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Monday, January 17, 2011

The Strong People | Adoptees

posted by Trace L Hentz (1-17-2011)

Australian Senate Inquiry into Forced Adoptions: a Facebook Group: moderated by Lizzy Brew: Adoption should be outlawed because it is a cover for the truth. It is a created reality. Everyone has a family. There is no such thing as a birth relative, just a relative which a legal contract forbids a child to see. There is no justification for such a destructive arrangement. Anyone entering into such an arrangement is prepared to hurt a child in order to have it as their own.

The Strong People

Since the 1800s, Indigenous children from across North America were removed great distances from their homes and culturally-reprogrammed in large military-like facilities called residential boarding schools. One word to describe what happened to them is “brainwashed.” The kinder word is “assimilated.”

Why were these children treated like savages? Indians weren’t human; they were fierce warrior-like bare-chested wild Indians who shot arrows from bows and rode bareback and painted their faces and bodies. The “western” movie images never captured the beauty, or bravery, or dignity, or explained why Indian people fought the colonizer.

Laws were enacted to civilize Indians, to teach them “Christian values,” and to force them to stay in one place and become farmers instead of hunters. The Great White Fathers, the Presidents of the United States who lived in Washington, worked to seize more and more territory and tribal lands, and created bogus treaties only to break them later. These presidents forcibly removed tribes onto reservations, east to west. Then residential schools opened.

No matter what happened in these schools, these children grew into the strong people who endured every loss and suffered every indignity. They learned and realized what was happening. Some lived to return to their tribe, while others did not. These schools changed the Indian and Indian Country. The effects are still being felt.

Adoptees/Lost Children

Even erased, adoptees are still a part of Indian history. Wherever our tribes settled, they remain sovereign and sacred. Indians teach their own. Friends teach friends.

For adoptees with Native ancestry, we don’t know whether to feel abandoned or just plain robbed. “How can you miss people you haven’t met?” That is the million dollar question. We just do. It’s in our blood (even when we have more than one ancestry).

If you grow up near an Indian reservation and witness poverty firsthand, even today the U.S. government will insist Indian people are better off in cities or urban areas. What arrogance to suggest indoor plumbing and three meals a day are all an Indian family needs to survive. They need their families intact to survive.

The Adoption Projects and Programs, the next solution to the Indian problem, was to adopt and assimilate Indian kids far away from their homes and put them in new non-Indian families. The governments decided if you seal the records, the adoptee will never know.

I do not accept their plan. I plan to change their plan. I have many friends helping do this work. This blog was created to be a friend to the adoptees who have Native ancestry. If you are a Native adoptee, and need help, I am here for you.

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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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