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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Beauty Without Boundaries

Posted by Native Hope on Feb 16, 2017 
We are all examples of true beauty, yet we live in a culture that tells us differently. The society of today does everything it can to put us in a box, doing its best to contort us into its shallow definition of "ideal beauty." These unrealistic standards are completely one-dimensional, and they fail to encompass the wide variety of beauty that abounds in the human race.


Living in two worlds
American Indians often discuss the struggle of trying to live and thrive in two worlds: the world of their culture and ancestors and the one of a modern day civilization that is a melting pot of ideals, customs, and beliefs. When Indigenous people embrace their physical beauty and inner uniqueness, the conflict between these two worlds becomes even more apparent.

In a recent article titled "She's So Pale" that was posted on Native Appropriations, Adrienne Keene, a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, discusses the stereotypes that so often bombard Native Americans. She explains how so many people “think that Native identity is tied to looking like something off the side of a football helmet...they want to be able to categorize and move on. But Native identity isn’t just a racialized identity. Native identity is political. We are citizens of tribal nations. So we can’t just talk about our identities purely in racial terminology. There’s also a deep power issue here—who has the 'right,' especially as an outsider, to determine someone’s identity for them?”
qgroom.jpgAdrienne’s pale complexion has caused many to cast judgment and challenge her Native heritage. This fact alone exemplifies the danger of trusting our eyes to be the only valid source of truth. She is determined to make a difference and expose these obvious misconceptions, stating “instead of feeling ashamed, I’m trying now to turn the tables and think that I, instead, am the colonizer’s worst nightmare. Because history has tried to eradicate my people by violence and force, enacted every assimilating and acculturating policy against my ancestors, let me grow up in white suburbia, and erased all the visual vestiges of heritage from my face–but still tsi tsalagi (I am Cherokee)....fighting back against misrepresentations, through a keyboard and the internet.” 

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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.

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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.

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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