9 Laws and Programs Passed for Indians After the Occupation of Alcatraz
Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/07/24/9-laws-and-programs-passed-indians-after-occupation-alcatraz-165218
Last week, President Begaye delivered a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell asking for her to support ICWA in enforcing that state courts investigate and verify the enrollment of Native American children in cases regarding custody and foster care.
“There is nothing more devastating than seeing a Navajo child being taken from their parents. The connection that exists between a child and their parent is strong. It’s a sacred bond. In our support of the ICWA, we are protecting the connection between children, their parents and siblings,” President Begaye said.
“Imagine your identity being erased. Imagine not being able to see your mother and father. Imagine knowing you have family but not being able to see them. The separation is too much,” he said. “Now imagine children who are separated from their families and cultures for the entirety of their lives."
The Goldwater lawsuit is a fight for the soul of tribal nations, he said. It challenges the equality of tribal nations against non-tribal paradigms of societal standards not based in traditional culture or knowledge.
“It makes you think about the issue in the questions it raises,” he said. “Rather than go down that road, we, as Native Americans, need to know that we are just as good as anybody else.”
“What I saw were children being systemically removed from these communities. And I’d go to these communities, and there was no running water, and people would wonder why the kids weren’t clean, and I’d think maybe someone should do something about the water. We would see the multigenerational impacts of residential schools, and there are no mental-health services that are culturally appropriate. So there were all these layers of inequality and I started to realize it was the system, in many cases, that was creating conditions where families were not going to be successful in caring for their kids. And nobody was really holding the system to account.”
|CREDIT: Isabel Avila; Robert Rodriguez (left) and David White run DCFS’ ‘American Indian Unit.’|
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What happened to #DustenBrown and #VeronicaBrown still lingers. This is why we need a stronger #ICWA. #ajstreamhttps://t.co/nyy1FFJSh2
— Cutcha Risling Baldy (@cutchabaldy) April 6, 2016
|Summer and Rusty Page listen to their attorney, Lori Alvino McGill, after an appeals court hearing in downtown Los Angeles in June. They've pledged to take their fight to the state Supreme Court. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)|
|Sonya Murray, centre, made it her mission to track down her long-lost sisters Nakuset, left, and Rose Mary, right. (Submitted by Nakuset)|
|Nakuset said Rose Mary was ‘the missing piece’ and her sisters now have to make up for lost time. (Radio-Canada)|
|Nakuset says she grew up yearning for her native roots. ‘I so desperately wanted to belong. ‘ (Submitted by Nakuset)|
“Cherokee Nation ICW (Indian Child Welfare) is supporting the campaign #DefendICWA developed by the National Indian Child Welfare Association. Our department is asking individuals to express their support by writing down how and why they support and defend ICWA, with a snapshot of their self holding their document of support. Cherokee Nation is the largest federally recognized tribal nation. We also have the largest ICW department. ICW has around 130 employees who work continuously to ensure our Native families and children’s rights are protected and the ICWA is enforced. The BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) has published ICWA regulations, which will be in full effect this December 2016. These regulations address issues in the past that were misinterpreted by state courts and blatantly ignored. The regulations make the ICWA stronger, give it teeth and (makes) more clear for state courts understanding. The regulations also address the so-called ‘existing Indian family doctrine.’ This doctrine is no more. Unfortunately, there is still misconception and misunderstanding as to why the ICWA is so significant to tribal nations. There is a constant struggle with the media whom paints tribal nations so horrific and develops a very negative perception of ICWA. We are here. We are not going anywhere, and we will continue to fight for ICWA to ensure our future by taking care of our children. Every Cherokee child matters no matter where they reside. This campaign puts a face to supporters’ words. This campaign shows Indian Country’s strong supports of ICWA.” Heather Baker, Cherokee Nation citizen on the “I support and defend the ICWA because” Campaign #RealPeopleSeries
A photo posted by The Cherokee Phoenix (@thecherokeephoenix) on
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