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Dawnland 2018

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

My Clans

By Lara Trace  (Harlow-Bland-Morris-Conner ancestors)

My unmarried birthparents Earl and Helen lived on the southside of Chicago in the 1950s when I was conceived.  Many people had relocated to cities for work (watch the LOOKING TOWARD HOME documentary).  Both my parents were from rural areas.  My father Earl Bland joined the Navy at age 18 and as far as I know, didn’t identify as Indian but knew he was. (Earl was mixed-American Indian and Euro – mostly Irish.) The women in the Allen-Harlow-Bland-Morris family had strong intentions to maintain and live American Indian”culture.”  The Harlow clan, to this day, hold an annual powwow gathering and talking circle.  No one I know in the family was enrolled in a tribe.  Their migrations to Illinois from Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky enter into this.  And it’s a concern.  I was not there to hear the stories of who, how and why.
I know what my father told me when we first spoke.  Could he have been wrong? Did he say Cherokee because it’s a common name, more known than the Potawatomi, Huron, or Sac and Fox? (We have a real problem in the US with so little Indian history being taught or written. Unless it’s taught at home, you’ll have a hard time finding evidence or proof of American Indians still living in Illinois.)
I had no reason to question my father Earl when I was 38.  I took him at his word.  Obviously I had questions about why I was adopted out, why they gave me away and not many questions about ancestral charts proving Indian blood. The reason I bring this up is the Indian Identity Police.  Some are suggesting if you are not an enrolled “member” of a federally recognized tribe, then you should not claim your Indian ancestry.
But Why?  I am a member of a family whose women identify as Indian for generations.
TracesBookFINAL.inddAs an mixed-race adoptee, it’s been a jagged pill for me to swallow.  I followed my instincts, not expecting I’d ever find answers. Before I finished the memoir One Small Sacrifice, my sister Teresa and I worked with a genealogist to find proof on the Morris-Conner side. (One great-grandmother Mary Francis Morris was raised by relatives who are Watson-Wards, who are enrolled Cherokee.)
How many tribes are now petitioning the federal government for “recognition” to be deemed sovereign? Over 200 tribes, such as five tribes in Virginia who are not “federally recognized.”
“How did you know you’re Indian?” My dad’s youngest sister Janie asked me once on the phone.  My aunt told me many stories about Granny Morris-Conner smoking a pipe, using tobacco as medicine and how she always knew she was Indian.
Not hesitating, I told my aunt, “I always knew.”  But I told her that until I met my father, I didn’t claim Indian ancestry. I believed it but never said it. After I met Earl and was told then I did become a “Native” journalist in 1996.
For me and for other adoptees, you’re on the Red Road with no map.  You can only follow the voice in your head.
Five years prior, in 1991, I was in Mexico and woke one night and started writing Red Man: Through the Eyes of Many. First it was a poem then developed into a series of children’s stories. I had no evil intention. I was sitting on a cold tile floor in a bathroom at 2 a.m.: this writing came like a vision and the stories just flowed out.  Later, with miraculous synchronicity, back in Oregon, I met Merle Locke, a famous Oglala Lakota ledger artist, who told me to go meet his sister Ellowyn.  I drove out to Pine Ridge, South Dakota, she read my stories, liked them lots, and taught me history at her kitchen table, history you’d never find in a book.
That same trip I did my first sweat on the Rosebud rez.
Like my grandmothers, I walk the red road without enrollment papers saying I’m Indian.

(My mother Helen Thrall's mother taught on the Bad River rez in Wisconsin. Why? I don't know yet.)

Monday, July 2, 2018

Reclaiming Native Truth: A Project to Dispel America’s Myths and Misconceptions

New First Nations Report Looks at Shifting Narratives around Native People



June 29, 2018; Indian Country Today
The stories mass media tells about Native Americans tend to be inaccurate, if any stories are told at all. New, old, and emerging sources present narratives that are both conflicting and inaccurate. We are shown images of people who are impoverished and people who have become rich from casinos; the noble warrior and the savage warrior. Last week, a report was released by a project that has set out to identify, understand, and strategize to dispel these images.
As reported by Indian Country Today, First Nations Development Institute and Echo Hawk Consulting released a report that shares research conducted with support from the Kellogg Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and others. “Reclaiming Native Truth: A Project to Dispel America’s Myths and Misconceptions” looks at how Native Americans are perceived and some ways to change and improve the accuracy of those perceptions.
In its coverage of the report, Indian Country Today highlights four takeaways:
  • Discrimination: Only 34 percent of Americans believe that Native Americans face discrimination. On the other hand, images of wealth from Indian gaming and free hand-outs by the federal government fuel bias.
  • Narratives: According to the research, few people have experience with Native Americans, but instead accept negative images others present. Oddly, these negative perceptions rise with proximity to Native communities. Only 56 percent of those living near Native communities feel that the federal government should do more to help, compared to 64 percent of those who live further away.
  • Invisibility: Many consider Native Americans part of a “romanticized past.” Their invisibility in almost all aspects of US society worsens this.
  • Desire for Complete History: People are aware that they do not know enough about Native American culture and history, and most (78 percent) want to learn more.
The report stresses how important it is for Native Americans to reclaim the narrative and change it to more accurately reflect the truth. For those who are ready to change the dominant narrative, there are two guides that accompany the research report: One for Native peoples and their organizations, and another for engaged allies.
The latter guide presents a framework for allies to tell stories and explore issues using four specific elements: values, history, visibility, and a call to action. It shares some example stories structured in that fashion.

Here is an example from the report, stressing the importance of upholding the Indian Child Welfare Act:
  • All children deserve to be raised by loving families in supportive communities, surrounded by the culture and heritage they know best. In Native cultures, family is defined very broadly. Everyone plays an active role in raising a child and is ready to help in times of crisis. (Values)
  • But when the U.S. child welfare system was created, it was biased against raising a child in this way—as a community. As a result, the US government removed Native children from their families—not because of abuse or neglect, but because of this communal way of being. The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was passed in 1978 to prevent Native American children from being unjustly taken away and adopted outside their culture. (History)
  • Today, however, ICWA is not consistently respected. (Visibility)
  • We need to uphold and improve the law to make sure we are doing what is best for Native children. (Call to action)
Mark Trahant, editor of Indian Country Today and author of the article, says that a master narrative is important because it sets the overall tone—it “tells each of us what’s right, what’s fair, and how we all fit into a larger story.” But he also states that Native people must not simply consume the story, they must tell it and make sure it is based on Native truths. The call to action for allies is to make sure we do what we can to raise the visibility of those truths.—Rob Meiksins

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Controversial Experiment: Three Identical Strangers (adoptees)

In 1961, Manhattan’s Child Development Center (which later merged into the Jewish Board) began a controversial experiment, which involved separating adopted twins and triplets into families of differing financial means and studying how their personalities were shaped by their environments. Researchers would come to the children's homes annually and run tests with them, claiming it was standard procedure. [This sounds like something the Nazis would do...]
Robert Shafran, Eddy Galland, and David Kellman were all over the tabloids and daytime talk-show circuit when they discovered each other at age 19.

NEW DOCUMENTARY in 2018: 'Three Identical Strangers' is true story of triplets separated at birth

Three Identical Strangers (2018) Movie

Three Identical Strangers in US theaters June 29, 2018. Follows a trio of people who make the discovery at age 19 that they are identical triplets separated at birth.

The Explosive Story Behind Three Identical Strangers read

"Three Identical Strangers": Don't Read This Review, Just Go ...

 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Many Native Americans, Citing History, Angry Over Trump Immigration Policy

Native Americans are no strangers to the break-up of families
Source: Many Native Americans, Citing History, Angry Over Trump Immigration Policy




Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Reflections from the Hogan: Separating Families? It's What the US has Always Done

Wirelesshogan LINK: There is a crisis going on at our borders. Children are being separated from their families. Mothers are being separated from their babies. ...



Throughout our history the United States of America has used the
separation of families as a means of controlling people of color.



Indian Boarding Schools:

"In
1961, when I was six years old, my parents were ordered by the U.S.
government and the BIA to put me in Kinlichee Boarding School. My father
took me there and left me crying after him. I remember crying all the
time. I was in Kinlichee for six years, Toyei Boarding School for two
years, and Fort Wingate Boarding School for one year.  When we arrived
at boarding school, we were assigned a number, were given baths, and
were dressed in identical clothes and shoes. I was stripped of my Navajo
clothes and moccasins, which had been sewn for me by my mother, and
they were thrown away."





"I was always lonely. Every chance I got, I would go to the laundry
room. It had a big window, and if I sat in a certain place, I could see
the road at the top of the canyon or mesa. I would watch the road to see
if my parents were coming to get me. Kinlichee Boarding School was
built near a wash and was surrounded by a fence. I tried many times to
run away as I got older, but I was always caught. One time at Toyei
Boarding School, I crawled through the sagebrush, dirt, trees, and
cactus for miles, but they found me and brought me back for more
punishment."

(Written by Susie Silversmith, a boarding school survivor – quote taken from CRCNA Doctrine of Discovery Task Force – “Creating a New Family: A Circle of Conversation on the Doctrine of Christian Discovery” - pg. 55)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

In Canada, hypocrisy is a uniquely potent force

In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released its final report, with ninety-four calls to action, and Justin Trudeau was elected to great gusts of hope that we might finally confront the horror of our history.

In the time since, the process of reconciliation between Canada and its First Nations has stalled, repeating the cycles of overpromising and underdelivering that have marred their relationship from the beginning. The much-vaunted commitment to “Nation to Nation” negotiation has been summarily abandoned. The National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls—another Trudeau election promise—has been plagued by resignations, inertia, and accusations of general ineffectiveness. Nonetheless, the acknowledgment is spreading. No level of government has mandated the practice; it is spreading of its own accord.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission report of 2015 described Canadian colonization as a conquest with two major thrusts: the starvation of indigenous groups, and the attempt to erase indigenous languages and religious practices.

READ: Canada’s Impossible Acknowledgment | The New Yorker

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

KINSHIP: State Turns to Urgent Placement of Foster Kids with Relatives, Friends

Making matters more urgent are the strict requirements under the Indian Child Welfare Act, which strongly favors placement in tribal households like the Tointighs’. The family said the fact that John Tointigh and their three biological children are members of the Apache tribe increased their appeal in the eyes of DHS. The foster kids they took in come from a different tribe.

Source: State Turns to Urgent Placement of Foster Kids with Relatives, Friends | Oklahoma Watch

Since the latter half of 2016, the percentage of children placed first in a kinship foster home by the state has increased, according to Oklahoma Department of Human Services data. Under DHS' definition, kinship can include not only close blood relatives but also more distant relatives, family friends, community members who have played an important role in the child's life, and others.
Month Children Placed in Kinship as First Placement Children Removed from Family Home and Eligible for Placement Percent of Kinship as First Placement
Baseline: July-December 20168782,54034.6%
January-June 20171,0012,59438.6%
July-December 20171,0092,26444.6%
January-June 2018 (YTD) 6641,41746.9%

Sunday, June 3, 2018

How Do We Mend The Hoop?

By Trace Hentz (Winyan Ohmanisa Waste La Ke)

This is an essay from the anthology The Lost Daughters: Writing Adoption From a Place of Empowerment and Peace was edited by Amanda H.L. Transue-Woolston, Julie Stromberg, Karen Pickell, and Jennifer Anastasi. (published in 2011)

Years ago I was embarrassed to say I was adopted. I did not feel lucky. I did not have a clue that my adoption hurt me so badly, its tentacles reached into every aspect of my life, even as an adult. My hoop, my connection to my ancestors, was broken by my adoption.
I ached to know my own mother, the woman who created me.
One expert wrote, “Loss of the most sacred bond in life, that of a mother and child, is one of the most severe traumas and this loss will require long-term, if not lifelong, therapy.” (now called toxic stress)
Really?  No one helped me with this. I had therapy twice. The counselling I received in my 20s or 30s concerned my dysfunctional childhood and yet all my issues stemmed from my adoption wound and loss. They missed it or didn't inquire or connect the dots. Why is that?
For close to 20 years, on my own I searched and simply wanted to find answers and the truth. I made calls before I showed up anywhere; I did not disrupt anyone’s life.  If I was invited to meet relatives, I went. In 2011 alone, two cousins have filled giant gaps in my ancestry. Prayers are answered, even the unspoken ones.
I can see how adoption loss can last a lifetime. For some friends, they're stalled with sealed adoption records, not knowing which tribe, and suffer greatly with grief and depression.
For them, I wrote my book as a journalist and adoptee and now I write a blog for other American Indian adoptees, raised by non-Indians.
For those who attempt to open their own adoption, or simply want to understand, I explain many stages, steps I had taken: some good, some hard. 
Sharing stories is how we heal, how we mend the hoop.
Even now there is persistent rampant poverty in Indian Country. Even now it isn’t easy being Indian, on and off the reserves. But it is definitely better to know who you are, which tribe, and not live in a mystery. Someone needs to build a bridge for these adoptees. Open records will accomplish this.
It's hard to admit but adoptees with Indian blood find out soon enough their reservations are closed to strangers. Without proof, without documents, you’re suspect.
We don’t always get our proof since state laws prevent it.  Just one Minnesota tribe, White Earth, decided to call out to its lost children/adoptees; this made news in 2007.  Just a few adoptees showed up. Why? Adoption records are still sealed in Minnesota.
America’s Indian Adoption Project was not publicized or well known, just like a few more secrets I found out. Congress heard Indian leaders complain in 1974, “In Minnesota, 90 percent of the adopted Indian children are placed in non-Indian homes.”
I was born in Minnesota.
For any adoptee going back to their tribe, this requires a special kind of courage. Adoptees know this. Rhonda, a Bay Mills Tribal member, an adoptee friend of mine, was told early on – be happy, be white.  Ask yourself, how would you react?
When did Indian Country become such a bad place to be from? When did this happen? How did this happen?
My mission is to find these answers and build new bridges... it is time to mend the hoop for all adoptees.

The Hoop symbolizes the never ending circle of life which starts with birth, then goes to maturity, then to old age and death with the completion of the hoop in rebirth here or in the spiritual world. The individual who has his life in order stands in the center of the hoop to see, to understand, and to be guided by the various paths of life around him. The best compliment one can pay an individual is to say that he stands in the center of the hoop of life or that he lives on the correct path of life. http://www.grandfathersspirit.com/Hoop-of-Life-Buffalo-Skull.html
THE BOOK


MORE

MDHHS - Trauma & Toxic Stress

Trauma and Its Impact on Children and Their Families . Information about trauma/toxic stress and their impact; the ACEs study & building resilience

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Out of Darkness: 7 Part Series: Indigenous Solutions for Child Welfare


In This Series

news

ResidentialSchoolIndigenousWelfare.jpg

How Canada Created a Crisis in Indigenous Child Welfare

Part one of a series: from residential schools to the Sixties Scoop, governments set out to undermine Indigenous families.
By Katie Hyslop, 9 May 2018

news

AttawapiskatReserveHome.jpg

How Poverty and Underfunding Land Indigenous Kids in Care

Part two of a series: governments falling short in fixing Indigenous child welfare crisis, say critics.
By Katie Hyslop, 14 May 2018

news

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Lessons from Care: ‘If the Government Hadn’t Done All Those Terrible Things’

Part three in a series. Who better to ask for solutions than Indigenous youth who have been in government care. First up, Ashley Bach.
By Katie Hyslop, 16 May 2018

news

paul-martin-1.jpg

The Kelowna Accord, Racism and the Child Welfare Crisis

Part four in a series. Former PM Paul Martin says an opportunity was lost; Cindy Blackstock isn’t so sure.
By Katie Hyslop, 22 May 2018

news

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Changes Coming — Slowly — to Indigenous Child Welfare in BC

Part five of a series. Now that governments are finally acknowledging the problem, here’s what is changing.
By Katie Hyslop, 24 May 2018

news

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Lessons from Care: ‘The Only Flaw in This System Is that Some of Us Survived’

Part six in a series. Jaye Simpson on lessons from a childhood in care.
By Katie Hyslop, 28 May 2018

news

jacquie-green-convocation-ring.jpg

Closing the Gap Between White Schools of Social Work and Indigenous Families

Part seven of a series. Indigenizing social work, one school at a time.
By Katie Hyslop, Today

 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Keep Dancing: We are not Victims

THIS IS AN EARLIER POST from this blog
By Trace A. DeMeyer

“I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile I keep dancing.” That is a line in the book “Bird by Bird” by Ann Lamott.  Her comical book offers instructions on writing and life and so far -- I’ve had good belly laughs. Yep, Ann made a funny book!
In part two, Ann was fighting herself over jealousy of another writer friend. She wrote, “Sometimes this human stuff is slimy and pathetic - jealousy especially so - but better to feel it and talk about it and walk through it than to spend a lifetime poisoned by it."

Poison is nothing to mess with.  I spoke with an adoptee friend last night and Levi is sure we adoptees need to create new ceremonies, even some just for us adoptees. I was nodding at every word Levi said.  A lifetime of isolation from what we know to be ours, our blood rights as Indigenous People, our language and culture and the healing offered by participating in ceremony, it was not ours growing up white and adopted and assimilated.

But we adoptees are not victims, Levi said. No, we are changed by adoption but not its victims.

I thought about ceremony, what ceremony I missed growing up, and what other Indian people probably took for granted growing up. That does make me jealous. I didn’t get to meet my grandmothers in flesh, only in dreams.
I am sad I do not how to make my own regalia. I see others dance at powwow and wish someone had time to teach me what I need to know.

I can think of a million things I’d like to know. When I met relatives in Illinois last year, I was over the moon happy.  My Harlow cousins filled many holes in my heart.
I am in reunion. Jealousy is not my poison.

For those not in reunion, their hearts ache.  We need to find a way to heal them.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

How Foster Care Has Stripped Native American Children of Their Own Cultures

“Some envision themselves as saviors, maintaining that Native children are better off growing up in white homes.”

Removal didn’t just happen through boarding schools. Native children were also taken from their families and communities and placed with non-Natives. Lost Bird was among the first. She was found as an infant under her mother’s frozen body after the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890, when more than 150 unarmed Lakota were slaughtered by the U.S. Cavalry. She was adopted by Gen. Leonard Colby. Her life was difficult and marred with rejection and abuse: Her adoptive father was indifferent to her existence, and her adoptive mother attempted to raise her as white, but society would not accept her. No one could erase her desire to learn about her Lakota roots, either.
By the 1970s, research found that approximately 25% to 35% of all Native children in the U.S. were being placed in foster homes, adoptive homes, or institutions, and 85% of these children were being placed outside of their families and communities, even when fit and willing relatives were available to care for them. Research has shown that Native children in foster care who stayed connected to their culture did better, and those who weren’t were at greater risk for behavioral and mental health problems.

MUST READ: The Foster Care System Has Failed Native American Youth

Friday, May 11, 2018

Coming Up: Native America Calling: Tracy Rector



Tracy Rector's (Choctaw/Seminole) films have been seen by audiences at the Cannes Film Festival, ImagineNative, the Toronto International Film Festival, and PBS. Her latest work, Dawnland, follows Maine's Truth and Reconciliation Commission to address the removal of Native children from their homes. The other films she's worked on include Teachings of the Tree People, March Point, and Ch'aak' S'aagi. Rector describes herself as a mixed race urban Indian, filmmaker and activist. We'll talk with her about her passion for filmmaking, social justice and what is next for her career.
 
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Native America Calling is joining ProPublica's Documenting Hate project, working to collect, analyze and report on crimes motivated by hate and bias. The project is building a database of tips for use by journalists, researchers and civil-rights organizations. If you're a victim or a witness to a hate crime, click here to fill out an online form. The information will be shared with partners in the Documenting Hate project, but no one else will see the information you share without your permission.

 
***
 
Native America Calling is a national call-in program that invites guests and listeners to join a dialogue about current events, music, arts, entertainment and culture.

The program is hosted by Tara Gatewood (Isleta Pueblo) and airs live each weekday from 1-2 pm Eastern.

Join the conversation by calling 1-800-996-2848. 
 
 
This blog will be on hiatus until June... email: laratrace@outlook.com

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Navajo Nation is committed to the protection of all its children #ICWA


Texas Attorney General Kenneth Paxton – NPR Photo

Navajo Nation Seeks to Dismiss Texas’ Challenge to Indian Child Welfare Act

Published April 30, 2018
WINDOW ROCK – On April 26, 2018 the Navajo Nation filed its Motion to Intervene and Dismiss with the federal district court in Texas v. Zinke. The case is a constitutional challenge to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) by the states of Texas, Indiana, and Louisiana. It relies on a Texas state ICWA case concerning the placement of a Navajo child with a non-native family. In its motions the Nation argues that a decision for Texas would negatively affect the Nation’s relationship with this child and numerous Navajo children throughout the country. The Nation asks the court to dismiss the case because it is not a party, and it cannot be made a party, due to its sovereign immunity.
ICWA was passed by Congress in 1978 to stop the mass removal of Indian children from Native families and facilitated placement of those children with non-Natives. Congress found ICWA to be necessary because Indian children are the future of their tribes, and so their removal threatens the very existence of tribes. ICWA provides tribes and tribal members rights to protect their interests in their children.
In the Texas case the Nation located a Navajo family to adopt the Navajo child. However, the non-Native foster parents refused to allow the removal of the child, filing multiple court challenges to the placement of the Navajo child with the Navajo family, including the Texas v. Zinke challenge. The actions by the foster parents have prevented the Navajo child from growing up in his Navajo culture, language and community, and has prevented the Nation from maintaining a vital connection to one of its members.
“The Navajo Nation is committed to the protection of all its children, wherever they may live” commented Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye. “We want all Navajo children to have the opportunity to know their people, their traditions, and their language. As this lawsuit shows, we will continue to fight for them. We want them to know they are not forgotten, no matter where they may live.”
“Our children are the future of the Navajo Nation,” noted Vice-President Jonathan Nez. “They are the ones who will take our elders teachings and pass them down for generations to come. I am disappointed by the actions of the plaintiffs in this case who are attempting to sever the connection between Navajo children and our way of life teachings.”
“Keeping our children with Diné families keeps our language and culture with our most valuable children” stated Navajo Nation Council Delegate Nathaniel Brown. “The future of our Nation depends on our children. They are the ones who will carry on our traditions and our ways. The actions taken by the foster parents and the State of Texas have deprived this precious Navajo child of a connection to his Navajo culture and tribe.”
“ICWA was meant to prevent the exact situation in this case: the wresting of an Indian child from his people” noted Attorney General Branch. “ICWA’s entire purpose is to maintain and preserve the connection between an Indian child and her tribe. This year is ICWA’s 40th anniversary; we should be celebrating the success of ICWA, not having to defend ICWA and the basic human right of Navajo families and communities to remain intact.  There should be no question to our right to remain distinctly Navajo through the passage of our culture, language, and treaty and sovereign rights to our children.”
CLICK HERE to read court filing.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Dawnland documentary premier #TRC

We mention this important documentary in the anthology STOLEN GENERATIONS (book 3 in the Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects book series)...

“They tried to kill the Penobscot part of us,’’ Dawn Neptune said. It didn’t work.

BANGOR — She was a 4-year-old kid named Dawn Neptune, who lived not far from here in a place called Indian Island, a reservation of the Penobscot Nation, a cultural touchstone that shaped — still shapes — who she is.
Her mother, then still a teenager, drank too much in those early days. It was an open family secret, part of an intergenerational trauma that, like her Penobscot heritage, was a critical and governing rhythm to her young life.
And then Dawn Neptune was gone. A baby sitter took her and a younger brother to a grocery store a half-hour away from the reservation. And then abruptly drove away, a cruel abandonment that served as the little girl’s entry into life in foster care, where she promptly learned a hard lesson no kid should be forced to absorb: Forget about your mom. Forget about Indian Island. Forget about being Penobscot.
And then one day she spoke briefly in her native tongue and suffered swift and ugly punishment she has never — can never — forget.
It also echoes through a riveting new documentary film, “Dawnland,’’ which makes its East Coast premiere on April 28 at Independent Film Festival Boston at the Somerville Theatre.
It’s an 86-minute journey of raw and recent history told through the eyes of those who have lived through it. Who have survived it. Who are determined to bear unstinting witness to it.


READ: Reclaiming a culture, reclaiming a life - The Boston Globe

WEBSITE: http://dawnland.org/


Thursday, April 26, 2018

When Terrorism is Personal #BabyVeronica

AMERICAN INDIAN ADOPTEES: When Terrorism is Personal #BabyVeronica #FlipThe...:

Guest Post by ellecuardaigh



This post needs to read again and again.

So now children are taken for these reasons:



  • Poverty, or, just not having as much money as the prospective adoptive family
  • Asking for a second opinion after a medical diagnosis is made regarding your child
  • Being Native American
  • Being short
  • Considering adoption then deciding against it
  • Going to the ER for any reason
  • Using medical marijuana
  • Being a single parent
  • Disagreeing with anything a teacher or other authority figure says about your child
  • Not adhering strictly to the recommended vaccine schedule
  • Being exceptionally attractive
  • Not putting your child into preschool
  • Allowing your child to play in your own yard
  • Having an unusual birthmark
  • Your neighbor or some awful relative just wants to hurt you
  • CPS meeting their “children in care” quotas
  • And I’ll say it again, because this is the #1 reason: You don’t have the money to fight back.
CLICK HERE

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Stories for a Lost Child

Author's late discovery of Native heritage was a 'cosmic blessing'

Friday, April 20, 2018

'She died coming to try to find me' #60sScoop #Adoption

'She died coming to try to find me:' Sixties Scoop adoptee pieces together tragic story of separation

Robert Kalkman was adopted at age 2, and his life shattered at 9 after discovering his true heritage

Robert Kalkman, aged about 3, in Fort Frances, Ont., after his adoption. (Submitted by Robert Kalkman)
Robert Kalkman's memory of the woman standing outside the window is like the frame from a negative burned too hot by light.
Among the shapes of things in this memory is his adoptive father leaving the house in Fort Frances, Ont., to speak with this woman who kept coming back to stand outside the window.
"I remember as a child looking out the window and seeing this lady standing on the street and the commotion of my dad going out and begging her to leave," said Kalkman, 53.
"I was like three years old; it's the last thing I can remember."
Later in life, he would come to know the woman in the window was his biological mother, Kathleen McGinnis.
There is only one photograph of McGinnis that remains. It's from the 1952 edition of the magazine Northern Sportsman and published above an article headlined, I Write About Indians. The photograph is of an Anishinaabe family having a picnic. The caption does not identify anyone in the photograph, but Kalkman's biological family told him that it is her, as a baby, swaddled and fastened to a cradleboard.
This is the only surviving photograph of Kathleen McGinnis. She is the baby attached to the cradleboard in the upper right-hand side of the photograph. (Submitted by Robert Kalkman)

There are other documents about Kalkman's biological mother — coroner and police reports from April 1978. There are witness statements about the accident, how she seemed dazed waving cars down on a highway near Calgary when she was suddenly struck and killed on April 3. The impact severed one of her legs and the circumstances that led to her death remain shrouded in mystery.
Kalkman was out in northern British Columbia a few years ago in a work camp when he came across a website listing missing and murdered Indigenous women. He first noticed the name of a woman he once went to school with and then he noticed his mother's name, along with that of her two sisters, Edith Quagon and Sarah Mason, who were both separately murdered by men plunging a knife through their hearts.
"I was like, 'wow.' I was just overwhelmed," he said.
"I wish whoever the police was, or whatever, spent a little more time investigating and looking into it. If it was a white person, they would be all over it."
Kalkman would later learn that his biological mother was hitchhiking to British Columbia from Thunder Bay, Ont. McGinnis had heard one of her two children — seized in 1966 from her father's house on the Manitou reserve portion of Rainy River First Nation while she shopped in Fort Frances, Ont. — had been adopted by a family that had moved from Fort Frances to B.C.
"She died coming to try to find me," said Kalkman.
"It's an identity you lose, the moment she is gone."

Aftershocks 

McGinnis's family, along with Kalkman's sister Diane Geissler, testified in Thunder Bay in early December during three days of hearings held by the national inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. Kalkman didn't make the hearing.
Kalkman's story is also one among thousands of aftershocks still reverberating from the Sixties Scoop when child welfare agencies across the country would seize Indigenous children and quickly adopt them out into the care of non-Indigenous families.
His story also connects the Scoop with residential schools, which McGinnis attended, and reveals the systemic discrimination that led state agencies to repeatedly seize Indigenous children.
Robert Kalkman, aged 2, is held by the caretaker of the foster home where he was placed after he was taken by child welfare agents. (Submitted by Robert Kalkman)
Ontario's child welfare agents determined the teenage mother — who had Geissler at 14 and Kalkman at 15 — didn't have the financial means to raise her children despite the fact she lived with her parents.
"It was because she was Native and lived a traditional lifestyle. She couldn't prove that she had an apartment or a house. It wasn't in her name, it was in her parents' name," said Geissler, who lives in Thunder Bay a few blocks away from where McGinnis lived before she left hitchhiking, looking for one of her children.
"She couldn't prove income because they hunted, trapped — they had a trapline — and fished for food. They grew their own vegetables, they picked berries, they picked herbs. They didn't have a nine-to-five job. They lived on the reserve."

Seized by child welfare

Kalkman and Geissler don't know the exact date or the details about the circumstances leading to the moment when they were seized. There is a story about a snowstorm stranding their mother in Fort Frances on the day they were taken. There is another about an uncle who hid them in a closet until a child's cry gave them away. Kalkman said one of his aunts confessed to him in 1991 that she had called child welfare because she was worried about the care the children were receiving.
Geissler was immediately adopted by a family that remained in the Fort Frances area. Kalkman remained in foster care for about a year until he was adopted at age two by a Fort Frances doctor who had treated him for various ailments.
"I think as a family we thought we were ... helping out someone who has a need," said Peter Kalkman, Robert Kalkman's adoptive brother.
"I think we did it for the right reason."
From left to right: Robert Kalkman with his adoptive family Klari Kalkman, Johannes Wilhelmus Kalkman and Peter Kalkman. (Submitted by Peter Kalkman)
Peter Kalkman remembers as an eight-year-old going to the courthouse with his parents to finalize the adoption on Feb. 24, 1967.
"It was very serious circumstances where the judge is saying you are taking on this person to be part of your family," said Kalkman, a radiologist who now lives in Abbotsford, B.C.
"It's a very large responsibility and commitment and we all felt that way."
Robert Gary Shebageget became Robert William Kalkman that day.
The family then moved to Vancouver.

'You're an Indian'

Throughout his early years, Robert Kalkman said he didn't contemplate differences with his adoptive home's older brother and sister, who were the biological children of his adoptive parents. He never noticed his darker skin or wondered where he came from. He liked to dress up like a cowboy.
Then, at the age of nine, he noticed one of his friends in the Vancouver neighbourhood where he lived had stopped playing with him. When he asked him why, the answer shattered his world.
"He said, 'Because you're an Indian. My dad said you are an Indian,'" said Kalkman.
Robert, aged 12, and his adoptive father Johannes Kalkman, when they lived in Vancouver. (Submitted by Robert Kalkman)
When he got home, his adoptive mother Janet Kalkman was cooking.
"I asked her, 'Mom, am I an Indian?' She said, 'Don't talk to me right now, I'm cooking,'" said Robert Kalkman.
"I went to my room and looked in the mirror."
A little while later she came into his room and put down a book. Kalkman said the book had about 40 pages of black and white photographs depicting Ojibway people from Minnesota and Ontario.
"That is when I started rebelling," he said.
Robert Kalkman, around age 17, in Vancouver. (Submitted by Robert Kalkman)
"I had an identity crisis."
His life became a series of conflicts with his family, with his school and with the law. Eventually his adoptive parents turned him over into the custody of the courts at age 13. He became a ward of the state, again, and bounced between foster homes and juvenile detention centres.
"I was so angry at the world because I didn't know who I was, where I came from or what was going on," he said.
"I despised the fact I was Native. I would fight every Indian I could fight."

The girl at the bus stop

The anger may have totally consumed and eventually destroyed Kalkman except for a girl he saw from a city bus window standing at a downtown Vancouver bus stop in 1987. He wouldn't see her again for several months. In that time he would end up serving 80 days in jail for failing to pay a $548 fine for drinking and driving in a car stolen from his adoptive parents.
Robert and Kathleen Kalkman on their wedding day, Aug. 3, 1991. (Submitted by Robert Kalkman)
When he got out, he decided to try and make a go of it and enrolled in a college where the girl from the bus stop also attended. They fell in love and married on Aug. 3, 1991.
Robert and Kathleen Kalkman, who is from the Tahltan Nation, now live in Chetwynd, B.C., and they have four sons, aged 27, 25, 17 and 15, along with two grandchildren aged three and five.
Kalkman, a journeyman carpenter, made a career working in gold mines and oil fields throughout northern B.C..
Robert and Kathleen Kalkman, centre, with their children, from the left: Dakota Kalkman, Kross Kalkman, Trey Kalkman and Jeremy Kalkman. (Submitted by Robert Kalkman)
Still there was a piece that remained lost.
His adoptive father, Johannes Wilhelmus Kalkman, who died from cancer about two years ago, "harboured quite a bit of anger for many years" over the adoption, said Peter Kalkman, 59.
And Janet Kalkman, who is 85 and living in an assisted care home, remains "a little bit ambivalent about the whole thing," said Peter.
"My wife, she has brothers and sisters, a mother and a father. My kids look at me and say where is your mom? Where is your dad? You got to look at them and say, 'All you got is me,'" said Robert Kalkman.
"Every time I wake up in the morning I tell them, 'I love you.' I tell them in their face, 'I love you.' That is the connection I have to have because this is all I have. I won't let anybody try to take what I have now."

Kids for Sale: Adoption Trafficking

A CNN exclusive investigation uncovers what could be a child trafficking scheme for adoptions after one mom blew the whistle.
By the time the call ends, Mata's radiant smile has turned to sobs. "My mom was tricked," she says. "My mom was tricked."
Her mother told her it was never her intent to give Mata up for good -- that she'd been deceived. She had been told that Mata would be given a great educational opportunity if she was sent away but that she would one day return. That Mom would always be a part of her daughter's life.
At the time of that call, the Davises now believe, Mata wasn't an orphan at all but was still living at home with a mother who loved her. They believe she was pulled from her home and placed in the orphanage after the adoption agency found an American couple -- buyers, in a sense -- with money to adopt a child.
An investigation by CNN into this alleged trafficking scheme found that children are being taken from their homes in Uganda on the promise of better schooling, placed into orphanages even though they aren't orphans, and sold for as much as $15,000 each to unsuspecting American families. CNN's investigation discovered that multiple families were duped this way.
WATCH: Kids for sale: 'My mom was tricked' - CNN

Thursday, April 19, 2018

An apology will not bring back the dead children

(Residential school survivor Evelyn Korkmaz, left, Senator Murray Sinclair, and NDP MP Romeo Saganash at a news conference in Ottawa)


Catholic bishops news conference only adds confusion around Pope’s apology to residential school survivors

A news conference to clear the air about the Pope’s apology to Indian residential school survivors only seemed to confuse things further.
Bishop Lionel Gendron told reporters in Ottawa Wednesday the Catholic church is a “decentralized” organization and Pope Francis can’t be held responsible for what others have done.
But Senator Murray Sinclair called that “a failure” and said the apology demanded by his Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is needed by survivors to heal.
Senior leaders of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops addressed the media in Ottawa in front of an NDP motion to be tabled in the House of Commons calling on Pope Francis to apologize for residential schools. The motion failed after one MP voted no. It’s not clear who voted against it, but in a scrum prior to Question Period, Conservative Indigenous Affairs Critic said it has no place in parliament.
“We like to keep a separation between church and state in terms of Parliament directing specific actions,” she said. “And I think we also believe that that’s an important distinction to keep, which the other parties don’t believe.”

The bishops said the Pope may apologize in person if he came to Canada and met with Indigenous peoples.
But according to Richard Gagnon, Archbishop of Winnipeg and vice-president of the CCCB, the church has already done so, said “The pope never said he wouldn’t apologize,” Gagnon said. “What the Holy Father did say was he would not personally respond to (TRC) call to Action 58.”

Does that mean Yes or No the Pope will apologize?

“Our concern is that it’s important to clear up any misconceptions that are out there and correct any inaccuracies,” Gagnon added.
The answer confused reporters who continued to yell questions as the black-robed religious figures left the room.


Sinclair was accompanied by NDP-MPs Charlie Angus and Romeo Saganash (Abitibi-Baie-James-Nunavik-Eeyou), who bashed the bishops’ behaviour.
“I am disgusted,” said Saganash, a Cree politician from Quebec who survived 10 years in residential school.
“To state ‘the Catholic church as a whole in Canada was not associated with the residential schools’ pushes this church towards very irresponsible, historical, revisionism,” added Angus (Timmins-James Bay), a Catholic.
Sen. Murray Sinclair, who chaired the TRC, said it was sad to see the church try and distance itself from the issue now.
“They’re not taking responsibility and that’s a shame,” he said.
It took survivor Evelyn Korkmaz, who shared the stage with the politicians, to clarify the subject.
“The church has acknowledged wrongdoing,” she said. “So all we’re asking for is a verbal apology.”
Korkmaz attended notorious St. Anne’s residential school in Angus’s riding, whose survivors are battling Ottawa for the same compensation offered other survivors.
Angus, who has been championing their fight, said the church has to apologize and noted he was “distressed” Canadian bishops weren’t insisting he do that.
But Gagnon defended the head of the church.
“I agree with the way the Pope is handling this in waiting for an opportune time,” he said.
“He has been invited to Canada from the prime minister, from three of our presidents of the Catholic conference of bishops of Canada…His response had to do with Call to Action No. 58 and its rather strict confines.”
Pope Francis has apologized to Indigenous peoples in Bolivia for the impact of colonialism and said sorry to survivors of priestly sexual abuse in Ireland.
“We have a track record with this Pope who is not afraid to confront the hard issues,” Gagnon added.
kmartens@aptn.ca

Indian Lawsuits on School Abuse May Bankrupt Canada Churches ...

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A history of residential schools in Canada | CBC News

CBC News answers frequently asked questions about residential school abuse ...
An apology will not bring back the dead children or end the cycles of oppression we are still healing and dealing with... The Vatican still holds us hostage....an apology will never do...  Trace
 ...

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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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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)