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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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Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Impacts of the Roe v. Wade Decision on Native American and Alaska Native Women Sexual Violence Victim-Survivors

— StrongHearts Native Helpline Statement —

The June 24 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court overturning the constitutional right to an abortion will adversely impact Native American and Alaska Native victim-survivors of sexual violence in several ways. The ruling paves the way for national criminalization of abortion. A number of states, including Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, already have existing trigger laws that allow those states to ban abortion now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned.

“Native women and girls suffer the highest rates of stalking, rape and femicide in the nation,” said Lori Jump (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians), chief executive officer, StrongHearts Native Helpline. “Abortion is not offered at the Indian Health Service (IHS) and having planned parenthood clinics is essential to the health and well-being of sexual assault victims. It’s a breach of trust responsibility and body sovereignty that goes back to colonization.”

In fact, the IHS (which provides health care on reservations) is prohibited under the 1976 Hyde Amendment from using federal monies for abortion services, except when the mother’s life is endangered and in instances of incest and rape.

Making it difficult for any woman to obtain an abortion or by criminalizing it in some, or even all, states won’t make abortions disappear. It makes them unsafe and potentially fatal. Those at most risk will be poor women and women of color, especially Native women who reside on tribal lands or in remote areas where abortion services are difficult to access.

Making abortion services inaccessible to Native women whether they live in an urban or rural area further exacerbates the enormous socio-economic and health disparities. For example, the poverty rate among Native women is the highest among racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. at 28.1 percent. Overall, one in three Native Americans live in poverty with an annual median income of $23,000. Complications during pregnancy or childbirth (or both) are three to four times more likely for Native women.

There are also barriers to acquiring emergency contraception outside of reservation communities and travel to obtain abortion services can require exorbitant travel and other expenses that Native women simply cannot afford.  Financial abuse — a form of relationship abuse where one partner controls their partner’s financial situation — also can figure into the picture. An intimate partner who takes control of their partner’s finances ultimately has control over making financial decisions that undermine their partner’s well-being and, in cases such as these, make it difficult or even impossible for that partner to seek abortion services.

Native women in the United States suffer from the highest rates of sexual violence.  

In Indigenous communities, more than half of American Indian and Alaska Native women (56.1%) have experienced sexual violence in their lives and the vast majority (96%) are victimized by a non-Native perpetrator. Sexual violence is based on power and control and an abuser may see the unpredictability of pregnancy as an opportunity to increase power and control. Sexual violence robs Native women of the right to body sovereignty and the choice of reproductive autonomy.

Sexual violence is a tool and result of colonization, which has been responsible for the enslavement and genocide of Native peoples and the theft, occupation, resource extraction and exploitation of Native lands that began at contact. The same government infrastructure and its federal laws, policies and institutions has targeted and permitted sexual violence, abuse and harassment of Native women for centuries. The legacy of colonialism continues to exist in 2022 through this most recent action by the U.S. Supreme Court to deny Native — and all — women the right to body sovereignty. 


About StrongHearts Native Helpline

StrongHearts Native Helpline is a 24/7/365 culturally-appropriate domestic, dating and sexual violence helpline for Native Americans, available by calling or texting 1-844-762-8483 or clicking on the chat icon at strongheartshelpline.org.

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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.

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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.

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where were you adopted?

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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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