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Friday, December 29, 2023

Top Stories of 2023: Indigenous Rights Upheld

A selection of The Imprint’s most impactful stories from the past year

Native leaders said the high court’s decision to uphold ICWA “will be felt across generations.” Photo by Rosemary Stephens.

In 2018, the future of the Indian Child Welfare Act was put in jeopardy by a case that would come to be known as Brackeen v. Haaland. A federal district court judge ruled that the 45-year-old law known as ICWA was unconstitutional in its entirety. As the case progressed, many supporters of the law — which is designed to maintain the bonds between Native children and their families and tribes — feared that the U.S. Supreme Court would gut or erase ICWA.

This June, the court did the opposite in a 7-2 ruling that strongly affirmed the Indian Child Welfare Act’s constitutionality.

“The bottom line is that we reject all of petitioners’ challenges to the statute, some on the merits and others for lack of standing,” wrote Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

The Imprint’s five years of coverage on the Brackeen case includes Nancy Marie Spears’ reporting on the arguments considered by the Supreme Court and the prayers and protests outside that day.  And check out The Imprint Weekly Podcast episode from the week after the court’s decision for more insight from several leading experts on ICWA and tribal law.

But Spears’ reporting in 2023 went well beyond the Supreme Court case.  She profiled the Indigenous practices that ICWA is meant to protect, such as the My Two Aunties program developed by a group of tribes in Southern California.  Her recent three-part series, Born of History, explores the ways in which the colonization of the past, and the present constraints of federal funding, make it difficult for many tribes to make full use of ICWA’s protections. 


Wednesday, December 27, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Adoptee Activist and Author Trace Hentz Announces “THE COUNT 2024,” a New Project to Coincide with the Release of a New History Book “Almost Dead Indians”



Media Contact Only:

Liz Hill;


Adoptee Activist and Author Trace Hentz Announces “THE COUNT 2024,” a New Project to Coincide with the Release of a New History Book “Almost Dead Indians”

GREENFIELD, Mass., Dec. 27, 2023 — Adoptee activist, award-winning journalist and author Trace Hentz, who created the American Indian Adoptees website in 2009, has announced a new project, “THE COUNT 2024.” It will coincide with the release of a new history book, “Almost Dead Indians,” Book 5 in the Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects series.

When Hentz moved to Massachusetts in 2004 she began to tirelessly investigate numerous adoption programs, such as the Indian Adoption Projects and ARENA (The Adoption Resource Exchange of America). Both involved moving Native American babies and children across North America into adoptions with non-Native families.

After her 2009 memoir, “One Small Sacrifice” and a second edition, which followed in 2012,  Hentz met more adoptees and asked them to write their personal narratives, which resulted in three anthologies: “Two Worlds: Lost Children” (2012), “Called Home: The RoadMap,” (updated second edition, 2016), and “Stolen Generations: Survivors of the Indian Adoption Projects and 60s Scoop” (2016).  A poetry collection on the same topic, “In The Veins,” the fourth book in the series, was published in 2017.

“In these closed (sealed) adoptions, adoptees are unable to access the vital information they need to find their tribal families and communities,” Hentz said. “This new history book, “Almost Dead Indians,” with a lengthy chapter I wrote, titled “Disappeared,” which is about our history, ties in how these government-funded programs were run by churches and charities and were meant to erase children permanently from tribal rolls, making us dead Indians — almost.”

“Most people have heard how the governments of Canada and the United States ran residential boarding schools like the first U.S. school, which was Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania,” Hentz said. “Today, tribes are finding unmarked graves at these schools. I realized after 20 years that we deserve to see the numbers on these various federal and state-run adoption programs. We need “THE COUNT 2024” of Native American and First Nations adoptees to solidify facts and see actual numbers of adoptees in these government-funded projects that crisscrossed the U.S. and Canada.”

“Neither government has been forthcoming and some academics who looked at available reports claim nearly 13,000 children were adopted in the U.S., some by force and some by gunpoint,” Hentz said. “In Canada, they have already settled a class action lawsuit with adoptees called the Sixties Scoop.”

Hentz recommends the new PBS series “Little Bird” to understand what happened in Canada also happened in the U.S.

“Before first grade, I knew I was adopted, that these people were not my birthparents,” Hentz said. “I wasn’t sure what happened but it took me a lifetime to open my adoption file and finally meet my relatives.” Hentz had a reunion in 1994 with her birthfather Earl Bland in Illinois when she was 38 years old. Since then, she has found her ancestry includes Shawnee and Anishinaabe.

Hentz got the idea of a count when she could not find reliable information. “I set up a new website: Native American and First Nations adoptees simply fill out a comment form and I will send them a survey.” She hopes people will share this link and get the word out. “The COUNT” begins January 1, 2024.

Hentz’s new book, “Almost Dead Indians,” will be available soon at Bookshop and Amazon. Visit: or

About Blue Hand Books:

Blue Hand Books, based in Greenfield, Massachusetts, on Pocumtuckland, celebrated its 12th anniversary on November 11, 2023. To date, the collective has published 28 book titles. Founder and award-winning journalist Trace Hentz (formerly DeMeyer) embraced and adopted the idea to decolonize book publishing for other Indigenous writers with a collective that supports each writer, helping them to produce a paperback book, providing proofing and editing and allows them to keep 100% of their book royalties.  Blue Hand Books was created to be community and a collective for Indigenous authors.  For more information, contact: Blue Hand Books, Trace L. Hentz, Publisher, 25 Keegan Lane, Suite 8-C, Greenfield, MA 01301.

# # #


Note to Editors Only:
Photos are available. All photos provided courtesy Blue Hand Books.



Friday, November 24, 2023

Happy Hiatus

By Trace L Hentz, blog editor

I’ll be back to you all in January 2024. (I won’t be online much or posting news.)

I am finishing up the fifth book "ALMOST DEAD INDIANS" in the series Lost Children of the Indian Adoption ProjectsYes, I have compiled more history - and it's not a memoir.  And I am writing an expose on Buffy Sainte-Marie, too, which will be in the new book. I found out quite a bit about this scandal - and it's not over.

Love to you all, big blessings, have a safe holiday season, celebrate – you deserve it.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading this blog/website. 


Monday, November 20, 2023

John Kane interviews Peter d'Errico

Author of "Federal Anti-Indian Law", Peter d'Errico joins John Kane to talk about his work as it relates to the Osage Murders, Native gaming and US domination.

More Episodes 

Friday, November 17, 2023

60s Scoop Adoptee Cree musician embraces culture for classical music album, Prairie Dusk


In 2020, Jessica McMann and her husband moved to Cochrane, a shift that had more of an impact than the musician and composer had perhaps been anticipating.

The flautist holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Calgary and was required to study composition as part of her course load. But it wasn’t until the pandemic that she began composing in earnest and delving into her culture, inspired by the view outside.

“Outside my studio window, I’m on the third floor, you can see the dusk happening from east to west because we are south-facing,” says McMann. “On the east, you have Cochrane, on the west, you have Morley and Star Ranch and the landscape of the reserve. In that moment of dusk – I just wrote it in that moment of seeing that change of colour. When I started working on the album, I started to reflect on what that meant. I looked at the pieces I already had written and I realized there was something about coming home, there’s something about my life as a Prairies person, as a Sixties Scoop adoptee, there is something about that journey. There is something about being from the Prairies and living on the Prairies and what does that mean to me as a Cree person.”

There is nothing on McMann’s new album, Prairie Dusk, to suggest she is a relative newbie to composing.  The recording features McMann on flute and voice, American Navajo pianist Connor Chee, violist Holly Bhattacharya and Metis baritone Jonathon Adams but the compositions all came from McMann. This lineup will also be featured in an upcoming tour of western Canada, which includes an Oct. 29 show at Found Books in Cochrane. 


Placing Out: The Orphan Trains (2008)

Take time to read the comments after the video... very telling... Forced labor was common, as farmers used these children like slaves, not family members.... Trace

Native American teach-in November 18

 Director of First Nations Repatriation Institute is keynote speaker for Native American teach-in [USA]. The University of Minnesota Morris will hold a teach-in about the history and impact of Native American boarding schools, including the ones that operated on [the UMN Morris] campus site, on Saturday, November 18. The keynote speaker is Sandy White Hawk, Dakota adoptee.

For those unable to attend in person, the Teach-In will also be available via Zoom.  Registration is required:

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

2023: Reject colonial holidays that perpetuate dangerous stereotypes and whitewashed history



About Truthsgiving

Decolonize and celebrate Truthsgiving

There are many colonial mythologies about Indigenous Peoples and the founding of the US and Canada. Thanksgiving is one of them, however, in the words of Wamsutta Frank James, Wampanoag, “the Pilgrims had hardly explored the shores of Cape Cod four days before they had robbed the graves of my ancestors, and stolen their corn, wheat, and beans.” The truth is that real history has been whitewashed and that Thanksgiving perpetuates white supremacy and romanticized notions about Indigenous Peoples. To celebrate the current Thanksgiving mythology is to celebrate the theft of land through ethnic cleansing and enslavement. It is a lie that overlooks the genocide of Native American Indigenous Peoples and the enslavement of African Indigenous Peoples in order for settler-vigilantes and colonial militias to steal land and labor--the legacy of which is still felt today.

Oh, hey! It's National Adoption Awareness Month and I'm adopted


Oh, hey! It's National Adoption Awareness Month and I'm adopted. [USA] Adoptee United’s own Annette O’Connell is producing video shorts each day during National Adoption Awareness Month, with such titles as “Oh, hey! For today's National Adoption Awareness Month chat let's talk about return policies, ok?” and Let's talk about holidays and maybe birthdays too....


Tuesday, November 14, 2023

National Adoption Awareness Month stories #NAAM

  • ‘Mom, tell me the story of my adoption’ [USA]. My experience as an adoptee isn’t a monolith, nor is it isolated. It’s an important reminder that across the country, thousands of adoptees are navigating a one-sided narrative. Adoption has historically been framed as a beautiful method of family creation. This conveniently leaves out the separation from one’s birth family that occurs.

    A Community Call to Action

    November is National Adoption Awareness Month, and it’s an important time for diverse communities to unite around our people. Many of our community leaders, colleagues, friends, and even the friends of our children are impacted by adoption, and yet, they fail to get the community support they need to process, heal, and honor their stories. Which is why I invite you toward action.

    This November, through The Janchi Show and Conversation Piece, I’ll be elevating stories and voices that deserve to be heard, amplified, and validated. I’ll also be available to support Indianapolis’ corporate community as they look to properly understand and honor adoption within the workplace. I invite you to tune in, engage with these stories, and lean in to help contribute to a more inclusive, more supportive community. Schedule a conversation with me at

  • We Are Grieving [USA]. I found out that I was adopted from a grade-school bully. Instead of offering emotional support, my parents said it was a lie and ignored it. Over the next few years, this information was used by my peers to humiliate me, as they knew my parents were lying to me.



    REMINDER: If you want to share on social media, please do... this information is important and should be shared... Trace 

    👇 you can use the little boxes below

Monday, November 13, 2023

Louis LaRose Walks On

Matthew L.M. Fletcher |Nov 13| Turtle Talk Blog

Louis LaRose, former chair of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, has walked on. News profile here.

As chairman, Mr. LaRose testified on behalf of the bill that would become the Indian Child Welfare Act. Justice Brennan’s majority opinion in Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians v. Holyfield quoted extensively from Louis’s testimony. Footnote 25 reads:

In large part, the concerns that emerged during the congressional hearings on the ICWA were based on studies showing recurring developmental problems encountered during adolescence by Indian children raised in a white environment. See n. 1, supra.See also 1977 Hearings at 114 (statement of American Academy of Child Psychiatry); S.Rep. No. 95-597, p. 43 (1977) (hereinafter Senate Report). More generally, placements in non-Indian homes were seen as "depriving the child of his or her tribal and cultural heritage." Id. at 45; see also 124 Cong.Rec. 38102-38103 (1978) (remarks of Rep. Lagomarsino). The Senate Report on the ICWA incorporates the testimony in this sense of Louis La Rose, chairman of the Winnebago Tribe, before the American Indian Policy Review Commission:"I think the cruelest trick that the white man has ever done to Indian children is to take them into adoption courts, erase all of their records and send them off to some nebulous family that has a value system that is A-1 in the State of Nebraska and that child reaches 16 or 17, he is a little brown child residing in a white community, and he goes back to the reservation and he has absolutely no idea who his relatives are, and they effectively make him a non-person, and I think . . . they destroy him."Senate Report at 43. Thus, the conclusion seems justified that, as one state court has put it, "[t]he Act is based on the fundamental assumption that it is in the Indian child's best interest that its relationship to the tribe be protected." In re Appeal in Pima County Juvenile Action No. S-903, 130 Ariz., at 204, 635 P.2d at 189.

Thanks to Lucas LaRose.

LITTLE BIRD: Separating children from parents: #60sScoop in Canada


By Trace Hentz

I have watched Little Bird (5 episodes so far) and it takes me days to recover after each show... I watched the 5th episode yesterday... yes... crying my eyes out... hurting... depressed...soon I realize I needed to cry this hard to feel better.

It's our story. It's us. It is so hard to live this. It's so hard for anyone but us to "get" how hard it is.

Have you watched?

The Voice Of The River by Shandra Spears Bombay (60s Scoop Adoptee)

2023 CBC Poetry Prize longlist

A woman with long dark hair and wearing black clothes while standing in a corridor with dark walls
Shandra Spears Bombay is an Anishinaabe writer from Rainy River First Nations/Manitou Rapids, Ont. (Submitted by Shandra Spears Bombay)

Shandra Spears Bombay has made the 2023 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for The Voice Of The River.

The shortlist will be announced on Nov. 16 and the winner will be announced on Nov. 23.

About Shandra Spears Bombay 

Shandra Spears Bombay has shared her writing in anthologies including Strong Women Stories, Indigenous Women: The State of Our Nations and the Four Winds Literary Magazine. She was also part of a special adoptee anthology called Outsiders Within. Shandra has been working for an extremely long time on a one-woman show about the Sixties Scoop, and has exhausted the patience of herself and everyone around her (but it's going to be great). Shandra is Anishinaabe and a member of Rainy River First Nations/Manitou Rapids, doing her best to move from Toronto to the rez with a pandemic in the way.

Entry in five-ish words

"Jagged tumbling over the rocks."

The poems' source of inspiration

"This is a very important moment for me culturally and as a Sixties Scoop survivor, second- and third-generation Indian Residential School survivor, as I return to the community and work through all the things I don't know or understand about rez life. As the poem tumbles around and back, it expresses the tumbling of my life in my new context and the one constant which is the voice of the river."

First lines

boozhoo ndinawe maaganok 
says the voice of the river 
that flashes over the rocks
the rapids that flash with sturgeon jumping

one lone goose family
sheltering in the maple trees 
the water too high for us to reach
to tap this year
and pelicans perching on the rocks
looking for fishes to eat and feed to their babies
migizi sits nearby waiting for lunch

Saturday, November 11, 2023

The Lost Children: Dakota Searchlight investigation into ICWA in SD

WOW! This is excellent coverage! - Trace

SD Searchlight's Makenzie Huber and Argus Leader's Annie Todd interview Governor Kristi Noem, DSS Secretary Matt Althoff and Tribal Secretary Dave Flute about the state's indigenous child welfare laws on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023 at South Dakota State Capitol in Pierre, South Dakota.  
Photo: Samantha Laurey / Argus Leader

Forty-five years after ICWA passed, South Dakota has one of the highest rates of Native American child removals in the United States. 

An Argus Leader/South Dakota Searchlight investigation examined the issues Native families and children face inside South Dakota’s child welfare system. Below, you can find our findings and stories compiled.


Veterans Day Canada 11-11

Mi’kmaq Sisters: War Heroes & Trailblazers

Rachael Thomas (back left) and Blanche Thomas (front left), Photo credit: Canadian Women’s Army Corps, Germany.

Among the communities on PEI, the Mi’kmaq had the highest percentage of their population who served in the First and Second World Wars Among the Mi’kmaq who served, there were but two women: sisters Rachael and Blanche Thomas.

Rachael and Blanche Thomas, daughters of Michael and Mary Ann Thomas, led parallel lives until the end of World War II. They grew up on Lennox Island, moved to Southport for better education opportunities, and attended Rochford Square School in Charlottetown. After completing their education at Union Commercial College, both sisters joined the Canadian Women’s Army Corps (CWAC).

Rachael served overseas in England, while Blanche worked on repatriating the army in northern Europe. They were discharged in July 1946 as Corporals.

During their time off, the sisters enjoyed traveling together, exploring Scotland and Paris and creating cherished memories. However, their lives were deeply affected by the tragedy of war.

While most Indigenous personnel were treated as equals while in uniform, upon discharge things were different. Despite their service, Status Indians did not receive equal access to Veterans’ benefits or the right to vote. Mi’kmaw Keptin John Joe Sark observed, “These great men and women showed exceptional loyalty to Canada…for a country and flag that did not recognize them as citizens.”

At the end of their service, both Rachael and Blanche Thomas received two military medals: the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with the Overseas Service Bar — granted to persons who voluntarily served on Active Service; and the War Medal 1939-1945 — awarded to all full-time personnel of the Armed Forces.

Rachael Thomas dedicated her life to seeking justice for victims of the Sixties Scoop. She remained proud of her Indigenous heritage and was involved in her community until her passing in 1996.

Blanche Thomas, a proud Mi’kmaq woman, married Gerard Thomas Doucett after World War II. She worked as a beautician before becoming a homemaker and mother. Blanche later joined the workforce and was an active member of various organizations.

Amendments to the Indian Act restored her Indian status and applied it to her children. Blanche passed away in 2009. Her legacy includes her daughter’s service in the Royal Canadian Navy and her granddaughter’s service in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Today, many Indigenous people continue to serve in the Canadian Armed Forces with pride and dedication.

Lest We Forget.


Written by Grace Biswas, Editor-in-Chief 




Friday, November 10, 2023

'Sudden and unexpected': Midland Deputy Mayor Jack Contin dies

  • Midland Deputy Mayor Jack Contin passed away this morning at the age of 70 at Georgian Bay General Hospital.

    Contin was elected to the role of Deputy Mayor in 2022, and served on Simcoe County council on behalf of the town. He served Midland as a town councillor and public servant for more than 25 years prior to being elected in the current council term.

    “It was sudden and unexpected,” said Mayor Bill Gordon. “He was full of life, and actually had some really good one-liners and zingers (at last night’s council meeting).”

    With deep sadness, Gordon shared how Contin was a “kind, gentle, and soft-spoken” man.

    “You couldn’t find a nicer guy. Absolutely genuine and authentic. He was my wingman, and he’s left a void that won’t be easily filled.”

    Gordon said that Contin was as gentle and thoughtful in life as he was during council meetings.

    “He was an author, if you can believe it. He was working on a book that was almost ready to publish about his survival as a Sixties Scoop child.”

    Contin was a founding member of the regional UNESCO biosphere reserve program, established in 2004, and had been the representative liaison for First Nations and Métis collaboration in recent years.

    During his election bid, Contin told MidlandToday that the legacy he wanted to be remembered by Midland residents was for “a cleaner Georgian Bay.”

    “At the heart of our community is the Bay, from fishing, tourism, boating and recreation, the heart of our community is the Bay. If I can take steps to protect it, and make it even just a little cleaner and better preserved for the next generation, that would be a good legacy,” said Contin in 2022.

    Flags at Midland town hall have been lowered in Contin’s honour.


Coping with Anger | Wenecwtsin, Wayne Christian’s Secwepemctsín name, means “big voice that speaks truth”



Buffalo Spirit

Wenecwstin knows a thing or two about anger. He’s walked with it his whole life. As a child he was taken from his mother, family and community during the Sixties Scoop. But he’s learned a few things as a person who has embraced ceremony and a traditional way of being after reconnecting to his home. He shares with us some of what he knows about anger and how to cope with it. 

Welcome to Native Cinema Showcase

 It's so good to see new work and new films:

Native Cinema Showcase

National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, DC/USA

FREE November 17–24, 2023



The National Museum of the American Indian’s Native Cinema Showcase is an annual celebration of the best in Native film. This year’s theme highlights films of Indigenous perseverance that inspire, uplift, and triumph against adversity—stories that prevail against the judicial system, generational trauma, and cultural appropriation through love and complex relationships, self-worth, and humor. The showcase provides a unique forum for engagement with Native filmmakers from Indigenous communities throughout the Western Hemisphere and Arctic.  


All films available on demand:

Aitamaako'tamisskapi Natosi: Before the Sun


The Legend of Molly Johnson



We Are Still Here

Connections Shorts Program

Future-Focused Shorts Program

Inside Out Shorts Program

Pacifika Shorts Program


This program is funded in part by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. Thanks!!

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Native woman shares long journey to rediscovering Omaha Tribe heritage


In 1958, at 6 months old, Karen Hardenbrook of the Omaha Tribe was taken from the Winnebago, Nebraska reservation.

"Anytime a Native child is taken out of their culture, it's very much a journey to go home," said Hardenbrook. "My mother and my father were not there; when they came home, I was gone."

A church group reported inadequate living conditions, leaving Hardenbrook as a ward of the state, before an adoptive family took her in.

"The government's main wording was 'for the betterment of the child,' and if you were not married, that was not the betterment of the child," said Hardenbrook. "We had marriage yes, but it wasn't that piece of paper."

Hardenbrook's search for answers on her heritage did not come to light until she was 16 years old when she saw her birth certificate with her adoptive dad stating she was born in Winnebago.

"I looked at him, and I said, 'This is an Indian Reservation', and he says 'Yeah.' Well, then that means I'm really an Indian," said Hardenbrook. "All this time, I wanted to be an Indian and you knew I was an Indian. He says, 'Oh honey, there's lots of white people born on Indian Reservations.'"

"They loved me deeply, you know, but they loved me so much they kept me from who I really was and am as a native person."

Hardenbrook's story is a familiar one for scores of native peoples, underscoring the importance of the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act.

"To try to keep Native children within Native families and if it wasn't safe for them to be with their biological family but to keep them within their tribe and to maintain connections," said Misty Flowers, executive director of Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Coalition.

Although ICWA has been law for 45 years, it's faced challenges over the years including in 2023.

"They were saying this is a race-based law," said Flowers.

In June, the Supreme Court ruled to leave the act intact.

"It was a huge win for Indian Country," said Flowers. "We say we educate; we advocate, we bring people together, and it's all about Indian children culturally connected rights protected."

Hardenbrook finally found the chance to rediscover her cultural heritage when reuniting with her Native grandmother.

"When we knocked on the door, there was my dream. Is she going to like me or is she going to send me away," says Hardenbrook. "She's crying, and she says 'thank you Creator for bringing me home,' and she welcomes me into her home."

November is Native American Heritage Month. On Nov. 3, the Nebraska Child Welfare Coalition will host a celebration of the Supreme Court's upholding of ICWA.

The event includes dinner, a silent auction, music and dancing starting at 6 p.m. at Joslyn Castle.  To buy tickets, click here.

READ THE FULL STORY:Native woman shares long journey to rediscovering Omaha Tribe heritage


Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Truthsgiving Pledge

DAY OF MOURNING November 23, 2023

Two years ago

As hundreds enjoyed the Thanksgiving parade in Plymouth, Massachusetts, a group of indigenous people protested the holiday celebration.

"Why do we gather here today? Four hundred years later, we join to raise our voices high that we are still here, we are not conquered and we are not defeated," said Brian Weeden, councillor of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.

"Plymouth is rich with history, but not the truth of the Indians," said Chief Ladybug of the Ponkapoag Praying Indians.

Since 1970, the Wampanoag Tribe has declared Thanksgiving a national day of mourning for the loss of indigenous people's lives, culture and land.

"Our presence here is a stark reminder of the true story of Thanksgiving that differs so much from the fabled stories shared in classrooms, history books and celebrations across this nation," Weeden said. "We will never forget the atrocities that fell upon our people as a result of their violent trespass."

To this day, the Wampanoag Tribe continues to fight with the federal government over land.

"Here we are about to celebrate Thanksgiving, and the fact that our tribe is still fighting for what little bit of land we have — we own half of 1% of our ancestral territory — and 400 years later, we don't have much to be thankful for," Weeden said.

"Well, we can't change the past, but we can change the future," Chief Ladybug said. "And the way we change the future is to educate people and start understanding that this is not a day of celebration. This is a day of mourning." 


After helping Pilgrims, today's Wampanoag tribe fight for their ancestral lands.. November 22, 2021 - read this

Tall Oak and fellow activists inaugurated in 1970 what Native Americans across the country now call the Day of Mourning — held on Thanksgiving to counter narratives that many say downplay the massacre and subjugation of the Wampanoag and other Native Americans. Today the spirit of the Day of Mourning is observed across Native America.


Challenges and Resilience (free zoom lecture)

Zoom (Cook County Higher Education) 300 West 3rd Street #57 , Duluth, Minnesota 55604

Monday, November 6, 2023

Not Invisible Act Commission #MMIWG


National Native News:

The federal Not Invisible Act Commission 👆has issued its recommendations to help tribal communities, federal agencies, and law enforcement respond to the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous people.

Montana Public Radio’s Aaron Bolton has more.

According to federal crime data, American Indians and Alaska Natives go missing or are murdered at higher rates than their white counterparts. Many cases go unsolved.

Congress passed the Not Invisible Act in 2020.

The bill formed a federal commission made up of tribal leaders, federal agencies, families, and survivors.

This Not Invisible Act hearing in Minneapolis, Minn. was one of seven this year.

The commission held several hearings across the country to get input from tribal communities.

The commission issued numerous recommendations.

It called for more federal funding for tribal police and changes to federal laws that limit tribal police investigations.

It also called for more training and collaboration between tribal, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.

Federal agencies have 90 days to respond to the commission’s recommendations.


Adoptee Assistance: Navajoland

Navajo Nation expedites membership verification for Indian Child Welfare Act

Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren signed a memorandum of agreement to streamline the process of determining whether a Native child is actually Navajo on Oct. 30, 2023. Navajo Nation Attorney General Ethel Branch, and Debbie Nez-Manuel, director of the Navajo Division of Human Resources, also signed.
Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren signed a memorandum of agreement to streamline the process of determining whether a Native child is actually Navajo on Oct. 30, 2023. Navajo Nation Attorney General Ethel Branch, and Debbie Nez-Manuel, director of the Navajo Division of Human Resources, also signed.

The Navajo Nation has developed a streamlined process to determine whether a Native child who may be adopted is actually Navajo.

The Indian Child Welfare Act was passed in 1978 to establish basic requirements to protect Native American children from removal from their homes and communities.

If a child is determined to be a tribal member, the ICWA then triggers legal protections and the right of the Navajo Nation to intervene.

However, the process to verify tribal membership can take several months.

Tribal officials say this new agreement will significantly shorten the time to determine membership by improving coordination and the sharing of records between Navajo Nation divisions and the offices that work with children in custody, adoption or foster cases.

Caseworkers will then be able to determine if ICWA applies in a matter of weeks, which will allow the Navajo government to intervene sooner.

President Buu Nygren signed off on the memorandum of agreement October 30, 2023.


Friday, November 3, 2023

Orphan Trauma: I didn't know

By Trace L Hentz (blog editor and adoptee)

Part 2: Adoption Awareness Month: Orphan Trauma I didn't know

or·phan    (ôr f n)

Deprived of parents. Intended for orphans: an orphan home. Lacking support, supervision, or care. Affecting so few people that the development of treatment is neglected or abandoned for being unprofitable: an orphan disease. ETYMOLOGY:
Middle English, from Late Latin orphanus, from Greek orphanos, orphaned

trau·ma    (trô m , trou -)

A serious injury or shock to the body, as from violence or an accident. An emotional wound or shock that creates substantial, lasting damage to the psychological development of a person, often leading to neurosis. An event or situation that causes great distress and disruption. ETYMOLOGY: Greek

My problem is secrecy. I believe that perpetually secret adoptions assure un-accountability and lack of transparency. And secret adoptions are only the tip of the iceberg. The secrecy permeates the process: secret identities, secret parents, secret records, secret foster care providers, secret social workers, secret judges and lawyers (all their identities are sealed, typically), secret physicians, secret statistics and, in the case of some adoption-oriented organizations, secret budgets and secret boards of directors. In any social practice, when people in positions of power hide behind masks, one can be pretty sure that they have something to hide.”

Albert S. Wei, Special Advisor to the Bastard Nation Executive Committee

The Indian survived our open intention of wiping them out. And since the tide turned they have even weathered our good intentions toward them, which can be more deadly.”
- John Steinbeck,
America and Americans

I didn't have a clue about any of this growing up.

When I get older: I ask myself, where is the missing piece …where is the voice of the adopted… what happens to the adoptee?  Honestly, there are very few orphans.  Most children have a relative, or a mom or dad.  Yes, after war, there are some orphans but your community (and country) is still your family, your kin.

I didn’t know the trauma of my being adopted was a problem, the real culprit.  In real life, adoptees who have been to a counselor for behavioral/emotional problems: 41% adopted as infants; 45% adopted from another country; 54% adopted from foster care. (Source: Illinois State University: A Comparative Study of Child Welfare Adoptions and Other Types of Adopted Children and Birth Children (2004)

In the last 50 years, adoption globally is widely publicized, with November as Awareness Month, and is still touted as noble, saving kids and particularly saintly of those men and women who adopt, who give so generously to orphans, all over the world.  That’s about all we hear: how great it is to adopt. 

That is how propaganda works: also why it's a billion dollar adoption industry! 

In 2004 I decided to write about my experience (as an adoption survivor and journalist) and include other American Indians who experienced being adopted. I found much more going on with the business of adoption, so I included it in my memoir ONE SMALL SACRIFICE.  Certainly this was a controversial book on adoption since I was often in a state of shock and utter disbelief during my years of research.

Indian child removals by adoption set out to accomplish the break-up of Indian families and culture.  Once adopted, you’re erased, an outsider, a stranger to your own nation, lands and people. I prefer to think of my younger self as brainwashed. There was fear and emotional illness, which I explain.

What is known about the Indian Adoption Projects and the aftermath, few books actually acknowledge it happened here. (Erasing this is also part of propaganda.)

There is persistent rampant poverty in Indian Country even now. Poverty is a tool, and so is assimilation/adoption. I found out Indian people were white-washed through strenuous puritanical forces using assimilation via adoption and boarding schools. Torture? Yes.

Adoptees with Indian blood find out soon enough their reservations are closed to strangers. Without proof, you’re suspect.  You can’t always get the proof since laws prevent it. 

You need that OBC: Original birth certificate. Most states have them locked up.

Associate Attorney General Tony West Delivers Remarks at the National Indian Child Welfare Association’s 32nd Annual Protecting Our Children Conference ~ Monday, April 14, 2014

 "...There's more work to do because every time an Indian child is removed in violation of ICWA, it can mean a loss of all connection with family, with tribe, with culture.  And with that loss, studies show, comes an increased risk for mental health challenges, homelessness in later life, and, tragically, suicide."

Wilfred Buck Tells The Story Of Mista Muskwa

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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

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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.

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