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Monday, March 4, 2019

I am living proof that it’s best to keep Native children with their tribal communities



Strong relationships with family and culture should be a priority for Native foster youth.


(excerpt) No placement may be perfect when you are a foster youth. I can speak from personal experience.
I have been in and out of the foster system with my younger siblings since I was 9. Amid so many unknowns, one thing remains certain: I am grateful I was placed within my tribal community....

I am now raising my younger siblings, getting a degree in anthropology at Central Washington University and applying to law school. I wouldn’t be able to say that I’m graduating in June without the strength of my culture and the support from my family. In five years, I hope to be surviving law school while raising a teenage girl, my youngest sibling.

Losing our culture is not an option for us.

We go to longhouse when we can; we feast and perform traditional funerals for departed loved ones. My siblings know this history. They know these protocols and they know how to complete them in the traditional way. They know their identity. We are all stronger for this connection to our people.

It is imperative that the appeals court keeps ICWA intact, because it has allowed me to build the strong foundation to the person I am today.

READ: I am living proof that it’s best to keep Native children with their tribal communities | The Seattle Times

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Why tribes do not recommend the DNA swab

Rebecca Tallbear entitled: “DNA, Blood, and Racializing the Tribe”, bearing out what I only inferred:

Detailed discussion of the Bering Strait theory and other scientific theories about the population of the modern-day Americas is beyond the scope of this essay. However, it should be noted that Indian people have expressed suspicion that DNA analysis is a tool that scientists will use to support theories about the origins of tribal people that contradict tribal oral histories and origin stories. Perhaps more important,the alternative origin stories of scientists are seen as intending to weaken tribal land and other legal claims (and even diminish a history of colonialism?) that are supported in U.S. federal and tribal law. As genetic evidence has already been used to resolve land conflicts in Asian and Eastern European countries, this is not an unfounded fear.

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