- How to Open Closed Adoption Records for Native American Children (updated 2021)
- LOST CHILDREN BOOK SERIES
- NEW! Help for First Nations Adoptees (Canada)
- Split Feathers Study
- The reunification of First Nations adoptees (2016)
- You're Breaking Up: Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl #ICWA
- FAQ ICWA 2016
- Indian Child Welfare Act organizations
- About the Indian Adoption Projects
- How to Search (adoptees)
- Soaring Angels (UPDATE 2020)
- THE PLACEMENT OF AMERICAN INDIAN CHILDREN - THE NEED FOR CHANGE (1974)
- NEW: Study by Jeannine Carriere (First Nations) (2007)
- NEW STUDY: Post Adoption (Australia)
- Dr. Raven Sinclair
- Laura Briggs: Feminists and the Baby Veronica Case...
- Bibliography (updated)
- Adopt an Elder: Ellowyn Locke (Oglala Lakota)
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- Survivor Not Victim (my interview with Von)
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Monday, December 30, 2019
L.A. author David Treuer discusses his book "The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America From 1890 to the Present” with Native American writer Dina Gilio-Whitaker.
READ: Q&A: David Treuer on uncovering the untold Native American histories of 'Heartbeat of Wounded Knee' - Los Angeles Times
Sunday, December 29, 2019
Saturday, December 28, 2019
Lost Bird Story SummaryIn the spring or summer of 1890, Lost Bird was born somewhere on the prairies of South Dakota. Fate took her to Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Reservation on Dec. 29, 1890.
On that tragic day, hundreds of Lakota men, women and children died in a confrontation with U.S. troops and the woman who likely was the child’s mother was among them. But as she was dying, she and her baby found some scanty shelter from the bitter cold and wind in the bank of a creek.
Four days after the massacre, a rescue party found the infant, miraculously alive, protected by the woman’s frozen body.
The infant was passed from one person to another and her sensational story attracted the attention of powerful white men. Eventually, this living souvenir of Wounded Knee ended up in the hands of a National Guard general.
Lost Bird was adopted by Gen. Leonard Colby and, without her knowledge or consent, his suffragist wife, Clara Bewick Colby. The baby’s original name died on the killing field, along with her chance to grow up in her own culture. She became, literally and figuratively, Zintkala Nuni, the Lost Bird.
So Lost Bird - Zintka, as her adopted mother called her - ended up the daughter of a very socially and historically prominent white couple. She had one big advantage - a mother who came to love her. Though Zintka’s adoption was a surprise to her, Clara Colby took on the duties of motherhood in addition to her work as a suffragette activist, lecturer, publisher and writer.
However, Zintka’s childhood was marred by her exposure to racism, possible abuse from adoptive relatives and the indifference of her father. Poverty entered into the mix when Gen. Colby abandoned his wife for the child’s nursemaid/governess and failed to provide adequate support for Clara Colby and Zintka.
The increasingly restless child endured miserable stays with relatives and at boarding schools and became harder and harder for her mother to control.
At age 17, Zintka was sent back to her father and his new wife in Beatrice, Neb. The result was disastrous. A few months later, Gen. Colby placed his now-pregnant daughter in a stark and severe reformatory. Her son was stillborn, but the girl remained in the facility for a year.
Zintka eventually returned to her mother. At one point, she seemed to have found happiness in marriage, but the relationship disintegrated when she discovered her new husband had given her syphilis, then incurable. She struggled with the effects of that illness for the rest of her life.She had a number a careers during her short life: work with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, various entertainment and acting jobs, and possibly prostitution. Three times, she managed to visit South Dakota in search of her roots, but her welcome was cool.
By 1916, Zintka was living in abject poverty. She and her then-husband, who suffered from illness, were trying to make a living in vaudeville. She had had two more children. One died, probably that year, and Zintka gave the other to an Indian woman who was better able to care for him. Later that year, she lost her loving mother, Clara Colby, to pneumonia.
Eventually, Zintka and her husband gave up vaudeville and moved in with his parents in Hanford, Calif., in 1918. Zintka fell ill on Feb. 9, 1920, as an influenza epidemic swept across the nation. On Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, she died.
Clara Colby tried to raise Zintka as a white girl in an unaccepting society and tried to erase her unceasing attraction to her Lakota culture. In the end, Zintka was rejected by both.
Lost Bird finally came home in 1991, in an effort spurred in part by author Renee Sansom Flood, author of "Lost Bird of Wounded Knee: Spirit of the Lakota." Her grave was found in California and her remains were returned to South Dakota and buried at the grave site at Wounded Knee. Her tragic story led to the organization of the Lost Bird Society, which helps Native Americans who were adopted outside their culture find their roots.
Sources: "Lost Bird of Wounded Knee: Spirit of the Lakota" by Renee Sansom Flood.
Friday, December 27, 2019
The Panis territory
The outlined territory shown on this map represents the region from which originate the majority of aboriginal slaves known as Panis. It includes the Pawnee, but also other aboriginal peoples that their enemies enslaved or bartered against European products.
“We don’t know about what happened before the Underground Railroad, which is that indigenous and black Canadians endured slavery.” —Afua Cooper, historian
When we think of slavery in early America, we often think of the practice of African and African-American chattel slavery. However, that system of slavery wasn’t the only system of slavery that existed in North America. Systems of Indian slavery existed too. In fact, Indians remained enslaved long after the 13th Amendment abolished African-American slavery in 1865.
LISTEN: Episode 139: Andrés Reséndez, The Other Slavery: Indian Enslavement in the Americas - Ben Franklin's World
Thursday, December 26, 2019
That bloody event is important because it made it possible for the English to take Native lands and build Fort Henry and Fort Charles.
The Kikotan massacre prepared the ground for the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia.
READ: How the Kikotan Massacre Prepared the Ground for the Arrival of the First Africans in 1619 | History News Network
Wednesday, December 25, 2019
Tragically, this decipherment was only necessary because of a one-man Spanish Inquisition, a deliberate, decades-long campaign by a single Catholic priest to destroy the Mayan language and culture. The priest, Diego de Landa, wiped out all knowledge of the written language, and nearly destroyed the spoken language too.
The Intolerance Meme declares that not only is Yahweh the only god, but in addition, anyone who worships other gods is committing a sin. The Intolerance Meme justifies all sorts of atrocities in Yahweh’s name: Murder, slavery, forced conversion, suppression and destruction of other religions, racism, and many other immoral acts.This was Diego de Landa’s background when he discovered that many of his Mayan “converts” had actually incorporated the Catholic Yahweh/Jesus/Spirit, along with the various saints and angels, into their own traditional religion. When Landa discovered “idol worship” among some of his converts, he felt that his “children” had turned their backs on him, and his life’s work was a failure.
Being a good Roman Catholic, and a carrier of the Intolerance Meme, Landa was furious – he saw this as a betrayal, and started an inquisition that resulted in torture and death across the Yucatan region. He was determined to wipe out all knowledge of the Mayan religion, and saw the Mayan language and hieroglyphs as a key. Fifty years later, in 1699, Spanish soldiers burned a town that had the last school of scribes who knew the Mayan hieroglyphs. By 1720, not a single person alive knew what the hieroglyphs meant.
The Roman Catholic church’s response? They punished Landa. But not for murder, not for torture, and not for destroying an entire culture’s history. No, none of these things were worthy of the Church’s sanctions. Diego de Landa’s crime was that he carried out an inquisition without authorization.
It took over two hundred years, and an international team of linguists, anthropologists, archeologists, mathematicians, an architect, a few brilliant hobbyists, and one twelve-year-old child prodigy hieroglyphics expert, to undo the damage that Landa caused. Armed with their fierce determination and perseverance, they recovered the written language, bit by bit, word by word, symbol by symbol.
Thanks to this dedicated group, the meaning of almost 90% of the hieroglyphs is now recovered.
As for Landa, he had to spend a few years under house arrest in Spain, contemplating his disobedience and praying. Once he’d done his penance, he was promoted to Bishop of Yucatan, and sent back to Central America where he lived out the remainder of his life.
Special thanks to filmmakers David Lebrun and Amy Halpern-Lebrun, who graciously agreed to be interviewed during my trip to the Red Rock Film Festival in Utah.
I highly recommend their excellent film, Breaking the Maya Code. You can also watch the shorter one-hour Nova version online, courtesy of PBS and WGBH Boston.
Source: Breaking the Maya Code - Night Fire Films - Films that explore the rich ways humans have made sense of their world through myth, ritual, art and science.
Tuesday, December 24, 2019
We’re counting down 10 of the biggest stories The Chronicle of Social Change published in 2019. Each day, we’ll connect readers with a few links to our coverage on a big story from this past year.
Forty-one years ago, Congress approved the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) after years of painstaking research and activism revealed that up to 30 percent of all Native American children had been removed from their parents by state and local governments, and were often placed into the homes of white families.
ICWA has been challenged in court numerous times, most recently in the 2018 case Brackeen v. Zinke, which called into question the law’s connection to sovereignty as opposed to race. This year saw a number of developments in the Brackeen case.
Lead ReadSending Them Home looks at the only annual memorial event in the nation that honors Native children lost to boarding schools and foster care. The founder and lead organizer of the event, long-time activist Frank LaMere, passed away in June 2019.
Also ReadFederal Law Protecting Indian Children and Families Will Stand provides an overview of the Brackeen v. Zinke case with a focus on what happened this year.
Though largely forgotten, some 20-30 thousand Native Americans fought in the Civil War.
Ely Parker was a Seneca leader who found himself in the thick of battle at the side of General Ulysses S. Grant. Stand Waite, a Confederate General and a Cherokee was known for his brilliant guerilla tactics. Also highlighted is Henry Berry Lowery, who became known as the Robin Hood of North Carolina. Respected Civil War authors Thom Hatch and Lawrence Hauptman help reconstruct these stories, along with descendants like Cherokee Nation member Jay Hanna, whose great-grandfathers fought for both the Union and the Confederacy. Together, they reveal a new perspective and the very personal reasons that drew these Native Americans into the fray.
Monday, December 23, 2019
Buffalo Soldiers at Yosemite National Park, NPS
The story of genocide at Yosemite National Park
What is often overlooked when celebrating this event is the violent, forced dispossession in Yosemite Valley carried out by a California state militia force known as the Mariposa Battalion fewer than two decades earlier. In 1851, the unit attacked the villages of the Indigenous Ahwahneechee people living in the valley, burning their homes and food supplies to force them off the land. After the attack, the U.S. allowed a few surviving Ahwahneechee to stay on the land, but only if they agreed to serve as a “cultural attraction” and weave baskets for visiting tourists.
Yosemite National Park’s name is actually derived from an Ahwahneechee word shouted by villagers as militia forces attacked and drove them off the land.Ironically, the word that eventually became the name of the national park is derived from an Ahwahneechee word shouted by the villagers during the Battalion’s attack. Battalion soldiers thought the word “Yosemeatea”" was a place name, but it was actually the Ahwahneechee word for “killers.”
Thus, Yosemite National Park is actually named for the act of genocide committed by European-Americans a few years before the valley was federally designated as a state park.
While shocking, this example is not unique to Yosemite. It is emblematic of the fact that the history of parks, forests and other public lands in the U.S. is interwoven with episodes of great cruelty, often inflicted on the original and traditional inhabitants of what we call North America. It reminds us that the legacy of the conservation movement is complex and often dishonorable.
Sunday, December 22, 2019
Stories of life in Indian boarding schools
"Mama was made to kneel on a broomstick for not speaking English, locked in closets for not speaking English,” she said. “They would pee their pants and then the nuns would take them out [of the closet] and beat them for peeing their pants.”
Lajimodiere is Ojibwe, and a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa in North Dakota. She was an educator for 44 years, working as an elementary school teacher and principal before ending her career recently as as an associate professor of educational leadership at North Dakota State University in Fargo.
Her parents were separated from their families and sent to federal government-run boarding schools as children. Thousands of Native children met the same fate during the boarding school era, which scholars estimate lasted from the late 1800s to well into the middle of the 20th century.
The children were sent to the schools to be purged of their Native cultures, languages and spiritual practices — forced to learn English, and often abused.
The experiences of those children, now with children and grandchildren of their own, have left a deep scar on many in the generations that came after them.
“Papa was beaten with a belt. He saw one of his fellow students die from a beating at the school,” she said.
Her parents rarely talked about their boarding school experience. She only was able to coax stories from her father in the last years of his life.
“Papa said, 'I just couldn't learn that language,'“ she said, “so they put lye soap in his mouth and the kids would get blisters."
Lajimodiere believed her parents’ boarding school abuse was a reason for the family dysfunction she grew up with, so she began a decade-long quest to understand it, interviewing people who went through the experience.
"It's a journey I had to go on to forgive my dad for the way we were raised, for his temper, his verbal abuse and for the beatings,” she said. “So, it was a long journey to understand why my father was the way he was."
What she found was a trove of stories closely guarded for decades by those who lived them. She tells those stories in their own words in her new book, “Stringing Rosaries.” She collected the stories using strict academic research protocols, but the listening was intensely personal.
Many of the former boarding school residents she interviewed prefaced their stories by telling Lajimodiere, “'I've never told anybody my story. I've never told my kids. I've never told my grandkids. I had to think about these stories all my life about what happened to me. I don't want my kids to have to think about it or know about it,’” she said.
For most people, Lajimodiere promised anonymity before they would share with her the stories.
She recalls one elderly woman who refused to even let family know she was being interviewed for the book.
"She became very quiet, even though it was a huge house, and no one was in the house,” recalled Lajimodiere. “She started whispering about being sexually abused and she said, 'I don't know why I'm telling you. I have not told anybody.' Almost every survivor in the book experienced sexual abuse, or they witnessed it."
Lajimodiere found that, while the stories people told her were often infused with painful and traumatic memories, that pain was not universal. Some people recalled their time at a boarding school fondly. But Lajimodiere says even those people — who said they preferred the school experience to alcoholism, abuse or hunger they experienced at home — shared stories of abuse in the boarding schools.
As she traveled the country doing research on boarding schools and collecting stories, Lajimodiere said she would often find herself sitting in her car, sobbing, after an interview.
She realizes now that she was experiencing the collective intergenerational trauma of losing language, culture and identity. Her parents both spoke their native languages, Ojibwe and Cree, before they went to boarding school.
"My father never spoke Cree again; that was completely beaten out of him,” said Lajimodiere. “So, now, at my age, I'm trying to relearn Ojibwe. Ojibwe is the language of our ceremonies — and our ceremonies have come back very strong."
Lajimodiere thinks connecting with traditional ceremony and culture is helping Native Americans across the country recover from the generational impact of the boarding school era.
She asked people she interviewed what it would take to heal from the trauma they experienced.
“Some of the people in the book say an apology would be a recognition of what the government did to us. Others have said, 'Boarding schools destroyed my childhood; I'll never get that back, so an apology would mean nothing,’" she said.
“Many of them said [what would be healing would be] a return to tribal spirituality and to the languages, our traditions and our ceremonies," she said.
Lajimodiere felt compelled to share the stories because many who attended boarding schools in the first half of the 1900s are now elderly and dying.
She's clear that she doesn't want the stories to elicit pity. She wants understanding.
“I want the world to know that part of why we are the way we are,” she said, “with high alcoholism, high diabetes and a lot of other health issues, one of the overarching reasons is the boarding school era.”
Saturday, December 21, 2019
"Indian Land Forever": The 50th anniversary of the Alcatraz Island takeover
It's now common knowledge that the arrival of European settlers ushered in centuries of violence and misery for America's First Peoples. But when Bruce wrote those words, American mythology hadn't yet accepted that stark reality.
So, it was a wake-up call when, 50 years ago this fall, Native American activists seized the notorious prison island of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay, which had recently been closed by the government. Their leader, 27-year old Mohawk Richard Oakes, cited an 1868 Indian treaty that gave natives the rights to abandoned federal land. "We invite the United States to acknowledge the justice of our claim," he said.
For more info:
Friday, December 20, 2019
Native Americans couldn’t be U.S. citizens when the country ratified its Constitution in 1788, and wouldn’t win the right to be for 136 years. When black Americans won citizenship with the 14th Amendment in 1868, the government specifically interpreted the law so it didn’t apply to Native people.
Thursday, December 19, 2019
Their skin was dark. Their languages were foreign. And their world views and spiritual beliefs were beyond most white men’s comprehension.
While Mary was ultimately returned to her white family—and some evidence points to her having lived happily with her adopted Indian tribe—stories such as hers became a cautionary tale among white settlers, stoking fear of “savage” Indians and creating a paranoia that escalated into all-out Indian hating.
|A group of Native Americans look at a sailing ship in the bay below them. (Credit: Corbis/Getty Images)|
From the time Europeans arrived on American shores, the frontier—the edge territory between white man’s civilization and the untamed natural world—became a shared space of vast, clashing differences that led the U.S. government to authorize over 1,500 wars, attacks and raids on Indians, the most of any country in the world against its indigenous people. By the close of the Indian Wars in the late 19th century, fewer than 238,000 indigenous people remained, a sharp decline from the estimated 5 million to 15 million living in North America when Columbus arrived in 1492.
Battle of White Bird Canyon: For the historian in you..there are many interesting narratives about this “first fight of the Nez Perce”; here is one of them.
Wednesday, December 18, 2019
What started out as a loose pile of beads in Manitoba is generating a discussion on American television about murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls.
Mish Daniels, a member of Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba, is elated after seeing her elaborate beadwork around the neck of movie star and host of The View Whoopi Goldberg.
Daniels nearly lost it when she turned on Monday's episode of The View and noticed Goldberg wearing her handmade red jingle dress dancer medallion."I lost my voice yesterday morning because I was screaming so much," said Daniels, who was raised in Winnipeg and now lives in Selkirk, Man."It's like you're winning the lottery or something, and I just can't believe my little fingers and my work made it to New York City and Whoopi Goldberg and The View."
GREAT NEWS: 'Can't believe it': Sagkeeng First Nation beader's work ends up on Whoopi Goldberg's neck | CBC News
'Can't believe it': Sagkeeng First Nation beader's work ends up on Whoopi Goldberg's neck | CBC News https://t.co/kF63bCy8Zu— Trace kalala Hentz (@StonePony33) December 18, 2019
.@WhoopiGoldberg shares about her necklace representing indigenous women who went missing on the Highway of Tears in British Columbia: “Women need to come together and say none of us should be [going] missing!” https://t.co/f8u2wc159S pic.twitter.com/QCXoti7oNL— The View (@TheView) December 17, 2019
Look at me. I was a warrior on this land where the sun rises, now I come from where the sun sets. Whose voice was first surrounded on this land – the red people with bows and arrows. The Great Father says he is good and kind to us. I can’t see it… – Red Cloud
May 26, 1637 - Mystic Massacre - The Mystic massacre took place on May 26, 1637 during the Pequot War, when Connecticut colonists under Captain John Mason and their Narragansett and Mohegan allies set fire to the Pequot Fort near the Mystic River. They shot anyone who tried to escape the wooden palisade fortress and killed most of the village in retaliation for previous Pequot attacks. The only Pequot survivors were warriors who had been with their sachem Sassacus in a raiding party outside the village. Estimates of Pequot deaths range from 400 to 700, including women, children, and the elderly.February 29, 1704 – Deerfield Massacre – A force comprised of Abenaki, Kanienkehaka, Wyandot and Pocumtuck Indians, led by a small contingent of French-Canadian militia, sack the town of Deerfield, Massachusetts, killing 56 civilians and taking dozens more as captives.
March 8, 1782 – Gnadenhutten Massacre – Nearly 100 non-combatant Christian Delaware (Lenape) Indians, mostly women, and children, were killed with hammer blows to the head by Pennsylvania militiamen.
1854-1890 – Sioux Wars – As white settlers moved across the Mississippi River into Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wyoming, the Sioux under Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse resisted to keep their hunting grounds.
1855-1858 – Third Seminole War – Under Chief Billy Bowlegs, the Seminole mounted their final stand against the U.S. in the Florida Everglades. When Bowlegs surrendered; he and others were deported to Indian Territory in Oklahoma.
1855-1856 – Rogue River Wars – In the Rogue River Valley area southern Oregon, conflict between the area Indians and white settlers increased eventually breaking into open warfare.
1860-1865 – California Indian Wars – Numerous battles and skirmishes against Hupa, Wiyot, Yurok, Tolowa, Nomlaki, Chimariko, Tsnungwe, Whilkut, Karuk, Wintun and others.
1861-1864 – Navajo Wars – Occurring in Arizona and New Mexico Territories, it ended with the Long Walk of the Navajo.
Did you know there were 1,000 (one thousand!) wars on Indians by the US Army?America doesn't tell you the truth. It never has. It never will.
Tuesday, December 17, 2019
LISTEN: Maria Campbell on the pain and relief of re-releasing Halfbreed with uncut account of RCMP rape | CBC Radio
Becoming Mary Sully by Philip J. DeloriaAuthor, Harvard professor, and historian Philip J. Deloria describes the era captured in the nearly lost art of his great aunt, Mary Sully, as a “critical moment — sometime in the 1920s, perhaps — when many American Indian people crafted new and different lives for themselves.” Deloria writes this characterization as part of an introduction to Becoming Mary Sully (University of Washington Press), a detailed survey of the extant works of the Dakota Sioux artist. The book underscores her unique position as an American Indian Modernist and examines the wider historical context of her surprising and original work, and the political, social, and aesthetic forces that shaped it. Emerging from potential obscurity, Sully’s work deepens cultural perceptions of American Indian abstraction. —Sarah Rose Sharp
How Manifest Destiny Stretched the U.S. From Sea to Shining SeaOf course, there's more to Manifest Destiny than some woman in white or the encouraging hand of the Almighty. The concept was inextricably tied into the politics of the time, which were (as now) fueled by something decidedly unholy: money.
What Lies Behind the Woman in WhiteAmerica's land-lust was driven, first and foremost, by the thirst for more wealth for its settlers. But distributing that often ill-gained bounty was not easy. In a time when the scourge of slavery already was beginning to rip apart the nation, the issue of how to divide the newly acquired land — which states-to-be would allow slavery, and which would not — became a political hot potato.
Declaring the land grabs a divine right seemed, if nothing else, a nice cover story for expansionists of the time. But even more than money, politics or religion, Manifest Destiny demonstrated something else about the mindset of many Americans.
"Implied in the notion of Manifest Destiny is that we know best," says Don Haider-Markel, the head of the department of political science at the University of Kansas. "And basically, when we say 'we,' we mean sort of Anglo-Saxon Protestant, otherwise known as sort of white.
"That's telling Native Americans, that's telling Mexicans, that's telling Africans we kidnapped and used as slaves that we are superior. Our way is superior.
"I don't see how you can escape from the notion," Haider-Markel says, "that this is a form of white supremacy."
President James Polk was a champion of Manifest Destiny and built his presidential campaign around the idea.
Did People Really Accept the Idea?Certainly, many people at the time believed in Manifest Destiny; that God wanted the newcomers to take over the continent, to work the land, to bring Christianity to the Indians and Mexicans, to be Biblically fruitful and multiply (as O'Sullivan put it), and, if God found it within His grace, to grow rich while doing it. Expelling more than 100,000 Native Americans from their homes in the American South, murdering thousands of others, and taking land from Mexicans was not simply accepted as a divine American right to these people. It was a duty.
But not everyone bought into that notion. Not by a long shot. Many saw the idea as little more than a dodge.
"There were people, for example, who thought that the drive to annex Texas was a ploy to gain more land to create more slave states, because eastern Texas was suitable for growing cotton," says Harry Watson, a professor of Southern culture at the University of North Carolina. "Even then, there were people who were bitterly opposed to slavery and desperately wanted to abolish it, and the first step to abolishing it might be to prevent it from growing. They did not want to admit Texas, they did not want to fight Mexico to get Texas, they did not want slavery to be allowed to spread. All of this was fought out very bitterly in Congress."
Still, politicians like President James K. Polk found it politically and economically favorable to press onward. His call to annex both Texas and Oregon (which would appeal to both Northern and Southern states) helped win him the presidency in 1845 over anti-expansionist Henry Clay, even though Polk's drive threatened war with both Great Britain and Mexico.
By the time Polk left office in 1849, Manifest Destiny was all but complete. America, barely 60 years after the U.S. Constitution was ratified, now stretched from sea to shining sea.
Monday, December 16, 2019
A feature documentary film by Deborah Anderson.
An ancient Native matriarchal society was upended by centuries of genocide and colonialism. This resulted in culturally sabotaged and isolated communities that are in a constant struggle to save what remains of their sacred identity. The Lakota women living on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, are rising up against the forces that continue to suppress them. By preserving and protecting their ancestral values and wisdom, they provide a source of hope to their people.
With exclusive access to the lives of 8 women, ranging in age from 10 to 98 years old, we deliver harrowing testimonials of loss and survival and gain insight into what it is to be a modern Native American. With inclusion of current statistics along with historical accounts, we track how these present day conditions came to be.
The unforgettable voices of these determined women inspire us with their strength, gifting us with ancient insights that speak to our current global environmental and cultural crises. These are the powerfully rich stories of brave women and children living in the poorest county in the United States. In their words, “It’s a prisoner of war camp.”
The continent’s First Nations people were highly civilized, unscathed by class rule, and harmoniously connected to the natural environment in ways that hold critical significance for human and other living things in our current age of capitalist ecocide...
Predator’s massacre chain ran from Connecticut Captain John Mason’s burning and shooting of hundreds of Pequot villagers near Mystic River in May of 1637 through terrible events like the so-called Battle (massacre) of Bad Axe (1832) and the Sand Creek Massacre (1864) to the Wounded Knee bloodbath (the so-called Battle of Wounded Knee) in December of 1891, when the U.S. Calvary killed 150-300 Lakota men, women, and children on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The United States’ beloved first president, George Washington, was known to the Iroquois as “Town Destroyer.”
1) The 1832 “Black Hawk War” was a one-sided affair, typical of the many pitiless mass exterminations committed by supposedly noble “settlers” seeking to “tame the continent.” As penalty for the warrior Black Hawk and his followers’ determination to reclaim rich tribal lands brazenly occupied by whites in northern Illinois, the Sauk and Fox Indians lost 600 people, including hundreds of woman and children. Just 70 soldiers and “settlers” lost their lives. The conflict culminated in the so-called Battle of Bad Axe, on the eastern shore of the Mississippi River, near the present-day community of Victory in southwest Wisconsin.
Better described as a massacre than a “battle,” this American military triumph involved U.S. General Henry Atkinson killing every Indian who tried to run for cover or to flee across the Mississippi River. On August 1, 1832, Black Hawk’s band reached the Mississippi at its confluence with the Bad Axe River. What followed was an atrocity, committed despite the Indians’ repeated attempts at surrender. “While the Sauk refugees were preparing rafts and canoes, the armed [U.S.] steamboat Warrior arrived,” historian Kerry Trask recounts, “whereupon Black Hawk tried to negotiate with its troops under a flag of truce. The Americans opened fire, killing twenty-three warriors.”
“As we neared them,” one US officer who “served” in the U.S. assault recalled, “they raised a white flag and endeavored to decoy us, but we were a little too old for them.”
Hundreds of Sauk and Fox men, women and children were shot, clubbed, and bayoneted to death on August 2nd. “US soldiers scalped most of the dead. They cut long strips of flesh from dead and wounded Indians for use as razor strops.” The slaughter was supported by cannon and rifle fire from the aptly named Warrior, which picked off tribal members swimming for their lives.By Major Wakefield’s account, the US troops at Bad Axe “shrank not from their duty. They all joined in the work of death for death it was. We were by this time fast getting rid of those demons in human shape… the Ruler of the Universe, He who takes vengeance on the guilty, did not design those guilty wretches to escape His vengeance…”
The top “demon in human shape” – the old Sauk warrior Black Hawk – lived six years beyond the “war” that bore his name. He was sent to a US reservation in Iowa after US President Andrew Jackson – a Trump favorite and himself a prolific Indian-killer – had Black Hawk paraded as celebrity war booty – as an exotic “savage” and proof of the United States’ military’s alleged great prowess in defeating such barbarian brutes – before gawking crowds in eastern US cities.
At Chicago’s United Center at least 41 times each National Hockey League season, more than 10,000 U.S. whites wear jerseys emblazoned with a caricature-like profile image of “chief” Black Hawk, whose people were obliterated and dispersed so that northern Illinois’s fertile fields and pastures could be turned into the private property of white farmers, merchants, and industrialists. Oh, but for the return of the days when America was great!
Sunday, December 15, 2019
Saturday, December 14, 2019
Majority of U.S. States, 75 Members of Congress and more than 30 Organizations File Amicus Briefs in Support of Native American Families and Children
The Justice Department is protecting the names of many perpetrators of abuse of Indigenous children.— Charlie Angus NDP (@CharlieAngusNDP) July 8, 2021
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.@MumilaaqQaqqaq pic.twitter.com/5TL6OxKM5O
This is a map of every residential "school" site in Canada.— Mumilaaq Qaqqaq (@MumilaaqQaqqaq) June 24, 2021
Every dot is a crime scene.
Only a few have been investigated so far.
Canada, do not get used to these numbers.
Do not let them become statistics.
Put yourselves in the shoes of these children in the ground. pic.twitter.com/5XJS1w1ka2
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What our Nations are up against!
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.
Did you know?
click to listen
Diane Tells His Name
where were you adopted?
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.