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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Lakota Peoples Law Project: Why is this happening to these children?


Please reblog this and spread the message of inequality for Lakota children in the foster care system. South Dakota’s Department of Social Services is transferring Lakota foster children to the Department of Corrections and Mental Health Facilities at a staggering rate. The 10-year period between 1999 and 2009 depicts a nearly five-fold increase for children being moved to “non-foster care institutions,” growing from 6.9% in 1999 to 32.8% in 2009.  Why is this happening to these children? Why are they being taken from their families, from their communities, and being institutionalized? This “institutionalization” is not solving issues that these children may have. Please appeal to South Dakota to end its racist tactics.
Please reblog this and spread the message of inequality for Lakota children in the foster care system.

South Dakota’s Department of Social Services is transferring Lakota foster children to the Department of Corrections and Mental Health Facilities at a staggering rate. The 10-year period between 1999 and 2009 depicts a nearly five-fold increase for children being moved to “non-foster care institutions,” growing from 6.9% in 1999 to 32.8% in 2009.

Why is this happening to these children? Why are they being taken from their families, from their communities, and being institutionalized? This “institutionalization” is not solving issues that these children may have. Please appeal to South Dakota to end its racist tactics.

LINK: Last Real Indians

Monday, September 29, 2014

Native American Adoption, Captivity, and Slavery in Changing Contexts

Edited By Max Carocci and Stephanie Pratt

Palgrave Macmillan, January 2012
ISBN: 978-0-230-11505-7, ISBN10: 0-230-11505-5,  278 pages, Hardcover, $90

Native American Adoption, Captivity, and Slavery in Changing Contexts radically rethinks the theoretical parameters through which we interpret both current and past ideas of adoption, captivity, and slavery among Native American societies in an interdisciplinary perspective. The book covers a period of over 800 years of North American history, from Native American archaeological cultures to the late nineteenth century. Individual case studies reframe concepts related to adoption, captivity, and slavery through art, literature, archaeology, and anthropology. In doing so, they highlight the importance of the interaction between perceptions, representations, and lived experience associated with the facts of slavery.

About the Author(s)

Max Carocci lectures on Indigenous Arts of the Americas for the program World Arts and Artefacts, which he directs in joint collaboration with Birkbeck College's department of History of Art and Screen Media (University of London) and the British Museum. He has recently curated Warriors of the Plains, an exhibition on Plains Indian arts, for the British Museum. His forthcoming monograph, The Arts of Plains Indian Warfare (2012), expands his long-standing focus on Native American arts from an anthropological perspective, which he has developed over more than twenty years of research and publications about Native American expressive cultures. He is also curator of the forthcoming exhibition on Native American photographic collections from the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland due to open at their London headquarters in 2012.

Stephanie Pratt is an associate professor(reader) of Art History at the University of Plymouth. She has published a number of essays concerning the visual representation of Native Americans in European art from the period c. 1600 to the end of the nineteenth century. Her monograph, American Indians in British Art, 1700–1840, was published in 2005. Recently, she has focused on how Native American cultures and arts have been represented in Western museums and galleries and is developing a book-length study of early North American collections of Native American ethnographica. She is principal curator for the upcoming exhibition George Catlin's Indian Gallery: Displaying Indigenous America in Nineteenth Century Europe, to be held at the National Portrait Gallery, London, in 2013.

Table of Contents
Ripe for Colonial Exploitation: Ancient Traditions of Violence and Enmity as Preludes to the Indian Slave Trade - Marvin D. Jeter * The Emergence of the Colonial South: Colonial Indian Slaving and the Fall of the Pre-Contact Mississippian World and the Emergence of a New Social Geography in the American South, 1540-1730 - Robbie Ethridge * Southeastern Indian Polities of the Seventeenth Century: Suggestions toward an Analytical Vocabulary - Eric E. Bowne * From Captives to Kin: Indian Slavery and Changing Social Identities on the Louisiana Colonial Frontier - Dayna Bowker Lee * Capturing Captivity: Visual Imaginings of the English and Powhatan Encounter Accompanying the Virginia Narratives of John Smith and Ralph Hamor, 1612 - 1634 - Stephanie Pratt * Strategies of (Un)belonging: The Captivities of John Smith, Olaudah Equiano, and John Marrant - Susan Castillo * Captive or Captivated: Rethinking Encounters in Early Colonial America - Patrick Minges * A Christian Disposition: Religious Identity in the Meeker Captivity Narrative - Brandi Denison * Visual Representation as a Method of Discourse on Captivity, Focussed on Cynthia Ann Parker - Lin Holdridge * Reflections and Refractions from the Southwest Borderlands - James F. Brooks

[ history we very much need to learn if I can obtain a copy soon, I will post a review.... Trace]

Navajo Nation Makes Historic Agreement With DHHS to Handle its Tribal Foster Care

Courtesy Navajo Nation ...On June 27, Navajo Nation Presient Ben Shelly signs the Title IV-E funding agreement with the DHHS.

Window Rock, Arizona—On Friday, June 27, the Navajo Nation made an historic pact with the U.S. Department of of Health and Human Services to execute a direct funding agreement through the Title IV-E program under the Social Security Act that will reimburse the tribe and its child welfare agencies for federally eligible foster care, adoptions and guardianships.
The reimbursements cover maintenance, including room and board; administration, including determination of Title IV-E eligibility, placement of the child, development of a case plan, and other administrative duties under the act; and short- and long-term training for the tribe, including child welfare agencies and court personnel. Title IV-E reimbursements are open-ended and are not a grant, according to the DHHS.
The Navajo Nation tribal jurisdiction covers three states: New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, but if a child was placed into state care, each of those states made the eligibility determination and placed the child. Meanwhile, the tribe’s social workers had to plead with each of the three states to return the child to the Navajo jurisdiction to be placed with one of its licensed foster homes. Additionally, the tribe only received funding from the state of New Mexico. Arizona and Utah did not provide Title IV-E reimbursements to the tribe.
Through this agreement with the U.S. Administration for Children and Families, however, the Navajo Nation will now make its own eligibility determinations and home placements within its jurisdictional borders in all three states and receive federal funding to assist the foster families to help in taking care of its own children. In qualifying for this direct funding agreement, the Navajo Nation is setting a national precedent for other tribes to follow.
RELATED: 5 Sioux Tribes Applied to Fund Their Own Foster Care Programs
“The Title IV-E is a model program for other Indian tribes throughout the United States,” said Sharon Begay-McCabe, director of the Navajo Nation Division of Social Services. “Because tribes have an input on how their program will be administered and [how to] incorporate their tribal culture into the plan.  Native Americans, including Navajo, believe that children should be raised within their immediate family or within their Indian tribe. The family bond Navajo is their matrilineal clan system and families can exercise these traditional customs by keeping the children in kinship and permanent placement.  Our children are the future leaders of our tribes and we must continue to hold them sacredly and keep them safe.”
Begay-McCabe, said that the tribe had been working since 2011 to qualify for the federal funding with a $300,000 planning grant. According to tribal officials, Title IV-E is an annual appropriation with specific eligibility requirements and fixed allowable costs for uses of funds. In fiscal year 2010, the direct funding provision was made available to Indian nations, tribal organizations and tribal consortia with approved plans to operate the program. The Navajo Nation is the first tribe to qualify for the funding.
“The Navajo Division of Social Services requested a one year extension and used its own resources to complete the Title IV-E plan, including the assistance from the Casey Family Foundation,” said Begay-McCabe. “Once the Title IV-E plan was submitted for approval, it took additional time to finally obtain the approval from DHS.”
In addition to the Casey Family Foundation, the tribe also partnered with the Navajo Nation Judicial Branch, Division of Public Safety, Office of the Chief Prosecutor, Office of the Chief Public Defender, Department of Dine’ Education, Division of Health and the Office of the President and Vice President in getting the direct funding agreement approval.
“The Navajo Division of Social Services is the first tribal program in the country to administer the Title IV-E program,” said Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly. “I commend Sharon McCabe and her staff for making this possible. Our kids are important and we must do everything we can to protect them.”
Tribal officials said the program is set to go into effect on October 1, 2014. Until that time, the tribe’s Department of Family Services will begin trainings, which will include the Navajo Nation Courts and other tribal programs that will cover eligibility requirements for the children and families receiving Title IV-E and the requirements of language in the courts’ rulings.
Currently, the tribe only receives funding for six children, but the new program could impact up to 200 Navajo children currently in foster care, said Begay-McCabe.
“Title IV-E enhances tribal sovereignty, [because] the Navajo Nation will receive direct funding from the federal government,” said Begay-McCabe “Before, the Division had to work with the three states - Arizona, New Mexico and Utah - individually to receive Title IV-E. The Division had to follow the process of eligibility, which differs in each state and was not culturally sensitive. Now, the Division will administer the whole Title IV-E program for the tribe, [which] will keep our children safe, provide permanency, and incorporates Navajo culture that will enhance our tribal sovereignty.”

Sorry I missed this back in June but this is GOOD NEWS and worth sharing! ...Trace

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Genocide is as genocide does

A Tribe Called Red's principled refusal to perform at the opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights drew more attention on CBC than the museum's opening itself.
They objected to the "museum's misrepresentation and downplay of the genocide that was experienced by indigenous people in Canada by refusing to name it genocide."
Buffy Sainte-Marie, prior to her concert, opined that genocide took place in the Indian residential schools: "Let's fess up and hope it doesn't happen again."
Did we commit genocide in forcing aboriginal children to attend residential schools? For me, as a genocide scholar, and for many IRS survivors, the answer is yes. The UN Genocide Convention of 1948 calls the forcible transfer of children from one group to another genocide -- not cultural genocide, nor "indigenocide," but actual genocide.
The term's creator, Raphael Lemkin, was clear forcible transfer was biological genocide: "There is little difference between direct killings and such techniques which, like a time bomb, destroy by delayed action." Genocide was never just about killing -- groups could be destroyed in many ways.
We know that tens of thousands of IRS survivors had their lives shattered by seven generations of verbal, physical and sexual abuse. We know at least 4,100 kids died as a consequence of the system, probably many more. We know forced transfer was intentional on the part of successive governments -- they wanted to destroy aboriginal peoples using the schools.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper acknowledged this in 2008 when he said that "some sought, as it was infamously said, 'to kill the Indian in the child.' " We can see in the speeches and writings of John A. Macdonald, Hector Langevin and many others a desire to use the schools to forcibly cut kids off from their home communities, their languages, cultures and spirituality.
Phil Fontaine, Bernie Farber, Murray Sinclair and some two decades worth of academics have said genocide occurred in the IRS system.
The issue, however, is larger than simply refusing to recognize aboriginal genocide. Not only has the museum not recognized genocide in the IRS system, it has promoted memory and commemoration of five other genocides. We recognize genocide when it happens on other continents, but we assiduously avoid genocide when it happens in our own backyard. And that's a shame.
When Quebec created an Armenian Genocide Memorial Day, it observed, "Quebecers have always rejected intolerance and ethnic exclusion." When the federal government recognized the Ukrainian famine, or Holodomor, in 2008 it reflected on the worthiness of Ukrainians, and their "positive contribution to Canadian society." Holodomor recognition in Alberta was not just being about the truth of genocide, but also about the goodness of that province: "The people of Alberta value democratic freedoms, human rights and the rule of law, honour the values of compassion and honesty and cherish the multicultural vibrancy of the province." Saskatchewan stressed how Ukrainians "have contributed greatly to Saskatchewan's cultural, economic, political and educational life." In Manitoba, the Holodomor was recognized in part because "during World War II, a disproportionate number of Ukrainian Canadians registered in the Canadian Armed Forces to fight for the rights and liberties of Canadians."
The pattern? First, genocide occurred and has been denied in other contexts, and for this reason -- to uphold truth, we must commemorate and recognize. Some people -- Ernst Zundel admirers, or dupes of the Turkish denialist movement -- have a problem with the truth; most Canadians don't. Second, the worthiness of the victims and their descendents is important. The descendents have demonstrably enriched the fabric of our society.
We come to the third point: Recognition allows provinces or Canada to prove their goodness and tolerance. Here's where my problem lies -- by failing to recognize genocide, provincial legislatures, Ottawa and the CMHR are tacitly denying three things: that the IRS system's crimes and the intent behind them are genocide; that aboriginal people have made noteworthy contributions; and that Canada's governments have perpetrated a history of genocide in the colonization of the country, which holds serious ongoing legacies.
We need to recognize all genocides, but especially those close to home. This will take time, especially for a museum constrained by legal and financial challenges, with a lot of funding from governments that have little interest in historical introspection.
I hope A Tribe Called Red's refusal will be a teachable moment for the museum and Canadians. The CMHR purportedly has more fluid, changeable exhibits than set-piece museums of the past. I am trying to be cautiously optimistic about what the future will hold.

David MacDonald is a professor of political science at the University of Guelph. He is the author of Identity Politics in the Age of Genocide.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Standing Rock awarded grant for foster care, adoption programs #ICWA

FORT YATES, North Dakota — The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota has been awarded a $300,000 federal grant to develop a foster care and adoption assistance program, The Associated Press announced today.
U.S. Sen. John Hoeven (R- ND) announced the grant on Thursday from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Republican senator says the program will help ensure that better systems and safeguards are in place to protect vulnerable children in the tribal court's care. He says the grant will support efforts to help children find "permanent, safe and loving homes" on the reservation, which straddles North Dakota and South Dakota.
The money can be used to develop data collection systems and agency and tribal court procedures. The tribe has two years to submit programs to HHS for approval.

Two More South Dakota Lakota Tribes Advance Toward Their Own Foster Care Systems, Intending to Replace the State DSS System

“This is an important step for our tribe as we attempt to regain control of our children’s future and make sure they grow up with pride in their own culture and heritage...”- Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Chairman Michael Jandreau

RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA — The Lakota people have taken another positive step toward preserving their cultural sovereignty and solving the persistent foster care crisis in the state as two more tribes have joined the movement to apply for available federal funding to plan their own tribal-run foster care system.
“The addition of Flandreau and Lower Brule Sioux Tribes to the growing list of South Dakota-based Lakota tribes applying for federal funding demonstrates that the goal of establishing independent foster care systems is within reach,” said Chase Iron Eyes, attorney for the Lakota People’s Law Project and a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “The Lakota tribal governments have done their part, it is time for the United States government to meet its obligation to Indian Country. No more broken promises, no more unfulfilled agreements.”
The Lower Brule and Flandreau Sioux Tribes became the two latest tribal governments to complete their Title IV-E Federal Planning Grant Applications to fund the planning of their own foster care programs. The two tribes, joining a coalition of South Dakota tribes attempting to wrest control from scandal-wracked South Dakota, brings the total number of tribes to seven, with another tribe, Rosebud, already having received their planning grant.
“We want to make sure this historic solution is realized,” Chase Iron Eyes continued. “The people best situated to care for our children are our own families and extended family network, which we call Tiospaye.”
Native-American advocacy group specializing in federal grants pertaining to tribes, A Positive Tomorrow, has worked tirelessly alongside members of tribal governments to assist in the submission of the applications.
“This is an important step for our tribe as we attempt to regain control of our children’s future and make sure they grow up with pride in their own culture and heritage,” said Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Chairman Michael Jandreau. “We are pleased to be part of this sovereignty movement in South Dakota.”
The federal government has expressed a willingness to help South Dakota tribes assert their rights as set forth in federal legislation.
“The Indian Child Welfare Act is a very important statute and it was enacted for a very important reason,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn during the May 2013 ICWA Summit held in Rapid City, at which officials from South Dakota conspicuously did not attend. “It was designed to address a very real problem, and in South Dakota at least, the problem still seems to exist.”
The tribes have been prompted to run their own foster care institutions after a 2011 report by National Public Radio asserted that the South Dakota Department of Social Services repeatedly and persistently violates the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978.
ICWA is federal legislation passed in 1978 and intended to give Native American tribes a strong voice in child custody issues with the ultimate aim of ensuring tribes rights to maintain and preserve their language and culture. ICWA mandates that Indian foster children be placed with relatives, extended relatives, or other tribal members in the country.
The NPR report asserted that 9 in ten native children were being placed into non-native homes in South Dakota by the DSS. This prompted tribal officials to identify ways to divert federal funding away from South Dakota’s social service agencies and transfer it into native foster care systems.
“We are losing our children to the system in South Dakota and sometimes in other states,” said Chairman Tony Reider from the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe. “We may not ever see them again, and they will not know who they are. Our children are sacred, and we have many relatives capable of raising them, but the DSS almost always says ‘no’ to our people. In an historic effort, we are determined to qualify for federal funding and run our own Child and Family Services Programs.”
Furthermore, the report states that due to the designation of all Native children as “special needs” by the federal government, South Dakota financially benefits from the placement of Indian children in state-run foster care facilities. Almost all such facilities in South Dakota have become psychiatric institutions collecting approximately three times as much federal money per day as the foster care facilities.
The planning grant applications are being submitted for funding under the terms of the 2008 Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, commonly referred to as the Baucus Act. The law introduced major changes to the Social Security Act, primarily in Section IV-E, regarding foster care and adoptions assistance payments to the states. This is one of the major changes that made it possible for federally recognized tribes to receive direct IV-E payments to support their own child and welfare programs without state intervention. Previously Section IV-E monies could only be given to state agencies.
The planning grant program under the Baucus Act can award individual planning grants up to $300,000 and has a total annual budget of $3 million. According to the Tribal Directory of the Bureau of Indian Affairs there are 566 federally recognized tribes. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe received a Baucus planning grant in 2013.
Along with Flandreau and Lower Brule, five more Sioux tribes are submitting applications under the Baucus Act this year: Cheyenne River, Crow Creek, Standing Rock, Yankton and Pine Ridge. In total, eight out of the nine Lakota tribes in South Dakota have already received or have applied for the grants.

Tremendous progress is underway to protect future generations...Like prisoners of war, Rez Poverty is a crime that colonizers still use to take our children, poverty conditions they created and perpetuate... Trace

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Child-buying masquerading as adoption in Oklahoma, panel told #Adoption #HumanTrafficking

At one time adoption was about finding parents for orphans. Not anymore. Stranger Adoption is about finding children or babies for people who wish to buy one, conducted and advanced by social workers, judges, lawyers and adoption agencies whose livelihood and income depend on it. Remember this is a billion dollar industry! When money is exchanged, babies are product, with a dollar value. Yet rarely is adoption called human trafficking. We can recall Baby Veronica to understand trafficking is still happening in 2013/2014. We know the older infertile Capobiancos paid money for Veronica Brown...It's a disgrace on humanity. Trace

OKLAHOMA CITY — The selling of children is masquerading as adoption in Oklahoma, a House panel was told Wednesday.

Many of the children are placed out of state, making them difficult to track, said Holly Towers, president of the Oklahoma Adoption Coalition and executive director of Lilyfield Christian Adoption and Foster Care in Edmond.
She was one of the presenters during an interim study on human trafficking by the House Public Safety Committee.
“We get calls from women who say they placed a child for adoption with an attorney,” Towers said. “The adoptive parents have paid rent, refurnished the apartment and given her a car. Now the payments have stopped.”
The women are facing eviction and want to know what they can do, Towers said.
“The answer is nothing,” she said. “These women have been set up to be homeless.”
Some fees are allowed, such as those for living and medical expenses, she said.
But in some cases, women expecting are offered outright cash for their children, which is illegal, Towers said.
Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Director Darrell Weaver said that several years ago, his agency began monitoring human trafficking.
A significant portion of those involved in human trafficking have been involved in drug trafficking, Weaver said.
His agency has seen an increase in the number of heroin addicts who become trafficking victims, Weaver said.
The problem is not isolated to Oklahoma City or the metropolitan areas, Weaver said.
“Drug traffickers are shifting from drugs to human trafficking,” he said. “The profit margins are so much higher.”
If the state can save one person from trafficking, it will be worth it, Weaver said.
“The one may just be somebody you love,” he said.
Sen. Sean Roberts, R-Hominy, requested the study and said some good ideas came out of the information gathered.

Barbara Hoberock 405-528-2465

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

60s Scoop adoptees find 'some kind of belonging' at national gathering

Taken from their families as children, aboriginal adoptees find hard road to reconnect with culture

By Waubgeshig Rice, CBC News 
Leslie Parlane (left) and Colleen Cardinal are part of a group of aboriginal adoptees who are organizing a national gathering this weekend.
Leslie Parlane (left) and Colleen Cardinal are part of a group of aboriginal adoptees who are organizing a national gathering this weekend. (Waubgeshig Rice/CBC)
When Colleen Cardinal and Lesley Parlane met in Ottawa a year ago, they bonded right away as adoptees reconnecting with their aboriginal roots. It’s been a long, often difficult journey for both women.
“I didn’t even know that I was indigenous until I was a teenager,” says Cardinal, now 41. Originally from Saddle Lake Cree Nation in Alberta, she was adopted by a non-indigenous family when she was two, and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
“I didn't even know what it meant to be indigenous because of the stereotypes and stigma towards indigenous people, that I would say my adoptive family perpetuated,” she said, “that we were drunks and bums and stuff like that. So I grew up with this really negative image of what Indians were.”
From the 1960s up until the 1980s, Canadian child welfare authorities apprehended an estimated 20,000 aboriginal children and placed them in non-aboriginal homes. Many consider the '60s Scoop an extension of residential schools, which aimed to "take the Indian out of the child."
Cardinal didn’t reconnect with her birth parents and older sisters until she was 16. It’s a breach that Parlane is painfully familiar with. She’s originally from Standing Buffalo Dakota First Nation in Saskatchewan. She was adopted when she was four, and after a stint in Alberta, spent most of her childhood in Toronto.
“It's one thing to be adopted,” says Parlane, 36. “But it's another thing to not know your language and your culture. And that has had the biggest impact on my life.”

Finding 'some kind of belonging'

Cardinal and Parlane are part of a group of indigenous adoptees who meet regularly in Ottawa. Last year, they decided to organize a national gathering for other adoptees like them.
This weekend, nearly 100 people from across the country and as far away as New Zealand will be in Ottawa for the Bigiwen Indigenous Adoptee Gathering. They’ll participate in workshops, network and, most importantly, make new friends.
“Adoptees are looking for some kind of belonging, some kind of place to talk about their stories and share their stories with others,” says Cardinal.
'It may seem like it's easy to just integrate back into your biological family … but if you go back to it without your songs, your ceremonies, and your language, it's really hard to reintegrate.'— Colleen Cardinal
For many adoptees, returning to their roots after being raised away from their communities is hard.
“It may seem like it's easy to just integrate back into your biological family," she says. “But if you've been raised a certain way, and you go back to it without your songs, your ceremonies, and your language, it's really hard to reintegrate.”
But with a growing support network, both Cardinal and Parlane believe it’s becoming easier to share experiences and return to birthplaces. Parlane spent the summer with some of her birth family back in Saskatchewan.
“I made a connection with my mom's side of the family, and I recently went powwow dancing for the very first time this past summer,” she says. “It was amazing, because for me that was … all these years of not having a connection to my culture, the doorway just suddenly opened through my aunt.”
By sharing their own stories, they hope to open the door for other adoptees.

Related Stories

External Links

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Disproportionate number of aboriginal children in care in Canada

Joanne Bernard says issue needs to be addressed in collaboration with federal government

Joanne Bernard says, according to departmental numbers, about 22.5 per cent of children in care are aboriginal, but only 2.7 per cent of the population in Nova Scotia is of aboriginal ancestry.
Joanne Bernard says, according to departmental numbers, about 22.5 per cent of children in care are aboriginal, but only 2.7 per cent of the population in Nova Scotia is of aboriginal ancestry. (CBC)
Nova Scotia's minister of community services says she's concerned about the disproportionate number of aboriginal children in community care.
For the first time in eight years, Department of Community Services ministers met to discuss social issues, the most worrisome perhaps being the high numbers of aboriginal children in care.

Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard
Joanne Bernard, Nova Scotia's minister of community services, worries the federal government is not doing more to help provinces with this problem.
Joanne Bernard says, according to departmental numbers, about 22.5 per cent of children in care are aboriginal, but only 2.7 per cent of the population in Nova Scotia is of aboriginal ancestry. "It’s clearly an issue in this province," Joanne Bernard told CBC’s Information Morning.
"There are all kinds of issues of why aboriginal children are taken into care, just like there are of all children taken into care. In my personal experience, and the work that I used to do, you can't look at the issues surrounding children in care, unless you look at the vulnerabilities of families, especially the mothers. We all know of the ongoing vulnerabilities and complexities that aboriginal women in Canada [face] today, including in our own province."
In Manitoba the numbers are even higher. Seventy-eight per cent of children in care in that province in care are of aboriginal descent. According to 2013 figures from Statistics Canada's first National Household Survey showed that 16.7 per cent of the province's population identified as aboriginal.
Bernard is back in Nova Scotia after sitting down with ministers in charge of social services from across the country in Calgary late last week.
She worries the federal government is not doing more to help provinces with this problem.
"That collaboration starts with coming to the meeting of, quite frankly, the social policy leaders of the country. So when you have everyone of us at the table and you don’t have your federal counterpart, clearly a piece of the puzzle in moving forward and addressing all the intersectional issues that surround aboriginal children in care — in addition to aboriginal women, it’s just so pivotal that that partnership not only be maintained but strengthened," she said.
The provincial community services ministers last met in 2006.

Related Stories

Not just in Canada...Trace/Lara

Monday, September 15, 2014

Indigenous Resistance: Tribunal on Indian Boarding Schools

Indigenous Resistance: Tribunal on Indian Boarding Schools Oneida, WI, October 2014...:

October 22 -- 25, 2014: Wisconsin event to focus on U.S. Indian boarding schools, promote healing

Mount Pleasant Indian Industrial Boarding School
More than 200 undocumented deaths of
children including Anishinaabe. 
Blue Skies Foundation has scheduled a Tribunal to focus on the experiences of Native children who were forced at early ages to attend Indian boarding schools. This Tribunal is scheduled for October 22 through the 25, 2014 at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center, at Oneida, Wisconsin.

Blue Skies Foundation is working with the staff of the Human Rights Action Center, from the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, Jack Healey of the Human Rights Action Center, Bill Means, co-founder of the International Indian Treaty Council, and with Sheron Leonard, Pele Films, as well as numerous other individuals interested in documenting the history of the Indian boarding schools.

A panel of qualified Native judges will be listening to the witnesses as they provide first hand testimony of the abuse and mistreatment they suffered at the hands of the federal government, and of the Council of Churches, while being forced to live away from their families and Nations. In the words of the founder and superintendent of the Carlisle Indian School, General Richard Henry Pratt, “Transfer the savage born infant to the surroundings of civilization and he will grow to possess a civilized language and habit.”

At the conclusion of the Tribunal the Judges will issue an executive summary with their findings, which will be shared with the Native communities.

This Tribunal will be live-streamed by professionals out of California and the contents will be formatted into DVD form to be used as an educational tool in the schools, especially the Tribal schools. We are trying to provide a clear history while we have some of the witnesses able to tell their stories.

One reason to put together a Tribunal on the boarding school era is to bring an
Haskell, where children were beaten and tortured,
and buried in the marsh.
awareness of the treatment of Native children while in those schools and try to begin to understand the effects this treatment had on the survivors. We are told of the physical punishment the children suffered for speaking the language, and of the sexual assaults, the physical and mental violence that took place in the name of “educating” our children in order to strip them of the “savage upbringing” and introduce them to civilization.

We feel that while we have the ability to capture the first hand documentation from some of our people, it is vitally important because we will have in their own words, the harsh reality of the boarding school experience.


NPR coverage in 2008 


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Real ID Act? They didn't think of adoptees with fake birth certificates?


Americans will soon be barred from boarding airplanes unless they surrender to federal 'Real ID' card

(NaturalNews) Residents of nine states who attempt to use their driver's license to enter some government agency offices will be denied, because their legislatures have not agreed to accept a federal law called REAL ID. In fact, according to The Boston Globe, if those states do not accept the law, residents will also eventually lose their ability to use driver's licenses to board commercial flights.

The paper reported that the federal REAL ID essentially forces compliance by states to ensure citizenship verification and to update their security standards when they issue driver's licenses. Lawmakers in D.C. initially believed that the law would deter terrorists who make it into the country illegally from being able to board flights.

However, officials in the nine states have chosen to forego the program because of a number of factors: It costs millions, there are privacy concerns, and the law violates the 10th Amendment by impinging on states' rights.

The Globe said states that did not accept the REAL ID are not penalized -- directly -- but their citizens suffer. Some of the law's restrictions began in late July.

'Papers please?'

"It was bizarre, and then I really felt embarrassed," Susan Podziba, who was prevented from entering a federal building near Washington, D.C., told the Globe. "It was like wow, I am a US citizen and suddenly my Massachusetts ID isn't good enough?"

Her state is one of the nine that has not accepted the REAL ID; because of that, she was forced to conduct a high-level meeting in a cafeteria outside the security gate.

The Globe further reported:

Governor Deval Patrick's office referred questions to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Cyndi Roy Gonzalez, an agency spokeswoman, said the state has applied for an extension to give it enough time to meet the law's requirements.

"DHS is asking the states to do something radically different with their licensing systems," she told the paper, without elaborating on the delay. "We want to make sure we do it right and do it well."

In order for Massachusetts to comply with REAL ID, the state has to meet a series of benchmarks when issuing driver's licenses -- checking a person's legal status, securing images and doing background checks on employees who have access to sensitive materials. The law ostensibly aims to boost security and prevent fraud.

Passed in 2005, the Department of Homeland Security put off its implementation for a number of years but began gradually implementing it in April of this year. Phase two began in July.

The Globe said that 20 states had received extensions; 21 are considered to be in compliance. Three others have not made the required changes but will issue special licenses that citizens can use.

That leaves six states: Massachusetts, Maine, Oklahoma, Arizona, Alaska and Louisiana.

Since July, when the second phase took effect, it has been unclear how many Americans it affects or how many federal facilities are strictly enforcing it. The REAL ID law has varied effects; for instance, tourists can still gain access to Smithsonian museums and defendants can get into courtrooms for appearances.

But Americans who live in states that do not participate in REAL ID and who don't have other acceptable identification will not be able to visit the White House by next year; they won't be able to board commercial planes by 2016.

Here's your 'national ID' card

"It's an entirely foreseeable result of Massachusetts' failure to comply with a federal law," Republican Sen. Bruce Tarr, Massachusett's Senate minority leader, told the Globe, adding that he has inquired of the Patrick Administration about compliance but has gotten "very little response" thus far.

"The only thing you could speculate is that somehow compliance with REAL ID would thwart the administration's attempt to give driver's licenses to those who aren't here legally," he said.

But what the law represents is yet another method by which the federal government blackmails states into complying with its edicts. While there is no penalty for non-compliance, per se, obviously the law punishes citizens nonetheless.

It's just another way that the federal leviathan seeks to control rather than serve.

"For any American citizen, they should find this whole program completely laughable and ridiculous," Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap told the Globe.

Critics call REAL ID the "national ID" that privacy advocates have long feared. And for anyone keeping score about which of the political parties have most usurped constitutional rights in recent years, REAL ID was passed during the Bush Administration, when Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress and the White House.


I'll be posting more on this topic soon - as it concerns adoptees who have fake birth certificates...  Leland Morrill has been working on this nightmare issue for adoptees a long time... Lara/Trace

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

ICWA violations in Illinois?

Notice Violation Case out of Illinois

That’s right–out of Illinois. According to Westlaw (ICWA & “Indian Child Welfare Act”), there are a grand total of 11 ICWA cases from the Illinois appellate courts.

Here is the most recent. The appeals court reversed and remanded due to ICWA notice violations (for one child–the other was not the biological child of the father):
At the dispositional hearing on April 26, 2011, the trial court found Dwight to be unfit and awarded guardianship of N.L. to DCFS. Among the reports submitted for the court’s consideration was a social history report, dated March 23, 2011, indicating that Dwight is a registered member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, White Earth Reservation (the Tribe).

The trial court questioned the State about the children’s eligibility for tribal registry and was advised that the State had already received notices that both minors were ineligible for registry with the Tribe. The State was ordered to provide documentation of its compliance with the statute at the status hearing on December 18. No documents addressing the issue of tribal registry for the minors were submitted at that or any subsequent proceeding until the hearing on the State’s motion to supplement the record during the pendency of this appeal.

The State’s Tribe letters suggest that the Tribe was provided with the minors’ names and dates of birth and imply that Dwight’s name was provided with reference to N.L. The State’s Tribe letter for N.L is dated September 16, 2011, and that for M.L. is dated February 25, 2013. In its order granting the State’s motion to supplement the record, the court expressed concern with Dwight’s solicitation of new evidence while the case was on appeal. However, many of the documents the State was allowed to include with its supplementation were dated after the termination hearing and after Dwight’s notice of appeal.
Dwight filed a motion with this court to supplement the record with his own Tribe letter– from the same person who had signed the State’s letters– showing that N.L. and M.L. were eligible for tribal membership. He acquired this letter as a result of his solicitation for evidence related to the appeal. This court allowed Dwight to submit his Tribe letter with his case pending our decision of the propriety of its inclusion in the record. Dwight’s Tribe letter states that the minors are eligible for tribal membership and suggests that the Tribe was provided with the dates of birth for both minors, the correct spelling of N.L.’s name, and the names and dates of birth for both Dwight and Emily.

For reference, here’s the list of the Illinois appellate ICWA cases:

1. In re N.L. Appellate Court of Illinois, Third District.    September 09, 2014    — N.E.3d —-    2014 IL App (3d) 140172
2. In re K.T. Appellate Court of Illinois, Third District.    June 07, 2013    2013 IL App (3d) 120969    990 N.E.2d 1260
3. In re D.D., Jr. Appellate Court of Illinois, Third District.    November 05, 2008    385 Ill.App.3d 1053    897 N.E.2d 917
4. In re H.D. Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District.    September 30, 2003    343 Ill.App.3d 483    797 N.E.2d 1112
5. In re Cari B. Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District.    February 01, 2002    327 Ill.App.3d 743    763 N.E.2d 917
6. In re C.N. Supreme Court of Illinois.    May 24, 2001    196 Ill.2d 181    752 N.E.2d 1030
7. In re M.S. Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District.    February 05, 1999    302 Ill.App.3d 998    706 N.E.2d 524
8. In re Adoption of S.S. Supreme Court of Illinois.    October 19, 1995    167 Ill.2d 250    657 N.E.2d 935
9. In re Adoption of S.S. Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District.    October 22, 1993    252 Ill.App.3d 33    622 N.E.2d 832
10. Matter of T.I.S. Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, Fourth Division.    December 31, 1991    224 Ill.App.3d 475    586 N.E.2d 690
11. In Interest of Armell Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, Second Division.    January 16, 1990    194 Ill.App.3d 31    550 N.E.2d 1060

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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.

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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.

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