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Support Info: If you are a Survivor and need emotional support, a national crisis line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week: Residential School Survivor Support Line: 1-866-925-4419. Additional Health Support Information: Emotional, cultural, and professional support services are also available to Survivors and their families through the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program. Services can be accessed on an individual, family, or group basis.” These & regional support phone numbers are found at . THANK YOU MEGWETCH for reading

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About Trace


NEW in 2018:

Award-winning journalist Trace Lara Hentz (Anishinabe-French Canadian-Irish ancestry) is the author of “One Small Sacrifice: A Memoir,” (two editions) that details the little-known history of the Indian Adoption Project and Indian Child Welfare Act; she includes her jaw-dropping journey to find her natural father and tribal relatives.  
A second book, an anthology “Two Worlds: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects” published in 2012, includes narratives from First Nations and American Indian adoptees who are called the STOLEN GENERATIONS.

The next anthology "CALLED HOME: Book 2: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects" was published in June 2014.  Fifty narratives cover personal history and the historic case of Baby Veronica, and much more.
2nd Ed of Called Home

Her collaboration with MariJo Moore produced the incredible new anthology UNRAVELING THE SPREADING OF TIME: Indigenous Thoughts Concerning The Universe, dedicated to the late great Indigenous scholar Vine Deloria Jr.  

Since 2011, Trace founded and runs BLUE HAND BOOKS, a collective publishing company for Native American writers, where new writers find new audiences. Trace has already published several new books including Pointing with Lips, Ojibwe Hunter, Two Guns, Writer on the Storm, Finding Balance and many more.

Known for her expertise on the Indian Adoption Projects and 60s Scoop, award-winning journalist and adoptee Trace Lara Hentz (formerly DeMeyer) is the creator of the book series Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects.  Her anthologies “Two Worlds,” “Called Home: The RoadMap” and “Stolen Generations: Survivors of the Indian Adoption Projects and 60s Scoop” focus on American Indian adoptees narratives and the history of the Indian Child Welfare Act.   A poetry collection “In the Veins” was the fourth book in the series.  Book 5, "Almost Dead Indians" came out in 2024, which began as research on adoption history, when Trace named the draft "The Only Good Indian is a Dead Indian." This new book includes a chapter "Disappeared" on the ugly history of residential schools and adoption programs in North America.  Hentz said, "Adoptees need to know our history and how this happened to us... If we are missing from our tribal relatives and the tribal rolls, we are almost dead Indians... almost."

Former editor of the Pequot Times in Connecticut, and co-founder of Ojibwe Akiing and staff writer at News From Indian Country in Wisconsin, her work has been published worldwide and she has contributed to many books on adoption, including Adoptionland: From Orphans to Activists.  A mix of American Indian (Shawnee-Tslagi) and Anishinabe, French Canadian (Ottawa) and Irish, Trace is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Superior and lives at the foot of the Berkshires in western Massachusetts with her husband Herb, a retired college administrator.

Q and A with journalist-adoptee Trace A. DeMeyer, author of ONE SMALL SACRIFICE: A Memoir and TWO WORLDS: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects

Why did you write the memoir?

Trace A. DeMeyer: I'd never told my story of opening my adoption. A few friends knew details but not all of it. I got the idea for a book when I wrote an article in 2005 about Stolen Generations of North American Indian children placed for adoption with non-Indian parents. That article "Generation after Generation, We are Coming Home" was published in Talking Stick magazine in New York City and then in News from Indian Country in Wisconsin. It took me down a path I never expected.

What do you mean?

TAD: I was not aware of the various medical terms for adoptee issues such as severe narcissist injury or post-traumatic stress disorder or RAD.  There is new science called birth psychology so I read studies about adoptees in treatment for identity issues, reactive attachment disorder (RAD), depression and suicidal thoughts. Then I found statistics. An adoptee friend in Toronto told me to read Adoption: Unchartered Waters by Dr. David Kirschner, a book about adoptees who are notorious serial killers. Another chilling book I found was "The Baby Thief: The Untold Story of Georgia Tann, the Baby Seller who Corrupted Adoption."  I soon realized the adoption industry doesn't disclose any of this to the media or to adoptive parents or to adoptees like me. So I wrote my memoir as an adoptee and wrote about the history and business of adoption as a journalist. I found more adoptees after my article was published, which really added to my understanding of the devastating impact of the Indian Adoption Projects.

How did you handle being an adoptee in a closed adoption?

TAD: I grieved my birthmother and birthfather but didn't know I was grieving until much later. Being adopted affected my self-esteem but no one had told me. Trauma and grief issues were like tentacles, affecting me even as an adult. I had difficulty feeling good or bad. I was hurt my birthparents abandoned me as a baby, so I didn't bounce back emotionally until I had counseling and after I found my birthfather. My emotional state recovered but it took many years. It's in the memoir, the sexual abuse by my adoptive father and my very dysfunctional childhood as an adoptee.

How did you recover?

TAD: First, I opened by sealed adoption file at age 22.  That healed me more anything, to know my name. Even though I never met my birthmother, I did meet my birthfather when I was almost 40. Our reunion is in the book.   Finding out why you are abandoned and put up for adoption, once you know the truth, it works like a miracle. I call it my cure. It felt like a dark cloudy fog lifted and I could feel again. Before I met Earl, my b-dad, I did co-counseling in Seattle where you tell your whole life story - all of it - with complete honesty, no holding back. Then it was like a powder keg exploded.  I started to see how being adopted had locked me up in illusions about who my birthparents were, so when I learned the truth about them, my heart did begin to heal. I was no longer a mystery. Even my health improved.

What about the Indian Adoption Projects?

TAD: There is congressional testimony and documented proof of various adoption programs in different states which lead to the passage of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978.  One was called the Indian Adoption Project and another was called ARENA. The idea in America and Canada was to assimilate Indians. If they took us and placed us with non-Indian parents, they assumed we'd forget we're Indians. But we don't forget.  I know my ancestors were in me, in my head, in my blood, talking to me when I was young.  Adoptees who are American Indian are called Lost Birds, Split Feathers, Lost Children, and Lost Ones. Of course most of us adapt and bond with our adoptive parents but as we grow up, our identity and name might still be locked up in a sealed file.  Adoptees told me we won't heal until we open our adoption and go full circle, which means we meet our tribal relatives.  The adoption projects are acknowledged by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Child Welfare League of America, and I include one apology in the book.  My book is basically a memoir but it does include lots of history.

How long did it take to write?

TAD:  About 5 years. I chose the title "ONE SMALL SACRIFICE: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects then changed it to "A Memoir."  Amazon is selling it and bookstores and libraries can order copies.

Who should read it?

TAD: Adoptees, definitely, and the families who adopted us.  One birthmom is California told me she plans to read it with her son she placed in an open adoption. Those who have read my book do react strongly to the idea the American government condoned and conducted closed adoptions to erase our identity and sovereignty as Indian people. My hope is tribal leaders will read it so they understand Lost Birds are anxious to return to the circle, meet relatives, relearn language and attend ceremonies.  In Canada they call their adoptee population "The Baby Scoop Generation" and "60s Scoop" and their reunions are called "repatriation to First Nations."  There are no programs in America for adoptees to be repatriated or returned to their tribal nations as adults.  With sealed adoption records in the majority of states, adoptees struggle to get answers.  My book offers suggestions and places to write for help.  I offer my help, too.

What's next?

TAD: Some adoptees are in reunion, some are not. Their stories needed to be told, too.
It's my goal to shine a light on adoption secrecy and end the atrocity of closed adoptions affecting so many American Indians who are now adults. We do need to heal this and go full circle.
2023 UPDATE: My niece Tracy found a connection to our ancestor Mary Pauline (Polly), wife of Jesse Bland.  That connects me to the Shawnaga Anishinabe in Ontario.


NEW in 2018:

on amazon

Trace A. DeMeyer’s book One Small Sacrifice: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects is a marvelous read.

Trace narrates her story of growing up in small-town Wisconsin, US, with her younger brother, Joey and a very dysfunctional adoptive family, yet the only family she knows. What’s interesting about this book is how Trace takes the reader along with her on her journey. At times I felt I was with Trace, in her house struggling with abuse, listening from the back room as her parents and parish priests drank into the wee hours. I was sitting in the bar where she and her band were performing. I was also with her when she relentlessly searched for her family of birth. I pondered with her as she tried to make sense of her home environment – disturbed, abusive adoptive father, distracted adoptive mother – and a deep desire to know her roots and connect emotionally and physically with her sorely absent parents.

One Small Sacrifice: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects, provides a realistic representation of the pieces of identity that are missing year after year for those separated from their parents and tribe, as well as the laws, societal myths and pressures that require adopted children to play the role of daughter or son to those unrelated to them. There is a subtle message to readers how adopted persons, by being adopted and legally forbidden to know who they are adapt to their surroundings, while unwittingly abetting in the crime of secrecy of their own identity and past.

The reader struggles with Trace as she tries to cope with and overcome her constant questioning of all that is strange about human nature, but knowing instinctively not to blame herself for the perverse actions of others. We then share her appreciation for all the beauty in nature that is so often unnoticed. Trace shows us how to unearth the exquisiteness in birds, snakes, water and trees.

Trace is a writer, a very introspective and musical person; she has determination and a untamed spirit that keeps her moving bit by bit to find her truth, and the truth of her Indian-self and of her people who have suffered en masse through the controlling and untiring hands of the white man.

This book will help those who wonder how an adopted person is connected to an adoptive family, simply by “being there” and how complex it is to amalgamate one’s adoptive identity into a found identity, and how the mind plays tricks on you when paradoxically wishing for, yet accepting the life that is and the life that never was.
Madame Compassionateless Blog



Back in 2009, I worked with Paul Burke to find out about my birthfather's grandmother who my family called Granny.  Granny is actually Mary Francis Morris Harlow - but when her own mother died in childbirth - Mary was raised by her kin Susan E and Willis Watson, from Indiana.  Susan is an enrolled Cherokee from Tennessee, same location as my great-grandparents Henderson and Olly Carter.  Susan E Watson is a relative of Susan Ward, enrolled Cherokee from TN, with a parent from North Carolina.  Susan Watson died in Decatur, Illinois, not far from Pana, IL where my father Earl was raised.  Susan signed the marriage license in 1892 for my great-grandparents, as Mary's mother. 

Olive Carter is on the Cherokee Rolls. #19111 or 10111, Arkansas

I was told this by my relatives that Mary smoked a corncob pipe! And she was a mid-wife. She always wore braids - like me - and she kept Indian-head nickles to give to her grandkids. Inside her shirt, she kept a medicine pouch.

James and Mary had 5 kids: Bessie, Earl, Lilly, Loanie and Thomas. Lona Dell (Loanie) was my grandmother.

Below are my grandparents: Hiram Bland and his wife Lona Dell.

The first time I went to Illinois, I saw Lona's photo and I saw myself - exact same eyebrow shape. I was stunned - I never looked like anyone. As an adoptee, this is HUGE!



  1. So many layers we adopted people are expected to accept, and be grateful for, regardless of the hurt along the way. How many things I was told as a child just were not true. I keep learning more every year, even though I'm old now. I'm thankful to have lived through childhood, though quite severely abused. At 15 I tried to end my life, but was unable to finish the plan, because it made me sick to think of how it would affect others. I became estranged from my family from age 17 to about 24... only seeing my adoptive family for one holiday a year after I was 21. I struggled to pay my own way from age 17. Similar to the way foster youth used to be dumped out on their own when 18. At least they have more safety net these days. I'm sorry you had such a difficult time also. I wish we could comfort all the adoptees, indigenous or not, hold them in our arms and maybe even understand a little of their plight.

  2. Thank you Anon... There is no reason for any child to suufer abuse. I wish we could comfort adoptees too.

  3. suffer... sorry I misspelled it


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They Took Us Away

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Most READ Posts


Canada's Residential Schools

The religious organizations that operated the schools — the Anglican Church of Canada, Presbyterian Church in Canada, United Church of Canada, Jesuits of English Canada and some Catholic groups — in 2015 expressed regret for the “well-documented” abuses. The Catholic Church has never offered an official apology, something that Trudeau and others have repeatedly called for.

You are not alone

You are not alone

What our Nations are up against!

What our Nations are up against!

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.

Did you know?

Did you know?


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.


In some cases, companies may even take it upon themselves to control the narrative according to their own politics and professed values, with no need for government intervention. For example: Google, the most powerful information company in the world, has been reported to fix its algorithms to promote, demote, and disappear content according to undisclosed internal “fairness” guidelines. This was revealed by a whistleblower named Zach Vorhies in his almost completely ignored book, Google Leaks, and by Project Veritas, in a sting operation against Jen Gennai, Google’s Head of Responsible Innovation. In their benevolent desire to protect us from hate speech and disinformation, Google/YouTube immediately removed the original Project Veritas video from the Internet. -

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