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Thursday, May 23, 2024

History: OPERATION BABYLIFT

Heartbreak and hope - The Vietnamese children of Operation Babylift and their battle to find birth parents and their identity

Almost 50 years ago, thousands of children were removed from Vietnam to be adopted around the world, including Scotland.  Their story is now explored in a new play, Precious Cargo...

​Andy Yearley still vividly remembers the journey he made from the Isle of Lewis to Vietnam 20 years ago.  Travelling with a film crew from Mac TV in Stornoway, he had what he calls “the most unforgettable, vivid and surreal week of my entire life”.

Born in 1973, Yearley was one of thousands of young Vietnamese children evacuated from the country as the Vietnam war finally ended, culminating in a huge, US-led initiative in April 1975 called Operation Babylift.  The children, many transported on military aircraft, were adopted by families in the USA, Australia and across Europe. Yearley’s Vietnamese name is Nguyen Tang; adopted by a Scottish couple, he grew up as Andy in a small, seaside village on Lewis, knowing virtually nothing about his biological family.  The aim of that 2004 journey was to try and find them.

“A normal tourist visiting Vietnam finds stimulation overload, but in my case it was my first time seeing the country of my birth, potentially finding blood family, surrounded by a Gaelic TV crew, and escorted by a high up official from the Vietnamese government,” recalls Yearley. “Surreal was a total understatement.”

Yearley is a professional musician who has performed at Celtic Connections, HebCelt, and other high profile Scottish events, as well as teaching music to children. In Saigon, he remembers visiting a music shop where the shopkeeper talked at him for half an hour in Vietnamese. Not understanding a word, Yearley eventually decided to respond in Gaelic, just to see what would happen. “I said something along the lines of "Ciomair a tha thu? Tha mi duillich, a bheil Gaelic agad?" (how are you, sorry do you speak Gaelic?). The look on her face!”

Yearley never found any members of his Vietnamese family, but thanks to orphanage staff he was at least able to identify and visit the street where he had been found as a baby, next to a dead woman thought to have been his mother. “It was 5am and the street was buzzing with activity. To a lot of folk, their first known location is a hospital bed, or a birthing pool. Here I was at mine – a bustling, beautiful street with overgrown foliage everywhere, children, cats and dogs running wild, and a barely discernible old train track running through it. I quite like the fact that this last day was not filmed. It was a very personal moment.”

Two decades later, Yearley is one of the creators of Precious Cargo, a new theatre show coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Operation Babylift. Developed in Uig on the Isle of Lewis, Precious Cargo is now set for a full Edinburgh Fringe run at Summerhall following its debut performance at An Lanntair in Stornoway at the beginning of July.

BOOK: Ice cubes like glass

 NEW BOOK (in French)

“Ice cubes like glass”, Isabelle Picard

During the Sixties Scoop, thousands of Indigenous youth in Canada were taken from their reserves by child welfare services to be adopted or placed with non-Indigenous foster families. With sensitivity, the novel Ice cubes like glass evokes this dark part of the country’s past, which has left immense scars within communities.  Inspired by Canadian history as well as that of her ancestors, ethnologist and author Isabelle Picard, originally from Wendake, immerses us in the pain of a Huron father, Henri. The latter sees his family being divided up by the government while remaining powerless. Through this poignant story, the writer succeeds in injecting depth into the many characters, such as the patriarch, his wife, Belle, and their host of children.  The eldest, Liliane, is particularly touching because of the fight she leads to keep her family afloat.   A necessary work, which remains captivating until the end.

Review: Florence Morin-Martel ★★★ 1/2 : https://actualnewsmagazine.com/english/ice-cubes-like-glass-isabelle-picard/

Isabelle Picard, Éditions Flammarion Québec, Montreal, 2024, 296 pages

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Goldwater files brief


Goldwater is still at it... still trying to dismantle the federal law THE INDIAN CHILD WELFARE ACT... They truly do not understand we are not a race but sovereign, sacred and ancient peoples...

"...In this case, a Native child was legally adopted by a non-Native mother—but the mother then tragically died.  Ordinarily, in such a circumstance, family members or friends could become legal guardians of a child through a simple court order.  But that effort was blocked in this case by the tribe, which declared the child a “ward” and demanded that state judges hand her over, so that the tribe could place her with adults who are of the “right” race.  Now, an Arizona appellate court has been asked to decide whether the tribe was acting within its legal authority.

As we explain in our brief, the rules of jurisdiction are part of the bedrock idea of due process.  Courts are only allowed to decide cases involving people who have some connection to that court—and the fact that a person fits one racial profile rather than another is certainly not good enough.  A few years ago, a federal court criticized tribes for engaging in “jurisdictional gamesmanship” in cases involving ICWA.  And this case is just the latest example.

Sadly, these “games” are no fun for the kids themselves.  ICWA was supposed to protect the best interests of Indian children.  But today it frequently blocks Native children from getting the care and protection they need—thanks in part to the way many tribal government officials use it to expand their power, rather than to benefit the kids involved.

Read our brief here. You can learn more about our work defending Indian children against ICWA’s unjust burdens here.

SOURCE:  https://www.goldwaterinstitute.org/defending-indian-children-from-tribal-courts-jurisdictional-games/



 

**How this little girl was adopted by a NON-NATIVE MOTHER is also a question that needs to be answered... ICWA is federal law yet these adoptions are still happening; we need to ask: how?  Trace


Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Almost Dead Indians: Atrocity (excerpt)

BOOK Excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

Dead Indians

Ok, we are going to start here with some dots. You and I will connect them.

In one year, 1851, the United States paid out more than $1 million in bounties for Indian scalps.  (We’d be really dead Indians then.)  Pequot scalps?  The bounty was $100 in colonial times. $100 is like a million dollars today, right?

Figure 4 1863 https://nativenewsonline.net/opinion/america-s-real-longest-war-was-the-conflict-against-indigenous-americans

“…We must not shy away from the past and the things that have hurt us. We must not bury our truths. We must embrace and remember who we are and who the Great Creator intended us to be.  Indian people have carried a heavy burden and responsibility.  It is only with the preservation of our cultural identity and language will we find our way back to the people we were meant be.  It is for these reasons, preserving our culture and helping our ancestral memories to live is so very important.  Especially at this time.  For if not now, then when will we wake up and regain our freedoms, inside ourselves?  Our heritage and culture are what makes us Indian people.  We have a responsibility to our youth and to the future generations to show them who they are.  Children will always be representative of our own actions.”Moses Brings Plenty (Oglala Lakota) He’s a musician in the band Brule (Paul LaRoche is an adoptee).  Moses is an enrolled tribal member from the Pine Ridge Oyate (Reservation).  He’s known for his recurring role on Sheridan’s Yellowstone, as well as the role of Ottawa Jones in Showtime’s The Good Lord Bird.  He has also has portrayed “Crazy Horse,” “Sitting Bull,” and many other historical Indian warriors. He also serves as American Indian consultant/producer on many of Sheridan’s productions, where he ensures the authenticity of all American Indian storylines, set design, hair and make-up, and costumes.  

 

Figure 5 CLIPPING, Minnesota, 24 October 1897 https://cdnc.ucr.edu/?a=d&d=LAH18971024.2.212 $100 paid for one scalp in that county and $200 for another… “Suppressing Indians War?”  Over SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS for SCALPS?  ($7,870.06 in 1897, today’s dollar value = $260,110.00)

 Yes, for 500+ years it’s been an ongoing crime against humanity, genocide, collecting scalps, bounties for dead Indians, slavery, then murder the truth and collect our bones. 


Here is one more example:  

It was so simple (too simple) to use “disease” for massive die-offs of Indian people (for their lack of immunity to germs) (yeah, right), instead of calling it what it was:   germ warfare and murder.  Just look at Lord Jeffery Amherst.  (Right now I know scholars investigatingmany imported British poisons produced massive deaths when victim’s bodies looked like small pox that had killed them… clever, right?)  Among the damning evidence are letters written in 1763 between officers of the British military detailing plans to send a plague among the “vermin” to eradicate them.   READ: https://medium.com/@alhakofi/yes-white-americans-purposefully-infected-native-americans-with-smallpox-ed5b913a235b

JAMES KIRKER: SERIAL KILLER SCALP HUNTER? July 6 1846 Massacre

Reckoning 1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Indian_massacres_in_North_America



(Kirker KILLED and SCALPED 130 men, women and children.)

They perfected their guns and poison on our bodies.  They made war on us.  They wiped out entire villages.  Giving diseased blankets to expose First Nations people to smallpox is pretty well-known; it created a decisive advantage in war and conquest against Indigenous People everywhere.  The weaponization of “pathogens” like small pox and “poisons” in tainted alcohol (like wine) (early bio-weapons) have been a coveted area of military machinery for a very long time….a very very long time.

MORE SOON 

(request a free pdf of this entire book: tracelara@pm.me)

 

60s Scoop Artist George Littlechild | Here I am – can you see me?

 


George Littlechild, Here I Am- Can You See Me?

About the Artist:

Artist: George Littlechild
Photo: Courtesy of the artist

George Littlechild has had numerous solo and group exhibitions. His art has been exhibited in Canada, the United States, Japan, Australia, Tasmania and Europe. His books and art have won numerous awards and scholarships. To date he has created hundreds of artworks, which hang in public and private collections around the world.

Littlechild was born in Edmonton, Alberta on August 16, 1958. The son of a Plains Cree mother and a Canadian Celtic father, Littlechild was taken from his home as part of the 60s scoop and was raised by foster parents in Edmonton. He received a diploma in art and design from Red Deer College in 1984, and a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax in 1988. He also received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of the Fraser Valley. His socially charged mixed-media paintings are often made in response to political movements, societal concerns such as reconciliation and reclamation, as well as personal history.

“In my work, I am committed to righting the wrongs that First Nations peoples have endured by creating art that focuses on cultural, social and political injustices. As an artist, educator and cultural worker, my goal is a better world. It is my job to show the pride, strength and beauty of First Nations people and cultures, and contribute to the betterment of mankind.”

SOURCE: https://aggp.ca/exhibitions/here-i-am-can-you-see-me/

George Littlechild

Here I am – can you see me?

Giving remembrance, recognition, honour and validation to the thousands of innocent children that nobody is able to recognize as they stand amongst their fellow residential school students in the photographs… these children are finally acknowledged, and work begins to recognise and remember these lost souls.

“This work involves a series of twenty-two drawings of First Nations children who perished while attending residential school in Maskwacis AB. The title of work is called “Here I am – can you see me?” I want to give remembrance, recognition, honour and validation to the thousands of innocent children that nobody is able to recognize as they stand amongst their fellow residential school students in the photographs, all but forgotten in the museum archival collections. In this manner I seek to legitimize their lives and restore a modicum of dignity and importance to their short existence in the world.” – George Littlechild

 

 

Monday, May 20, 2024

REMINDER: Minnesota Adoption Records open July 1


MINNESOTA!  Birth records open to adult adoptees July 1

REGIONAL- Starting July 1, Minnesota-born adoptees, 18 years and older, will have new access to their original birth records, a move that promises to unlock deeply held questions about their biological heritage. This access is part of a law passed last year which no longer allows birth parents to conceal their identities from adult adoptees.
After an adoption in Minnesota, birth records are changed to show the new name of the adopted person and the adoptive parents, and the original birth records and all related correspondence are sealed, making the records confidential and only accessible under certain provisions laid out in state law. Access to the records has prioritized the specified intentions of the birth parents to restrict or share the information.
But now the original birth record will be available not only to adult adoptees, but also to an adoptee’s legal representative or relatives if the adoptee is deceased.
 

Noncertified copies of original birth records may also be released to:

  1. 👉A birth parent named on the original record.
  1. 👉A representative of a federally recognized American Indian tribe for the sole purpose of determining an adopted person’s eligibility for tribal enrollment or membership.
  1. 👉A person with a certified copy of a court order directing the release of the original birth record to them.

The law also introduces a contact preference form for birth parents, allowing them to indicate their openness to being contacted.  This form, which includes space for a brief message, will accompany the released birth record, though the decision to initiate contact rests solely with the adoptee.  Birth parents retain the right to alter their contact preferences at any time.
 

Gregory Luce, a Minneapolis attorney and adoptee, framed the matter as one of human rights.
“I think people are finally recognizing the human right to know who you are and where you came from,” he said. “And making adoption secret in this way is just an anachronism. It’s a human rights issue. It’s found its day, it’s found its advocates, and it is currently now a real movement.”

Part of the change is being driven by DNA and the increasing knowledge base about the role of genetics in influencing people’s physical, behavioral, and psychological traits, including genetically-linked health conditions. A heightened societal interest in genealogy has also informed the debate over open records, particularly with the proliferation of large voluntarily DNA databases maintained by companies like Ancestry that will find genetic matches with others in the database. Also important in the shifting norm has been the increasingly common practice of open adoption, where the birth parents’ identities are acknowledged from the very outset of the adoption process and open communication and relationships are established between them and the adoptive parents and the adoptee.

SOURCE: http://www.timberjay.com/stories/birth-records-open-to-adult-adoptees-july-1,21443


More information about the new law, as well as required forms and fees, are available on the Minnesota Department of Health website at www.health.state.mn.us/people/vitalrecords/adoption.html.

 

Native adoptees: There are SO MANY OF US, so please get the form and get it filed! You might be from Canada, via ARENA.

Trace (I am!)

don't forget THE COUNT 2024: https://thecount2024.blogspot.com/

Friday, May 17, 2024

Winnebago Tribe Sues the Army Over Native Children’s Remains at CARLISLE Cemetery

 


But in a lawsuit now before the U.S. District Court in eastern Virginia, the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska argues Army officials are violating this federal law by delaying the return of two tribal members’ remains. Samuel Gilbert and Edward Hensley died as teenagers over a century ago while attending the nation’s first government-run Indian boarding school. A hearing in the case is set for July.

In its filings to the federal court, the Winnebago Tribe objects to the bodies remaining at the Carlisle Barracks Main Post Cemetery in Pennsylvania, and seeks their return for culturally appropriate burials. Defendants include the U.S. Army, the Office of Army Cemeteries, and three employees who oversee the cemetery, which is located on the grounds of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

READ

Adoption: The Making of Me (podcast)

 


Podcast: Adoptees' Untold Stories: Voices from the Adoptee Perspective

Today, our guests are Sarah Reinhardt and Louise Browne, who host “Adoption: The Making of Me,” a podcast focused on adoptees’ perspectives, highlighting the often overlooked side of adoption narratives. Our conversation delves into how the adoption industry, driven by a multibillion-dollar market, prioritizes the narratives of adoptive parents, sidelining the voices and experiences of adoptees. We discuss the societal expectations placed on adoptees to feel grateful despite the complexities of their experiences, including feelings of loss, identity issues, and the challenges of connecting with their biological roots. Furthermore, the dialogue touches on systemic issues in adoption practices, such as the lack of access to original birth records for adoptees. Through their stories and insights, Sara and Louise stress the need for greater understanding, reform in adoption practices, and more inclusive conversations that give adoptees a platform to share their experiences and identities.

“I think you can do both. You can love your family. And you can also want to know your other family and your roots and who you are. It’s like an inherent right, I think, to know who you are because we strive for it. Like we may not know we’re searching, but we are always, because you have like this, this hole that’s missing. And you’re taken from your mother. It’s a strange scenario if you think about it, and you put somewhere else. No one talks to you about it, and you try to navigate the world. And so all these little subtle things growing up affect a lot of people.” ~Louise Browne

Sarah Reinhardt is a co-host of “Adoption: The Making of Me,” a podcast by and for adoptees. She is a writer, empty-nester, OCD dog parent, and works in Public Media in Kansas City, MO. Sarah hopes her voice will help resonate with other adoptees facing similar issues. Currently, she is working on a book of humorous essays that follow the theme of searching for identity.

Louise Browne is a co-host of “Adoption: The Making of Me,” a podcast by and for adoptees. Louise works for the executive leadership team in digital banking. She is working on a YA novel and has written two children’s books along and several poems. Louise lives along the Central Coast of California with her husband, Bill, and their dog, Gracie. She has a grown son who lives in Los Angeles. She is trying to change the narrative of adoption to include the voices of adoptees and to help change the way adoption is run as a business.

 

Lisa Meeches hopes MMIWG documentary series returns to the airwaves

 

Over the past four decades, Lisa Meeches has produced countless acclaimed films and television programs. She tells Face to Face (APTN) there are hopes to renew the series Taken, which told the stories of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

ALMOST Dead Indians | Introduction


Excerpt:

INTRODUCTION

 

L

et’s start out with a QUIZ:  how many Indigenous people were on Turtle Island (now North America) before 1490?

100 million? 10 million?

No one knows.  What we do knowmillions did live here.  Then millions die here.  Many Millions.

By the end of the 19th century, writes David E. Stannard, a historian at the University of Hawaii, Native Americans had undergone the “worst human holocaust the world had ever witnessed, roaring across two continents non-stop for four centuries and consuming the lives of countless tens of millions of people.”  

I read Stannard’s bookyou should, too. [American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World; David E. Stannard; Oxford University Press, 1993]

Maybe all those museums could give us an accurate count in their bone collections?

Question 2: What do you know about Columbus who sailed the ocean blue in 1492…?

The primary outcome of Columbus’s voyage to the new world was the enslavement of hundreds of thousands of Native Americans and the pilfering of 45,000 tons of gold and silver (valued at £10 trillion in modern currency).The History of the World Part 5Age of Plunder, BBC (2018) Film Review by Dr. Stuart Bramhall

Looting, too?  Well that’s not good.  In 1492 Columbus, the real-life-slave trader-pirate, was capturing humans for Spain, and lands three boats in Hispaniola.  (Carib People say Columbus, an Italian guy working for Spain, was lost at sea.) 

Question 3:  Who came next? (This is up for serious debate.)

Claims were made for the sighting on some part of Canada’s Atlantic coastline by the Irish monk St. Brendan in the sixth century.  However, archaeological excavations at L’Anse aux Meadows near the northern tip of Newfoundland suggest Norsemen were the first Europeans to see Canada in the late 10th and early 11th centuries.  These remains show that the earliest sighting was probably made by Bjarni Herjolfesson in 985 or 986; and about 1000, Leif Ericsson landed in the first of a series of expeditions, in the establishment of a short-lived Norse settlement.  [https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/exploration]

Some speculate that seamen from Bristol (British Isles) reached Newfoundland, or thereabouts, in the 1480s, BEFORE the Columbus’s voyage of 1492.  Next: John Cabot’s English expedition of 1497 as the first known voyage to mainland North America.  Jacques Cartier’s arrival was in 1534.   

On three ships the first (French) Huguenots arrived in 1564, 56 years before the Mayflower.  They were weary of the never-ending war between Protestants and Catholics back home in France.  Near what is now Jacksonville, Florida, with the help of a local tribe, they built triangular Fort Caroline.  But Spain had already claimed Florida and most of everything else in North America. When the King of Spain heard about the Huguenot fort he sent an army to erase them and replace them with the Spanish colony St. Augustine.  The Huguenots courageously sailed out to attack the Spanish at sea but a hurricane dashed their ships against the Florida coast.  Of course, the Huguenots failed.  https://newtopiamagazine.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/the-intelligencers-and-the-fifth-moon-of-jupiter-alchemy-in-the-american-colonies/

I think they’ll argue about these claims for the next 500 years.

By the way, there was contact before the British, French, Dutch and Spanish made their journeys across the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans to plant their flags… long before.  Jack Forbes (Powhatan-Renape) wrote about this in THE INDIAN IN AMERICA’S PAST in 1964.  He found evidence that five beggar Buddhist Priests were here in 458 (A.D.) so Indigenous People survived that earlier contact but someone merely forgot to jot it down for future historians, I guess.

Question 4:  Who came next? (HINT: Pocahontas)  (Don’t get me started on those myths.)

Consensus is 1585 in Roanoke, Virginia.  Then in 1607, the British established the Jamestown Colony of Virginia and this proved to be the beginning of the end for the Powhatan Confederacy, and 30+ tribal nations.  Then other invaders come ashore:  in 1630 in Plymouth, Massachusetts a boat load of Pilgrims arrive on the Mayflower.  Can we trust the boat people to give us accuracy on what happened?  Nope.

Trudell sums it up…

“…Historically, we went from being Indians to pagans to savages to hostiles to militants to activists to Native Americans.  Its 500 years later and they still can’t see us. We are still invisible…. They can’t deal with the reality of who we are because then they’d have to deal the reality of what they have done… So they have to fear us, not recognize us, not like us… The very fact of calling us Indians creates a new identity for us, an identity than began with their arrival. Changing identity, creating a new perceptual reality, is another form of genocide.  It’s like severing a spiritual umbilical cord that reaches into the ancestral past. The history of the Indians begins with the arrival of Europeans. The history of the People begins with the beginning of the history of the People… The history of the People under attack is not very long, in an evolutionary context not very long, it’s only 500 years.”the late John Trudell (Santee Sioux)


BONUS QUESTION:  How many more ways to die? Besides germ-warfare?  Scalping parties? Bounty Hunters?  1,000+ massacres?  The invaders enslave Indigenous people.  (I was told Natchez tribal peoples were shipped by boat, in chains, to silver mines in South America.) In 2024, there is MUCH MORE on this topic being written…

(more coming) 

LINK

 


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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

GO HERE: https://www.gluckstein.com/sixties-scoop-survivors

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

ADOPTION TRUTH

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.

NEW MEMOIR

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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