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Sunday, January 12, 2014

New anthology planned for Native adoptees


CALLED HOME (2014) will document new adoption journeys

Adoptee-journalist Trace A. DeMeyer has announced that she is collecting narratives and essays from Native adoptees who are not yet in reunion and those in reunion for a brand new anthology to be published in 2014 . The deadline for submissions is APRIL 15, 2014.  Her friend and fellow adoptee Patricia Busbee has signed on as co-editor.

DeMeyer was introduced to Cherokee adoptee Patricia Busbee by mutual friends, and they collaborated on their first anthology, “TWO WORLDS: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects,” which launched on Amazon and Kindle in 2012. (ISBN: 978-1479318285, Price: $16.95 (PAPERBACK), $6.99 (EBOOK). The lost children (adoptees) in this anthology share intimate details of their personal lives, their search for identity and family, and their feelings about what happened to them.

After generations of Native children were forcibly removed from their Tribes and placed in residential boarding schools in North America, thousands upon thousands of Native children were also being placed in closed adoptions with non-Indian families.  Finding these children became non-stop detective work for DeMeyer who started research in 2005 which culminated in her memoir “One Small Sacrifice” in 2010.  (An updated second edition was published in 2012.)

“Because of both books, I get emails from new adoptees almost every day. I explain about the history of the Indian Adoption Projects and its successor ARENA and how it was unofficially ethnic cleansing via adoption assimilation, condoned and paid for by the US and Canadian governments and several churches who operated programs to facilitate these adoptions,” DeMeyer said. “Many times the adoptee tells me how they felt very isolated and alone but could not share their need to search with their adoptive family. I tell them about my search and reunion, offer my help and introduce them to search angels.”

Both DeMeyer and Busbee agree that publishing “TWO WORLDS: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects” was an important contribution to American Indian history but even more of this history needs to be published.  Their book has been chosen by Brock University in Canada for its BROCK READS program in 2014. Patricia and Trace will be at Brock on March 25, 2014 to do a book talk and panel with some of the Two Worlds contributors.  They hope more universities will use it as part of their curriculum.

DeMeyer said, “Very little is known or published on our history. Many of these adoptees were children (not all were babies) and many were not orphaned but simply removed. We know states in the East were used as destinations to remove children from the midwest and west -- very far away to make it difficult or next to impossible to find tribal family. With sealed adoption files, it’s a miracle many of them succeed at all.”

Their first book covers the history of Indian child removals across the US and Canada, the adoption projects, their impact on Indian Country and how it impacts the adoptee and their families, Congressional testimony, quotes, news and several narratives from adoptees in the US and Canada in the 375-page anthology.

The second anthology will include updates from adoptees in their first book. For those still searching, adoptees can publish their photo and birth information.

“I encourage adoptees who have not found their tribal relatives to submit as much as they know, so we can help them find their families and help them have a successful reunion. That is our goal with this new book,” DeMeyer said about the new anthology CALLED HOME.  “Watching the Baby Veronica saga, we hope that more Americans will understand the impact of the Indian Adoption Projects and ARENA Programs, and how the Indian Child Welfare Act was made federal law in 1978 because of our removals.  Adoptees born prior to ICWA lived through it and need to share their astonishing stories of survival.”

Contact: Trace A. DeMeyer, 413-258-0115 (message)
Send submissions and questions to tracedemeyer@yahoo.com (email)

3 comments:

  1. This website is God sent. Its so amazing to know that your not alone in this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tanesha, thank you for finding us!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you Trace for playing a key part in helping me find my biological family and for the wonderful opportunity to tell my story in your new book! God Bless you and all the work you do to help give many native adoptees have a voice!

    God Bless You!

    ReplyDelete

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