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Support Info: If you are a Survivor and need emotional support, a national crisis line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week: Residential School Survivor Support Line: 1-866-925-4419. Additional Health Support Information: Emotional, cultural, and professional support services are also available to Survivors and their families through the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program. Services can be accessed on an individual, family, or group basis.” These & regional support phone numbers are found at https://nctr.ca/contact/survivors/ .

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You are not alone

You are not alone

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

US Boarding School Report


US boarding school investigative report released

By Kalle Benallie
The findings show the federal Indian boarding school system consisted of at least 408 federal schools across 37 states and roughly 53 different schools had been identified with marked or unmarked burial sites ... continue reading

 


The Assistant Secretary Releases the Boarding School Report

Here:

Boarding_School_Initiative_Volume_1_Investigative_Report_May_2022

Assistant Secretary Newland makes eight recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior to fulfill the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative, including producing a list of marked and unmarked burial sites at Federal Indian boarding schools and an approximation of the total amount of Federal funding used to support the Federal Indian boarding school system, including any monies that may have come from Tribal and individual Indian trust accounts held in trust by the United States. Assistant Secretary Newland ultimately concludes that further investigation is required to determine the legacy impacts of the Federal Indian boarding school system on American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians today.


 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

‘Remembering the Children’ memorial gets $2 million grant

 

 

Community members stand in prayer at a hillside in South Dakota that is believed to the the site of unmarked graves of children who died at the long-shuttered Rapid City Indian Boarding School. Plans to build a first-in-the-nation memorial to children who died at the school are moving forward with a recent $2 million donation. (Photo courtesy of Rapid City Indian Boarding School Memorial Project)

Stewart Huntington
Special to Indian Country Today

RAPID CITY, South Dakota — A memorial planned to honor children who died at an Indian boarding school has received a $2 million grant that pushes the project beyond its initial fundraising targets.

The Remembering the Children memorial — envisioned as a place of prayer, gathering, and remembrance on a hillside near the site of the former Rapid City Indian Boarding School — received the grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

It is the largest single donation to date for the project, which has received numerous contributions from the Rapid City community and a $100,000 donation from the Monument Lab, a nonprofit working to cultivate critical conversations around past, present and future public art.

A private funder is also underwriting South Dakota Artist Laureate Dale Lampher’s work on sculptures that will be included in the project.

Keep Reading 

Related stories:
— Historic settlement inches closer in SD land dispute
— 'They are not forgotten'
— Rapid City puts up $9M for Native center

 

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Land Back in the 2020s #LandBack




There is no blueprint for how to return stolen land, but with thousands of acres returned to Indigenous care over the past two years alone, we know it can be done. 

SOURCE

Friday, May 6, 2022

Meet the Makers #ChildrenBack #MMIW

 WATCH IT

America ReFramed

Daughter of a Lost Bird

Season 10  Episode 4

Kendra, a Native adoptee, is a thriving woman who grew up in a loving, upper middle-class white family, and feels no significant loss with the absence of Indigenous culture or family in her life. And yet, as a Blackfeet/Salish woman, director Brooke Swaney could not imagine that Kendra could be content or complete without understanding her heritage. Together, they embark on a seven-year journey featured in the film.

During this journey, Kendra finds her biological mother April Kowalski after being apart for 34 years. April, also an adoptee, is a survivor of abuse, addiction, homelessness, and sex trafficking. Kendra and April must navigate what it means to be native and to belong to a tribe from the outside looking in. DAUGHTER OF A LOST BIRD documents the complex process of finding oneself in the context of a history filled with both trauma and resiliency.


 

MEET THE MAKERS: DAUGHTER OF A LOST BIRD

Listen to an in-depth conversation with 'Daughter of a Lost Bird' filmmaker Brooke Swaney and other thought leaders about the generational effects of adoption on Native American families and how communities are advocating for justice and tribal sovereignty. Georgiana Lee-Ausen and Cynthia M. Ruiz also take time to recognize National Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Awareness Day, a time when the Indigenous communities and allies gather to remember, honor and raise voices of women who have been silenced. Listen now!

Daughter of a Lost Bird

 READ THIS AMAZING REVIEW


America ReFramed

Daughter of a Lost Bird | Trailer | Season 10 Episode 4

 

Here are some of the other resources I suggest to learn more about Native American adoption in the U.S.: 

MMIP webcast DOI | Not Invisible Act Commission

 WEBCAST: Missing and Murdered (MMIP) WATCH


National Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day Event

transcript

Deb: I'm Secretary Deb Haaland at I'm honored to join you from the ancestral homelands of the Anacostia and Piscataway people on what President Biden has proclaimed as National Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day. I wish we didn't need to be here. I wish that this day was obsolete, that we didn't have to keep fighting year after year for our people to be honored and respected. But we are here. And I want to use today to shine a light on the national crisis of missing and murdered indigenous peoples and give space to others to share the work they are doing on this issue. Everyone deserves to feel safe in their communities, but the MMIP crisis is one that communities have faced since the dawn of colonization. For too long, this issue has been swept under the rug by our government with a lack of urgency, attention, or funding. The rates of missing persons cases and violence against American Indian, Alaska native, and native Hawaiian communities are disproportionate, alarming, and unacceptable. It is heartbreaking to know that our loved ones are at an increased risk of disappearing without warning, leaving families and communities devastated. I want to extend my gratitude to the organizers, advocates, native women who have been shedding light on MMIP crisis for decades. People who have had an empty chair at their kitchen tables, loved ones who tirelessly searched or their relatives, service providers who hear the heartbreaking stories of family members of the missing. I want you to know that I see you and I stand with you. In our first year, there is much the Biden-Harris administration has done to take this issue seriously. As many of you know, last year, I announce the formation of a new missing and murdered unit within the Bureau of Indian affairs office of Justice services to provide leadership and direction across departmental and interagency work involving missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska natives. The MMU is marshaling resources across agencies and throughout Indian country to focus on this crisis. Since the launch ofMMU, the department has built up personnel and increased infrastructure capacity by launching new offices. Today, 17 BIA offices located throughout the nation have at least one agent dedicated to solving missing and murder cases for American Indians and Alaska natives. In December, the BIA announced on lots of its new website dedicated to solving missing and murder cases in Indian country. The website is bia.gov/mmu. Bia.gov/mmu. The site is an important tool to help law enforcement, families, and communities to share critical information about missing and murdered individuals that can help the MMU solve cases and give closure to families. The website showcases individual missing and murdered case profiles that can be quickly shared via social media and other digital media to raise visibility of victims. It also provides multiple pathways to submit important tips and other case information that may help investigators with detection or investigation of an offense committed in Indian country. The MMU has enabled the Department to expand its collaborative efforts with other agencies such as working to enhance the DOJ's national missing and unidentified persons system. Staff are also developing strategic partnerships with additional stakeholders such as the FBI, behavioral analysis units, FBI forensic laboratories , U.S. marshals missing child unit, and the National Center for missing and exploited children. This unit and interior will continue to engage in collaborative efforts with tribal, federal, and state stakeholders to ensure accurate data and enhance community outreach. The MMU is a critical tool in our work to address this crisis, and today, we announce steps for another. In Congress, the Not Invisible Act now in partnership with the Justice Department and with extensive engagement with tribes and other stakeholders, we are putting that law into action. Today, our agencies announce the membership of the new Not Invisible Act Commission which we formed the last year. For the first time, the interior and Justice Department will be guided by an advisory committee composed of law enforcement, tribal leaders, federal partners, service providers, family members of missing and murdered individuals, and most importantly, survivors. This commission will ensure that we hear the voices of those who are most impacted by this issue. It includes diverse experience, backgrounds, and geographies to provide balance once of use. The commission will hold hearings, take estimate, and -- testimonies, and receive evidence to develop recommendations for the federal government to combat violent crimes against indigenous people. The missing and murdered indigenous peoples crisis is centuries in the making, and it will take a focused effort and time to unravel the many threads that contribute to the alarming rates. I'm grateful to those of you who rang the alarm and gave a voice to the missing. My heart goes out to the families of loved ones who were impacted by violence. We will keep working to address this issue and together, I believe we will provide justice for survivors and families. And that I will turn the floor over to Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, who will share recorded remarks for today's event. 

keep reading👇

Deported, Not Forgotten Panel, Nov 16 2021

At the Adoption Initiative Conference in 2022, this discussion came full circle. Daniel was a panel speaker for a discussion on Adoptees as Immigrants [link ➤]

BLOG POST: PLEASE READ THIS

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Indigenous Abolitionists Are Organizing for Healing and Survival

“This really is a time of action,” says Indigenous organizer Morning Star Gali. 

By Kelly Hayes, Truthout | April 28, 2022

 LINK: https://truthout.org/audio/indigenous-abolitionists-are-organizing-for-healing-and-survival/

Activists march for missing and murdered Indigenous women at the Women's March California 2019 on January 19, 2019, in Los Angeles, California. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Cheyenne River's First-of-its-Kind Village for Native American children

From Simply Smiles: Receiving Tribal Council Approval: The vote was unanimous to adopt a formal resolution of support that authorized the creation of the Simply Smiles Children's Village.

Pictured above: Simply Smiles Village Director Marcella Gilbert and Simply Smiles President and Founder Bryan Nurnberger, formerly of Naugatuck, seen here with activist and Village advisor Madonna Thunder Hawk, member of the Waśagiya Najin Standing Strong Grandmothers' Group of Native elders, after securing a formal resolution of tribal support, including from Tribal Chairman Harold C. Frazier.

As Simply Smiles nears completion of our Children's Village of foster homes on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, this features the challenges encountered and milestones reached in creating this first-of-its-kind endeavor for Native American children.

The Tribal Council of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe voted unanimously to adopt a formal resolution of support that authorized the creation of the Simply Smiles Children's Village.

The trust and partnerships Simply Smiles built over our first decade working on the Reservation made this vital step possible. Our pro-bono Native attorneys at Kilpatrick & Townsend drafted the detailed resolution and the Waśagiya Najin Standing Strong Grandmothers' Group of Native elders, led by the legendary activist Madonna Thunder Hawk, guided the resolution of support through the tribal government to unanimous approval and adoption.

This agreement allowed us to begin building and developing the Simply Smiles Children's Village and solidified our shared commitment to provide a child placement option that fulfills the spirit of the Indian Child Welfare Act by ensuring that Native children who have been removed from their homes can remain with kin and community.

Simply Smiles Village Director Marcella Gilbert and Simply Smiles President and Founder Bryan Nurnberger seen here with activist and Village advisor Madonna Thunder Hawk, member of the Waśagiya Najin Standing Strong Grandmothers' Group of Native elders, after securing a formal resolution of tribal support, including from Tribal Chairman Harold C. Frazier.

Stay tuned for the next email in the Creating the Reservation Village series: Becoming A Licensed Foster Care Agency & Professionalizing Foster Care

LINK

‘60s Scoop survivor Leah Ballantyne grew up thinking she was the only one

 VIDEO

‘Growing up I kind of thought, why am I this lone person…”


Leah Ballantyne was just 11 days old when she was adopted out to a Scottish family in Winnipeg – by the time she was 13, she was already searching for her birth parents.

Riding the bus to school through Winnipeg’s downtown core, she would see Indigenous people and wondered if they were relatives.

“Growing up, I kind of thought, why am I this lone person and adopted into a family? Why didn’t my family want me and what were the circumstances? And as I learned that the ‘60s Scoop was actually a part of a process that started with reservations, and the Indian Act, and residential schools, and day schools,” she says on the latest episode of Face to Face.

“Then I realized that I was part of something that was a separation that was going on through government policy.”

The push to finally find out where she came from came after an event in Vancouver.

She says she was inspired by speeches by former Assembly of First Nations national chief Ovide Mercredi and Mohawk Council of Kahnawake grand chief Joe Tokwiro Norton

After, she went digging into her past.

Ballantyne’s birth mother had registered her for a status number at birth so she knew she was from Mathias Colomb Cree Nation. She wrote the chief at the time, the late Pascal Bighetty, asking for help.

Not long after, Ballantyne received a call from Bighetty, who, as it would turn out, was her uncle, telling her he knew who she was and to come home.

Advocating for her community

Ballantyne says the rally and reunification with her community, a “light went on” and she decided she would push for positive changes in law and policy by becoming a lawyer.

To this day, Ballantyne remains the only member of Mathias Colomb Cree Nation to become a lawyer. She is currently working with her nation on child welfare laws and bringing children home, whether they were part of the 60s Scoop, aged out of the care, or still in care.

Ballantyne is vocal about representation and believes those who falsely claim Indigenous identity, should face criminal charges.

“There is a couple of sections in the Criminal Code of Canada for identity and identity fraud and so Indigenous identity fraud is very much a charge that could be laid by any institution that has addressed this kind of issue and people that are claiming false Indigenous identity,” she says.

“And there is no statute of limitation on this type of identity fraud within the Criminal Code.”

KEEP READING

How a Court Challenge Could Put Indigenous Kids at Risk (In The Loop) #ICWA

More than 200 boxes of records under scrutiny by Ottawa, courts for residential school connections

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller says talks ongoing on disclosing of Justice Canada records

COVID Cda 20210616
Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller said his department continues to search for documents related to residential schools in Canada. (David Kawai/The Canadian Press)

More than 200 boxes of records are currently under separate court and internal federal reviews to determine their connection to residential schools after they were found in storage facilities within the last year, CBC News has learned.

The records were discovered in Yellowknife and Vancouver storage lockers, according to information provided to CBC News by a Crown-Indigenous Relations (CIRNA) official. 

As a court-appointed firm and federal officials sift through the records, CIRNA Minister Marc Miller said searches continue within his and other departments to find any documents related to the residential school era.

"The state they were found in is entirely unacceptable," Miller said in an interview with CBC News. 

"It is part of this process that I continue as the minister … That work isn't complete and is still ongoing — knowing any piece of information related to that time period can help in closure and getting an understanding of the truth."

The first batch of documents, 125 bankers boxes, was found in June 2021 by the owner of a storage facility in Yellowknife who was clearing out a unit once owned by a now-defunct survivor healing group called the Healing Drum. 

The owner contacted the territory's information commissioner, which then alerted the regional CIRNA office, said Andrew Fox, the Information and Privacy Commissioner for the Northwest Territories.

KEEP READING

Archbishop Justin Welby apologises for "building hell, putting children into it and staffing it"


 

Readers are advised this story mentions the physical and sexual abuse of Indigenous children in institutions. There are no graphic accounts included, but the subject matter may be triggering for some people. 

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby delivered an unequivocal apology to children, grandchildren and survivors of Canadian residential schools over the weekend, describing their experiences as “a bit of hell” that was “built by the Church and in the name of the Church.”

The Anglican Church leader met with dignitaries from Indigenous governments from James Smith Cree Nation and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, which represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan. There, he heard the stories of school survivors about how the residential school system ripped families apart, raised self-doubt and self-confidence issues and left them with traumas as a result of sexual and physical abuse.

“It is the rawest, wickedest, most terrible thing, to molest a child while you read them the Bible,” a sombre Welby told the group after hearing the harrowing accounts.

KEEP READING 



Archbishop of Canterbury apologizes for church's role residential schools - APTN News

The Prince Albert Grand Council, which hosted Archbishop Welby, ... the 94 calls to action laid out by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

 


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.

no arrests?

Crime Scene

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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?
lakota.cc/16I9p4D

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.

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

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.

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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