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Howdy! We've amassed tons of information and important history on this blog since 2010. If you have a keyword, use the search box below. Also check out the reference section above. If you have a question or need help searching, use the contact form at the bottom of the blog.

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This is a blog. It is not a peer-reviewed journal, not a sponsored publication... The ideas, news and thoughts posted are sourced… or written by the editor or contributors.

2018: This blog was ranked #49 in top 100 blogs about adoption. Let's make it #1...

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Survivors, write your stories. Write your parents stories. Write the elders stories. Do not be swayed by the colonizers to keep quiet. Tribal Nations have their own way of keeping stories alive.... Trace

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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Daughter of a Lost Bird

Daughter of a Lost Bird Trailer from Daughter of a Lost Bird on Vimeo.

Daughter of a Lost Bird

What does blood have to do with identity? Kendra Mylnechuk, an adult Native adoptee, born in 1980 at the cusp of the enactment of the Indian Child Welfare Act, is on a journey to reconnect with her birth family and discover her Lummi heritage.

The film pays particular attention with regard to our diverse heritage as a nation founded on a multitude of Native nations, and specifically delves into the traditions and culture of the Lummi people.  It also examines the current conditions of Lummi and American Indian people today and the Diaspora formed by the adopted community. Most significantly, the film aims to bring about cross-cultural awareness for those families that adopt across cultural lines, to become more tolerant and understanding of the potential problems that arise from cultural assimilation.


More about the Film: Missoulian News Article 

POLSON – It’s a big leap, going from producing a 15-minute short film to making a feature-length one.
But a woman who spent her childhood on the Flathead Indian Reservation started on a path last week that could help her make the jump.
Brooke Swaney is in New Mexico over Memorial Day weekend for the first of a two-stage development program sponsored by Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute. She’s one of four fellows and projects chosen for Sundance’s 2012 NativeLab Fellowship, which provides continuous and direct support to Native American, Native Hawaiian and Alaskan Native filmmakers.
She took her script, with the working title “Circle,” with her.
It’s a major expansion on the 15-minute short she made for her thesis as a graduate student at New York University’s Film School, called “OK Breathe Auralee.”
“Circle” is about the same young Native American woman “who was adopted away from her community,” Swaney told “On Native Ground,” “and her wanting to reconnect with her roots – kind of through a roundabout way of really wanting to have a baby.”
Swaney wrote the feature-length script at the home of her mother, Ellen, who lives near Polson on Flathead Lake. Ellen says it weaves the four directions and four elements – air, earth, water and fire – so important in Native traditions into the story.
“Originally I wanted four different characters in four different parts of the United States,” Swaney says, “but after making the ‘Auralee’ short I realized her story is so big, I have to just tell her story.”
It’s an adoption story that eventually leads Auralee from her home in New York City back to the place – a Montana Indian reservation – where she was born, but never knew.
Getting such a project by an aspiring young filmmaker off the ground, that’s the challenge.
The Sundance fellowship is a big step.
 

Friday, February 8, 2019

Twins get 'mystifying' DNA ancestry test results | FamilyTreeDNA works with FBI



Note from Trace:
This video was the best I could find regarding the insanity and lies in TV commercials you see every day about DNA testing.


I have told many adoptees I do not trust or recommend DNA tests - I do not trust these companies.
When I found my birthfather, we did a DNA test together and back then it was $500... that was in 1994. The test came back Earl was 99.9% my dad. So we knew without a doubt.

Tribes do not use DNA tests unless it is an adoptee who needs to test with a tribal relative or parent to prove their ancestral connection for tribal membership. You will test with a specific person (like an uncle) to see if you are indeed THEIR relative. My adoptee friend in Sisseton, South Dakota did a DNA test with his father (who he didn't know was his father) because the tribe wanted to prove paternity - and my friend's children wanted to be enrolled in Sisseton. The test turned out 99.9% that this man was his dad. And now my friend is 100% Sisseton!

An adoptee would do DNA testing to find a cousin or aunt or someone else who IS your family member and go from there, with a reunion and phone calls.

Using DNA to say you are Native American/American Indian is not realistic. Why? Tribes do not trust these companies and do not use DNA for determining who is a tribal member. THEY will not use this test without a reason.

But when it comes to Native Americans, the question of genetic testing, and particularly genetic testing to determine ancestral origins, is controversial. […] Researchers and ethicists are still figuring how to balance scientific goals with the need to respect individual and cultural privacy. And for Native Americans, the question of how to do that, like nearly everything, is bound up in a long history of racism and colonialism.

Read this

NOW... one DNA testing company admits they are sharing our DNA data with the FBI. Not that I'm personally worried about criminals -- but WE didn't APPROVE how they SHARE our PERSONAL INFORMATION. Once they have it, they own it.

I wrote about this controversy myself in “BLOOD FOR MONEY”. My take on DNA: LEECH AND EARTHWORM. It’s not just money we need to be concerned about. 

FamilyTreeDNA Admits to Sharing Genetic Data With F.B.I ...

Feb 04, 2019 · FamilyTreeDNA, an at-home DNA testing company, apologized for failing to disclose it was sharing genetic information with the F.B.I. to help solve rapes and murders. Some of the site's users ...

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Four Tribes Respond to False Briefs Filed in Court of Appeals Opposing #ICWA

Published February 7, 2019
NEW ORLEANS — Four tribal leaders issued a statement on Wednesday to denounce the filing in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit by
Signing on the joint statement were: Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Cherokee Nation; Chairman Robert Martin, Morongo Band of Mission Indians; Chairman Tehassi Hill, Oneida Nation; and President Fawn Sharp, Quinault Indian Nation.
Joint Tribal Statement Responding to Briefs Filed in Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Opposing the Indian Child Welfare Act
We are dismayed that opponents of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and tribal sovereignty continued to perpetuate damaging falsehoods in briefs filed this week with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit regarding tribal citizenship and the care that Native children receive under the ICWA’s landmark protections.
Passed more than 40 years ago by Congress, ICWA was designed to reverse decades of cultural insensitivity and political bias that had resulted in up to a third of all Indian children being forcibly removed from their families, their tribes and their cultural heritage.
ICWA ensures the best interests and wellbeing of Native American children are protected. ICWA preserves the stability and cohesion of Tribal families, Tribal communities and Tribal cultures. As federally-recognized sovereign nations, we have the duty, the responsibility, and the wisdom to protect our children.
The flawed arguments by the plaintiffs and their allies have been rejected time and again by state and federal courts over the past 40 years. ICWA is not based on race but on the political relationships of individual Native Americans with federally-recognized tribes. The district court’s flawed decision potentially upsets a foundational precept of federal Indian law—that the relationship between tribes and tribal citizens is a political one.
Most importantly, opponents disregard decades of evidence and case law that show ICWA’s provisions are demonstrably in the best interests of the child. Accepted best practices among child welfare experts – including those in Texas – call for keeping a child with his or her family or relatives whenever possible. ICWA does just that. That is why ICWA is regarded as the gold standardfor child welfare and is so strongly supported by preeminent organizations such as the National CASA Association, the National Association of Social Workers, Casey Family Programs and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
We stand with the bipartisan coalition of federal lawmakers, attorneys general from 21 states, and 30 child welfare organizations who have joined 325 Tribal governments and 57 Tribal organizations in filing numerous amicus briefs urging the Fifth Circuit to overturn the district court’s disastrous ruling
We remain committed to protecting the Constitutionality of ICWA for Native children, families, and Tribes. We firmly believe that our rights, and our children’s rights, will be affirmed and reinforced.

Four Tribes Respond to False Briefs Filed in Court of Appeals Opposing the Indian Child Welfare Act

by Native News Online Staff

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Navajo Leaders Boost ICWA with Utah

The Navajo Nation and Utah Governor signed an inter-governmental agreement Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, to strengthen and further protect the Indian Child Welfare Act for the benefit of Navajo children in the State of Utah. Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer met with Governor Gary Herbert to make it official at the Utah State Capitol during the annual American Indian Caucus Day.

Source: Navajo Leaders Boost ICWA with Utah | News for Page Lake Powell Arizona

Navajo Nation lauds Utah for pledge to keep native families intact

By Amy Joi O'Donoghue, KSL | Feb 4th, 2019 

SALT LAKE CITY — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez praised Utah leaders Monday for standing behind a federal law that urges keeping Native American children with their own tribal members should they need adoption or foster care placement.
"This is a model for not only the Navajo Nation but throughout Indian country," Nez said in reaction to the three-way endorsement of an interl-local agreement among the Navajo Nation, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes.
The signing event an interlocal agreement took place in the auditorium of the State Office Building during American Indian Caucus Day and comes even in the midst of legal challenges to the Indian Child Welfare Act, asserting it is unconstitutional because it elevates a child's race over their best interest.
A federal judge last October struck down the decades-old law after the state of Texas argued racial bias in the case of a non-native couple who sued for the right to adopt a Native American toddler they had fostered for more than a year.
The Texas state court denied their adoption petition based on the federal law that gives preference to Native American families in such circumstances.
The Utah Attorney General's Office filed a friend of the court brief in support of the federal law.
Tough negotiations over the last couple years resulted in Utah's Department of Human Services pledging to continue to keep Navajo children with tribal members as much as possible when it comes to state custody cases.
The daylong caucus event was a chance for leaders and representatives of the eight sovereign tribes in Utah to discuss specific wish lists or complaints regarding their relationship with the state in general and Herbert's office in particular.
Among issues brought up by various tribes:
  • Shoshone Nation Chairman Darren Parry said the tribe is hoping Utah lawmakers give $1 million to help pay for an interpretive center at the Bear River Massacre site in southeast Idaho.
  • Rupert Steele of the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Nation wants more state assistance to deal with "years and years and years" of persistent problems that include fixing a road that is dangerous to travel for Goshute students.
  • Navajo Nation representatives noted the state's financial efforts to boost teacher retention and training in San Juan County, but said more needs to happen. In addition, the state could do more to financially participate in issues related to economic development, improvement in roads and other infrastructure needs.
Tribal representatives did note the first phase of funding had been secured for the extension of broadband into Bluff and areas like Montezuma Creek.
Charlaine Tso, the newly elected council delegate for the Bears Ears region of the Navajo Nation, told Herbert the state should support preservation of sacred lands through the Bears Ears National Monument designation, which was reversed in December of 2017, and to help address the ongoing racial challenges playing out in San Juan County politics.
Two members of the Navajo nation were elected to positions on the San Juan County Commission, but there have been unsuccessful legal challenges raised over allegations related to one member's out-of-state residency.
On Tuesday night, the San Juan County Commission is scheduled to take a vote on a number of resolutions, including one urging restoration of the Bears Ears National Monument and rescission of any resolutions by the previous commission that supported its dismantlement.
The commission is also set to vote on the reversal and withdrawal of any position or legal documents that supported the monument reduction.

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?

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.

Join!

National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network (NISCWN)

Membership Application Form

The Network is open to all Indigenous and Foster Care Survivors any time.

The procedure is simple: Just fill out the form HERE.

Source Link: NICWSN Membership

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