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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Maine's apology for Indian Adoption Projects

Maine signs Historic 'Truth and Reconciliation' Agreement with Indian Tribes

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Maine signs Historic 'Truth and Reconciliation' Agreement Listen
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Chiefs from all five of Maine's tribes joined Gov. Paul LePage today (06/29/2012) in signing an historic agreement to create a Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission. 
It will examine child welfare practices that once resulted in large numbers of Indian children being forcibly removed from their homes. The ceremony in the State House Hall of Flags marks the first time that such an effort has occurred in the United States between Indian nations and a state government. Tribal members consider the agreement crucial to their healing process.

The statistics are sobering. Chief Brenda Commander of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians says at one time, 16 percent of all Maliseet children were in state custody. In the 1970's the Federal Indian Policy Commission backed that up with a report that found Indian children in Aroostook County were being placed in foster homes 60 percent more often than non-native children.

Chief Kirk Francis of the Penobscot Nation says children were placed in foster homes or sent away to boarding school in a cruel attempt at assimilation. They were separated from their families, their language, their cultural identities--and in some cases, he says, subjected to horrific abuse. 

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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.


National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network (NISCWN)

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The Network is open to all Indigenous and Foster Care Survivors any time.

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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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