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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Resolution: Michigan Indian Family Preservation Act

MICHIGAN JUDGES ASSOCIATION Resolution in support of Michigan Indian Family Preservation Act
WHEREAS, the Michigan Judges Association is committed to the
improvement of the process and outcomes of child protection cases throughout
the State of Michigan; and
WHEREAS, the Conference of Chief Justices through Resolution 5, 2011 and
the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges through separate
resolutions, recognize that tribal courts serve the children and families of
sovereign nations with the same authority and responsibility as state courts; and
WHEREAS, the Conference of Chief Justices encourages each state court
judge to communicate and collaborate with their tribal court counterparts when a
Native American child or family may be involved in a case, and the National
Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges is committed to complying with the
letter and spirit of the Indian Child Welfare Act; and
WHEREAS, the Michigan Judges Association has a history of working to
improve state-tribal court relations through Michigan’s Court Improvement
Program including: the creation of an ICWA Court Resource Guide; statewide
ICWA training for state and tribal justice systems; ICWA training for new state and
tribal judges; ICWA amendments to the Michigan Court Rules; and proposed state
ICWA legislation to encourage and reinforce compliance with the letter and spirit
of the law by state court justice systems.
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that the Michigan Judges Association supports
the adoption and enactment of the proposed Indian Family Preservation Act by
the Michigan legislature, in recognition of its ongoing commitment to improve the
process and outcomes of child protection cases throughout the State of Michigan.
http://turtletalk.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/resolution-in-support-mifpa-2.pdf


[The Judges passed this unanimously! If every state did this, we could celebrate!...Trace]

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Mila @yoonsblur: What can non-adopted people do to help adoptees feel respected in our spaces? Remember that they are guests. Remember that they are visitors. Remember that they will NEVER know what it's like to live an adopted life. Remember that they are visiting our home, our land, our territory. And hence, they need to act and behave accordingly. I like to use the analogy of a heart transplant patient. A heart transplant patient is the only one who knows what it is like to undergo transplantation. They are the only ones who know how it feels to be a transplant patient. The doctors, nurses, family members, etc. do not know what it is like to live life as a transplant patient and none of them would insist that they know what it feels like. They can help take care of the patient, they may even have valuable knowledge that may be applicable, but they still have no clue what it's like to live life as a transplant patient. Even the doctors and nurses can only help if they listen to the patient. Assumptions are dangerous and could even lead to death. Hence, knowledge is never equivalent to experience. A White person who has a Ph.D in African American studies will never know what it's like to live life as an African American. That Ph.D does not make the White person an "expert" on being African American. Similarly, unless you are an adoptee--no matter how many books you've read, no matter how many adopted children you've raised--you will NEVER know what it's like to be an adoptee. So, respect that. Sit down. Listen. Acknowledge. Validate. Do not presume. Do not dismiss. Do not negate. Do not pit adoptees against each other by saying, "Well, I know this one adoptee who..." Turn your mouth off and your ears on. That's what non-adopted folks can do if they truly want to understand and respect adoptees in our spaces.
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