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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

My Two Aunties

From left, Jeremy Braithwaite, Lizzie Lycett, Cori Biggs, Art Martinez, Karan Thorne and Judge Bill Thorne during a training session with Indian Health Council staff. Provided photo.
 Protecting Children and Healing Families, One Native Auntie at a Time

Twenty years ago, a group of Indigenous tribes in Southern California had nearly 500 of their children in local foster care systems. Today, according to Indian Health Council data, the number is closer to 30. 

A main driver in recent years is My Two Aunties, a program that draws on family legacies and kinship traditions to wrap support and guidance around vulnerable parents and children living in a consortium of nine tribes.

Key to the approach is a pair of home-visiting workers, known as aunties, who are as steeped in tribal customs as they are in mandated reporting and making active efforts to reunify families after a foster care separation. 

“Instead of ‘What’s wrong with you?’, they ask ‘What’s strong with you?’”  said Karan Thorne, a member of the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians who developed the program. 


Saturday, May 20, 2023

Unspoken: America's Native American Boarding Schools (2023)


KUED (now PBS Utah) takes a moving and insightful look into the dark chapter of American history, the federal Indian boarding school system. The goal was total assimilation into Anglo civilization at the cost of Native American culture, tradition, and language. The film story starts with pre-history and comes full circle to modern day. Much of the film is told in first person Native American voice by the people who continue to live it. 

Read More:

Osage Murders | Killers of the Flower Moon movie trailer

👇Based on David Grann’s broadly lauded best-selling book, Killers of the Flower Moon is set in 1920s Oklahoma and depicts the serial murder of members of the oil-wealthy Osage Nation, a string of brutal crimes that came to be known as the Reign of Terror. Directed by Martin Scorsese and Screenplay by Eric Roth and Scorsese, the film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons, Tantoo Cardinal, Cara Jade Myers, JaNae Collins, and Jillian Dion. Hailing from Apple Studios, Killers of the Flower Moon was produced alongside Imperative Entertainment, Sikelia Productions and Appian Way. Producers are Scorsese, Dan Friedkin, Bradley Thomas and Daniel Lupi, with DiCaprio, Rick Yorn, Adam Somner, Marianne Bower, Lisa Frechette, John Atwood, Shea Kammer and Niels Juul serving as executive producers.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Estranged? | Adoption Illusions and Stockholm Syndrome



👇AN OLD POST from 2014/2021

Adoption Illusions and Stockholm Syndrome

"...I’ve been thinking about this concept for a long time. Adopters, when it comes right down to it, count on Stockholm Syndrome. Children who don’t succumb are labelled RAD.
Whenever I encounter an infertile woman so desperate to be a mother that she’ll bring home a stranger’s baby and force it to live in her fantasy, I always secretly wonder what she would do if she were single and desperate to be married.
Would she drag some strange man home and force him to watch the Notebook and cuddle? And if she did, would society think it was beautiful and precious?  Or would they think she was delusional and dangerous?  Rhetorical question, of course.  But why? Why is what is clearly a crime between adults viewed in such an overwhelmingly positive way when one of the parties is a child?..."  - Renee Musgrove 
This comment by Renee has been in my head for over a year and I finally did research on Stockholm Syndrome! KEEP READING

Catholic-Operated Native Boarding Schools in the United States pre-1970

NEW Website :

Compiled by a group of archivists, historians, and concerned Catholics, the List of Catholic-operated Native Boarding Schools in the United States, pre-1978, represents the first and most comprehensive source for information on Native boarding schools that were overseen or staffed by the Catholic Church before 1978. Our motivation for assembling this data was to provide a resource to help boarding school survivors, their descendants, Tribal Nations, and the Church itself navigate the history of Catholic involvement with Native boarding schools.

The list has two primary objectives: first, to identify all Catholic-operated boarding schools designated specifically to educate Native American and Alaska Native children in the United States, and second, to identify all Catholic entities that were involved in the operation of each school. We are under no pretense that our list is complete. We have done our best to offer the most accurate information possible, but we also anticipate future revisions as additional information is obtained.


By bringing together basic information about Catholic-run Native boarding schools and the various Catholic institutions involved in their operation, the list responds to the clear request from Tribal Nations for access to archival records in Catholic repositories. Families and communities of boarding school survivors and their descendants deserve prioritized access to information regarding their own histories. The Catholic Church also has an obligation to understand the scope of its own role in this history. Making basic facts about the history of Catholic institutional involvement in the boarding schools more transparent aids in that understanding and facilitates identification of possible sources of archival records as one preliminary step to support information access.

Our goal is for Tribal Nations, families, and individuals to be able to use the list to locate records for schools that members of their communities attended. Our hope is that Catholic institutional archives and Tribal Nations will build relationships to increase understanding about records for Catholic-operated Native boarding schools and further develop the historical record. 


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Thursday, May 18, 2023

BRUTAL PAST| Mental Impact of Cross-Cultural Adoptions

👉 The Brutal Past and Uncertain Future of Native Adoptions. “It is our right as Indian nations to raise our children,” said Sandy White Hawk, founder of the Minnesota-based First Nations Repatriation Institute, which serves Native people affected by adoption and foster care. 

In 1958, the Indian Adoption Project(s) were created “to stimulate adoption of American Indian children by Caucasian families on a nationwide basis.” 

See a 1967 portrait of a Long Island family, the Zuckermans, who took part in the project.  The program was immensely popular in New York, which was already the center of a robust and lucrative adoption marketplace.  

Such treatment of Native parents and caretakers by white social workers was not uncommon, but the Devils Lake Sioux were among the first to fight back publicly.  Members of the tribe, which is now called the Spirit Lake Tribe, traveled to New York for a news conference at the Indian Affairs office arranged that summer.  CLICK: []


Seattle May 17

The entire argument for eradicating the Indian Child Welfare Act was expressed in a white supremacist poem by Robert Louis Stevenson that I expect Samuel Alito to quote in the opinion, with zero sense of irony: 

Little Indian, Sioux, or Crow, 

Little frosty Eskimo, Little Turk or Japanee, 

Oh! don't you wish that you were me? 

You have seen the scarlet trees 

And the lions over seas; 

You have eaten ostrich eggs, 

And turned the turtle off their legs. 

 Such a life is very fine, 

But it's not so nice as mine: 

You must often as you trod, 

Have wearied NOT to be abroad. 

You have curious things to eat, 

I am fed on proper meat; 

You must dwell upon the foam,

 But I am safe and live at home. 

 Little Indian, Sioux or Crow, Little frosty Eskimo, Little Turk or Japanee, 

Oh! don't you wish that you were me? VIA

 (New York Times)



Not Feeling “American Enough”: The Mental Impact of Cross-Cultural Adoption. “For adoptees in the adoptee community, to move forward is to have allies,” she explains. “The narrative [around cross-cultural adoption tends to] lie with adoptive parents, and so we need them to elevate our stories, to elevate us in order for people to know that there is another narrative out there. It's not this fairy tale.”


👀Let's celebrate - over TWO MILLION VIEWS on our little website! THANK YOU! -TLH

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Northern California County’s Child Welfare System Again Called out by Civil Grand Jury

  A report released Monday by a northern California civil grand jury finds that the local child welfare system routinely misses court deadlines, creating “an unnecessary amount of stress” for children and families — particularly members of tribal communities who are overrepresented in the foster care system.

In its report, Humboldt County Child Welfare Services and the Courts: Late Reports, Dysfunctional Systems, and Traumatized Children, the local watchdog group describes inefficiency and staff shortages as delaying family reunification for California families.



Tuesday, May 9, 2023

The Morrill Family on National Television Summer 1981, 7 Ojibwe Adoptees placed in Mormon family...

By Leland P Morrill  (Navajo adoptee and contributor to the book series Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects) posted in 2013

"Today's Child" started in June 1964 when Helen Allen - a veteran reporter for the Toronto Telegram - was questioned at the time by a skeptical Children's Aid Societies, but supported by Ontario's provincial government. 

During its first few years, about 80% of the children featured in the column were adopted. Helen Allen in this National Television show states that she personally adopted 10,000 to 11,000 children.  Who knows how many native and aboriginal children were adopted through her in Ontario, Canada?

Featured on this video are seven Ojibwe children, my adopted brothers and sisters, to a Mormon family who adopted 10 children. 

I was a Navajo "undocumented adoptee" before we moved to Ontario, Canada. 

Note on the video how many of my brothers and sisters are not white like our adopted parents. 

What is Genocide?  What constitutes Human Trafficking? 

Native Children who are deemed adoptable because of the 3rd world conditions forced on them through the Reservation system (Concentration Camps) may be labelled under "neglect", by Departments of Social Services that blur the lines between neglect and impoverishment; thus creating the definition of "abused or neglected" to encompass those "whose environment is injurious to the child's welfare." 

Genocide is the worst crime possible, undoubtedly the most serious crime that can be committed under international law. 

The 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (hereinafter the Statute) testifies to the fact that this is the most serious of the crimes within its jurisdiction. It places Genocide first, followed by Crimes against Humanity, War Crimes and the Crime of Aggression. 

The crime of genocide is defined in Article 6 of the Statute in the following terms: [A]ny of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group

United Nations defined genocide as the intentional "destruction of racial, national, linguistic, religious or political groups," "with the purpose of destroying it in whole or in part or of preventing its preservation or development,"either "causing the death of members of a group or injuring their health or physical integrity" or interfering with their biological reproduction or also "destroying the specific characteristics of the group" through the "transfer of children." 

This video is evidence.  This is why ICWA and history matters. - Trace


Virtual Roundtable on the Indian Child Welfare Act (11am EASTERN)


WASHINGTON — In preparation for a fast-approaching U.S. Supreme Court decision on the fate of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee Democratic minority members are holding a roundtable discussion this morning regarding the longstanding law that affirms tribal sovereignty in Indian child adoption cases. 

House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) will host a virtual roundtable to discuss the history and significance of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA),” according to a statement from his office.

“ICWA is a more than 40-year-old law that protects the well-being and best interests of Native children and families in state child welfare systems. In the past several years, ICWA has faced a series of legal challenges, the most prominent being the Brackeen v. Haaland Supreme Court case.

“The virtual roundtable will feature expert panelists to discuss the history of ICWA and the role Congress can play to strengthen ICWA and protect Native children and families.”

Of note, according to Grijalva: “This is the first congressional convening to examine ICWA since the onset of recent litigation efforts.”

 RELATED: “Indian Child Welfare Act again reaches U.S. Supreme Court. The basics of ICWA and why the high court is reviewing it now.”

Thanks to Indigenous Wire for this update

Thursday, May 4, 2023



It not only upholds Oneida’s vision of protecting families and preserving our core values and traditional beliefs – it has promoted the best interest of Oneida children for more than 40 years. 


States Seek to Protect Tribes’ Rights in Child Custody Cases

Followers of the case say it’s unclear how the court will rule, or on which grounds the court might decide to overturn the law. Some states are making backup plans.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Wilfred Buck Tells The Story Of Mista Muskwa

Happy Visitors!

They Took Us Away

They Took Us Away
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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.

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