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: (outlook email is gone)


Thursday, July 7, 2022

This Land is Whose Land?

Through genocide, broken treaties, and a legal system created by and for the colonial interest, this land “became” American land. 


June 14, 2019 | Mali Obomsawin

Foster Care and Adoption (1800s–present)

For the last three centuries, government agents across the country have been responsible for forcibly removing Native children from their homes and putting them up for adoption or in foster care. Native children enter the Child Welfare System at rates nineteen times those of non-Native children. The Indian Child Welfare Act (1978), a federal law erected to curtail this unconscionable phenomenon and protect Native children, is currently being challenged in the Supreme Court.

The Allotment Act (1887–1934) and Blood Quantum

Instead of forced assimilation or removal, the General Allotment (Dawes) Act aimed to break up Native communities by targeting their geographic autonomy. The statute parceled up previously communal Indian lands and allocated it to individual tribal members. Then it opened “surplus land” to settler homesteading. The government institutionalized a policy called “blood quantum,” in this case requiring Natives to “prove one-fourth Indian blood in a given group” in order to inherit their families’ land. This system, in turn, set Natives up to eventually breed themselves out of existence through intermarriage, which would ultimately relieve the government of upholding treaty promises. Although the Dawes Act was replaced by the Indian Reorganization Act in 1934, blood quantum continues to be widely used to determine citizenship– and how blood quantum is used varies from tribe to tribe. In many cases, blood quantum has the continued effect of shrinking enrollment, burdening and complicating Native identity and relationships, and, in the company of dogs and horses, reducing Natives to our blood measurements.

Eugenics (1900s–present)

Advocated by “public health” professionals throughout the twentieth century, eugenics practices were ubiquitous across the United States and Canada. From 1913 to 1957, the state of Vermont issued a “eugenical-sociological” survey called the Vermont Commission on Country Life to identify and exterminate the state’s “undesirables” to ensure a “superior stock” of citizens for the state’s future. The commission specifically targeted Abenaki people resisting assimilation, along with African Americans, recent immigrants, and paupers. The term “mental defectives” was broadly applied to those that commissioners wanted to target. Fast-forwarding to the 1970s, researchers brought to light ongoing projects of forced sterilization of southwestern Native women, performed by physicians and Indian Health Service workers. Eugenics has played a sustained role in American “public health” practice throughout the previous century, and cases of forced sterilization of Native women in North America continue today.

These are just a few of the state-sanctioned ethnic cleansing tactics that were erected to solve the “Indian Problem,” the unanticipated survival of Indigenous populations as American nation-building progressed, from which Adolf Hitler drew inspiration during the Third Reich (additional source). However difficult to face, this legacy cannot be divorced from today’s America.

The means of allyship—and dismantling culturally systemic ignorance—starts with “passing the mic” to marginalized people, who know our communities’ experiences, needs, and struggles better than anyone else. But this opportunity only arises if activists make room for Native experiences of America: our less patriotic accounts of America’s history and legal system derive from centuries of hypocrisy, broken treaties, and systematic genocidal policies. Confronting the experiential gap between Natives and Americans will take determined self-education, listening, absolute humility on behalf of settlers, and vast improvements in institutional education.

But the need for effective activism is dire. Real, organized change requires allyship and the recognition that ignorance is a privilege. It requires those who consider themselves dedicated to justice to question the accuracy of their own education, read and listen to thinkers, artists, and activists from marginalized communities, and accept every opportunity to pass the mic. Finally, it requires that Americans let go of the elements of American culture that silence and erase the marginalized, even if those elements have been treasured.




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.

Happy Visitors!

They Took Us Away

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

Blog Archive

Most READ Posts


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


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


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.

Google Followers