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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Disproportionate number of aboriginal children in care in Canada

Joanne Bernard says issue needs to be addressed in collaboration with federal government

Joanne Bernard says, according to departmental numbers, about 22.5 per cent of children in care are aboriginal, but only 2.7 per cent of the population in Nova Scotia is of aboriginal ancestry.
Joanne Bernard says, according to departmental numbers, about 22.5 per cent of children in care are aboriginal, but only 2.7 per cent of the population in Nova Scotia is of aboriginal ancestry. (CBC)
Nova Scotia's minister of community services says she's concerned about the disproportionate number of aboriginal children in community care.
For the first time in eight years, Department of Community Services ministers met to discuss social issues, the most worrisome perhaps being the high numbers of aboriginal children in care.

Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard
Joanne Bernard, Nova Scotia's minister of community services, worries the federal government is not doing more to help provinces with this problem.
Joanne Bernard says, according to departmental numbers, about 22.5 per cent of children in care are aboriginal, but only 2.7 per cent of the population in Nova Scotia is of aboriginal ancestry. "It’s clearly an issue in this province," Joanne Bernard told CBC’s Information Morning.
"There are all kinds of issues of why aboriginal children are taken into care, just like there are of all children taken into care. In my personal experience, and the work that I used to do, you can't look at the issues surrounding children in care, unless you look at the vulnerabilities of families, especially the mothers. We all know of the ongoing vulnerabilities and complexities that aboriginal women in Canada [face] today, including in our own province."
In Manitoba the numbers are even higher. Seventy-eight per cent of children in care in that province in care are of aboriginal descent. According to 2013 figures from Statistics Canada's first National Household Survey showed that 16.7 per cent of the province's population identified as aboriginal.
Bernard is back in Nova Scotia after sitting down with ministers in charge of social services from across the country in Calgary late last week.
She worries the federal government is not doing more to help provinces with this problem.
"That collaboration starts with coming to the meeting of, quite frankly, the social policy leaders of the country. So when you have everyone of us at the table and you don’t have your federal counterpart, clearly a piece of the puzzle in moving forward and addressing all the intersectional issues that surround aboriginal children in care — in addition to aboriginal women, it’s just so pivotal that that partnership not only be maintained but strengthened," she said.
The provincial community services ministers last met in 2006. 

Related Stories


Not just in Canada...Trace/Lara

Monday, September 15, 2014

Indigenous Resistance: Tribunal on Indian Boarding Schools

Indigenous Resistance: Tribunal on Indian Boarding Schools Oneida, WI, October 2014...:

October 22 -- 25, 2014: Wisconsin event to focus on U.S. Indian boarding schools, promote healing

Mount Pleasant Indian Industrial Boarding School
More than 200 undocumented deaths of
children including Anishinaabe. 
Blue Skies Foundation has scheduled a Tribunal to focus on the experiences of Native children who were forced at early ages to attend Indian boarding schools. This Tribunal is scheduled for October 22 through the 25, 2014 at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center, at Oneida, Wisconsin.

Blue Skies Foundation is working with the staff of the Human Rights Action Center, from the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, Jack Healey of the Human Rights Action Center, Bill Means, co-founder of the International Indian Treaty Council, and with Sheron Leonard, Pele Films, as well as numerous other individuals interested in documenting the history of the Indian boarding schools.

A panel of qualified Native judges will be listening to the witnesses as they provide first hand testimony of the abuse and mistreatment they suffered at the hands of the federal government, and of the Council of Churches, while being forced to live away from their families and Nations. In the words of the founder and superintendent of the Carlisle Indian School, General Richard Henry Pratt, “Transfer the savage born infant to the surroundings of civilization and he will grow to possess a civilized language and habit.”

At the conclusion of the Tribunal the Judges will issue an executive summary with their findings, which will be shared with the Native communities.

This Tribunal will be live-streamed by professionals out of California and the contents will be formatted into DVD form to be used as an educational tool in the schools, especially the Tribal schools. We are trying to provide a clear history while we have some of the witnesses able to tell their stories.

One reason to put together a Tribunal on the boarding school era is to bring an
Haskell, where children were beaten and tortured,
and buried in the marsh.
awareness of the treatment of Native children while in those schools and try to begin to understand the effects this treatment had on the survivors. We are told of the physical punishment the children suffered for speaking the language, and of the sexual assaults, the physical and mental violence that took place in the name of “educating” our children in order to strip them of the “savage upbringing” and introduce them to civilization.

We feel that while we have the ability to capture the first hand documentation from some of our people, it is vitally important because we will have in their own words, the harsh reality of the boarding school experience.


MORE  

NPR coverage in 2008 

FILM CLIP: HERE

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Real ID Act? They didn't think of adoptees with fake birth certificates?


federal


Americans will soon be barred from boarding airplanes unless they surrender to federal 'Real ID' card



(NaturalNews) Residents of nine states who attempt to use their driver's license to enter some government agency offices will be denied, because their legislatures have not agreed to accept a federal law called REAL ID. In fact, according to The Boston Globe, if those states do not accept the law, residents will also eventually lose their ability to use driver's licenses to board commercial flights.

The paper reported that the federal REAL ID essentially forces compliance by states to ensure citizenship verification and to update their security standards when they issue driver's licenses. Lawmakers in D.C. initially believed that the law would deter terrorists who make it into the country illegally from being able to board flights.

However, officials in the nine states have chosen to forego the program because of a number of factors: It costs millions, there are privacy concerns, and the law violates the 10th Amendment by impinging on states' rights.

The Globe said states that did not accept the REAL ID are not penalized -- directly -- but their citizens suffer. Some of the law's restrictions began in late July.

'Papers please?'

"It was bizarre, and then I really felt embarrassed," Susan Podziba, who was prevented from entering a federal building near Washington, D.C., told the Globe. "It was like wow, I am a US citizen and suddenly my Massachusetts ID isn't good enough?"

Her state is one of the nine that has not accepted the REAL ID; because of that, she was forced to conduct a high-level meeting in a cafeteria outside the security gate.

The Globe further reported:

Governor Deval Patrick's office referred questions to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Cyndi Roy Gonzalez, an agency spokeswoman, said the state has applied for an extension to give it enough time to meet the law's requirements.

"DHS is asking the states to do something radically different with their licensing systems," she told the paper, without elaborating on the delay. "We want to make sure we do it right and do it well."

In order for Massachusetts to comply with REAL ID, the state has to meet a series of benchmarks when issuing driver's licenses -- checking a person's legal status, securing images and doing background checks on employees who have access to sensitive materials. The law ostensibly aims to boost security and prevent fraud.

Passed in 2005, the Department of Homeland Security put off its implementation for a number of years but began gradually implementing it in April of this year. Phase two began in July.

The Globe said that 20 states had received extensions; 21 are considered to be in compliance. Three others have not made the required changes but will issue special licenses that citizens can use.

That leaves six states: Massachusetts, Maine, Oklahoma, Arizona, Alaska and Louisiana.

Since July, when the second phase took effect, it has been unclear how many Americans it affects or how many federal facilities are strictly enforcing it. The REAL ID law has varied effects; for instance, tourists can still gain access to Smithsonian museums and defendants can get into courtrooms for appearances.

But Americans who live in states that do not participate in REAL ID and who don't have other acceptable identification will not be able to visit the White House by next year; they won't be able to board commercial planes by 2016.

Here's your 'national ID' card

"It's an entirely foreseeable result of Massachusetts' failure to comply with a federal law," Republican Sen. Bruce Tarr, Massachusett's Senate minority leader, told the Globe, adding that he has inquired of the Patrick Administration about compliance but has gotten "very little response" thus far.

"The only thing you could speculate is that somehow compliance with REAL ID would thwart the administration's attempt to give driver's licenses to those who aren't here legally," he said.

But what the law represents is yet another method by which the federal government blackmails states into complying with its edicts. While there is no penalty for non-compliance, per se, obviously the law punishes citizens nonetheless.

It's just another way that the federal leviathan seeks to control rather than serve.

"For any American citizen, they should find this whole program completely laughable and ridiculous," Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap told the Globe.

Critics call REAL ID the "national ID" that privacy advocates have long feared. And for anyone keeping score about which of the political parties have most usurped constitutional rights in recent years, REAL ID was passed during the Bush Administration, when Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress and the White House.

Sources:

http://www.bostonglobe.com

http://www.wcsh6.com

http://www.dmv.org

I'll be posting more on this topic soon - as it concerns adoptees who have fake birth certificates...  Leland Morrill has been working on this nightmare issue for adoptees a long time... Lara/Trace

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

ICWA violations in Illinois?

Notice Violation Case out of Illinois


That’s right–out of Illinois. According to Westlaw (ICWA & “Indian Child Welfare Act”), there are a grand total of 11 ICWA cases from the Illinois appellate courts.

Here is the most recent. The appeals court reversed and remanded due to ICWA notice violations (for one child–the other was not the biological child of the father):
At the dispositional hearing on April 26, 2011, the trial court found Dwight to be unfit and awarded guardianship of N.L. to DCFS. Among the reports submitted for the court’s consideration was a social history report, dated March 23, 2011, indicating that Dwight is a registered member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, White Earth Reservation (the Tribe).

***
The trial court questioned the State about the children’s eligibility for tribal registry and was advised that the State had already received notices that both minors were ineligible for registry with the Tribe. The State was ordered to provide documentation of its compliance with the statute at the status hearing on December 18. No documents addressing the issue of tribal registry for the minors were submitted at that or any subsequent proceeding until the hearing on the State’s motion to supplement the record during the pendency of this appeal.

***
The State’s Tribe letters suggest that the Tribe was provided with the minors’ names and dates of birth and imply that Dwight’s name was provided with reference to N.L. The State’s Tribe letter for N.L is dated September 16, 2011, and that for M.L. is dated February 25, 2013. In its order granting the State’s motion to supplement the record, the court expressed concern with Dwight’s solicitation of new evidence while the case was on appeal. However, many of the documents the State was allowed to include with its supplementation were dated after the termination hearing and after Dwight’s notice of appeal.
Dwight filed a motion with this court to supplement the record with his own Tribe letter– from the same person who had signed the State’s letters– showing that N.L. and M.L. were eligible for tribal membership. He acquired this letter as a result of his solicitation for evidence related to the appeal. This court allowed Dwight to submit his Tribe letter with his case pending our decision of the propriety of its inclusion in the record. Dwight’s Tribe letter states that the minors are eligible for tribal membership and suggests that the Tribe was provided with the dates of birth for both minors, the correct spelling of N.L.’s name, and the names and dates of birth for both Dwight and Emily.

For reference, here’s the list of the Illinois appellate ICWA cases:

1. In re N.L. Appellate Court of Illinois, Third District.    September 09, 2014    — N.E.3d —-    2014 IL App (3d) 140172
2. In re K.T. Appellate Court of Illinois, Third District.    June 07, 2013    2013 IL App (3d) 120969    990 N.E.2d 1260
3. In re D.D., Jr. Appellate Court of Illinois, Third District.    November 05, 2008    385 Ill.App.3d 1053    897 N.E.2d 917
4. In re H.D. Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District.    September 30, 2003    343 Ill.App.3d 483    797 N.E.2d 1112
5. In re Cari B. Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District.    February 01, 2002    327 Ill.App.3d 743    763 N.E.2d 917
6. In re C.N. Supreme Court of Illinois.    May 24, 2001    196 Ill.2d 181    752 N.E.2d 1030
7. In re M.S. Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District.    February 05, 1999    302 Ill.App.3d 998    706 N.E.2d 524
8. In re Adoption of S.S. Supreme Court of Illinois.    October 19, 1995    167 Ill.2d 250    657 N.E.2d 935
9. In re Adoption of S.S. Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District.    October 22, 1993    252 Ill.App.3d 33    622 N.E.2d 832
10. Matter of T.I.S. Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, Fourth Division.    December 31, 1991    224 Ill.App.3d 475    586 N.E.2d 690
11. In Interest of Armell Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, Second Division.    January 16, 1990    194 Ill.App.3d 31    550 N.E.2d 1060

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Justice Department Supports Native Americans In Child Welfare Case : NPR

Justice Department Supports Native Americans In Child Welfare Case : NPR

The Justice Department has weighed in on a class-action lawsuit inSouth Dakota pitting Native American tribes against state officials, and come down resoundingly in support of tribes.

It's the first time the department has intervened in a federal district court case involving the Indian Child Welfare Act, a law meant to keep Native American families together. The department filed an amicus brief in the case concluding that the state is violating the rights of Native American parents.

In the suit, tribes claim the state is failing to abide by the 36-year-old federal law, removing hundreds of Indian children from their families in court hearings where parents are rarely allowed to speak, and that often last less than 60 seconds.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Momentum builds for gathering of aboriginal adoptees

Gathering for people who were adopted or lived in foster care as children

CBC News Posted: Aug 21, 2014
Lesley Parlane
Lesley Parlane, one of the organizers of an upcoming gathering for aboriginal adoptees was in Regina to talk about the event. (CBC)


An upcoming gathering of aboriginal people who were adopted or lived in foster care as children is gathering momentum as organizers visited Regina to talk about their plans.
The event, set for Ottawa, is called the Indigenous Adoptee Gathering 2014 and takes place Sept. 20 to 21.
One of the organizers of the event is Lesley Parlane, who was adopted as a small child.
Parlane says the idea for the gathering arose when she and other friends, who were also adopted, discovered they had many things in common because of that background and felt that sharing their experiences and providing support could be valuable.
She said she wishes such a community was available to her, as she was growing up.
"It would have been good to get together with people like me," Parlane said. "My experience wasn't bad but it wasn't good either, but everybody had a different experience but where do you go with that?"
The gathering will offer a variety of healing circles, workshops, and talks by people who have also been adopted.
Parlane explained that she learned much about her own history - and family connections - when, as an 18-year-old applying to get her Status Indian documents, she was contacted by a Saskatchewan First Nation and told they had various records relating to her adoption and news that she had a number of sisters who had been looking to find her.
It was a lot of information to process all at once, Parlane said and it took several years for her to feel comfortable delving into her family history. Now she says, she has been visiting family on the Standing Buffalo First Nation on a regular basis for the past three years.
She is hoping the upcoming gathering will help others who may be facing similar situations.
The Ottawa event has enough room for 80 participants and is just over half full.

More information about the event is available on a Facebook page and online, through this link.

Shocking admission by former DOCs worker

LINK: Shocking admission by former DOCs worker | Apology Alliance Australia

What constitutes “good”. When I worked at the Dept of Community Services I came across a lot of teen adoptees who were very damaged because of the adopted parents that had been chosen for them.
Honestly you would not have given them the worst kind of pet let alone a
child. (name withheld).

Brother Alex MacDonald worked with street kids in Melbourne in the
1980s.  He made the astounding comment published in a news article that
out of 149 drug related suicides he attended – 147 were adoptees.
click link above


Aussie adoptee statement
NOTE: There is no way for me to know how many Native American adoptees committed suicide but from what I am told, it's a staggering amount, which is why we don't have statistics... Lara/Trace



Saturday, August 23, 2014

Called Home gifted in California

Tribal STAR News

Tribal STAR logo

Blessing of ICWA Court in Los Angeles
On the morning of July 25, 2014 the courtroom in which Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) cases are heard was blessed. The blessing of the court was organized by members of the stakeholders committee that has been meeting with the Honorable Amy Pellman, the judge who presides in that court. The stakeholders committee has been meeting for nine months to develop collaborative working relationships that will further the work of the court in insuring that the requirements of ICWA are implemented. The blessing was coordinated by Roberta Javier who works in the Indian Unit for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services. The blessing was given by Julia Bognay, a member of the Tongva Tribe of Los Angeles. Gifts were presented to the court including a Cradleboard, a Dream Catcher gourd and a book, “Called Home” by Trace A. DeMeyer, relating the stories of Native American Adoptees. The blessing of the court is an annual event and insures that the Spirit of ICWA is present in the court when cases are being heard. 

Judge Amy with Leeland
Judge Amy Pellman, Los Angeles ICWA Court and Leland Morrill, Navajo Adoptee

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

NEW BOOK: A Generation Removed #Adoption #ICWA #BABYVERONICA


This incredible author Margaret Jacobs and I met at Yale last fall in Connecticut. We had the longest hug and I felt the greatest humility and beauty in this renown scholar who knew of THIS blog and our work here as adoptees.





On June 25, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Girl, which pitted adoptive parents Matt and Melanie Capobianco against baby Veronica’s biological father, Dusten Brown, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Veronica’s biological mother had relinquished her for adoption to the Capobiancos without Brown’s consent. Although Brown regained custody of his daughter using the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Capobiancos, rejecting the purpose of the ICWA and ignoring the long history of removing Indigenous children from their families.
In A Generation Removed, a powerful blend of history and family stories, award-winning historian Margaret D. Jacobs examines how government authorities in the post–World War II era removed thousands of American Indian children from their families and placed them in non-Indian foster or adoptive families. By the late 1960s an estimated 25 to 35 percent of Indian children had been separated from their families.
Jacobs also reveals the global dimensions of the phenomenon: These practices undermined Indigenous families and their communities in Canada and Australia as well. Jacobs recounts both the trauma and resilience of Indigenous families as they struggled to reclaim the care of their children, leading to the ICWA in the United States and to national investigations, landmark apologies, and redress in Australia and Canada. 


Margaret D. Jacobs, Chancellor’s Professor of History at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, is the author of the Bancroft Prize–winning White Mother to a Dark Race: Settler Colonialism, Maternalism, and the Removal of Indigenous Children in the American West and Australia, 1880–1940 (Nebraska, 2009) and Engendered Encounters: Feminism and Pueblo Cultures, 1879–1934 (Nebraska, 1999).

"[A Generation Removed is] a solid account that calls for "a full historical reckoning" of this devastating chapter in the treatment of Native Americans."—Kirkus

“Using compelling stories and weighty evidence, Jacobs has uncovered a modern and ongoing story of child-stealing in the United States. She lays out the shocking history of Native American adoption and the good liberal logic that enabled it in a page-turner of a book.”—Anne F. Hyde, Bancroft Prize–winning author of Empires, Nations, and Families: A History of the North American West, 1800–1860

“Jacobs brings deep scholarship to a topic of searing national and transnational importance. In a respectful, clear voice, she guides the reader on a journey into the most intimate corridors of settler colonialism. This is a complex and often heart-wrenching history that provides salutary lessons for the future.”—Ann McGrath, director of the Australian Centre for Indigenous History at Australian National University and coauthor of How to Write History That People Want to Read

“Margaret Jacobs once again demonstrates her genius for writing history that combines penetrating analysis with heart-wrenching stories. Beautifully written, deeply researched, this important and amazing book examines a subject largely unknown to the public at large but all too familiar to Indigenous peoples who have suffered the pain and indignity of child removal.”—David Wallace Adams, author of Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience, 1875–1928

A Generation Removed will find a large and interested readership among researchers, university students (of all levels), as well as the broader community of people involved in adoption. This book is also clearly written and is sophisticated without being overly specialized or jargon-ridden. . . . An admirable book, compelling to read despite the tragic stories it recounts.”—Karen Dubinsky, author of Babies without Borders: Adoption and Migration across the Americas 


I will be posting a review here as soon as I finish it! Amazon has lots of good copies (new and used)...We have been waiting for this book, believe me - this brilliant academic has found the proof of genocide via adoption, Lyslo's work and so much more............ Trace/Lara

Lakota Law Project

ICWA headlines

ICWA headlines
click to read

ICWA

Congress enacted the ICWA to protect the best interests of Indian children and to prevent the erosion of tribal ties and cultural heritage by preserving future Indian generations. In enacting the ICWA, Congress declared that “it is the policy of this Nation to protect the best interests of Indian children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families by the establishment of minimum Federal standards for the removal of Indian children from their families and the placement of such children in foster or adoptive homes which will reflect the unique values of Indian culture…” (25 U.S.C. § 1902.)

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