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Thursday, September 20, 2018

A search for missing Native children at Carlisle Indian Industrial School who died on 'Outings' in Pa.

David Nepley (left), the Byberry Friends clerk, looks over a record of those buried in the Byberry Friends Burial Ground in Northeast Philadelphia. Among those buried is Gertrude Spotted Tail.
Ephriam Alexander came from Yup’ik village of Kanulik on the Nushagak River and Bristol Bay in southwestern Alaska, but died in Lititz, PA.  He is buried in the historic section of Lititz Moravian Congregation Cemetery known as “God’s Acre.”
While the setting is quite bucolic on one side, the other side of the grave of Gertrude Spotted Tail faces the back of nearby homes by the Byberry Friends Burial Ground in Northeast Philadelphia. Gertude was one of the daughters of Chief Spotted Tail of the Brule Sioux. She died while a Carlisle student visiting the Bender family in Bucks County. Gertrude and an unknown American Indian girl are buried side-by-side but no one knows which grave is which. A blank marker was placed there to mark the spot several years ago.
"People are awakening to the reality of what happened, the human-rights violations, the civil-rights violations," said Christine Diindiisi McCleave, executive officer of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, known as NABS. "We want to know the truth." One expert estimates that the number of missing children could top 10,000. And the initial investigation leads straight to Pennsylvania.

All the children missing or buried in Pennsylvania are believed to be connected to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, the nation's first federal off-reservation boarding school, founded in 1879 by former cavalry officer Richard Henry Pratt. Carlisle — now the campus of the Army War College — was built to solve "the Indian problem" by forcing native children to become ersatz white people, erasing their names, languages, religions, and family ties.
READ: A search for native children who died on 'Outings' in Pa.

Read More on the Story:
A century after deaths, Native American kids to return home (The Associated Press June 14, 2018)
Lost remains may be found at Carlisle Barracks Post Cemetery disinterment (The Carlisle Sentinel June 13, 2018)
Remains of Northern Arapaho boy will be returned to Wyoming after a century in boarding school graveyard (The Casper Star-Tribune June 11, 2018)
Disinterment of four Carlisle Indian School students begins soon (PennLive June 11, 2018)
An Opinion:
Editorial: Little Plume's long journey home may help close a controversial chapter in America's history (PennLive June 11, 2018) Federal Register Notice:
Notice of Intended Disinterment (May 21, 2018)

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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.

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.

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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.

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ADOPTION TRUTH

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.

Dawnland 2018