By Trace Hentz
2015 UPDATE: The original post GARBAGE received the most hits (almost 10,000 readers) on this blog. The original post is here (below) and I am updating it in 2015. It's clear we need to follow these groups who seek to end #ICWA.
One thing is also clear. There are people who still wish to be the missionary/savior/hero of the past century. They call themselves: Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare. (CAICW) Bringing their religion and their judgement into this century?
|CAICW from their website HERE|
Not that they want to end poverty or help Indians, no. They want converts, dollars, supporters. They want Indian Child Removals to resume. Their solution is opening the doors for states and adoption agencies to remove children because of rez poverty, taking children from their tribal families. Ending poverty is not even on their radar. Family preservation is not on their radar. Making the federal government live up to its treaty obligations to Indians is not on their radar. I wrote THIS on Last Real Indians about this ongoing warfare of food insecurity on reservations.
Many times on this blog, you have read experts call "the Indian Projects" modern day genocide. Elizabeth Sharon Morris "Lisa" and her CAICW are the modern perpetrator. Keep reading...
HER POST IN DECEMBER 2014:
He made this vow in remarks during the White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, DC.
Below is a response from a Parent – the Chair of the Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare.
Attorney General Eric Holder;
Re: Your statement during the White House Tribal Nations Conference, Dec. 3, 2014, in regards to the Indian Child Welfare Act.
What is consistently left out of the ICWA discussion is the civil rights of United States citizens of every heritage – those enrolled in tribal communities and those who are not – who do not want tribal government interference in their families. Shortsighted placation of tribal leaders ignores these facts:
1. 75% of tribal members do NOT live in Indian Country
2. Most families falling under tribal jurisdiction are multi-racial, and
3. Many families have purposefully chosen to raise their children with values other than those currently popular in Indian Country.
Federal government does not have the right to assign our children to political entities.
Further, federal government does not have the right to choose which religion, customs or traditions a child should be raised in. This holds true for children who are 100% a certain heritage, let alone children who are multi-heritage. It holds true because we are a nation that respects the rights and freedoms of every individual citizen – no matter their heritage.
Please recognize that while we agree with you that “any child in Indian Country – in Oklahoma, or Montana, or New Mexico – is not fundamentally different from an African-American kid growing up in New York City” – neither is any child fundamentally different from a Hispanic Catholic, German Jewish, or Irish Protestant child growing up in any U.S. city or rural town. In fact, most enrollable children in America have Caucasian relatives – and many live with their Caucasian relatives. My own enrolled children are no different from their fully Caucasian cousins or their cousins with Filipino heritage. Children are children – with fundamentally the same emotional and physical needs. We agree 100% with you.
We also agree no child “should be forced to choose between their cultural heritage and their well-being.” Tragically, that is the very thing federal and tribal governments are doing to many of these children.
Enrollable children – and at times even children who are not enrollable but are targeted by a tribal government anyway – are currently forced to accept what is purported to be their cultural heritage – at the expense of their safety and well-being. This has even been done under the watchful eye of the Justice Department, as in the case of 3-year-old Lauryn Whiteshield, murdered in 2013.
Concerning your directive regarding cultural heritage, the federal government does not have the right to mandate that my children and grandchildren – or any of the children whose families we represent – be raised in a home “suffused with the proud traditions of Indian cultures.” As parents, my husband and I had a right to decide that our children’s Irish Catholic, German Jewish, and “American” Evangelical heritage is all equally important. It is the parent’s choice, not the government’s, as to how our children are raised (Meyer vs. Nebraska, 1923; Pierce vs. Society of Sisters. 1925)
My name is Elizabeth Sharon Morris. I am the widow of Roland John Morris, a U.S. citizen of 100% Minnesota Chippewa heritage who was born and raised on the Leech Lake Reservation, speaking only Ojibwe until he started kindergarten. I am the birth mother, grandmother, foster and adoptive mother to several enrolled or eligible members, and an aunt and sister-in-law to dozens. Our home was an accepted ICWA home for 17 years and we raised over a dozen enrolled children in it.
I am also the Chairwoman of the Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare, a national non-profit founded by my husband and myself in 2004. CAICW represents children and families across the nation who’ve been hurt by federal Indian policy – most notably ICWA – and who, as U.S. citizens, do not want tribal government control or interference in their families.
The facts are:
1) According to the last two U.S. censuses, 75% of tribal members DO NOT live in Indian Country. Many, like our family, have deliberately taken their children and left in order to protect their families from the rampant crime and corruption of the reservation system. These families do NOT want their children turned over to tribal authorities under any circumstances – and having made a decision to disassociate, should not have to live in fear of their children being placed on the reservation if the parents should die.
2) The abuses at Spirit Lake in North Dakota are well known, but it is also known that Spirit Lake is just a microcosm of what’s happening on many reservations across the country.
3) Gang activity involving drugs is heavy and rampant on many reservations. My husband’s grandson was shot and left for dead at Spirit Lake in July, 2013. To date, your Justice Department, which you’ve highly praised for its work in Indian Country, has not charged anyone for the shooting despite family knowledge of who was involved in the altercation. Many children have been dying within Indian Country whose names don’t make it to the media – and for whom justice is never given.
4) These abuses are rampant on many reservations because the U.S. Government has set up a system that allows extensive abuse to occur unchecked and without repercussion.
5) Many, many times more children leave the reservation system in company of their parents, who have been mass exiting – than do children who have been taken into foster care or found a home in adoption. But tribal leaders won’t admit many parents consciously take their kids out of Indian Country in attempt to get them away from the reservation system and corrupt leaders. It makes a better sound bite to blame evil social services
6) There are many documented cases of children who have been happy in homes outside of Indian Country and who have fought being moved to the reservation, and who have been severely traumatized after being forced to do so. Many in federal government are aware of these children but, as done with the reports of ACF Regional Director Tom Sullivan, have chosen to ignore them.
It is claimed the cause of crime and corruption in Indian Country is poverty and “Historical Trauma,” and that additional funding will solve the problems. Yet, crime and corruption are never made better and can never be made better by giving those responsible for the crime and corruption more money.
It’s time to stop listening to those with vested financial interest in increasing tribal government power, and admit the physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse of tribal members by other tribal members and even many tribal leaders.
Every time power to tribal leaders is increased, tribal members – U.S. citizens – are robbed of civil freedoms under the constitution of the United States. Equal Protection is a constitutional right.
To better protect children, we need to:
A. Guarantee protection for children of Native American heritage equal to that of any other child in the United States.
B. Guarantee that fit parents, no matter their heritage, have the right to choose healthy guardians or adoptive parents for their children without concern for heritage.
C. Recognize the “Existing Indian Family Doctrine” as a viable analysis for consideration and application in child custody proceedings. (See In re Santos Y, In Bridget R., and In re Alexandria Y.)
D. Guarantee that United States citizens, no matter their heritage, have a right to fair trials.
• When summoned to a tribal court, parents and legal guardians need to
be informed of their legal rights, including USC 25 Chapter 21 1911
(b)“…In any State court proceeding for the foster care placement of, or
termination of parental rights to, an Indian child not domiciled or
residing within the reservation of the Indian child’s tribe, the court,
in the absence of good cause to the contrary, shall transfer such
proceeding to the jurisdiction of the tribe, absent objection by either
• Further, parents involved in any child custody proceeding should have a right to object to tribal jurisdiction. Many tribal members don’t take things to tribal court because they don’t expect to get justice there. For the Justice Department to deny this reveals the Justice Departments willingness to ignore how many tribal courts factually work.
• Under the principles of comity: All Tribes and States shall accord full faith and credit to a child custody order issued by the Tribe or State of initial jurisdiction consistent within the UCCJA – which enforces a child custody determination by a court of another State – unless the order has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having jurisdiction to do so under Article 2 of the UCCJA.
F. Mandate that a “Qualified expert witness” be someone who has professional knowledge of the child and family and is able to advocate for the well-being of the child, first and foremost – not tribal government.
G. Because it is claimed that tribal membership is a political rather than racial designation, parents, as U.S. citizens, should have the sole, constitutional right to choose political affiliation for their families and not have it forced upon them. Only parents and/or legal custodians should have the right to enroll a child into an Indian Tribe.
• Remove the words “or are eligible for membership in” 1901 (3)
• Remove the words “eligible for membership in” from 1903 (4) (b), the definition of an ‘Indian child’ and replace with the words “an enrolled member of”
Elizabeth Sharon Morris
Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare (CAICW)
Cc: Tracy Toulou, Director, Tribal Justice
Members of Congress
Lisa Morris is printing her book again:
DYING IN INDIAN COUNTRY ~ New Edition Available Summer 2015
Garbage: Comments on the Washington Post
Click on links in highlights to read more about them...
2014: COMMENT ON WASH POST:
Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare got $40,000 in donations while they worked on "Baby Veronica" and reported $50,000 in 2012 earnings to the IRS.
• Oct 2011 - ICWA "Teach In" in the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing room in Washington DC.
• Jan 2012 - in order to allow Veronica's supporters to be protected under a legal entity and receive a tax deduction for donating to her defense, the "Save Veronica" campaign officially became an advocacy and awareness campaign of CAICW.
• July 2012 - hosted event in Washington D.C. in conjunction with the Coalition for the Protection of Indian Children and Families. [CAICW is a founding member.] "Congressmen, legislative staff, adoption and social advocates and tribal entities were invited."
• February 2013 - Washington, DC. Spoke to 9 out of 14 members of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and 4 members of the House Indian Affairs subcommittee.
"We will also continue to press in educationally across the nation, using social networks, speaking engagements, articles, and books to teach the harm of the Indian Child Welfare Act and praying for those affected."
Just a tiny little problem here. This is lobbying activity. Lisa Morris's "org" is an IRS 501c3 non-profit. 501c3 organizations are prohibited from lobbying. They may not.
Lisa, you might check with a non-profit management firm to find out what you can and cannot do when you apply for a tax-exempt status, which you were granted, and are publicly supported.
[That's not much mucho ($$$) - they needed Veronica to make $ and it ran dry apparently...Trace]
A comment "GARBAGE" posted on the Washington Post by one of the Christian Alliance... her name is LISA MORRIS... I'd made a comment on one of her comments and she replied that the SplitFeathers are GARBAGE and her reply to this blog...
Link to comments: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/baby-veronicas-birth-mother-girl-belongs-with-adoptive-parents/2013/07/12/40d38a12-e995-11e2-a301-ea5a8116d211_allComments.html?ctab=all
LISA is still trying to make some money:
2012: From the CIACW BLOG:
First of all, I want to thank you for your faithful support. Over the years, CAICW has helped many people, but that doesn’t mean we ever forget anyone who has helped make that possible. You are one of those people. It doesn’t matter whether you have given $5 or $5,000 in the past—it takes all kinds of thread to make a quilt.
A quilt—a patchwork of material sewn together into a blanket—what an apt comparison to what we do here at CAICW. Families whose lives have been ripped apart, made whole again through the generosity of people like you. Families like those of Matt & Melanie Capobianco, the parents of baby Veronica.
CAICW first heard about Veronica’s situation in late summer of 2011. At the time, we were organizing a Washington DC ‘Teach-in’ for October 2011. Through cash and in-kind donations, we were able to raise the money needed for the event and Melanie was invited to join us and speak to Congressmen about the impending tragedy. Later, in January 2012, “Save Veronica” became an official fundraising campaign of the Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare. Together, with your help, well over $40,000 was raised for their legal fees.
Which brings me to the main point of this letter. Please consider a Tax-Deductible End-of-Year Donation
- The “Save Veronica”Campaign – currently appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
- Legal Fund for additional families in need
- The Roland J. Morris Sr. Home, and regular operating expenses to maintain communications.
- Washington DC trip: Educating new and old Congressmen in DC, February 4-8, 2013 – 6 weeks away.
If you’re online, go to our website http://caicw.org/donate-now/ and click on the “Donate Now” button to make sure your donation counts toward the double impact.
You can also send a donation by mail to:
PO Box 253
Hillsboro, ND 5804
Once again, thank you for your continued support, and know that the Capobianco’s and many families like theirs would not have the legal funds they need were it not for you.
The Roland J. Morris Sr. Home
In response to the needs, experiences and tragedies we have witnessed in our own families, the CAICW seeks to open a Christian, long-term care home (One year to 18 months) that will reach out to parents and grandparents in pain from addictions. The goal is to offer the love of Jesus Christ and assistance for families to grow to health. We will also offer tools and knowledge for them to gain employment and perfect their parenting skills. Our vision is to pattern the home after Teen Challenge, but also allow families to bring their children along so that everyone stays connected and learns together a new and better way to live in a family setting. We have been discussing and praying about this vision for a long time. We welcome your ideas and donations as we feel the time is coming to bring this dream to fruition.
Ebay Auction Benefits CAICW
An adoptive mother who has been affected by the ICWA has adopted CAICW on ebay. To date, sales from her boutique have garnered us about $400. Her auction is on ebay, but you can also visit her on Facebook at: http://stores.ebay.com/safford-hall
Elizabeth Sharon Morris