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Saturday, May 8, 2021

A path to getting Native lands back


Mary Big Bull-Lewis is taking a creative approach to returning ownership of the land and its stories to Native people.


“This is a way of reaching more than just a single group of people — it can be a community education,” she says. “There’s not as many of us here on the homelands, but we need to change that conversation about talking about us in the past. We haven’t gone anywhere.”

“We haven’t gone anywhere.”

All around her, Big Bull-Lewis sees similar stories of a Native history covered up by settler transfiguration. Her hometown itself, Wenatchee, takes its namesake from the Wenatchi people, tweaking only a few letters. Yet it’s not unusual for non-Native locals to have never heard of the Wenatchi people at all. Therein lies the problem:
Their stories aren’t told. 

GREAT READ: A path to getting Native lands back

Friday, May 7, 2021

How Native Americans find healthy ways to deal with trauma passed down through the generations



To survive, previous generations often denied the emotional hurt they suffered and refused to acknowledge the pain caused by the extreme oppression of Native Americans.

Editor's note: This story is part of Southwest Michigan Second Wave's On the Ground Calhoun County series.

Fred Jacko has chosen not to incorporate his Native American upbringing and culture into the lives of his own children.

“My children will have the choice when they’re adults,” he says.

His decision is in stark contrast to his job as the Culture and Historic Preservation Office Manager for the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, which has its offices on the Pine Creek Indian Reservation in Athens. But, he says, it’s necessary to stop the cycle of historical trauma that continues to have lasting impacts on his generation and generations before him.

A multitude of atrocities done to Native Americans that began in the early 1800s at the hands of government officials who enacted legislation that took away their land, their rights to live their lives as a free people, their culture, heritage, and in too many instances their family structure has caused lasting trauma.

GOOD READ: How Native Americans find healthy ways to deal with trauma passed down through the generations

Thursday, May 6, 2021

The foster child, sexual allegations and fashion mogul Peter Nygard #60s Scoop #CANADA

We are sharing this from APTN:

Former foster child in U.S. class action comes out from the shadows to talk about allegations against Peter Nygard

A former foster child who is a part of the 2020 U.S class action lawsuit against former fashion mogul Peter Nygard is coming forward publicly for the first time.

Identified in the court document up to this point only as “Jane Doe No. 44,” Nadine Moostoos tells APTN Investigates that despite a traumatic childhood, she is beginning her healing journey after coming to terms with her past.

Moostoos spent most of her childhood in foster care after she was apprehended at 18 months of age with her brother and taken into foster care.

“I got scooped because my mom was a chronic alcoholic and somebody had called CFS,” she said. “She went on a binge and then they came and picked me and my brother up.”

At age 11, she was sent to live at  Seven Oaks Youth Centre in Winnipeg after she said she was abused in her previous foster homes.

“I was mute. I wasn’t talking. I wouldn’t talk because of the abuse,” she said. “I couldn’t talk. It was so internalized.”

Former foster child
Nadine Moostoos at 12 years old. Submitted photo.

Two years later, she was sent to Marymound, a school for troubled girls where she turned to her peers and the street for support.

“I would just run to the streets,” she said. “A lot of those girls I was in jail with, out on the street with, carried through addiction with and some aren’t even here anymore.”

According to the allegations in a  U.S. class action lawsuit filed in 2020, Moostoos met Peter Nygard when she was 14 years old.

The allegations in the complaint (as statements of claim are called in the American justice system) have not been proven in court. But they are disturbing.

“Nygard coerced Jane Doe No. 44 to perform oral sex on him in his car, while parked behind the Nygard Companies’ (sic) warehouse,” the court documents state. “Nygard would become very aggressive during Jane Doe 44’s sexual encounters with him.”

The documents also state that Nygard made Moostoos promises.

“Nygard would pay Jane Doe No. 44 after each occasion in U.S. currency and would continue to promise her that he could take her to California.”

Moostoos said she believed she had a modelling opportunity and told her mother, who offered to take photographs of her.

Moostoos said she called the Nygard headquarters to follow up.

Former foster child
Nadine Moostoos was 14 when her mother took this photo. Submitted photo.

“I ended up phoning there and I didn’t know what to say,” she said. “ I was so young and I didn’t have anyone speaking for me so I didn’t follow through with it, which I am thankful for. “

Moostoos filed a complaint with the Winnipeg police in 2020 and she said she believes there may be other Indigenous women with stories like hers in Canada but they are not likely to come forward.

“It’s highly unlikely. It took me a lot of balls and a lot of courage to do that, coming from the streets,” she said. “I did it because it needed to be done. And I knew I was not the only one.”

Former foster child
Crystal Brown is the Community Justice Development Coordinator for the Southern Chiefs Organization.

“It takes a lot for someone to speak up and specifically for Indigenous women whose voices have been continually silenced throughout history,” said Crystal Brown, who is the Community Justice Development Coordinator for the Southern Chiefs Organization.

She said the Indigenous alleged victims of Nygard are especially vulnerable because of their past traumas.

“To disconnect from your family creates trauma such as violence, various abuses, mental health issues and it should be addressed through our culture, through our ceremonies and our language,” she said, adding that the impact of colonization continues to reverberate throughout Canada.

Moostoos said she worked in the survival sex trade for decades and is just now facing the trauma of her past.

“I left that life when I got pregnant with my son,” she said. “I quit the lifestyle. I got pregnant and that little boy changed my life. I call him my gift from God that is what his name means.”

Read More:

Indigenous women say Canadian police aren’t taking their Nygard allegations seriously 

The foster child, sexual allegations and fashion mogul Peter Nygard

Moostoos added the stigma attached to Indigenous women and girls is very real but she urged other women to come forward.

“The more people that come forward the more of a chance that you’ll get to heal,” she said. “That’s the start of healing.”

“Nobody wants to face their demons, face their past, face the abuses or social injustices that are predatory like sexual assault, rape and stuff like that,” she said. “I was just a little girl. I never got a chance to be a little girl.”

Nygard’s lawyers Jay Prober and Brian Greenspan have not responded to interview requests.

The 79-year-old was arrested in December last year in Winnipeg under the Extradition Act. An extradition hearing is set for Nov. 15 to 19 at the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench. Nygard was denied bail and an appeal to that decision was turned down in spring 2020.

Nygard remains in custody at the Headingly Correctional Centre west of Winnipeg.

The Hope for Wellness Help Line is available to all Indigenous people across Canada who need immediate crisis intervention. Services are available in Cree, Ojibwe, Inuktitut, English and French. Call 1-855-242-3310 (toll-free).


Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard arrested in 2020 on federal sex trafficking charges


Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls #MMIWG


PLEASE READ AND SHARE: Addressing the Epidemic of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls | Cultural Survival


In the middle of Canadian government’s inquiry, #MMIW and #MMIWG tweets produced 55,400 unique users and 156.1 million impressions.  Now, according to a Union Metrics Twitter Snapshot Report, #MMIW tweets can generate several hundred thousand impressions every 4 hours. Most of these tweets use the hashtag to call attention to their own missing loved one, to blanket local and regional networks with time-sensitive information; to share information about police and FBI response to family’s requests for help; or to respond to both specific MMIW cases and general MMIW education and awareness campaigns (e.g., Drag the Red and #NotInvisible). In short, the hashtag is mobilizing advocacy across Indian Country.

The new BIA partnership with DOJ’s National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) went live with its new data collection strategies in late February 2019. 

And if you're new to these ideas and hoping to learn more, a great place to start is the most recent Red Nation Podcast episode: What is Imperialism?

Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence and #MMIW

From StrongHearts Native Helpline

Centuries of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples

Native American cultures, languages, lands and lives were all systematically and forcibly taken through colonization. Our ancestors endured genocide and assimilation for more than five centuries. Today, there is ample evidence that genocide still occurs through the inhumane conditions on reservations, the jurisdictional issues that prevent the prosecution of non-Native perpetrators on tribal lands and ignoring the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) crisis.

The Connection to Domestic and Sexual Violence

Domestic violence isn’t a Native American tradition; it is a symptom of colonization that continues to this day.

Through colonization, Native women were devalued by non-Native people. They were degraded, they were attacked and raped. Acts that still continue today. Tribal communities still experience high rates of rape and sexual assault, largely committed by non-Native perpetrators. Native women are sexualized in the media--in costumes, in Native American imagery and caricatures, and in movies. Native women and men still struggle from the effects of colonization, marginalization and assimilation and our shared trauma. Over half of Native women, in particular, have been physically abused by an intimate partner.

StrongHearts Native Helpline understands the issues of MMIW are related to domestic, dating and sexual violence. We understand that missing and murdered victims can be children, elders, Two-Spirit, men and those with disabilities. This crisis affects all of our relatives. Survivors deserve justice.  

Research shows that women are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner (husband, boyfriend, same-sex partner, or ex) than by anyone else. Over 84% of Native women have experienced violence in their lifetime. Nationally, across all racial and ethnic groups, approximately two out of five female murder victims are killed by an intimate partner. Homicide is a leading cause of death for American Indian and Alaska Native women. Many killings linked to domestic violence occur right after recent breakups or during separations. Leaving an abusive relationship is the most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence.

Complicated legal systems, jurisdictional confusion, and lack of resources also leave many Native victims of violence and their families without support or justice. Whether the violence is coming from inside the home, or from strangers living near Tribal communities or in urban centers, meaningful action must be taken to prevent more Native women from going missing or being murdered.


One way to address these issues is through culturally-appropriate domestic and sexual violence advocacy. We need services that approach healing from an indigenous perspective – where victims feel understood and where their unique needs as Native people can be met. 

Created by and built to serve Tribal communities across the United States, StrongHearts Native Helpline is here to answer that call. It is a culturally-appropriate, anonymous, confidential and free service dedicated to serving Native American and Alaska Native survivors and concerned family members and friends affected by domestic, dating and sexual violence.

Advocates are available 24/7 by texting or calling 1-844-7NATIVE (762-8483) or via online chat at Advocates can provide lifesaving tools and immediate support to enable survivors to find safety and live lives free of abuse. StrongHearts Native Helpline is a project of the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center and the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

MMIW Resources

As a helpline dedicated to Native Americans and Alaska Natives impacted by domestic, dating and sexual violence, StrongHearts honors our relatives and communities impacted by MMIW and those working to end this crisis.

Check out these resources from the National Indigenous Women’s Resources Center (NIWRC).

      EXPLORE: MMIW Special Collections Resource Listing

      DOWNLOAD: "Tribal Community Response When a Woman is Missing: A Toolkit for Action" in NIWRC’s Resource Library.

      MMIW DATABASE: The Sovereign Bodies Institute

      DOWNLOAD: Urban Indian Health Institute’s “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls: A Snapshot of data from 71 Urban Cities in the United States.”

      DATABASE: NamUS-National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.

      EXPLORE: NIWRC’s Online Resource Library for past webinars, reports, and articles on MMIW.


Please share this post with your friends and family. Thank you! #MMIWG2S


Tuesday, May 4, 2021

BIG FLAP: Santorum’s Native History on CNN

Don Lemon Wasn’t Having Any Of Rick Santorum’s Comments About Native History on CNN

“Did he actually think it was a good idea for him to come on television and whitewash the whitewash that he whitewashed?”

CNN anchor Don Lemon discusses his reaction to Rick Santorum's May 3, 2021, appearance on "Cuomo Prime Time." | CNN

CNN anchor Don Lemon apologized to viewers after former Republican lawmaker Rick Santorum discussed his recent controversial comments about the nation’s founding on Chris Cuomo’s show. Lemon called the appearance “horrible and insulting.”

“Europeans did not found this country,” Lemon said after Cuomo interviewed Santorum on Wednesday night. “It was here. The Native Americans had this country before the Europeans came.”

Santorum, a Republican politician and CNN commentator, made historically inaccurate and racist comments during a speech in April to Young America’s Foundation, a conservative youth group. During his speech, Santorum said he doesn’t “know of any country in the world that was settled predominantly by people who are coming to practice their faith.”

“They came here mostly from Europe and they set up a country that was based on Judeo-Christian principles,” the former U.S. senator and Republican presidential candidate continued during the speech. He went on to say that European colonizers “birthed a nation from nothing,” and that even though Native Americans already inhabited the land,“there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture.”

On May 3, during “Cuomo Prime Time,” the CNN anchor pressed Santorum about his comments. 

“This seemed like you were trying to erase diversity in the interest of some white Christian right,” Cuomo said. 

Santorum attempted to correct his statements but offered no apology. 

"Just to be clear, what I was not saying is that Native American culture — I misspoke,” Santorum said, stumbling over his words.

Santorum said he was trying to articulate that U.S. founding documents, including the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, were “created anew.” 

“I was not trying to dismiss Native Americans,” Santorum said to Cuomo. “The way we treated Native Americans was horrific. It goes against everything I ever fought for.”

The Native American Journalists Association put out a statement following Rick Santorum’s initial speech, calling on CNN “to immediately dismiss” him. It also urged its members to “avoid working” with CNN and implored advertisers to stop supporting the network. 

Fawn Sharp, president of the National Congress of American Indians, echoed NAJA’s calls for Santorum’s dismissal and enumerated the reasons that Santorum’s comments were factually incorrect. 

"What European colonizers found in the Americas were thousands of complex, sophisticated, and sovereign Tribal Nations, each with millennia of distinct cultural, spiritual and technological development,” Sharp wrote in a piece for Native News Online.

The contributions of Native Americans are plenty and consequential, Sharp wrote. They cultivated plants, like cotton, rubber, and tobacco, and developed the concept of environmentalism. 

"No idea is more fundamentally Native American and more explicitly spread by Native American peoples,” Sharp wrote. “There would be no National Park system without Native American influence.”


Something to watch: Rutherford Falls (UPDATE)


'Rutherford Falls' is a Native American show: by, with and about us. But its humor is universal.

In over a century of filmmaking, most on-screen portrayals of indigenous people have been racist at best. That's changing, and this is but one example.

People used to say the TV series Northern Exposure was a first. THIS NEW SHOW IS a thousands times BETTER - Trace 

Indian Child Welfare Act in the News #WitnessBlanket

 (click on headlines)

Indian Child Welfare Act


'Keep families together': Moving beyond racist notions of neglect in child welfare
Together they looked at how Indigenous parents are assessed by child ... “There's a lot of variation, in terms of how the rules — how the laws are even ...

San Francisco Bay View
... of the premises behind the creation of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act in 1978, which gave tribal governments exclusive jurisdiction over Native ...
WASHINGTON – Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Bryan Newland ... Tribal payments and direct service for Tribal Government, Social Services, Public ... o $30 million for law enforcement and detentions funding.

There are no rules. None! #AdopteeReunion

By Trace L Hentz, Blog Editor


Children would never choose to be adopted.  It was not our fault.  It happened.  As adults we have to be strong to go into reunion.  There are no rules – none.  You just go back and meet relatives.  You do risk losing your adoptive parents.  It’s like climbing a mountain on a tightrope.  It hurts me to think about this but I have to…

American, what have you done?  You really attempted to destroy Indian Country, didn’t you?  You attempted to eliminate every Indian, right?  If you couldn’t murder us all, you invented an adoption project to deal with us – to end our tribal heritage as small children, to assimilate us.


This was posted in 2013 on my LARA blog:

I am not myself.  I feel like I am transforming again, maybe like a part of me is dissolving, disappearing, no longer necessary.  I rarely feel like this and I don’t like it.  I can’t control it.  It won’t pass.

This time is different.  Really different.  It’s like a dark foreboding cloud.  Like I felt two days before 9-11.  It’s hard to put into words.  It’s bigger than I have words for.

I am not sure if this is/was triggered because I lost my friend Rocio very recently or how so many others (friends and family) have been dealing with major health issues, like my brother Danny who just had surgery and is going to start treatment soon. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about Veronica Brown who was placed with strangers in an adoption that her father did not agree to – and he fought hard for his daughter but lost.  This little girl didn’t deserve this upheaval – Ronnie was abandoned by her birthmother at birth and essentially sold to strangers.  Her father lost her in court after court.  How does this happen in America?

Very hard things are happening right how.  Not just to me but to my circle of friends.

Yesterday I spoke with my close friend who lost her job with her tribe.  She’s an adoptee like me.  She wants to be closer to her birthmother.  This is so important for adoptees to do this hard work and to go full circle and be in reunion.  Her job loss was pure politics, the dysfunction we know that exists is our tribal world.  This friend also had an autoimmune disease that is now in remission, completely.  This is a miracle.  A deeply spiritual transformation happened to her.  Despite the loss of her excellent job with her tribe, and with much work and prayer, she just received a fantastic job offer with a university.  She won’t have to move.  She will be able to stay in reunion with her mother.  She witnessed how bad things can happen to you, even a serious illness, and yet Great Spirit is often clearing the way for a bigger job and better health.

I do believe in miracles. I believe in hard work.  Prayer works.  I know that we work for Great Spirit.  I am simply a channel for work that needs to be done.  It’s not about ego or about me at all.

You see I want all adoptees to know they can return to their families.  They can work for their tribes, too.  They can get to know their birth parents as people.  We can eventually blend in with all the relatives – but it takes time and effort.  Doing this will not be easy.  I do know this!

What America did to adoptees like me and my friend caused enormous pain and upheaval.  America removed children from our Indian families as part of a plan.  It was meant to destroy our connection to our tribes and families.  The result of a closed adoption was to alienate us from each other.  American Indians are unique and culturally rich and diverse.  Adoptees who are raised away from this culture must be allowed to step back in the circle and relearn what we missed growing up in non-Indian families.

2013 is when I wrote this... and it is still true... TLH 



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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.

Did you know?

Did you know?

Did you know?

New York’s 4o-year battle for OBC access ended when on January 15 2020, OBCs were opened to all New York adoptees upon request without restriction. In only three days, over 3,600 adoptees filed for their record of birth. The bill that unsealed records was passed 196-12.

Help in available!

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

click to listen

Diane Tells His Name

where were you adopted?

where were you adopted?

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

Happy Visitors!

Canada's Residential Schools

The religious organizations that operated the schools — the Anglican Church of Canada, Presbyterian Church in Canada, United Church of Canada, Jesuits of English Canada and some Catholic groups — in 2015 expressed regret for the “well-documented” abuses. The Catholic Church has never offered an official apology, something that Trudeau and others have repeatedly called for.


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

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