Get new posts by email:

How to Use this Blog

BOOZHOO! 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.

We want you to use BOOKSHOP! (the editor will earn a small amount of money or commission. (we thank you) (that is our disclaimer statement)

This is a blog. It is not a peer-reviewed journal, not a sponsored publication... WE DO NOT HAVE ADS or earn MONEY from this website. The ideas, news and thoughts posted are sourced… or written by the editor or contributors.

EMAIL ME: (outlook email is gone)


Wednesday, November 30, 2022

White Christians Are Still Taking Native Children

11/29/2022 by

The Brackeen case is one of many lawsuits by conservative legal groups to weaponize constitutional equality protections against people of color to the advantage of white people. 

Rosa Alvarez, a Yaqui Indian Native American, was protected under Indian Child Welfare Act, passed by Congress in 1978 to help keep Native American children close to their families and traditional heritage. (Joshua Lott / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

This article originally appeared in the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

On Nov. 9, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case, Haaland v. Brackeen, challenging the constitutionality of the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). The act gives a preference for Native American people to foster and adopt Native American children. The lead plaintiffs are a well-to-do white, evangelical Texan couple, Chad and Jennifer Brackeen, who are seeking to adopt a Navaho girl against the wishes of her relatives, who want to adopt her themselves. Among other arguments, the Brackeens allege reverse racism—that the law discriminates against them based on their race in violation of the equality guarantees of the U.S. Constitution. 

This case is just the most recent chapter in a long history of white people taking Native children from their parents, tribes and cultures.

Beginning in the late 19th century, the U.S. government set up an extensive system of boarding schools for Native children designed to assimilate them by eliminating traditional Native American ways of life and replacing them with mainstream American culture. Many were run by Christian missionaries.

The federal government forced Native families to send their children to these schools, often far from home and for many years. The white people running these schools forbid the children from speaking their Native languages, gave them English names, forced them to cut their hair and give up their traditional clothes, and coercively replaced their own traditional religious practices with Christianity. The schools were run like military schools, where children had to wear uniforms, march in formations, and adhere to strict rules or face harsh discipline.

The boarding schools taught Native children that their cultures were inferior, with some teachers ridiculing and making fun of the students’ traditions. These lessons taught the children to be ashamed of being Native American. A recent Interior Department report found “rampant physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; disease; malnourishment; overcrowding; and lack of health care in [the] boarding schools.” 

In the 1970s, in response to continuing high rates of public and private agencies removing Native American and Alaska Native children from their homes, Congress passed ICWA. The law requires states to notify tribes before placing a Native American child for adoption and to prioritize placement of children with their extended family, members of their tribe, or other Native American families. 

ICWA advocates supported the law as a way to preserve Native American families, traditions and cultures and counter the widespread assumption that white parents are best for all children. Advocates also argued that the ICWA protects tribal sovereignty by granting tribal nations “exclusive jurisdiction” over their enrolled members and their lands—removing control from federal or state governments and private Christian organizations. 

The lawsuit against the ICWA, brought by the Brackeens, the state of Texas, and three other white couples seeking to take Native children from tribes, could be just the first step to reduce tribal sovereignty and nationhood, creating opportunities for white people to take tribal land and resources as well as children.

It’s not surprising that the plaintiffs in the current case are represented for free by Gibson Dunn, a high-powered law firm that has represented oil and gas companies. One of their previous clients was Energy Transfer and Enbridge, a company responsible for the Dakota Access and Line 3 pipelines. This firm also has clients in the gambling sector. Eroding tribal sovereignty would threaten tribal rights over valuable resources such as mineral rights and gaming operations.

The Lakota People’s Law Project urges in this graphic for readers to fight to uphold the ICWA and protect Native self-determination.
(Lakota Law)

More generally, the Brackeen lawsuit is part of a series of lawsuits brought by conservative legal groups and lawyers to weaponize constitutional equality protections against people of color to the advantage of white people. 

Last month in an affirmative action case, the Supreme Court appeared ready to eliminate the ability of schools to promote the admission of historically disadvantaged students, using reasoning similar to that used by the ICWA case plaintiffs. Republican members of the Court made comments indicating that they believed the 14th Amendment equal protection guarantee—adopted after the Civil War to protect Black people—does not allow any law designed to address longstanding and harmful race discrimination against people of color. 

By advocating for “color blind” applications of the law, the Court would allow white people with greater access to resources and power to take money, land, and even children from communities of color—all in the name of equality. In the ICWA lawsuit, the equality guarantees adopted to protect Black people from the violence and discrimination of white people may now be used by white Christians to continue their long-standing practice of removing Native children from their tribes and cultures—and eradicating their religious practices.

The Brackeen case is a shameful display of the ongoing white supremacist settler colonial project in American society. All people must speak out against this centuries-old genocidal behavior against Native Americans that continues to this day.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please: Share your reaction, your thoughts, and your opinions. Be passionate, be unapologetic. Offensive remarks will not be published. We are getting more and more spam. Comments will be monitored.
Use the comment form at the bottom of this website which is private and sent direct to Trace.

Wilfred Buck Tells The Story Of Mista Muskwa

Happy Visitors!

They Took Us Away

They Took Us Away
click image to see more and read more

Blog Archive

Most READ Posts


You are not alone

You are not alone

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.

Diane Tells His Name

click photo

60s Scoop Survivors Legal Support


Lost Birds on Al Jazeera Fault Lines

Lost Birds on Al Jazeera Fault Lines
click to read and listen about Trace, Diane, Julie and Suzie


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.


Original Birth Certificate Map in the USA

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.

Google Followers