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Thursday, March 28, 2024

Our Indigenous Roots

 This is a long post so please click READ MORE


This map shows you which Indigenous lands you’re living on.


 Click here to access it.


BY Rob Brezsny (SUBSTACK)

Our Indigenous Roots

Even if our forebears arrived in what we now call Americas in the 1600s, and our predecessors have lived on the continent for the last 14 generations, we can all trace our ancestry back to some group of Indigenous people.

Maybe your people were Celts who lived in what’s now Austria during the ninth century BCE. Or perhaps your biological line was Jewish Egyptian three millennia ago, or Chinese as far back as the ancient Xia Dynasty, or Mycenaean in the Aegean area of what we now call Greece circa 3200 BCE.

One fact is indisputable: In a literal sense, every one of us has Indigenous roots. At some point, our ancestors fit the official definition of Indigenous: “a culturally distinct ethnic group that is native to a particular place.”

Let’s go further. Mythologist and storyteller Michael Meade tells us that whether or not we know our own Indigenous past, we can and should strive to be in close touch with our inner Indigenous person.

What does that mean? Meade says we can benefit from seeing the world through an Indigenous perspective, with a reverence for nature and receptivity to the teachings available to us from the non-human intelligences of animals and plants as well as the spiritual realm.

Here’s the sticky part. Even if we have not personally participated in damaging the Indigenous cultures of the land we now live on, our destinies are defined and shaped by the fact that those cultures were damaged. Everything we do is built on the results of the damage.

When most of our fellow Americans came of age, our education included little about the calamity committed against the native people. If the evidence for the desecration appeared in our history textbooks, it was dealt with cursorily. We grew up with a carefully cultivated amnesia about the tragic origins of the United States. The story of African American slavery was almost equally suppressed.

Our hypothesis is that this amnesia, this failure to fully acknowledge the roots of our civilization, dampens our ability to be, as Michael Meade recommends, in close touch with our own inner Indigenous person.

We may not feel guilt, remorse, and shame on a conscious level. But like all suppressed emotions, they churn and burn in our deep psyches, alienating us from the Indigenous perspective we all need.

And yes, we need that perspective if we hope to reverse the juggernaut of humanity’s ecocidal ways—and preserve our earthly paradise for the generations to come after us.

On a personal level, we need a full, generous communion with our inner Indigenous person because it has tremendous power to keep us grounded. It potentially provides us with essential support in our lifelong labor to ensure our mind is anchored in earthy practicality.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

3-Part Series: NEW rules under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

 INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY : FANTASTIC SERIES

LINK

Read ICT's entire NAGPRA series:
NAGPRA Part 1: A sea change in federal regulations
NAGPRA Part 2: ‘A state of Gozhoo
NAGPRA Part 3: A model for future Indigenous exhibits

Blood Quantum use is controversial

 



"Blood quantum" is a U.S. colonial notion to identify whether someone is Indigenous and to which tribal band they belong. Its use is controversial.

READ MORE

 

👇

More: Wisconsin’s story doesn't start with Jean Nicolet. A brief history of forced relocation and 'landcestry.'

More: 28 site names that slur Indigenous women are being removed in Wisconsin. Here's what's happening next.

Indigenous academics argue that all First Nations in the U.S. will soon have to address blood quantum to deal with declining enrollments.

Quick Note: Google is harvesting data - but as far as we know, there is not another platform to use for this blog... STAY TUNED!

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

[Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Link between Adoption and Suicide is Real

[Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Link between Adoption and Suicide is Real: photo: Daughter Jane and Lorraine 

Link between Adoption and Suicide is Real

Daughter Jane and Lorraine
It was a bracing morning being brought back to reality about how the world see the woman who gave up a child for adoption. Not nicely is the short answer. 

A ten-minute morning interview for drive-to-work radio show in the New York/New Jersey area led to be being mentally whacked for having a relationship with a married man, which I did, and his having an Irish Catholic background was another reason to pile on the  criticism.  She gave the listeners advice--don't have an affair with a married man, look where that led for this stupid person I'm interviewing.

We did cover that I found her, that her adoptive parents had already tried to find me, that her epilepsy was almost certainly caused by the birth-control pills I took when I was pregnant but did not know...and then she asked how my relationship with my daughter was today.

I had to say that she died.  Since the next question was going to be about that--I told the truth.  She died by suicide.  Mincing words is not my style.  I was able to say some more but since people listening today might come to the blog to read about suicide, 

I'm excerpting a small section of Hole In My Heart below: 

    While there are no good statistics on adoptees who actually commit suicide, research on adopted populations shows that a disproportionate number are likely to. No matter how you slice the numbers, adoption increases the probability of suicide, no matter how many adoptees never have a thought of it, no matter how many adoptees are successful, smart, and may one day end up on the Supreme Court. It is unlikely there will ever be good statistics on how many adoptees commit suicide because “adopted” is not noted on death certificates. 

    What we do know is that more adoptees than non-adoptees think about suicide quite often.  Google “suicide and adoption” and what pops up is an entry from the medical journal Pediatrics, “Adoption as a Risk Factor for Attempted Suicide during Adolescence.”  That study unequivocally states, “Attempted suicide is more common among adolescents who live with adoptive parents than among adolescents who live with biological parents.” The connection between adoption and suicide persisted even after the researchers adjusted for depression, aggression, and impulsive behavior.  Not surprisingly, “family connectedness,” whether among the adopted or non-adopted, did decrease the likelihood of suicide attempts. 

    Researchers at the University of Minnesota reported that adopted teens were almost four times more likely to attempt suicide than those who lived with their natural parents, even after adjustment for factors associated with suicidal behavior, such as psychiatric disorder symptoms, personality traits, family environment, and academic disengagement.  Girls were more likely than boys to attempt suicide.  About 75 percent of the adopted teens in the study (more than 1,200, all living in Minnesota) were adopted before the age of two and were foreign born—mostly from South Korea.

    This deep dive into suicide and adoption followed a study by the lead researcher and others who concluded that being adopted approximately doubled the odds of having a disruptive behavior disorder and having contact with a mental health professional. Interestingly, international adoptees were less likely to exhibit behavior disorders.

B. J. Lifton wrote that at a seminar for adoptive parents when she brought up the fact that the percentage of adoptee suicide was statistically high, a prominent psychiatrist asked if that nasty bit could be deleted from the tape, which was to be later sold as a record of the talk.  Lifton agreed but later wrote she was sorry she had. --from Hole In My Heart.

Monday, March 25, 2024

The Great Divider: How the Baby Veronica case was the sign

 REBLOG from February 24, 2014

By Trace Hentz

OK, as promised, I have more thoughts after I went to the hallowed halls of Yale Law School last Friday to hear a review of the Baby Veronica Case - and to hear what NCAI, NARF and the Tribal Supreme Court Law Project at Yale were doing while this major case was going on... and I reported to you yesterday what they said essentially…

There weren't any surprises for me unless you count how these panelists didn't use the time to discuss the genocide that actually occurred prior the passing of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 and the child abductions by social workers and missionaries - nor did they mention human trafficking and the Nightlight Adoption Agency dealings with Maldonado, the birthmother.  They did mention boarding schools.

So, I was truly upset. From what I heard, it appears American Indians are eons behind in civil rights and we can't seem to win a case in the Supreme Court.  I’d heard that warning years prior but this time at Yale was a bit more in my face. This case was about adoption by non-Indians, something I lived myself.

We had Justice Alito writing an opinion that Veronica is 1.2% Indian.  NARF attorney Joel West Williams asked the Yale audience, "Who in America is 1/16 or 3/256th anything?"  Yet we have a judge issuing his opinion by measuring an Indian for their Indian-ness which equates to measuring a child’s blood? This is still happening?

·        JUSTICE ALITO delivered the opinion of the Court:
This case is about a little girl (Baby Girl) who is classified as an Indian because she is 1.2% (3/256) Cherokee. Because Baby Girl is classified in this way, the South Carolina Supreme Court held that certain provisions of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 required her to be taken, at the age of 27 months, from the only parents she had ever known and handed over to her biological father, who had attempted to relinquish his [**736]parental rights and who had no prior contact with the child. The provisions of the federal statute [*2557] at issue here do not demand this result.


 

·        Jun 25 2013: Judgment REVERSED and case REMANDED. Alito, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Roberts, C. J., and Kennedy, Thomas, and Breyer, JJ., joined. Thomas, J., and Breyer, J., filed concurring opinions. Scalia, J., filed a dissenting opinion. Sotomayor, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Ginsburg and Kagan, JJ., joined, and in which Scalia, J., joined in part. Read more here
·         

I couldn’t sleep ... Dusten Brown never had a chance. He went to Iraq knowing the Capobiancos had his daughter but he had to serve a year and a JAG lawyer took his case.  The puzzle remains why Maldonado mysteriously breaks up with him and severs all communication. Was she punishing her high school sweetheart Dusten by selling his baby or was she manipulated by the adoption agency to take their money?

Then it hit me - keeping America ignorant of Indians, culture, actual history - this all works to take Indian children.  Judgment is easy.  Third World poverty (which we didn’t create) somehow equates to abuse of children.  Add their general ignorance of sovereignty and culture, what it means to be Cherokee or Lakota or Navajo or any tribe - and it means you can't win public opinion polls or cases before the Supreme Court? 

Ignorance about Indians? Exactly!

It's been going on since colonial contact.  Please, let's not call them settlers anymore but invaders.  America has always been the Great Divider, building its fences, writing its laws, counting on classism and racism to divide us. 

America wins every time when it perpetuates this ignorance of Indians.  Do Indians do a good job of educating others about culture, or what's important to us?  Not really.  We're way behind in any civil rights movement.  We've had movies romanticizing us over 100 years and it's hard to kill those "savage" “redskin” stereotypes drilled into all our heads!  

What do Americans know about Indians? Nothing.  Practically zilch.

America's "taking care" of Indians only works to create HATE among Americans who view us as privileged in some way that they are not.  Like why do we even have a law that keeps nice white people from adopting Indian babies?  Trust me, ICWA is under attack.

I do know that Indians are way ahead in surviving every broken treaty and then fighting each other over small scraps of power.  Some tribes even subscribe to "blood quantum" as if they need to purge their citizen rolls of those who may be too white or too black.

We have Supreme Court Justices using the blood quantum argument and you see that is not entirely their fault (they all went to law school but didn’t even have a course on Indian Law at those Ivy League schools) but it tells me - do not go anywhere near them.  They are not even aware of their ignorance.  Dusten Brown didn't have a chance, not in that court.

We Indians shouldn't go anywhere near that court or any court with that level of stupidity.  No, you can't tell Americans they are stupid.

What the panel did say was each and every tribe needs to create and have their own child protection network. I agree since it's pretty evident that you can't trust any non-Indian social worker to go to the reservation and use their mother- father “family unit” example.  Only Indians can decide who the right people are to care for its children.  That person might be an auntie, grandmother or another relative, depending on who in the tribal family is willing and able.

And the panel said we need more American Indian lawyers who become judges - because the way it is now - Indians can’t win.

For many years Vine Deloria and others did try very hard to educate others (with their brilliant books) on the white man’s level, even earning degrees in white man’s colleges like Yale and Harvard, but it all comes down to this:  whites don’t really care.

And if we really think about it, this is a very dangerous situation to be in.


Footnote:  I attended white schools like most everyone else - Really nothing I learned was true or real about Indian culture or history. I learned more sitting at the kitchen table of my friend Ellowyn who is Oglala Lakota, who gave me an education about Indians not written about anywhere.  Then there was my one adoptive aunt (a first-born American) who calls me a liar when I told her there were Indian Boarding Schools, and this was right after I visited Haskell in Kansas.  No, Americans are not learning about Indians or the truth of our history. 
The Baby Veronica case is the sign, whether we wish to see it that way or not - but we can no longer ignore the ignorance or the danger surrounding this case. 
 
THIS BLOG HAS MANY POSTS ABOUT THE BABY V CASE... Yes, she was adopted out...
 
BLOODISM? READ THIS

Friday, March 22, 2024

REMINDER


Hey Adoptees:

We are still doing the COUNT 2024.  Have you filled out a survey? go to:

https://thecount2024.blogspot.com/

encrypted email for Trace (private)

tracelara@pm.me

REQUEST FREE PDF: Almost Dead Indians (+The Count 2024)

Interview:

I have received a small amount of surveys... please fill out and mail one SOON! 

Trace

BAD RIVER - MOVIE Trailer #protectgreatlakes

Bad River Trailer - Quannah ChasingHorse and Edward Norton Narration from 50EGGS on Vimeo.

 


Please see this FILM...

BAD RIVER is a full length documentary that takes us into the heart of an epic battle the Bad River Ojibwe are waging to save Lake Superior. Acclaimed New Yorker writer, Bill McKibben calls the film "a powerful chronicle… and a hopeful picture of the emerging possibilities for power” Narrated by Quannah ChasingHorse and Academy-Award nominee, Edward Norton. Opening in select @amctheatres across the US MARCH 15. 

For ticket and venue information https://www.badriverfilm.com/dates/ #badriverfilm #environment #water #waterislife #nature #socialjustice #indigenous #firstnations #river #greatlakes #protectgreatlakes


 

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Seed Beads and Porcupine Quills


OUR HISTORY: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects: Seed Beads and Porcupine Quills: the first pair of earrings I made 

REBLOG from 2011   (BACK UP BLOG)

No one knew what ancestry I had growing up. It mattered more to me than it did to the family who adopted me. As adoptees grow up, we realize we are a mystery; sadly our adoptive family may not know anything or share anything with us about our true identity. That is a hard way to live, not a good way to live. It hurts when people call you a bastard or orphan. It happened to me often – I was asked why I was adopted. I didn’t know the answer. How could I know? I was relying on lies and half-truths, like it was better I didn’t know the truth about me and my mother. I hated the way I was treated: like I was someone who did not deserve to know the truth, as if it should not matter to me!

I did follow my spirit when I started to make beaded jewelry, long before I knew I had any Indian blood. I still have the first pair of earrings I made when I was 20. Something drew me to seed beads and porcupine quills. Blood is embedded with our genetic code. No one can alter that. I didn’t know about my Shawnee ancestry until I was almost 40.

Here is a something else to consider: “…Before Europeans arrived, Indian education taught children how to thrive. Social education taught responsibilities to the extended family and the clan, band, or tribe. Vocational education taught about child rearing, home management, farming, hunting, gathering, fishing, and so forth. Children learned about their place in the cosmos through stories and ceremonies. Traditional Indian education emphasized learning by application and imitation, not by memorizing information…” This is from Path of Many Journeys, The Benefits of Higher Education for Native People and Communities, published in February 2007.

So Indian Country taught by example. Children watched and learned. I wanted to learn the peyote stitch, so I call this an interest by instinct and blood. When I think back, I prayed while I beaded. Each bead I strung, I would pray. No one in my adoptive family ever said to do this. No one taught me or encouraged me to bead. My first husband actually discouraged it since he said I wouldn’t make money selling them. He missed the point. I made this jewelry to give away as gifts. Edie, my adoptive mother, often wore hers to church.

I did a radio interview on Sunday Sept. 25 (See Interviews & Readings 2011 on the left sidebar) and a friend asked me to answer this on air: “If you love someone you want to know everything about them… Why don’t adoptive parents want to know everything about their child?” (Since we ran out of time, I was not able to answer this.)

Here is my answer: I think some adoptive parents did and do want to know. I know some were told personal details in meetings with social workers and lawyers. (For example, Edie saw paperwork on my brother and saw his real name in the 1950s.) Before the 1950s, the adoption system believed in openness so adoptive parents had more details about blood and the child’s birth family; this was the era of eugenics and fears of “Bad Seed” in certain children put up for adoption. Openness changed when the adoptive family started to demand total privacy in adoption, obviously to calm their anxiety and fears of losing a child they adopted. To seal the deal, adoption records were closed in most states so baby and birthmother would never meet or be able to know each other. We know some parents spent thousands of dollars to adopt a baby (or babies) and didn’t want to ever lose that child. We also know social workers created stories and myths so adoptees would appear perfect and very smart. Imagine the disappointment if a child starts to act anxious or traumatized and “acts out” over this mystery they are forced to accept for life. A few adoptees told me they heard details growing up that were later found to be lies, especially about ancestry.

Another question was: Do adoptive parents disown children if they open their adoption and find their birthfamily? 

Yes. It happens frequently.

State systems and religion-based adoption groups still control information and secrecy with sealed records. Secrecy prevents future reunions. Secrecy would also protect some birthmothers from future judgment or scandals concerning their immorality. We also know that information collected was purposefully vague to prevent adoptees from finding their birthparents or vice versa.

Why adoptive parents do not tell adoptees anything is simply their preference, and their belief that we are theirs legally. They don’t believe blood matters. This is a very flawed way of thinking. I am living proof that blood matters greatly.

I had no idea what being Native was

REBLOG FROM 2018 - she explains how the Class Action in Canada was not working!

 

We applaud Colleen! She's our hero!

Colleen Cardinal is a mother, author, and survivor of the Sixties Scoop. She joins us this week to talk about how she perceived being Indigenous as a child, intergenerational trauma, and how Canada has failed to address its past treatment of Indigenous peoples. [Episode 17 Transcript]


Thursday, March 14, 2024

Fair Wind

This is a reminder, you are ANCIENT and sacred and sovereign... remember...

Monday, March 11, 2024

BIA at 200 years

 

To go even further back one hundred years.  The Bureau of Indian Affairs was in stark contrast in 1824 when federal Indian policy was rooted in war, blood, and death. It’s not surprising that the bureau was first planted in the War Department before being rooted permanently in the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1849.

READ

Sunday, March 10, 2024

‘Appalling’: AFN Chief says Indigenous youth shouldn’t be placed in for-profit care

 

 

SOURCE

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak says First Nations children shouldn’t be placed with for-profit companies in Ontario’s child-welfare system.

She made her remarks in an exclusive interview with Global News after the broadcast and publication online of a year-long, multi-part investigation that revealed allegations of targeting and mistreatment of Indigenous youth by some group homes.

“That’s appalling to hear,” Chief Woodhouse Nepinak told Global News. “We’ve always known that our kids were a target.

“I don’t think our children should be for-profit at all,” she said.

“It’s time that we give our children back to the people that have cared for them for thousands and thousands of years.”

Chief Woodhouse Nepinak said she would be renewing calls for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to apologize in the House of Commons to all the Indigenous youth who’ve been wronged by Canada’s child-welfare systems.

“Unfortunately, our kids have been taken away since residential schools, day schools, the ’60s Scoop and now the child welfare system,” she said.

The Global News investigation revealed how Indigenous youth from remote communities in Northern Ontario and Nunavut are allegedly targeted by some for-profit group home companies because their owners can charge more for Indigenous children or because the kids provide a steady source of revenue, according to interviews with more than 50 former group home workers, former children’s aid employees and child-welfare experts.

The results are horrendous experiences some likened to the abuse that took place during the residential schools era, according to some workers, child-welfare experts and youth.

In northern Ontario, Indigenous child-welfare agencies care for kids who have experienced family crises or abuse or who have complex needs.

These agencies serve some of the most resource-starved communities located near the Manitoba border all the way up to Attawapiskat on James Bay, which can lack basic services like housing, running water, or mental health care.

Faced with few options, these Indigenous children’s agencies are often sent to group homes thousands of kilometres away in cities in southern Ontario — separating them from family, friends and culture.

A Global News analysis of spending data by children’s aid societies (CAS) across Ontario revealed that northern Indigenous agencies are paying higher daily fees for such care than their non-Indigenous counterparts.

On average, northern Indigenous children’s aid societies paid 26 per cent more per day for a child to live in a group home, not run by a CAS, compared with their non-Indigenous counterparts between 2012/2013 and 2021/2022.

This discrepancy meant Indigenous children’s agencies in northern Ontario spent nearly $28 million more over 10 years than if they’d been charged the average rate paid by non-Indigenous agencies across the province.

Chief Woodhouse Nepinak called the situation “disgusting.”

“It’s hurtful to communities, it’s hurtful to families, it’s hurtful to the next generation.”

Global News also spoke with multiple former workers from group homes across Ontario who said that staff and management at some companies allegedly referred to Indigenous youth as “cash cows,” “money-makers,” or even “paycheques.”

“It’s disgusting. … How could you label children like that?” Chief Woodhouse Nepinak said. “They’re our children. They’re First Nations children. And to treat them less than is horrific.” 

She said child welfare should be under the jurisdiction of First Nations, pointing to a recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling that upheld the federal government’s Indigenous child welfare law.

VIDEOS AND MORE: https://globalnews.ca/news/10335930/afn-chief-says-indigenous-youth-shouldnt-be-placed-in-for-profit-care


 


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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


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60s Scoop Survivors Legal Support

GO HERE: https://www.gluckstein.com/sixties-scoop-survivors

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

ADOPTION TRUTH

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.

NEW MEMOIR

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.

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