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Friday, November 15, 2019

You Can’t Counsel Yourself into Belonging #NAAM2019

by juliettevia

It’s not lost on me that one such episode on white privilege the family discuss the meaning and impact of the quote “Prejudice is the emotional commitment to ignorance.”

You can’t counsel yourself into belonging.

You can’t learn belonging any more than you can learn to be a peacock. You may learn enough to hang out with peacocks without alarming them but try to fly and you’ll know you’re not peacocky enough pretty quickly. Just so with the iceberg of culture. A myriad of secret handshakes lie beneath, unspoken tests and initiations sit between ourselves and others.

Belonging is at the heart of identity. Those who think it’s enough to decide who you are independently of others beliefs, are underestimating the role that being seen plays in our identity. Self-acceptance in our identity is a small, sometimes inconsequential island, validation of our identity is a continent. For transracial adoptees there can be a lot of sea between our island and that continent.


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

If only birthparents had to write that letter! #NAAM2019

By Trace Lara Hentz

I think adoption has left many of us adoptees frozen in time as missing children.  Details of our first days and birth are sealed in files – leaving us without essential details of our birthparent’s lives when they made the decision to let us go (or when we were taken).

Our adoption records are sealed so the majority of adoptees are still unable to have a copy of our original birth certificate in all but a few states in America. Why?

If we’re adults, why are we still being treated as children?

Most of us were adopted by strangers. In my case Sev and Edie didn’t choose me. I was available. I was not “chosen” or “saved” or “an orphan.”  Those myths are repeated in newspapers everywhere, as part of the propaganda.  This adoption industry is not about the chosen or saved or orphaned child. That’s the selling part. Those are their sappy slogans used to convince people to continue to adopt and pay their money. It’s just a mind drug that you’ve saved someone, or rescued an orphan.

I was not saved from my birthparents Helen and Earl. They were real people, alive. My mother was 22 and my father was 27.  If my mother Helen had support from her parents, instead of condemnation for committing a sin and getting pregnant, she might have kept me. At the very least my father should have had the right to raise me, right? He would have, I was told when we met when I was 38, but it was too late to change what happened.

Right now, Minnesota STILL has my original birth certificate. They won’t release it to me. I’m 63!

All my parents are gone, all passed. It’s not that I do not know who they were. I opened my adoption at age 22 with a judge in Wisconsin. I know my names, their names and met my father. Why would Minnesota not release my birth certificate to me now?

Archaic laws. Old laws. Privacy? for whom? They are all dead. Why are adoption laws protecting dead parents?

This is my reality. I can’t change the laws myself but if you are reading this, you might pick up the phone and contact your state representative and ask them, who is adoption secrecy protecting? Is it protecting adoptive parents? Is it protecting dead birthparents? Why? Or is it protecting the adoption industry so they can continue their money making and human trafficking?

I know children will still be adopted, no question. The industry can’t be stopped overnight but if adoption is the only way for a child to be safe, find their kin and family (grandparents, cousins) to raise them.

If strangers must do it, give the child their name, ancestry, medical backgrounds for both parents, and a signed letter from each birthparent.

If only birthparents had to write that letter!  Then they’d have to sit down and think far ahead when their own flesh and blood reaches adulthood. What reasons would you give your child as to why you chose adoption and handed them to strangers? What are good reasons? Religion, money, marital status, mental or physical illness?

This letter to your birthchild should be the law of the land.
(That letter would a reality check and could be a real deal-breaker.)

(reposted and edited from 2014...Trace)

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

State-Tribal Relations Committee takes up treaty rights, voting barriers, land status in Billings meetings

Improved communication among tribes and Child Protective Services

In the first issue brought before the STRC, representatives from the state Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) and the Yellowstone County District Indian Child Welfare Act court spoke about challenges within and ways to improve Indigenous child welfare services.
Marti Vining, Children and Family Services Division (CFS) administrator for DPHHS, advocated for open and consistent communication between the state and tribes in child neglect cases.
“When the burden of addiction and violence and abuse becomes too hard for our families to carry for themselves, … families (must) know there is a system waiting for them, wanting them to succeed,” she said.
In an effort to improve relationships among the state and tribes, Vining said the CFS implemented a series of tribal consultation meetings, where representatives from CFS develop relationships with and receive feedback from members of tribal nations

Though Native Americans only make up about 7 percent of Montana’s population, Vining reported that as of Sept. 30, Indigenous children made up 30 percent of children in foster care in Montana.
Lesa Evers, tribal relations manager for DPHHS, urged the importance of keeping Indigenous children in the welfare system connected to family and culture. But Vining and Evers both cited the high staff turnover rate and limited housing options as challenges in these cases.
Representatives from the Yellowstone County District Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) court also spoke about child neglect cases.
“The concept of an ICWA court is simple,” said Judge Rod Souza of the 13th Judicial District Court. “It’s about relationships. We seek to improve relationships with our tribal partners. Improved relationships lead to better communication, which leads to collaboration, which leads to better outcomes for children.”
Souza and other ICWA court representatives spoke about the importance of family involvement, advocating that families be involved in their children’s cases from the beginning.
“Our goal is to make sure kids are connected to their extended family when not able to be safely reunited with their immediate family back home,” said Brooke Baracker-Taylor, an assistant attorney general.
Montana is one of a few states that does not require a hearing for parents within 48 or 72 hours of their child being taken into the system. As a result, families in Montana may wait up to 20 days to see a judge.
“Due to our own volume (of cases) and our schedules, I’m not sure we could accommodate the 72-hour hearing,” Souza said.
Dana Eaglefeathers, councilman for the Northern Cheyenne Nation, who addressed the Committee as a member of the public, warned legislators of abuse in foster care.
“I’ve been really concerned about our Indian children and our child services,” he said. “We need to make a bridge, so we can bring our Native kids home.”

Committee members and members of the public asked many questions of the ICWA and DPHHS representatives, including where to access more information, how tribes can get into ICWA court and which cases fall under state, county and tribal jurisdiction.
Due to the large amount of questions from the Committee and members of the public, STRC Chairman and State Senator Jason Small (R-Busby) said the Committee will keep track of the questions and find answers.

Monday, November 11, 2019

The Indian Child Welfare Act Turns 41

The Indian Child Welfare Act, a federal law outlining adoption and foster care regulations for American Indian/Alaska Native children in the United States, turns 41 on Nov. 8, 2019.
ICWA, as the law is commonly known, has faced dozens of legal challenges over its lifetime and finds supporters and opponents both within and outside Native communities. Like all Indian law, ICWA is complicated; according to its authors, this is largely due to the complex political relationship between the United States government and sovereign tribes. ICWA also reflects the complexity often found in family dynamics and the twisting narratives that accompany any report of child abuse or neglect.
Though ICWA did not become law until the late 1970s when it was passed by the 95th Congress and signed by President Jimmy Carter, its spirit was born in the 1960s when the Association on American Indian Affairs began tracking the number of Native children who were being forcibly removed from their families and tribes.
(Read more about the origin of law here, in “The Nation’s First Family Separation Policy.”)

ICWA may once again find congressional support if the Cherokee Nation is successful in its bid to add a tribal delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in history.
If the Cherokee Nation delegate is named, the timing of that individual’s ascent to the capitol could be critical. One of the most recent lawsuits, Brackeen v. Zinke, which challenges the constitutionality of the law, was reopened just this week when the Fifth Circuit Court agreed to rehear the case, despite having ruled in August to uphold the law.

What to Read

Find all of our ICWA-related coverage here.

Follow our coverage of Brackeen v. Zinke, one of the biggest legal challenges ICWA has faced in its history. Read about the first federal ruling against the law here, and the Fifth Circuit Court’s decision to uphold the law here.

Read about the Memorial March to Honor Lost Children – one of the only annual events in the nation that pays tribute to the loss of Native children to foster care, adoption and boarding schools. Learn about the march’s founder and longtime Indian rights activist Frank LaMere here.

Editor note:  As it was 100+ years ago, as it is today: those who seek to take children away from their tribal relatives, we will fight them. This ICWA law is to serve tribal nations after attempted genocide. We will not go back.  Aho!  Trace

Teens, Sex Ed and Birth Control #NAAM2019

By Trace Hentz (blog editor)

For generations in America, after a teenager’s “mistake,” adoption fixed up her problem like a band-aid, one that didn't stick that well.  
Though teen pregnancy has slowed down in recent years, teens have not stopped having sex and babies because living in the Dark Ages, we project our fears, phobias and religious beliefs onto them.

It’s not that I don’t understand how a 12 -18 year old girl can get pregnant. But she shouldn't have gotten pregnant in the first place. She should have had information available to her so she wouldn’t get pregnant by mistake.  Once a girl has her first menstrual cycle, she can get pregnant. It's that simple. Boys and girls needs to have sex education very early.

But we have the same old problem, even in 2019, when the Vatican maintains birth control is evil and not allowed. If caught using it, you are ex-communicated.

Hey, this isn’t preschool – if she’s old enough to get pregnant, both he and she are old enough to have information.  She has the right to know, the right to use (contraceptives) and the right to choose.

Why do we keep information from girls who could become pregnant?  That question answers itself.  In many religions in 2019, it’s still a sin to have sex when you’re not married.  You’re supposed to be a virgin when you marry.  You’re immoral if you fail.  You are supposed to abstain from sex and say no.  If you fail, in many parts of this country, the baby goes up for adoption. It’s a Christian thing to do, a moral thing to do, the only thing you can do.  Actually the girl is not ignorant, it’s those who keep her misinformed or in the dark who are ignorant.  

What is immoral is any country that won’t educate children and teens about pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease and AIDS.  We’re killing them with ignorance. 

Here in America, religious and government leaders devised a better solution – tell all kids to abstain. How absolutely ludicrous! You tell them to not have sex and look the other way when you’ve got them at their most curious and confused, hormones raging. 
I read in a Rhode Island newspaper in 2004, there was a group of protesting college students carrying signs “Keep your rosaries off our ovaries.”

Speaking of organized religion, how demeaning to girls and women – and condescending to say the least – that she is solely responsible or to blame - that she must control the decision whether to have sex… Or she’s condemned for using birth control, if she can get her hands on it or even afford it.   

Again, the same rules don’t apply to the boys.

If girls do have information and can use and buy contraceptives, wouldn’t this curb unplanned pregnancies and the need for more adoptions? Yes, it would and it has.

Perhaps people who read this will invent new ways to educate all teenagers about reproduction and sex and STDS and not push adoption as the sole solution ever again. 

and then this tweet:

Sunday, November 10, 2019

What adoption cost me #NAAM2019

Edie holding me in 1957
reblog from 2014

By Trace L Hentz

Someone asked me recently what had adoption cost me personally.

What a loaded question, I shot back in my email. I said I needed to think about it.
Obviously I didn't ask to be adopted!

This situation was thrust on me by a damaged 22-year-old small-town Wisconsin girl who loved Chicago night-clubs and partying too much. She didn't want me after my 28-year-old father (also a big drinker) kicked her out. He moved back to his Illinois farm-town and found a new wife. She went to an unwed mothers home in Minnesota and signed me away.

If my soul wanted a big test this lifetime, this was clearly the route to take. Finding out neither would ever look for me? That painful discovery cost me.

What kind of man would desert a woman carrying his child and who would tell a woman she cannot keep her own baby? Who made them this way?  Belief systems, religions, social workers, neighbors, parents, judges, priests? Even your own family can be so damaged, it's risky to find them. There are times now I wish I had never looked but I had to know why I was adopted. Taking risks to find out the truth cost me years.

Being told by my natural mother to never contact her again? That rejection cost me.

I made all the moves, made all the calls, did all the travel and took all the risks to find both parents. I put myself out there to join a family who didn't even know I existed or cared that I did. That hurt cost me.
The adoption trade in babies was booming in the 1950s. In my opinion my adoptive parents were not carefully screened. Despite his raging alcoholism and their marital discord after two miscarriages, Catholic social workers still qualified them to be my parents. Very young I was sexually molested by my adoptive dad. That betrayal cost me.

I had to pretend for years I was alright when really I wasn't. I tried to live up to their expectations and be the baby they lost. That impossible situation cost me.

My adoptive parents didn't know adopting kids won't fix a marriage and might even make it worse! I had to suppress my shock and disappointment in them for too long. It took me years to get therapy and counseling that worked.  This delay cost me.

My lack of trust and being able to love someone cost me a marriage.
Many years later I was shocked to learn my ancestry. My father, who had the Native blood, didn't intervene to keep me. How did that make me feel? Betrayed.

I had no idea what to think about being Shawnee/Cherokee since there was no one alive to reconnect me to my tribal culture. That cost me.
How can you measure cultural loss when there is no dollar amount or apology that can undo what happened? There is no way to get that back.

What did adoption cost me? Everything.
What did adoption give me? The strength to persevere.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

What has and has not happened… #NAAM2019

2012 reblog

Adoption = Perfect Product Placement
By Trace L Hentz (adoptee-blogger)

In south Chicago in the 1950s, my 22-year-old mother imagined my father, 28, would marry her since she was pregnant with me. That didn’t happen.
Did my birthmother’s family support her and allow her to keep me? That didn’t happen.

I was illegitimate but I wasn’t an orphan since I had two parents. Did the state contact my father and ask him to raise me?  No. That didn’t happen.
After an orphanage then foster care, the damage done in those months is not something I can describe in words but I only wanted to be with my natural mother. That didn’t happen.

The couple who adopted me had miscarried twice and I was supposed to be the perfect replacement. I had my own DNA and my own ancestors but that didn’t matter. They expected me to be their lost child. That didn’t happen.
I was not supposed to question anything. When I decided I wanted to know who I was, what happened and why I was adopted, I asked my adoptive family for information and the truth. That didn’t happen.

The social worker convinced my mother I was better off with new parents who she never met. Did the social worker tell my mother I would be emotionally distraught, devastated and mentally damaged from being abandoned? No. That didn’t happen.
The church and the state were supposed to conduct interviews and home inspections. Did they find out my adoptive father was a raging alcoholic. Did they stop him from molesting me? No. That didn’t happen.

My natural mother probably thought the church and state and the social worker would protect me after adoption. Did the social worker check on me? No.  That didn’t happen.
Many of my adopted friends were sexually molested as teens by their adoptive fathers and other relatives. Will the adoption industry ever admit or release these statistics? No. That sadly isn’t happening.

The adoption industry peddles perfect product placement called babies to people who miscarried, some desperate to raise a child.  Do they tell them babies are “blank slates” who will love them unconditionally? Yes. That does happen.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Adoption Reunion | Be selfless for adoptees and set us free... #NAAM2019

Repost: Lost Daughters blog August 17, 2014 (edited)

If you love something, Let it go free

...If you love something let it go free…If it comes back it’s yours: If it doesn’t, it never was.

I saved this quote from my teens. It came in handy when I was trying to figure out if someone really loved me.
It hit me as relevant for parents who adopted us... you can be selfless for adoptees and you can set us free... especially when we are adults and go into reunion with our first parents (birthfamily).
In 2014 I had a long conversation with a friend whose wife gave up a baby for adoption 40 years ago. I played a small part in their finding the daughter she gave up at age 16. They were over-the-moon elated to finally locate her!
Now in reunion with Barb (not her real name), my friends are trying to figure out what is happening to Barb now that she is in reunion with them and they are obviously looking for clues or signs that she's doing OK. They honestly don't know if they should reach out more... They aren't sure of anything because Barb was in the midwest (and now Florida in 2019) and they live on the East Coast. They just can't pop in for a quick visit. (I told my friends that Barb is not in "their territory," which means they can't even guess what is going on with her adoptive family since she lives in their territory.)
Barb, an adoptee, is young (40) and navigating reunion, trying to balance life as a wife, mother and adopted daughter who now has her new-found first mother and her adoptive mother. (Eight years so far.)
The risk is Barb will upset her adoptive parents, who happen to be quite wealthy!  If she is not careful, they might disown her.  Barb's husband sees this eventuality better than Barb does, my friends believe.
Adoptees like me went through this dilemma, too. I didn't tell my adoptive parents anything when I was in my 20s and searching. I tried to talk to my adoptive mom and failed. Mine weren't wealthy but I did risk alienating them. I chose not to... (Thank God I was not disowned when I told my adoptive mother I was going to my father's funeral in Illinois but all hell broke loose anyway.)
How do we keep our adoptive parents happy with us, especially when we are meeting our first mothers and fathers?  Do we keep them separate?  Do we tell our adoptive parents not to worry?  Or do we tell them nothing?  
Reality is many adoptive parents are NOT the ones in therapy or thinking about messy reunion stuff.  Adoptive parents have the upper hand as legally-defined parents to the adoptee, and can reject and disown the adoptee at this most important juncture of an adoptee's adult life. 
I call this veiled threat emotional blackmail.
My friend and his wife are good people. They don’t want to stir up any trouble. They simply want to know Barb and keep in contact. Barb has children so naturally my friends want to know their grandchildren. They are not pressuring Barb in any way. They are letting her make the moves…but for the past few months, Barb's been very sick. (These details are from my friends, and on Barb's recent Facebook posts.) They gave Barb her maternal-side medical history three years ago but new facts have come to light about ancestry, genetics and it could possibly help treat Barb's illness.
They keep up with Barb’s life via text messages and are on her Facebook page. Barb has not been communicating. Earlier this year they met with Barb and her husband and kids out of state for Barb’s convenience. It’s likely Barb kept this trip from her adoptive parents.(She put her phone on silent when her adoptive mother made several calls to her.)
Why?  When Barb was contacted by her first mother, she was so excited she called her adoptive mother to tell her the big news. (Oh No!) Barb learned immediately her adoptive mother was not happy at all and was in fact quite shocked.  (Her adoptive mother could not have children, so naturally Barb and her brother filled that gap. Barb has said in so many words said her adoptive mother is controlling and always hovering.)  I have no idea if Barb reads blogs or books by adoptees. Obviously she should!
Many of us adoptees and Lost Daughters have been navigating reunion for years and have successfully dealt with issues of how much contact is good, and with who...  So I ask your help and advice, blog readers.
  • What can my friends do to stay close to Barb?

Trace (Lara) DeMeyer (Shawnee-Cherokee-Irish- French Canadian) is the author of One Small Sacrifice and co-editor of the book series Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects.) She also contributed to the LOST DAUGHTERS anthology and other adoption anthologies including ADOPTIONLAND. 
Trace is working on a third expanded edition of her memoir to be released in 2020.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

US Court of Appeals for Fifth Circuit to Rehear Indian Child Welfare Challenge

by Native News Online Staff
Breaking News 
Published November 7, 2019
NEW ORLEANS — Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an order directing a challenge to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) to be reheard en banc -- before the entire Fifth Circuit.  As previously reported, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit had held ICWA Constitutional in August, finding it was not a race-based statute that would violate the Equal Protection Clause.  The States of Texas, Louisiana, and Indiana, and several adoptive parents had urged the Court to set aside the August 9, 2019 decision and rehear the case, asserting similar arguments to the original briefing and that tribal membership is determined on an “overwhelmingly racial nature.”
The federal government filed a brief in response earlier this week, arguing that the plaintiffs “miss the fundamental point . . . [namely,] tribes have authority to set their own membership criteria, which may be based in part on biology or descent[.]”  The Cherokee Nation, Oneida Nation, Quinault Indian Nation, Morongo Band of Mission Indians, and Navajo Nation (Intervenor) filed an opposition to the petitions for rehearing en banc last month, as did the federal government.
Today’s order does not necessarily mean that the Fifth Circuit will find ICWA unconstitutional, but does vacate its earlier decision and add another round of briefing to the case – which is scheduled for December and January.  The Court seeks to hear oral argument during the week of January 20.

Adopted Babies Grieve* #NAAM2019 Adoption and Child Separation at the Border

Adopted Babies Grieve*

When I first joined my new family, in a new home, in a new country with new sounds and unfamiliar smells and foods, I cried and screamed unabated for days on end. My Mom was so concerned she took me to see a doctor. The doctor diagnosed me with “acute separation anxiety.”

I was 6 months old.DNA does not forget.

And neither do our mothers.

*This is the second essay in a  series titled, "Reflections from the Other Side of 10 Years Post-Reunion," that I am publishing as I examine the past 10 years since reuniting with my Korean family. To view additional essays in this series, click here.


Adoption and Child Separation at the Border

Native News Online captures the voices of American Indian leaders speaking out about the practice of incarcerating children and notes the similarities to the boarding school project.
We are seeing the beginnings of how organizations transform black and brown children to desirable bodies for adoption. These are the same children Americans seek to adopt when they are considered “over there” or not linked to black and brown adults. Finding Fernanda by Erin Siegel demonstrates the experiences of adoptive parents as they sought to adopt children from Guatemala.  We are seeing how children’s bodies are being disciplined to become acceptable bodies of children of color—potential adoptees, potential kin to white families.

Silence is violence, especially now. This is why I urge white adoptive parents of children of color in particular to use your voice and speak. Advocate for family preservation and reunification. See how your child’s immigrant story is aligned with the immigrant experiences of these other children. Adoptees should not be exceptional immigrants, but yet we are. We are heralded while people who could be our parents, siblings, or children are denigrated. And don’t be fooled—your children are not exceptions, not when we see naturalized citizens not having the ability to think their citizenship is permanent. To look away and think, “Well my child would not have this happen to them,” at some point we might be in a situation where they will come for us—adoptees. And then what? I’m reminded of the poem, “First they came for the socialists,” by Martin Niemöller given the ways in which American society is normalizing the behavior and dehumanization of some ethnic, racial, and religious groups over others. A quick Google search will reveal that I’m not alone in this concern. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Federal Court approves Indian day schools class-action settlement

Compensation of up to $200K for abuse is 'fair and reasonable,' judge rules

Several federal Indian Day Schools operated in Kahnawake, Que., between 1868 and 1988. A class action settlement offers former students a range of compensation between $10,000 and $200,000, based on abuse suffered while attending the schools.
The Federal Court of Canada has approved the settlement of a class-action lawsuit against the government to compensate thousands of First Nations, Métis and Inuit children who attended federally operated Indian day schools.

There is 24-hour mental health counselling and crisis support available to former day school students at 1-855-242-3310 or by online chat at Counselling is available in English, French, Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut.


I Am Not Your Orphan #NAAM2019

Oct 31 ·

There’s No Such Thing As An Orphan

November is #NAAM (National Adoption Awareness Month), and before you waste your time watching horribly exploitative films like Instant Family, it’s high time we cleared something up, you and me:

There is no such thing as an orphan. There is only colonization.

Now, before you start throwing dictionaries at me, which would be very unpleasant, we must remember that language is constructed by people, and people are subjective. Though a definition for a word may be one thing, the way we use it is something else entirely. The textbook definition for an orphan is “a child whose parents are dead,” and if we were textbook in our use of the word, then many senior care facilities ought to be renamed “orphanages.” But we don’t use “orphan” in this context, because we understand that loss of parents doesn’t mean loss of family. Organizations like UNICEF have formerly limited the definition of orphan to those children under 18 years of age who have lost one or both parents. Fine, this clears up my former comment about the senior community. But I’d still like to ask a few questions to further shore up what I mean when I say that our intended use is different from the reality of the situation.
When I say the word “orphan,” who is it you picture? What is their race? Where on the globe do they live? There is little doubt in my mind that the image this word conjures is not unlike those at the Live-Aid concert, and that’s not unintentional. Yet, let’s say there is a family of white, upper-middle-class characters in a film, and the main character’s sister and brother-in-law have just died in a car accident. This person’s six year old nephew is now, technically, an orphan. But would you imagine international organizations suddenly showing up at the house to take non-consensual photos of the child, blasting their image and embellished bio to couples in foreign countries, and then asking for tens of thousands of dollars to adopt said child? I doubt it. Our first thought is that the main character should take their nephew in. That’s because we understand that it’s important to #keepfamiliestogether. At least, we’d like to believe we understand that; because we sure don’t practice it.
It is said that more than 80% of the world’s “orphans” have one living parent. Out of the remaining percent who reportedly do not have either parent present, none of our statistics include the role of aunts, uncles, grandparents or adult siblings. The only unifying factor of struggle between the majority of these children is that they tend to come from poor(er) families. This is what separates the aforementioned fictional character from those international children we deem “orphaned;” a family’s access to resources.
source: MEDIUM

Tuesday, November 5, 2019


The First Nations Family Advocate Office (FNFAO) is hosting "Bringing Our Children Home" National Conference November 25-27, 2019 with a Gala Event on the evening of November 26, 2019 

read more here

The 60s Scoop settlement and the issues behind it | APTN InFocus #TRC #NAAM2019

We put the Sixties Scoop… InFocus.
That was the Federal Government’s practice of taking about 20,000 Indigenous children and fostering, or adopting them into non-Indigenous homes.
Some as far away as the United States and Europe.
It happened between the late 1950s and well into the 80s, but the impacts are still felt today.
Now, Canada is offering a compensation worth $800 million dollars, for status Indians.
This Agreement-In-Principal excludes non-status and Metis.
Today’s guests include Coleen Rajotte, filmmaker and an adoptee herself, also an advocate for survivors of the Sixties Scoop. And Marlene Orgeron, also an adoptee.
Garth Myers, lawyer at Koskie Minski LLP, in Toronto explained some of the legalities of the A-I-P and took in some heated questions from our guests.
The discussion proved important to talk about, and one thing was clear: it won’t be going away anytime soon.

What our Nations are up against!

What our Nations are up against!



Help in available!

Help in available!
1-844-7NATIVE (click photo)

click to listen

Diane Tells His Name

Please support NARF

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.

where were you adopted?

where were you adopted?