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