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Lost Children Book Series

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rest in peace Elouise Cobell, you fought the good fight...

In a Dec. 17, 2009, file photo, Elouise Cobell watches a Senate Indian Affairs meeting…
National Congress of the American Indian (NCAI) Statement on Passing of Elouise Cobell


Organization calls on Indian Country to honor tireless leader’s advocacy work with continued action on rights protection and cancer awareness

Washington, DC – The President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), Jefferson Keel, has released a statement on the passing of Elouise Cobell, calling for Indian Country to honor the legacy of one of Indian Country’s most influential advocates by continuing to protect the rights of American Indian and Alaska Native people everywhere. NCAI also called for Indian Country to honor her life by confronting the quiet but devastating force of cancer, which took the life of Elouise Cobell and is the second leading cause of death among American Indian women and Natives older than 45.

“Elouise Cobell represented the indelible will and strength of Indian Country and her influence and energy will be greatly missed. Her passing on from this world must be honored by reaffirming our resolute commitment as Indigenous peoples to protect the rights of our citizens and our sovereign nations,” said Keel, President of NCAI, the nation’s oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native advocacy organization. “NCAI joins all who mourn the loss of this great individual. She committed her life to strengthening Indian Country and she contributed greatly.”

Elouise Cobell, a member of the Blackfeet Tribe in Montana and lead plaintiff in the historic Cobell v. Salazar litigation, was presented with NCAI’s Indian Country Leadership Award soon after the Cobell Settlement was finalized in 2010. The award recognized her years of work as the spokesperson and moral force behind the effort to restore justice to American Indian account holders. NCAI has also passed resolutions strongly supporting the Cobell settlement.

“From her life, we have lessons of resilience and commitment, and in her passing, we have lessons that will inspire us to continue improving the health of Native people,” continued Keel. “Just like Elouise taught us, we must not shy away from taking on what seems impossible. We must acknowledge cancer’s vicious assault on Indian Country’s most valuable resource, our people. We will honor her with a promise to the future generation of leaders that follow in Elouise Cobell’s footsteps, to continue the fight for the health of our people.”

According to Native American Cancer Research (NACR), cancer is the second leading cause of death among American Indian women and among American Indians older than 45 years of age. In 2008 the American Cancer Society released the first large-scale national study about cancer rates of American Indians and Alaska Natives. The report stated “For all cancers combined: Incidence rates among American Indians in the Southwest, the Plains and for Alaska Natives were 50 percent higher than the rates for non-Hispanic whites.”

About The National Congress of American Indians:
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information visit www.ncai.org

A true warrior has passed and has gone on to be with her ancestors...We will never forget your bravery, strength and determination, Elouise... AHO!... Trace

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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.

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Thought-provoking and moving 11 October 2012
Two Worlds - Lost children of the Indian Adoption Projects

If you thought that ethnic cleansing was something for the history books, think again. This work tells the stories of Native American Indian adoptees "The Lost Birds" who continue to suffer the effects of successive US and Canadian government policies on adoption; policies that were in force as recently as the 1970's. Many of the contributors still bear the scars of their separation from their ancestral roots. What becomes apparent to the reader is the reality of a racial memory that lives in the DNA of adoptees and calls to them from the past.
The editors have let the contributors tell their own stories of their childhood and search for their blood relatives, allowing the reader to gain a true impression of their personalities. What becomes apparent is that nothing is straightforward; re-assimilation brings its own cultural and emotional problems. Not all of the stories are harrowing or sad; there are a number of heart-warming successes, and not all placements amongst white families had negative consequences. But with whom should the ultimate decision of adoption reside? Government authorities or the Indian people themselves? Read Two Worlds and decide for yourself.

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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.

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