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Thursday, March 16, 2023

NEWS: ICWA, Kinship, and more

 With Supporters from Indian Country Looking on, Minnesota Lawmakers Vote to Protect Indigenous Families

Minnesota was already among the 12 states with a law that mirrors some or all of the protections of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), federal legislation passed decades ago to protect Indigenous families from unnecessary family separation. 

But the state Legislature went further this year with enhancements to the Minnesota Indian Family Preservation Act, which was originally passed in 1985. The bill moves to Gov. Tim Walz’s desk as the nation waits for a ruling from the Supreme Court on a case called Brackeen v. Haaland, which could decide the fate of ICWA as a national law. A decision in the case is expected this summer. 

“This bill says that we agree on Minnesota land that our children deserve the opportunity to have access to their family, their culture, their beliefs, and what I believe is the most beautiful part of Minnesota,” Rep. Heather Keeler told lawmakers in advance of the floor vote.

OPINION: We’re Building a New Path to Prioritize Kin

A group of leading organizations in child welfare is working to build a new path for quickly licensing kin as foster parents. 

The Imprint Weekly Podcast

 Episode 122: We Were Once a Family, with Journalist and Author Roxanna Asgarian

On this week’s podcast we discuss some updates on the Indian Child Welfare Act front, Minnesota becoming a trans youth refuge, and the blind spot in America’s knowledge of youth justice. 

Imprint alum Roxanna Asgarian joins to discuss her new book, “We Were Once a Family: A Story of Love, Death, and Child Removal in America,” which traces the lives and families of six children killed by their adoptive parents in March of 2018.  HERE


A Child of the Indian Race: A Conversation with Sandy White Hawk

Part Two: A song for orphans

On this week’s podcast, we begin a two-part interview between Imprint reporter Nancy Marie Spears and Sandy White Hawk, author of the recently released memoir A Child of the Indian Race: A Story of Return. White Hawk’s recounts her own adoption story, which began in 1955, decades before the Indian Child Welfare Act was passed to protect Indigenous families from being separated. 

This conversation comes just months after the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case called Brackeen v. Haaland, in which several non-Indigenous families and the State of Texas have claimed that ICWA is unconstitutional. A decision in the case is expected to be delivered this summer.

Listen: Spotify Apple

Guest Interview: Sandy White Hawk is a Sicangu Lakota adoptee from the Rosebud Reservation, South Dakota. She is the founder and director of First Nations Repatriation Institute

An Indigenous Adoptee Reclaims Her Culture

First-of-its-kind Survey Examines Trauma and Healing Among Indigenous Survivors of Family Separation

How a Chippewa Grandmother’s Adoption Fight Ended Up in the U.S. Supreme Court

The Imprint’s Coverage of Brackeen v. Haaland

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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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