression because of the U.S. government’s aggressive control over every aspect of tribal citizens’ lives, including our relationships with our own children.
Sherry Treppa is chair of the Habematolel Pomo tribe of Upper Lake, Calif.
Monday, October 22, 2018
Thousands of Canada’s indigenous children died in church-run boarding schoolsArmed with everything from school attendance records to drones, researchers across Canada are racing to shed light on a bleak part of the country’s history: How many indigenous children died at residential schools, and where are their unmarked graves? From 1883 to 1998, nearly 150,000 indigenous children were forcibly separated from their families and sent to the government-funded, church-run boarding schools in an attempt to assimilate them. Once there, they were frequently neglected and abused. What happened at the schools was akin to “cultural genocide,” concluded a 2015 report from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It also found that at least 3,200 students died at residential schools over those 115 years — a much higher rate than for students elsewhere in Canada — though the commission contended that the number was probably much higher and merited further investigation.
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.
READ: Thousands of Canada’s indigenous children died in church-run boarding schools. Where are they buried? - The Washington Post
Saturday, October 20, 2018
|by Levi Rickert|
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
We've said it before and we'll say it again. Children raised by their families and tribal communities is in the best interest of Native children. #ICWA #NativeChildrenhttps://t.co/HeEzlOApX5— NICWA (@NativeChildren) October 12, 2018
The Nation’s First Family Separation Policy
Forty years ago, three in 10 Indian children were taken from their families.
October 9, 2018 | Christie Renick
The United States’ first family separation policy removed one-third of all American Indian children from their families and tribes.
In the late 1960s, while employed by the Association on American Indian Affairs (AAIA), a New York-based attorney named Bertram Hirsch was sent to North Dakota to assist with a kinship dispute case on behalf of the Spirit Lake Tribe. Child welfare workers were forcibly removing children from family members and placing them in white homes, sometimes out of state. One grandmother had even been jailed after refusing to give up her grandchildren.
At the time, Hirsch says, he had no idea that an alarming number of American Indian children were being taken from their families and permanently placed in homes with white parents. But as he worked on the Spirit Lake case, he began to understand the scope of the problem. And by the time 1969 rolled around, he and the AAIA were deeply engaged in a nationwide data collection project that had him contacting every foster care or adoption agency and institution he could find. He surveyed the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which had the authority to place children at that time, and state social services departments as well as juvenile probation facilities.
Hirsch’s research found that somewhere between 25 and 35 percent of all American Indian children had been placed in adoptive homes, foster homes or institutions.
Around 90 percent of those children were being raised by non-Indians.Many would never see their biological families again.
By the end of 1978, Hirsch had conducted his audit twice. Congressional commissions had convened in Washington numerous times, gathering hundreds of hours of testimony on the government’s egregious treatment of American Indian communities.
In its report to Congress, a task force said,
“The removal of Indian children from their natural homes and tribal setting has been and continues to be a national crisis.”
The government-sanctioned removals were a wound for Native families and tribes that would be torn raw with each new generation.
Hirsch, along with two Congressional staffers, wrote and rewrote a bill to shield American Indian youth from being removed from their families and tribes. A culmination of what Hirsch describes as a huge grassroots effort spanning 11 years and involving thousands of people across the country, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was passed at the 11th hour, just before the 95th Congress would come to a close, on October 24, 1978.
“If we didn’t get it passed in the 95th,” Hirsch said, “I’m not sure it ever would have passed.” ICWA defined the political relationship between two sovereigns – tribes and states. It designated that tribes can and must act as parents for their children, just as states do with non-Native children, when biological parents cannot. And it required that preference be given to tribal communities when children must be removed from their homes.
But 40 years later, states still don’t fully understand ICWA. One judge described ICWA as the most ignored federal law in the history of this country. The federal government has no ICWA data reporting requirements in place.Caseworkers and attorneys have been reported as viewing ICWA compliance as optional. Notice to tribes that an Indian child has entered foster care has been delayed by as many as four years, tribes have said.
And just last week, a federal district court judge ruled that the law was unconstitutional, rendering the fate of ICWA uncertain.
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
|Lost Children, adopted out|
Bual, Harman (2018) "Native American Rights & Adoption by Non-Indian Families: The Manipulation and Distortion of Public Opinion to Overthrow ICWA," American Indian Law Journal: Vol. 6 : Iss. 2 , Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.seattleu.edu/ailj/vol6/iss2/6
Media uses the emotional pull within ICWA adoption cases between Indian tribes and non-Indian adoptive families to undermine the protection given to tribes under ICWA and limit tribal rights.
Proper application of ICWA would prevent many of the cases being reported on by news media because many years of litigation would be avoided. And most importantly, the Indian child developing ties to a family the child should not have legally been placed with could be prevented because many years of litigation would be avoided. And most importantly, the Indian child developing ties to a family the child should not have legally been placed with could be prevented.
Use the search bar on this blog to find #ICWA and stories about lost children of the Indian Adoption Projects and Programs and 60s Scoop... Thousands of children were stolen by the govt's of Canada and the US and adopted out - this blog is about survivors.
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Listening to The Other Side of Adoption with Trace A DeMeyer by Fire Talk Production https://t.co/6SGuMcotmn— TraceLHentz (@StonePony33) January 17, 2019
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