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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

What can an adoptee do? I want my #OBC

These adoptees are Native Americans and opened their adoptions. That should give you hope.
By Trace Hentz (blog editor)

As adoptees, we all face the same questions: How do we open our sealed files and how do we find out who our tribal nation is and when can we meet our relatives?

The first place to start: KNOW that state where the adoption took place. What is their law governing your rights to your own adoption records? LOOK

Second: Get your non-identifying (Non-ID) from the state where you were adopted. Non-identifying information includes birthparents age and (in recent years) medical history at the time of the child's birth; their physical description (height, weight, eye color); heritage (religion, national origin, race); number of other children, and whether they’re adopted. More detailed data is collected describing your birthparents, not adoptive parents. 

Do not be discouraged if you will need to get a court order and pay to get your adoption file, in many states this is the law... The states that are closed do not make it easy.

I found out in my own search that none of this is easy -- but it can be done. 

PLEASE READ: https://blog.americanindianadoptees.com/search?q=court+order+to+open+adoption+
 https://blog.americanindianadoptees.com/search?q=court+order+to+open+adoption+

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: VISIT:  https://adopteerightslaw.com/

Adoptee Rights Law Center PLLC
Gregory D. Luce
PO Box 19561
Minneapolis Minnesota 55419
T: (612) 221-3947
E: info@adopteerightslaw.co

Luce has created an Adoptee-Driven Law Center:

Original Birth Certificates
Some states recognize adult adoptees' unrestricted right to obtain a copy of their own original birth certificates. I represent those who are denied that right.
Citizenship
Intercountry adoptees may not have received United States citizenship—or may have trouble proving it—even after being adopted in the U.S. decades ago. That's wrong. I advocate to correct it.
Personal Information
Adult adoptees are entitled to their own personal information, which may include information that is in an agency, court, or other locations. I help adoptees get what's rightfully theirs.

The OBC: Data, Information, and Maps

10unrestricted
21compromised
20restricted
51All 50 States + DC


Crosscut Article on Greer Case


Crosscut Article on Greer Case

by ilpc

This court case could weaken Washington’s Indian Child Welfare Act

The law protects Native children from being taken from their homes without tribal involvement. The case before the state Supreme Court could tighten those rules.
 

The law protects Native children from being taken from their homes without tribal involvement. The case before the state Supreme Court could tighten those rules.

READ: This court case could weaken WA’s Indian Child Welfare Act | Crosscut

ICWA was thereafter applied to the case, but the damage was done — the children were placed in foster care without the normal protections the law would have offered them. Now, the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska are challenging the decision in the Washington State Supreme Court. If the court’s decision is upheld, advocates say the case could significantly weaken the use of ICWA in Washington by raising the bar for what qualifies as a “reason to know” that a child is “Indian” in the eyes of the law.
Kathryn Fort, director of Michigan State’s Indian Law Clinic, who is arguing on behalf of the tribes in the case involving Greer and Graham, says that it shouldn’t be so difficult. The burden of checking in with a tribe is low, she says, but the outcome has immense implications for the family, children and tribe.
Briefing and oral arguments here.

Monday, July 6, 2020

News from Twitter #NoDAPL






Monday, June 29, 2020

Indian Lives Matter | The "Indian Problem"



Stanford Law Review Online Publishes “Indian Lives Matter — Pandemics and Inherent Tribal Powers”

by Matthew L.M. Fletcher

Fletcher's paper, "Indian Lives Matter -- Pandemics and Inherent Tribal Powers," is now available online (PDF).


The1918 and 1919 influenza pandemicdevastated American Indian communities.In several states in the west and southwestArizona, Colorado, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Utah4%to 6%of American Indian people died.35“Among Alaskan Natives, entire communities were stricken, and some towns were abandoned.”36Nearly 3,400 Diné (Navajo) people walked on during this time.37Overall,2%of American Indian people walked on because of the pandemic.3


Saturday, June 27, 2020

Remembering Von Hughes #adopteerights

Von and her daughter
Lost Daughters is sad to announce the passing of one of our long-time members, Von Coates. Von was one of Australia’s stolen babies during an era which mirrored that of the “Baby Scoop Era” in the United States (and worldwide). She was instrumental in the official apology issued by the WA government. She stood unapologetically by the wronged mothers as they refused to accept. She was a pioneer in establishing Post-Adoption support in WA. She was also a tireless advocate for bird populations of her homeland and for justice everywhere. She lived a long, fulfilling life. She will be missed.

ETA: Von’s family has asked for donations for a mental health fundraiser in Von’s honor: https://www.mycause.com.au/page/230210/memorial-to-elizabeth-ann-hughes


Her death on May 17, 2020 has been devastating to family, friends and the online community

  


By Trace Hentz, Blog Editor

Every adoptee I know wants to understand why we feel the way we do, and that we are not alone. Von Coates Hughes in Australia was one of my best teachers and she was an outspoken adoptee. She gave in-depth, easy-to-read insight and had the words when I would struggle with how to explain how I felt about being adopted.
Von had a blog on blogger (Once was Von) and someone reported it was not good so it was taken down. What the HELL??? Criticizing the adoption industry and propaganda was dangerous, we soon discovered - and Von and I discussed it via email.  She came to my defense many times. She would openly argue with first mothers/birthmothers and adoptive parents on Facebook - battling as if there was only one victim in the adoption game.
She made many comments on this blog and interviewed me for her blog. Von was also a contributor to LOST DAUGHTERS blog.

Out of necessity, Von moved her blog to wordpress. Below: this was her first post in 2012.




It’s Just A Stage I’m Going Through!

I’m a cat person, a Greyhound person, a goose person – well, let’s just say an animal person or an ‘everything that lives and moves person’ and then some. I love fossils, rocks, gemstones, crystals, mushrooms, toadstools, lichens and all the non-green plants. Yes, I even love spiders and have a large Huntsman named Mathilda living in close proximity. Freaky!  It’s not normal in the eyes of some, but then I’ve got adoption to thank for that. My beloved maternal aGrandfather was the same. He loved and was fascinated by everything that moved, didn’t move, lived or had lived. He was born in Victorian times, so was also a collector, kept a pair of chimpanzees and a Cassowary in the garden.
Every Summer he camped out with his geologist mates from the city museum so that they could collect fossils and set up the collection which is still on show today, still neatly labelled with the source, which reminds me of him every time I visit!  I have photos of those times, taken long before I was born, when my amother was a child raised to a life of respect for living creatures and a love of the area I took my family to live in decades and decades later, long after she had died.
Continuity happens in families, whether they are biological families or adoptive families. Adoptees if they are lucky enough to experience reunion can connect with the bits they wish to, not the bits they don’t. Sometimes, just sometimes, we have choices others do not. Does it make up for not having a choice about losing our mothers, the trauma of adoption?  Of course not, nothing ever does. It can’t even be viewed as compensation; often too complicated or fraught for that, but at least it is choice of a sort. Mainly of the “I choose not to take any more of your shit” variety or “I choose not to go to this funeral” or take on a poisonous sister-in-law who hates our guts for being born and then turning up late to the party. At least we can choose not to let these people and situations abuse us, make us victims and categorise us.
In four lifetimes I’ve seen a lot of that!  Each part of my life as been so very different, it feels as if I have had four lifetimes so far, with another yet to come; not completely coinciding with Brodzinsky’s five stages of the adopted life, but fairly close, with some overlaps. I have no anger about my adoption, I don’t hate anyone, although I believe some of them could have behaved much, much better. I’m not bitter. I refuse to let anyone define my life, what it has been, what it is now and what it will be. I do not believe adoption is ethical or the best we humans can do for children and families, for those living in the poverty others created, manipulated or unsupported for the gains of others. I will not ever allow a group of damaged mothers to define what adoption is to me or stand by while they tell other adoptees what adoption is or is not for adult adoptees. Not in a million years. That is abusive, unacceptable and these days very ill-advised.
Adoption and the adoption industry needs to clean up it’s act, get real and begin to be about finding the very best families for the children who have to become adoptees because their parents cannot, should not or will not raise them. It needs to stop being about baby selling, commodification of human lives and filling orders, greed, profit and lies. Easy?? It could be with the right commitment, intentions and goals and a true belief that is is about the best interests of children and not adults.

Go read her blog - from the beginning. Von made us smart. I will miss her so much. My heart is broken.

This is the bio on Lost Daughters:
Von --Life &Wisdom Columnist
Von is an Australian adoptee of the forced adoption era and has lived the adopted life for 66 years. She is known by her family and dearest friends as someone who takes no prisoners and has a horror of bigotry and injustice.She is a strong believer in the rights of children, the power of love and the medicinal powers of chocolate. She speaks her truth and often describes herself as an adoptee who is 'out, proud and loud". She had the benefit of Yorkshire genes for direct speaking and Somerset genes for perseverance. The Grandmother in her avatar she never knew but has taken as a role model and an inspiration. She is still waiting to be told she is not the oldest blogger on adoption in the blogosphere. Von blogs regularly at her personal blog The Life of Von.

She was also known as Elizabeth Ann Hughes. 

QUOTE
For adoptees, the right to know, the belief in the fundamental human right of knowing who we are, where we came from and who our people are, keeps many of us moving forward, steadily, sometimes haltingly, sometimes fearfully and in trepidation and sometimes with confidence and always with the knowledge that we are right to want the truth, to clear away the lies and to hold liars and abusers accountable.  Adult adoptees won’t be going away any time soon, nor will they be keeping quiet or allowing gains to be lost. We have everything to gain – we already lost everything when we lost our mothers,our identity, our history and our names. 


Friday, June 5, 2020

Sense of Place - Indigenous Perspectives on Earth and Sky, with Leroy Little Bear..

Go here for more information:

The Indigenous Education Institute is honored to announce a collaboration BLM called “A Sense of Place: Indigenous Perspectives on Land and Sky” and the first speaker is Dr. Leroy Little Bear.

READ Listening to Stones

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

I Can't Breathe

 Charles (left) and an actor playing Abe Lincoln.
By Trace L Hentz (taking a break/blog hiatus)
I can't breathe. That is the way I feel.

JUNE 2020: We have multiple pandemics: The 2020 Depression, Covid-19 and the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed man, shown on live TV.
Then I find out my cousin has died.  Dr. Charles Bland, a film scholar historian and genealogist, was almost 80 and he and I had been working on a Native history project for the better part of seven years. I have mentioned him many times on my wordpress blog.

For over a year Charles was suffering with Myasthenia Gravis.  The day before he died (on April 25), I texted and said I wanted to kidnap him and bring him here to western MA and break him out of that New York nursing home. (There were Covid-19 cases but he never caught the virus.)

He texted back, calling me Bonnie and my husband Clyde.
Sadly our rescue didn't succeed. Charlie stopped breathing.
I am raw. I can't breathe.


Everything we are seeing globally is seeding a new future. What kind of future? My husband is African-American and he is dealing with the murder of George Floyd in ways I am not. The violence, injustice, racism, what has been happening with the protests, has filled my husband's reality his entire life.  He can't breathe.
The scene in Minneapolis, where I lived for years, is beyond words.  I lived on James Avenue South near Lake Calhoun, or Bde Maka Ska, off West Lake St. I don't think I'd recognize it anymore.
James Avenue
I walked around the lake daily in good weather.  Recently the MN Supreme Court ruled that "Lake Calhoun" in Minneapolis will officially now be known as "Bde Maka Ska." Lake Calhoun was named after John C. Calhoun, the South Carolina senator who became vice president in 1825. Supporters of the change wanted to distance the lake from Calhoun, a documented supporter of slavery.  In 1837, Calhoun gave a speech on "the positive good" of slavery.   He also authored the Indian Removal Act
Bde Maka Ska is pronounced "b-day ma-kha skah" (translates to "White Earth Lake" in Dakota)

Mourning takes time. Protests take time. Changing the world takes time.


Headlines:

Migizi Communication burns in Minneapolis protests

NBC News| 5 days ago
Democrats on Friday slammed President Donald Trump for what they said was inciting violence against protesters who were demonstrating in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd while he was in police custody.

Riots, arson leave Minnesota communities of color devastated

StarTribune|10 hours ago
When the nonprofit's executive director, Kelly Drummer, returned to the scene a few hours later and saw the destruction, she said, "I knelt down and I just cried." The riots and arson that followed protests of George Floyd's death have devastated organizations and businesses that serve communities of color.


The anger behind the protests, explained in 4 charts

murder vs riot
Icantbreathe

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Modern-day Colonialism

"All records stemming from the redress process of the Indian residential school legacy should be public record and not subject to more legal wrangling," said Garnet Angeconeb, who attended Pelican Lake Indian Residential School, near Sioux Lookout and received the Order of Canada, in an email. "We often hear that the Indian residential schools legacy is our 'collective' or 'shared' history as a country. Why then is that one side is driving this contemporary history through the use of law? It looks like, smells like, feels like modern-day colonialism at its best."

READ: Ottawa's move to block statistical reports on residential schools 'modern-day colonialism,' says survivor | CBC News

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

How Being Separated From My Family and Tribe Affected Me


By Jacqueline Davis, Activist          

Today the Supreme Court will hear Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, a case about a South Carolina Indian girl who the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that the child must be returned to her Indian father. The child's mother ignored the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978, a federal law designed to protect Indian families from "abusive child welfare practices that resulted in the separation of large numbers of Indian children from their families and tribes through adoption or foster case placement" and, as a result, both the tribe and the father were denied their rights under ICWA.
As the Supreme Court hears this case, the coverage has been largely one-sided. I thought it was important for people to hear my story, and how being separated from my family and tribe has affected me.

My name is Jacqueline Davis. I am one of six siblings affected by a decision made by the state of South Carolina. I am a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in South Dakota and my grandfather is Chief Dave Bald Eagle. My father, who is African-American, met my mom and married her while he was stationed in the Air Force. They eventually moved off the reservation to South Carolina. Their lives changed one day when my mother applied for WIC and the nurse realized that she spanked her children as a form of discipline. Their children were taken and placed in foster care. We were split in pairs. The charges were piled on, and our parents lost custody. The Bald Eagle family offered to take us on the reservation and for reasons I still don't know they were told our case had nothing to do with ICWA. I can remember my parents coming to visit us for years.

Read the rest here:
http://www.aclu.org/blog/racial-justice/how-being-separated-my-family-and-tribe-affected-me

Is Culture How You Think?

REBLOG

By Trace L Hentz (5/14/2015)

So much about adoption is complicated for the adoptee.  If you are like me, you may feel torn between who you think you are, who you are inside, versus how you were raised and who raised you.

I am an adoptee as readers know. What a great many adoptees have told me is they feel they lost culture when not raised in their tribe, losing parents, grandparents and the language. Even typing those words hurts. Loss is loss. Loss hurts.

This has bothered me. I think that the loss is true yet culture is not completely lost.

How? You still have the blood and that is built-in culture. (It's not erasable or removable.)

I think Native Adoptees have a different thought process that was not acknowledged or celebrated or honored when they were young. Non-Indian parents may not have appreciated how sensitive or funny or curious you were or if they did see it, they didn't say anything nice about it.

Girls who were strong tomboys like me were criticized and shy boys who were sensitive were bullied.

One thing to remember: non-Indians don't think Indian. You do. It's not their fault. We're very different in how we think.

Sit back and remember all the times as a child you made people laugh. Remember how much you loved animals. Remember what made you cry - like a sunset or sunrise. Remember how you gave thanks for life and all that is sacred, even if you were alone. Remember watching westerns on TV and rooting for the Indians?


We have a choice as an adoptee to return home and what I call "go full circle." It takes patience. It requires courage. It costs money. It demands you take time to learn and relearn and listen. This return to your culture may take years! (We still have the burden of closed adoption records in many states.)

Every culture will say it's people who carry the culture.

There is no culture better than another. That is true. But the culture of Indigenous People lives in your breath, bone and blood. If you exist, it exists.

Nothing, including adoption, can ever erase it.


Trace is the author of One Small Sacrifice, the book series Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects  and the creator of the blog American Indian Adoptees.

The Risk of Extinction due to #Covid-19

Native communities in the U.S. have suffered disproportionately from COVID-19, with higher rates of infection and death. The Navajo Nation has implemented a series of strict lockdown measures in an effort to protect its population, but health care facilities have still been overwhelmed. In fact, tribes across the country see the pandemic as representing an existential threat. Stephanie Sy reports.

Back in New Mexico, there are significant clusters of cases in the state's Pueblos. By one estimate, 11 percent of the Zia Reservation of only 646 members were infected. At that rate, leaders are concerned about the risk of extinction.

WATCH: Native communities have been hit hard by COVID-19 -- and fear for their survival

For more information on reports, helpful prevention tips, and more resources, please visit the Navajo Department of Health’s COVID-19 website at http://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19.
To contact the Navajo Health Command Operations Center, please call (928) 871-7014.
For the latest news from the Office of the President and Vice President, please visit http://www.opvp.navajo-nsn.gov/ or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Rural Matters — Coronavirus and the Navajo Nation

Navajo Nation Doc: Matthew L.M. Fletcher


From the New England Journal of Medicine, here.

The Navajo Nation, Diné Bikéyah, is 27,000 square miles of high-altitude desert, steep canyons, red rock spires, and extinct volcanoes, which, at this time of year, are still spotted with snow. The population density is among the lowest in the contiguous United States: seven people per square mile. If you didn’t know better, the vast landscape would seem a perfect setup for social distancing.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Midnight Shine - Sister Love (Celebration of Sisters!) @midnightshineon

FUN FACTS
Ø  Adrian
Sutherland, Midnight Shine founder and frontman, wrote Sister Love from a poem written by his sister Iris Sutherland – she shares co-writing credit on the song. 
Ø  Adrians
Mom played acoustic guitar, keyboard, and sang, instilling in him his love of music, and inspiring him to play. 
Ø  Sister
Love
 is Midnight Shine’s 2nd most streamed song on Spotify – second only to Heart of Gold (which now has more than 227,000 YouTube views).
Ø  Sister
Love
 reached #1 on Canada's Indigenous Music Countdown when it was released.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Coming Up: Native America Calling

Native America Calling is a national call-in program that invites guests and listeners to join a dialogue about current events, music, arts, entertainment and culture.

The program is hosted by Tara Gatewood (Isleta Pueblo) and airs live each weekday from 1-2 pm Eastern.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Covid-19 in Indian Country

Today's Headlines
April 3, 2020
A travel advisory near Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico. The tribe has confirmed a COVID-19 case and is asking community members to limit travel outside the reservation. (Photo-Pueblo of Zuni, Facebook)
 
Some Pueblos communities confirm first cases of COVID-19

Volunteers deliver traditional herbs to elders in Rapid City

Doctor discusses anxiety and stress during the pandemic

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Oregon: Houses Passes Bill to Place Native American Foster Children in Culturally Appropriate Care #ICWA

  House Bill 4148 was passed in the Oregon House of Representatives on Thursday, February 20. The legislation seeks to place Native American and Alaska Native foster children in culturally appropriate care.  

WOULD ALIGN OREGON WITH FEDERAL LAW: This bill modifies the current dependency law in order to better fit with the Indian Child Welfare Act and mandates the Oregon Department of Human Services to provide reports every other year on American Indian and Alaska Native children in the welfare system.  
This new legislation essentially works to protect Native American children in culturally appropriate environments within Oregon’s foster care system. “Culturally appropriate” meaning that the cultural identity of Native American foster children will be protected through carrying on their traditions and connection to their family and tribe whilst they are in the foster care system.   
The bill is a response to the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, which was created “to protect the best interests of Indian children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families by the establishment of minimum Federal standards for the removal of Indian children from their families and the placement of such children in foster or adoptive homes which will reflect the unique values of Indian culture.”  
4148 is a direct follow up to concerns about over-representation of Native American children in the foster care system, who made up 4.8 percent of Oregon’s system in 2018, though they make up only 1.6 percent of the total population.  
SOURCE

Friday, February 21, 2020

How a white evangelical family could dismantle adoption protections for Native children- VOX

The federal court case could have a sweeping impact on Native families and tribal sovereignty.
This cultural difference — that a family’s fitness is determined by its wealth, and that those concerns should outweigh a child’s connection to their family and heritage — is essentially why the Indian Child Welfare Act was created in 1978. The law recognizes the history of federal policy aimed at breaking up Native families and mandates that, whenever possible, Native families should remain together.

Sarah Kastelic, the executive director of the National Indian Child Welfare Association, said that ICWA acknowledges important familial and tribal bonds that have long been disregarded, and that Native ways — such as extended families living under the same roof — have often been used to show unfitness in child welfare proceedings. “No matter the picket fences and swimming pools and things, most of the time, kids want to be with their families,” she said.

READ: The Native adoption case that could dismantle the Indian Child Welfare Act, explained - Vox

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Modern day treaty could help make Alaska a model for state-tribal child welfare partnership


House Bill 221 is "long overdue," according to Rep. Tiffany Zulkusky, Yup'ik, (D) Bethel, chair of the House Committee on Native Affairs.



Tribes say an end to hostilities with the state of Alaska is long overdue.

A bill that would require state acknowledgement of federally-recognized tribes had its second hearing Tuesday and was approved and moved out of the Alaska House Special Committee on Tribal Affairs.
At the hearing questions were raised and addressed about the impact of the legislation on state jurisdiction and sovereignty.

Two witnesses gave legislators a look at what could be a national model for a state-tribal partnership, in 2017 the state of Alaska and a dozen tribes signed an Alaska Tribal Child Welfare Compact.

Nicole Borromeo, Athabascan, general counsel for the Alaska Federation of Natives, said a compact is like a modern-day treaty. "[This one] specifically defines the services and supports that are going to be carried out by our tribes and tribal organizations on behalf of the state as well as the funding streams required," she said.

“I want to call the committee’s attention to the fact that this is the first ever compact that has been negotiated at the state level. And that is something for all of us to be proud of,” Borromeo said. “We [Alaskans] tend to be at the top of the list of undesirables and at the bottom of the good list. In this case we are truly breaking ground and we're on the cutting edge of law and policy. It's just something that all Alaskans should know about and be able to celebrate.”

Francine Eddy Jones, director of tribal family and youth services, Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. (Photo courtesy of Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska)
Francine Eddy Jones, director of tribal family and youth services, Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. (Photo courtesy of Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska)

Francine Eddy Jones, Tlingit, is director of tribal family and youth services at the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.
🔻


The Journey Home: Wayne William Snellgrove

(reblog from 2013)
Wayne (center) with his brother and a-mom Ann Snellgrove
Torn Apart 32 Years Ago By Canadian Policy Toward Aboriginals, A Mother And Son Meet For The First Time.


September 21, 2003| BY MARGO HARAKAS


He called himself Lost Cub, and for years he tried futilely to find his way home.


Then in 2002, feeling that at last he was closing in, Wayne Snellgrove hired a private investigator to follow up on the final four names on his list. He needed a shield, a buffer from the searing pain of renewed rejection. When the Canadian investigator finally telephoned her news, Snellgrove took the phone to the bedroom, closed the door, and, lying down on the bed, braced himself.


http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/images/pixel.gif
"I found your mother," she said. Then it all tumbled out.


Nora Smoke, a Saulteaux Indian living on a reserve in Saskatchewan, told the investigator, she loved Wayne, always had, that it was the happiest day in her life that he had found her. She had never forgotten the child she'd never seen.


"Please tell my son," Smoke pleaded with the investigator, "I've always thought of him."


And the 6-foot-3-inch, 225-pound athlete sobbed, sobbed like a baby, sobbed with 32 years of repressed emotion, sobbed like a kidnapped child returned to his bereft mother.


The search had ended; however, the story of a newborn's disappearance three decades ago was yet to be told.


Snellgrove, like many Canadians, calls it kidnapping. Others call it cultural annihilation or cultural genocide. Officially, it's been dubbed the Sixties Scoop.


Throughout the 60s, 70s and into the mid 80s, thousands of native children were separated from their mothers and adopted out to middle-class, non-native families in the United States, Europe and elsewhere.


"Some communities lost an entire generation," says Darrell Racine, professor of native studies at Brandon University, in Manitoba, Canada.


At best, say the critics, the action of the Children's Aid Societies, authorized at the time to administer Canada's child welfare services, was misguided. At worst, it was racism.


"It goes back to the usual manifest destiny complex white people have over red people and the idea they are more civilized than aboriginal people. They thought they were doing the aboriginals a favor," says Emma LaRocque, professor of native studies at the University of Manitoba.


The problem was those removing the children were usually white and, because of bias or ignorance of aboriginal culture, they were, say critics, unqualified to determine what was in the best interest of the native child.


That the Sixties Scoop followed on the heels of the horrific residential school program was not coincidence. The thinking there, says Racine, "was the only way to civilize the Indians was to get the child away from the parents." So the children were forced into church-run boarding schools to be purged of their language, customs and culture. (Similar boarding schools were operational throughout most of the 20th century in the United States, as well.)


In the 1960s, with the closing of Canada's residential schools, aboriginal children continued to be removed, this time on the grounds of parental ambivalence, poverty, illness, or drug or alcohol addiction.
http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/images/pixel.gif


"Entire reserves would be assessed as dysfunctional and every child in the community would be removed," says Kenn Richard, director of Native Child and Family Services of Toronto.


And then "because of racism," says Richard, who is half native, "few white Canadians were willing to adopt aboriginal children, so placements were made through agencies in the U.S."


'I really don't belong'


Wayne Snellgrove came through an agency in Northampton, Mass. Six months before getting the 2 1/2-year-old Wayne, Richard and Ann Snellgrove, his adoptive parents, had taken home another boy, a white boy. They wanted to find for him a companion.


Despite loving and caring parents, Wayne says, "I've always had this feeling of being lost and misplaced, feeling I don't really belong here. Every time I looked in the mirror, I knew it. I had only to look at my brother to know I was different."


He describes his adoptive family as "wonderful." But his situation was far different from those that have made headlines in Canada and suggest there was little screening of prospective parents. Several stunning cases are recounted by the Native Child and Family Services of Toronto in its report titled "Research Project: Repatriation of Aboriginal Families -- Issues, Models and A Workplan." One Native child, placed with a bachelor in Kansas, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for killing his adoptive father with a baseball bat. The trial revealed that for years the youth had been sexually abused by his adoptive father.


Likewise, a native girl placed with a family who subsequently moved to Holland wound up a drug addict and prostitute after being impregnated twice by her adoptive father. After years of living abroad, she returned to Canada where, with the help of birth siblings, she established a new life.


 Please leave a comment! Wayne, an amazing artist and Olympic swimmer, is on Facebook.  He lives in Florida. This is his painting of a red hand.

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?