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Standing Rock

Monday, December 23, 2013

All I want for Christmas is my OBC

Ohio signed an adoption access bill....Read here

I posted on Facebook all I want for Christmas is my OBC (original birth certificate) - still wishing for that real piece of paper...Trace

Early infant mortality in Canada called 2nd worst in developed world


by aboriginalpress

"At the root of it is a distribution problem," Smylie said in a telephone interview. "We're an affluent country, but at a systems level we're still not distributing all of our health and social resources equally to all groups."  Smylie said the social imbalance that sees aboriginals struggling with higher than average levels of poverty is compounded by the country's geography. Canada's vast size ensures that people living in remote northern communities often have to travel dozens, even hundreds, of kilometres to receive proper maternity care, Smylie said. Such factors drive up infant mortality within the first year and by extension those infants who do not survive their first 24 hours on earth, she said.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Biggest news story in 2013? #BabyVeronica UPDATED

Why Veronica's story needs to be the story of the year

by Sherrie Roe Bean

I am not from South Carolina but I think that Veronica Brown should be the biggest story of the year nationwide. We can argue about the details of the case all day long but if anyone really wants to know what happened they should read the bench ruling by Judge Malphrus. She is the ONLY judge who heard testimony from everyone involved and examined evidence (like the infamous text message.) Interestingly enough her verbal bench ruling is VERY detailed and thoughtful and carefully explains her position on everything although she has been called inexperienced and "wrong". The narrative of the opinions cited from all of the higher courts do not reflect anything that she ruled, how does that happen? Basically when the SCOTUS ruled that ICWA did not apply they were stating that Veronica Brown's father was not entitled to that hearing at all and his parental rights could have been terminated while he was serving our country in Iraq. Even if that was "legal" there is nothing "right" about it. Someday Veronica will speak and I wonder will anyone listen if she tells us that she was heartbroken and missed her daddy? Will anyone feel sorry for doing this to her? I am sad to say that I think they probably won't. Many adoptees have spoken out on her behalf only to find that nobody cares what they think. We have changed and sealed their birth certificates, stolen their original identities and expected them to just get over it and appreciate the "better life" that their adoptive parents were able to give them. Sad really. Veronica Brown should be the story of the year because it has awakened a sleeping giant. Adoptees are speaking out and gaining attention. The "business" of adoption to provide a child for a home rather than a home for a child is being exposed. This is only the beginning. ICWA?? The only people I know who have a problem with ICWA want something from the Natives, their land, their casinos, their babies. As long as their Nations are sovereign they can't take from them. Yep, this story isn't going away any time soon. It IS the story of the year and hopefully it will be next years story of the year as well. Ronnie Brown's sparkle is going to change the world.

From Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/StandingOurGroundForVeronicaBrown/posts/334224673382602 

AND this: Voting on Facebook

What was the top Charleston/South Carolina story in 2013? Choose from our list of newsmakers - listed in no particular order - and tell us why.



 

Priscilla Stone Sharp Veronica Brown - Many thousands of us were traumatized by Veronica's kidnapping and forced adoption, but a lot of good is coming out of it.
Most major, many hundreds of people have become alarmed enough to galvanize forces to expose and fight the adop
tion industry. We are formulating rallies and protests, getting petitions going, contacting state and federal officials with demands for investigations of corrupt bureaucrats and lawyers, gathering information on other fathers' rights violations and forced adoptions and going to court with them, blogging, Facebooking, tweeting and twittering. There are some making videos and memes. Others gathering the laws of specific states so that we can approach legislators with needed changes.
This is turning out to be what we have been waiting for for decades - the American public (indeed, the world) is waking up to the rampant corruption and abuses of the adoption industry. Things are changing. As I've said all along, the Capobianco name will be cursed in adoptoraptor land forevermore. Because of their outrageous behavior, adoption will never be business as usual ever again.
Age: 68
Occupation: Retired
Town: State College, PA

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The art of Ben Chosa Jr.


My Photo 







I wanted to share this amazing art by Lac Du Flambeau Anishinabe-Menominee adoptee Ani Ben Chosa Jr..... he contributed an essay in the anthology TWO WORLDS.



Here's his artist blog: http://www.banishedart.blogspot.com/

His writing blog from prison: http://scottckieson.blogspot.com/

Friday, December 13, 2013

No, I'm not crazy

By Trace A. DeMeyer

I think about integrating parts of my persona that were buried or stunted or created as an adoptee growing up with strangers.

Last week I had posted on Facebook how I experienced huge chunks of CRAZY, had patterns of unhealthy behavior and even how big blocks of memory seemed hazy or gone. This does not make me any different (or better off or worse off) than others.  If I am to heal myself, I need to know and see how I coped as this little girl who lived in fear and confusion.

My thoughts now?  My crazy hazy chunks of time were in fact self-preservation – it was the only way I could handle what I had to face to avoid fracturing or destroying my delicate developing mind. (And this did happen to others living in a dysfunctional setting in childhood.) I am now aware I had various coping tools, as did my friends. One of the best tools was a vivid imagination. Another one: listening to the small voice inside, a voice of sanity and clarity. Another tool was determination. I was determined to survive and very determined to create a safe environment for myself as a young adult, when I could move physically and emotionally away from where I was raised. I was determined to open my adoption and find my relatives and my ancestry. I never lost that determination. I grew strong.

I had a conversation a few days ago with my friend and co-author Patricia [Our anthology is Two Worlds: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects] about this process of integration, how we created little people who could handle situations, a character and persona tougher than us – and now as grown-ups, these little people are no longer needed.  I am not suggesting we had multiple personalities. That is too psycho-speak for us.  As babies and toddlers, we were confronted with strangers who called themselves our parents and they had their own instability. (Both of us had an alcoholic parent). Their imbalance caused our childhoods to be terrifying and unstable. That can put us in a situation of weakness and vulnerability. Our real fears made us very unstable and untrusting.
We chose to survive so we had to be creative in some way. Being creative is an outlet for a grief this enormous. Patricia is definitely an artist and I was a musician – and we both kept journals.
Add to that we are abandoned as infants and not nurtured and denied the bonds with our mother-creator. That also created an instability and frailty that carried forward from childhood to adulthood. This trauma is called the PRIMAL WOUND. Read Nancy Verrier if you are curious.

Remember the movie The Three Faces of Eve? Though Eve was an adult, she had created personalities who could stand-in for her. One movie that terrified me was SYBIL. Sally Fields played a child who was terribly abused and created numerous personalities who stood in for her while she underwent the abuse.  In therapy, these movie characters found out they had created stand-ins, what I call the little people. When they are no longer needed they can melt away. Or integrate back into the soul.
9781479318285_COVER
Split Feathers, what American Indians call adoptees or their lost children, have this integration challenge.  It has nothing to do with being crazy, though adoptees tell me they feel like they acted crazy in trying to deal with the strangers who raised us.  I don’t see how we could not be crazy. What other method would work? We had to be split.

Patricia and I are both Native adoptees.  We know this history now. We know it’s historical trauma in our DNA. We know we have the tools to heal this ourselves.

Even as kids we could see we were very different from our stranger parents, yet adoption forced us to pretend, be good and show we were grateful.  Isn’t that crazy?

Anyone who questions the Adoption Cartel (and their propaganda and billions in profit) will be called crazy.

What is crazy are the people who believe “adoption” works so well. How a closed adoption is good – that is crazy. Punishing a woman for having a baby while unmarried and forcing her to give up her child – that is crazy. Sealing our adoption records – that is crazy.  Giving people the idea they can buy an orphan – that is crazy. Believing an adopted child won’t want to know the truth or find their birth relatives – that is crazy.

There are couples right now holding a bake sale, asking their friends to raise money so that they can adopt an orphan. That is crazy – dangerously crazy! Read The Child Catchers if you want the truth about orphans (and how many of these children are not orphans at all but have living parents!! They are sold into adoption as a commodity.)

The fact is adoption is human trafficking.  If a child is taken from their natural parent(s) and sold to strangers, that is trafficking.  If money is exchanged for children and babies, that is trafficking. If lawyers and judges and adoption agencies charge money to handle babies for sale, they are trafficking in humans.

I do write this as a survivor of human trafficking, what was a closed adoption that I opened.  I write this from a place of sanity and balance, after years of working on myself, knowing myself, finding my relatives, and yes, learning the truth.

No, I am not crazy.

I do plan to keep blogging in 2014. Patricia and I are working on a new collection of adoption narratives by Native American adoptees that will be published in 2014. The new anthology CALLED HOME will also include adoptees who cannot access and open their sealed files.

Thanks for following this blog!  I’ll be back right after the holiday season! xoxox

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

OHIO Governor signs Adoptee Access (updated)

BIG NEWS


Call Betsie Norris of Adoption Network Cleveland for details, questions and to find out what this bill can do for you: (216) 482-2314


The amended bill includes the original contact preference and medical history provisions and adds a one-year period in which a birthparent can request to have only their name redacted (whited out) from the birth certificate. After the 1 year period has expired, no birthparent may redact and adoptees from 1964 -' 96 can begin to request their adoption files. This is NOT A DISCLOSURE VETO - all adoptees will receive the contents of their adoption files.

Other new provisions include:
  • mandating that birthparents who redact submit a social and medical history form; 
  • permitting birthparents to un-redact at any time; 
  • adding a mechanism for adoptees to request updates on medical history from birthparents who redacted; 
  • and allowing adoptees born in Ohio but adopted out-of-state and adoptees born out-of-state but adopted in Ohio to request their adoption files. While the redaction portion is not what we had hoped for, we are encouraged that, in practice, the sub bill will function in a way that retains the integrity of the bill. 
We thank Senators Beagle and Burke for fighting a good fight in the Senate!

Only 10 States allow adoptees access to their own information so OHIO is GOOD NEWS!
Pennsylvania and Washington are still working on their laws - stay tuned to this blog! ...Trace


Monday, December 9, 2013

AMAZING new scholarship on Indian Slavery and Genocide

Honorable Justice Murray Sinclair


Photos by Trace
By Trace A. DeMeyer

I was very fortunate to attend some of these panels at Yale in November and had planned to write about some of what I heard. It would actually be better if you watched the panels yourself! This was a ground-breaker - since many of the presenters are Native authors working on new research!

Please watch all of them but especially The Honorable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
VIDEO

THE CONFERENCE:
Indigenous Enslavement and Incarceration in North American History
 
Video from the Gilder Lehrman Center’s 15th Annual International Conference, held November 15-16, 2013 in Luce Hall at Yale University is now online.
 
Studies of indigenous slavery have multiplied in the past decade, changing not only the ways we think about slavery, but also race, citizenship, and nation. This conference brought together some of this exciting new work and traced its effects on and within Native American communities. It did so self-consciously in its expressed focus on slavery and incarceration. Such an emphasis, we hope, connected new slavery scholarship done in early American history with contemporary investigations into incarceration and prison studies.
Video of the conference is online at: http://www.yale.edu/glc/indigenous-slavery/schedule.htm

AND:
I was also able to meet the esteemed author Margaret D. Jacobs who has a new book coming out about American Indian Adoption. As we hugged, we both cried. It was my honor to meet this scholar and thank her for her academic scholarship on our behalf. I didn't know she would be aware of this blog American Indian Adoptees or my two books - but she knew.
Margaret Jacobs is seated at left
  • Margaret Jacobs, University of Nebraska
  • Tsianina Lomawaima, University of Arizona
  • Tiya Miles, University of Michigan
  • Ned Blackhawk, Yale University
  • Moderator: David W. Blight, Yale University VIDEO

Four Horses

2013-12-09-angusquapelle1.jpg
Charlie Angus recording Four Horses in the Qu'Appelle Valley
Charlie Angus

I thought I knew Canadian history.
The stories of the National Dream and the Medicine Line may have been dull compared to the myths of the American "wild" west but they spoke of a nation founded on compromise and good governance.
However, as I stood with guitar in hand on the grasslands of the Qu'Appelle Valley I saw my country in a way I had never imagined. Not so long ago on these picturesque fields, Aboriginal children were suffering death rates that were higher than in any western nation until the dark days of the Warsaw Ghetto. And the response from the government of the day to this tragedy was anything but fair.
I came to the Qu'Appelle Valley for the filming of the video "Four Horses." It is a musical video project intended to shed light on this dark history. The project was inspired by James Daschuk's harrowing new book Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation and the Loss of Aboriginal LifeDaschuk's work is grounded in years of academic research but his analysis of how John A. MacDonald used starvation as a deliberate policy to break the Tribes of the west is stirring discussion across the country.

Writing the song "Four Horses" was my way of being part of the discussion. The metaphoric horses of the Apocalypse -- disease, war, famine and death -- touched a chord with Daschuk and publisher University of Regina Press. We began collaborating on the video to reintroduce this history to a new generation.

This is the story of those four horses.

The First Horse
To Fort Qu'Appelle came a Dapple Grey
As the children coughed blood in the autumn rain.
They broke the treaty when the buffalo failed
And fenced the land for the CP rail.


Daschuk takes us back to the brutal winter of 1878 when Ottawa began receiving reports of the starving Cree, Assiniboine, Okanese and Blackfoot begging for food and dying in front of government forts. The collapse of the buffalo economy was a catastrophe that had been expected for some time. In fact, when Treaty 6 was signed two years earlier, the government made guarantees of food and medicine to help transition the people if hunger hit the plains. But as the winter wore on, MacDonald reneged on the Treaty commitments.


In a notorious House of Commons debate, he bragged that the government would withhold food "until the Indians were on the verge of starvation, to reduce the expense." Hunger became a convenient tool for forcing the First Nation people onto marginal reserve lands to secure the development of both the CPR and immigrant farm settlement.

The Second Horse
I saw a black horse at Cut Knife Creek
But the Great Poundmaker was a man of peace
He spared the soldiers true to his word
So they hung the braves at Fort Battleford.


The loss of the buffalo reduced the Plains tribes to destitution. When the starving Cree and Blackfoot went to Fort Battleford to seek food from the Indian Agent the government responded with soldiers, cannons and gatling guns.
The Cree had not come to fight. They wanted food for their families. However, when the troopers attempted to move against the hungry people they found themselves overexposed and facing a defeat that would have been larger than the Little Big Horn. Any American can tell you the story of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull but how many Canadians know the story of the great leader Poundmaker? He ordered the Braves to allow the soldiers to go leave unharmed in order to prevent bloodshed.
In response, the federal government "hunted to death" the Cree and Assiniboine braves. A number were publicly executed at Fort Battleford in the largest mass hanging in Canadian history. MacDonald forced the famine-struck families to witness the hanging in order to "convince the Red Man that the White Man rules."

The Third Horse
The third horse danced for the Great White Chief.
Hunger's a lesson that's so easy to teach.
To kill a warrior you need a gun in hand
But to kill a people you need a bureaucrat man.


One of the most disturbing aspects of Clearing the Plains is how the famine became an institutionalized tool used by Indian Affairs used to further degrade the people forced onto reserves. Officials who tried to improve conditions were often fired or overlooked for advancement. For example, the government removed Dr. John Haggerty who is credited with stopping a smallpox epidemic. The government saw his efforts as a waste of money. Instead, the government promoted venal Indian Agents who used the withholding of food and forced sexual favours to lord over destitute communities. Thus was born the bureaucratization of misery that became the hallmark of Indian Affairs throughout much of the 20th century.

The Fourth Horse
The pale horse waits at the mission school.
Progress they say can be so cruel.
But the spirit lives on across the Great North Plains
As the people find their voice again.


The Pale horse is the symbol of death. And nowhere did death take a bigger toll than among the children forced into mission schools where the tuberculosis rates were appalling.
But the Four Horses also teaches us something else -- the extraordinary resilience and determination of First Nation people. Despite a century of substandard education, health care and housing, they have not been eradicated or assimilated. In fact, they are now reclaiming their rightful place in Canada. 

SOURCE:  Huffington Post, Dec. 9

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Swept up by the Relocations Programs

In the documentary Lost Sparrow, these four Crow tribal members as children were adopted by non-Indians in New York State. The boys were killed in a tragic accident trying to save their sister from abuse.
By Trace A. DeMeyer

I was speaking with an adoptee yesterday who was told by his adoptive parents that maybe he was put up for adoption due to the Indian Relocation Programs. Maybe his Indian parents tried living in the big city and failed and because of poverty or whatever, my friend as a young boy was swept up by social services who placed him for adoption. My friend actually can speak some of his language but we are not certain if he is Lakota or not.

Indians moved around in these relocation programs. An adoptee could be from Montana and raised in New York.

Read this: http://www.pbs.org/indiancountry/history/interactive_map.html

This reminds of the first story I wrote for Talking Stick Magazine about Native adoptees who are casualties of forced removals - not all children were taken from the reservations - some were snatched from big cities, too. You see it fits the pattern of the "Nation Builders" to create an idea, even a bad one, and innocent children are usually the casualties.

The PBS website offered this:  Since first contact, Native Americans have been given three choices — which weren't really choices at all.

Assimilate

The first “choice” was for a tribe to assimilate into the dominant American culture, become "civilized," give up tribal ways and be absorbed into America society. Many tribes tried this, many times through history. Education was the tool for assimilation in the boarding school experience. The government push to assimilate native tribes continued through the 1950s Urban Relocation Program.

Relocate

Even if a tribe, like the Cherokee, tried to join the American society, they could still be forced to relocate to Oklahoma Indian Territory hundreds of miles away. That's what happened on the Trail of Tears.

Genocide

Some tribes chose to fight or were forced to resist. While many have won some battles, they lost all the wars. Hundreds and thousands of Native Americans were killed in battles or by disease or starvation. One of the worst examples of genocide was what happened to the California tribes.
On our Interactive Map, you will see how various tribes experienced assimilation, relocation or genocide during American history.


So we see history is full of puzzles and mysteries like lost children who are swept up by relocation programs and placed for adoption like my friend who has no clue where he belongs or which tribe or what happened to his family.  It is his puzzle and others we need to solve....

If you'd like to read my earlier post about the tragic documentary LOST SPARROW, click here

Every. Day.

Every. Day.
adoptees take back adoption narrative and reject propaganda

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.

Three Years already

Join!

National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network (NISCWN)

Membership Application Form

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

The procedure is simple: Just fill out the form HERE.

Source Link: NICWSN Membership

Customer Review

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.

Read this SERIES

Read this SERIES
click image

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.

Our Fault? (no)

Leland at Goldwater Protest

#defendicwa

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