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Monday, April 8, 2019

American Indian adoptees deal with painful past and family separations

Larry Brown, Navajo, prepares for the November powwow ceremony at the Minneapolis American Indian Center. The ceremony provides a space for American Indian families to heal after decades of family separation. (Photo: Camille Erickson. )
The Indian Child Welfare Act has faced numerous constitutional challenges in federal courts since its enactment in 1978, attempts to undermine tribal nations’ authority in child welfare matters
Jane Harstad gave birth in 1986 to her first child, a son. Soon after, a pediatrician asked for her family’s medical history. She didn’t have a clue. She didn’t know who her biological mother or father was, let alone what medical conditions they had.
Harstad, who is Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, was adopted shortly after birth through Catholic Charities adoption services in 1965. The agency placed her in a white, middle-class family living in St. Paul, Minn.
After obtaining her biological mother’s address through the adoption agency, Harstad sat down to write a letter. She felt immediately overwhelmed.
“It took me a long time, you know, days or weeks [to write]. Even the first word like, ‘Hello,’ or ‘Dear Mom,’” she said. “It took a long time to carefully choose my words.” Harstad provided her phone number in the letter and said she wanted to meet her mother.
Harstad, now 56, would later reflect on that moment: “I was searching for a part of myself that was missing, and I knew she was the answer whether it was good or bad or ugly. It was like a puzzle and you’re missing one piece. You’re just never going to be complete.”
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What our Nations are up against!

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.

Generation Removed

Did you know?

Did you know?
lakota.cc/16I9p4D

Dawnland

Help in available!

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

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Diane Tells His Name

where were you adopted?

where were you adopted?