SUBSCRIBE

Get new posts by email:

How to Use this Blog

BOOZHOO! We've amassed tons of information and important history on this blog since 2010. If you have a keyword, use the search box below. Also check out the reference section above. If you have a question or need help searching, use the contact form at the bottom of the blog.



We want you to use BOOKSHOP! (the editor will earn a small amount of money or commission. (we thank you) (that is our disclaimer statement)

This is a blog. It is not a peer-reviewed journal, not a sponsored publication... WE DO NOT HAVE ADS or earn MONEY from this website. The ideas, news and thoughts posted are sourced… or written by the editor or contributors.

EMAIL ME: tracelara@pm.me (outlook email is gone)

SEARCH

Friday, March 17, 2017

Forum: Education continues on Wabanaki plight #ICWA

Forum: Education continues on Wabanaki plight:

LEWISTON — In 2015, a report focusing on Maine Wabanaki children and decades of discriminatory practices in the child welfare system was meant to spark changes and begin the healing process for the state's native tribes.

For Wabanakis and members of Maine-Wabanaki REACH, a group tasked with implementing the report's recommendations, that process is far from over.

Speaking during a Great Falls Forum in Lewiston on Thursday, Maine Wabanaki REACH Community Organizers Barbara Kates and Tom Reynolds underlined the importance of the work that had been accomplished but said more outreach and more education is needed.

The pair led a presentation titled “Truth, Healing and Change: Why Maine Needed a Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” which refers to the Maine Wabanaki State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission established in 2013. 

The commission was charged with taking an intimate look at the causes behind the "disproportionate removal" from families of Native American children who were put into the child welfare system.
Among the biggest takeaways from its report was that Native American children in Maine were five times as likely to be placed in foster care as non-native children; Wabanaki children's native ancestry is often not identified during intake procedures; and the presence of institutional racism in state systems and the public.

The commission, made up of native and non-native members, was regarded as the first of its kind in the United States.

Since then, Kates said, the work of REACH, which stands for Reconciliation-Engagement-Advocacy-Change-Healing, has been, now that the truth is known, "What do we do now?"
A snippet from an upcoming full-length documentary detailing the emotional commission process was screened during Thursday's event, held at the Lewiston Public Library.

In compiling the report, the commission collected more than 150 statements from Wabanaki survivors, their families, foster families and employees of the state child welfare system.
In one such statement, a woman recalls being taken from her family for no reason, and as an adult, still didn't know why. Another remembered sitting in bleach with her sister while in foster care, "trying to convince each other that we were getting white."

REACH began as a collaboration of state and tribal child welfare workers who knew from their work together that major inequities existed in the way the state dealt with family issues within native communities.

Since the release of the report, REACH is still scheduling speaking events to educate Mainers on the history of the Wabanaki and native children, which have experienced forced assimilation dating back to the 1800s.

Kates and Reynolds provided a brief historical overview, including why Maine became a focal point on child welfare. During the 1950s and 1960s, national child welfare practices encouraged removing Native Americans from their communities and placing them in foster care. Boarding schools designed to assimilate Native Americans were also still prevalent.

According to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report, the Indian Child Welfare Act, adopted in 1978, "marked one step toward upholding tribal rights, but effective implementation was another, and many states, including Maine, struggled with that process in the years after the law’s passage."
The act was meant to prioritize keeping Native American children in their homes within their tribal communities.

Reynolds said Maine was pressed by the federal government in the early 1990s to boost compliance with the act because of numbers that were still high, and was still struggling with it well into the 2000s.

"They kept finding that they were hitting their heads against a brick wall," he said, referring to continued issues leading up to the commission. "They realized they needed to dig deeper," he said.
Questions from the audience Thursday hit on education and what's next. Kates was asked whether local schools are adding the correct Wabanaki history into their curriculums.

Kates said no other state has yet to conduct a similar truth and reconciliation commission.
Penthea Burns, co-director of Maine-Wabanaki REACH, was originally scheduled to speak during the forum but had a conflict, Kates said.

Joe Hall, an associate professor of history at Bates College, introduced the speakers. 
Hall said Thursday's discussion was timely because school budgets are being drafted statewide.
"We get the opportunity to think about how we raise our children, which is not something that Wabanakis have always had the luxury of," he said. 

Kates has been involved with designing and delivering community presentations and ally-building workshops to increase understanding of Maine's shared history with the Wabanaki people.

Kates said that as a child welfare worker, it has been a "steep learning curve" in recognizing the complicated Wabanaki history. The commission found that there is still resistance to the idea that native people continue to experience "cultural genocide."

She said work to implement the recommendations from the study is ongoing. Those recommendations include the development of new trainings for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, as well as legal and judicial offices, a policy to monitor compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act and better support for foster and adoptive families.

The work of the commission, she said, opened the door for changes.

"It's the idea that we're here now," she said. "What do we do now?"

arice@sunjournal.com

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please: Share your reaction, your thoughts, and your opinions. Be passionate, be unapologetic. Offensive remarks will not be published. We are getting more and more spam. Comments will be monitored.
Use the comment form at the bottom of this website which is private and sent direct to Trace.


Wilfred Buck Tells The Story Of Mista Muskwa

Happy Visitors!

They Took Us Away

They Took Us Away
click image to see more and read more

Blog Archive

Most READ Posts

Bookshop

You are not alone

You are not alone

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


click photo

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.

Google Followers