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Monday, October 16, 2023

How PBS Indigenous Drama ‘Little Bird’ Relates to Today’s ‘Very Profound’ Real-World Conflicts


“There’s something about understanding each other’s trauma and trying to be human beings,” star Lisa Edelstein tells TheWrap

Without directly addressing the harrowing Hamas attacks on Israel this week, she added, “Even in this horrific time period that we’re in right now, there’s something about storytelling and understanding each other’s trauma and trying to be human beings. This is very profound right now.”

In the series, Esther Rosenblum (Darla Contois), who was cruelly ripped away from her mother, father and siblings when she was 5 years old, begins searching for her birth family in her 20s. Her adoptive mother Golda (Edelstein) has always discouraged her from finding out more about her past, having been told that Esther, whose given name was Bezhig Little Bird, had been rescued from a “neglectful” family.




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“You want to have more Natives writing Native stories,” Gladstone said in an interview with Vulture. “You also want the masters to pay attention to what’s going on.  American history is not history without Native history.”
'Killers of the Flower Moon' Star Lily Gladstone Calls Film a 'Double-Edged Sword' With Script Written by Non-Natives

See Susan Devan Harness, “The goal is to take away our kids, dismantle our cultures and traditions, Reflections on a life given, a life removed,” Indian Country Today, 9 October 2018. In the conclusion she writes:

They are still trying to dismantle American Indian culture and traditions through the removal of our children. They have cunning arguments which, with their large and boisterous words and white privilege, carefully shadow the fact that they just aren’t seeking our children, but ethnic annihilation. Through court cases, such as Baby Veronica, A.D. vs Washburn, and Texas v. Zinke powerful groups are working at a frantic pace to undo the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, which was put into place to stop the wholesale removal of children who were flying off the reservation by the early 1970s.

Recently, I spoke to a friend who follows these legal battles. ‘Why do they want to undo ICWA,’ I asked, perplexed because I don’t believe any of those litigators care one whit about what happens to American Indian children or American Indian families. My friend replied, ‘If they can get rid of ICWA, they can begin to work to disassemble all the laws and protections that have been put into place by American Indian treaty rights.’

The bottom line, economic interests want the land, and the resources beneath that land. They always have. They are hiring legal experts to take away our kids to achieve that goal, like they always have. I’m fighting to keep that from happening. And that fight starts with keeping our children.

See also United States Settler Colonialism: Erasing Indigenous Identity – A Policy of Cultural Genocide.  


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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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