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Howdy! We've amassed tons of information and important history on this blog since 2010. If you have a keyword, use the search box below. Also check out the reference section above. If you have a question or need help searching, use the contact form at the bottom of the blog. Contact Trace Hentz, blog editor. HER NEW EMAIL:

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This is a blog. It is not a peer-reviewed journal, not a sponsored publication... The ideas, news and thoughts posted are sourced… or written by the editor or contributors.


2016: Half a Million Visitors/Readers!

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

The untold story of "Bean" Swain and Roderick Taypaywaykejick, residential school runaways | Chanie Wenjack

In the coming months, Maclean’s will tell each of their stories, piecing together accounts from reports, relatives and archival material. To learn more, and to contribute to this report, visit

Facebook event poster leads to reunion for #60sScoop sisters in Saskatoon

Melika Popp recognized birth mom's last name on birthday party poster

By Stephanie Cram, CBC News  Oct 22, 2016
Sisters Melika Popp and Kimberly Switzer-Ashong were separated from each other as children - a result of the Sixties Scoop. They reunited for the first time on Oct. 6, 2016.
Sisters Melika Popp and Kimberly Switzer-Ashong were separated from each other as children - a result of the Sixties Scoop. They reunited for the first time on Oct. 6, 2016.
Melika Popp was surprised to see her birth mother's last name on a poster on Facebook for the 80th birthday party for Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Senator Luke Nanaquetung.
It was a chance sighting that led her home.
Popp, 41, is a survivor of the Sixties Scoop who was taken away from her mother in 1976, when she was two. She was placed in foster care and later adopted by a Métis family from Saskatoon.
"There was always something missing. I didn't know where I came from," said Popp.
"I was probably around eight years old when I recognized that I didn't really belong anywhere."
After she saw the name on Facebook, Popp decided to call the phone number on the poster and ended up speaking to her aunt.
From the conversation, Popp found out that Senator Nanaquetung is her grandfather, and her sister Kimberly Switzer-Ashong was living in the same city as she was — Saskatoon.
"It was a miracle, in a way. I think it was God's work of keeping us so close together," said Popp.
Popp was given a phone number for her sister, but she doubted calling it would lead to anything concrete.
"I had anticipated that I would just leave a message and we would play phone tag back and forth, but it happened so quickly.… She answered the phone and we talked," said Popp.
"It's a huge blessing to come across her, but at the same time, it's bittersweet, because we were both removed from each other's life due to being colonized."

'The timing was right' 

The sisters ended up meeting in person on Oct. 6.
Switzer-Ashong, 39, said she always imagined meeting her sister would be emotional, but she was surprised by how calm she was.
"I'm almost 40 years old. I think I was just ready for it," said Switzer-Ashong. "It was natural. I embraced her. The timing was right."
The sisters only met two weeks ago, but they are already spending lots of time together.
"Our children are going to be part of each other's lives, and we plan on making up for time lost," said Popp.
Popp has shared her story with audiences, speaking about the Sixties Scoop and the practice of coercive sterilization of Indigenous women in Canada, which also happened to her.
Popp is part of a class-action lawsuit against the federal government for Sixties Scoop survivors from Saskatchewan. Currently she is helping her sister join the lawsuit.
"We lost our culture, we lost our identity, we lost our language, we lost our family," said Popp. "And you know, that really impacted our self-concept and our self-esteem as Indigenous women."
The sisters hope their story will inspire other survivors of the Sixties Scoop to find their family members.
"With raising national awareness, it helps encourage and inspire transformative change and healing for survivors and people who suffered at the hands of the federal and provincial governments," said Popp.

Related Stories

Friday, October 21, 2016

Tribal Court Judges and Montana Judges Connect #ICWA

Judges connect at conference in Polson

POLSON, MT — Montana District Court judges, water judges, workers’ compensation judges and Montana Supreme Court Justices met at Red Lion Inn in Polson last week for the bi-yearly meeting of the Montana Judges Association, where they exchanged ideas, learned new laws, and got to know each other face to face.

This year Tribal Court Judges from across Montana were invited to join the conference.

“We have the advantage of having a good relations with our tribal judges,” said Twentieth Judicial District Judge Deborah Kim Christopher, president of the Association. “It was really special.” The Association is a nonprofit organization that works to improve the quality of the judicial system, continue education, and provide a forum for the exchange of information and ideas, according to their website. The conference is educational in nature as judges must earn 15 continuing legal education credits per year.

“They were all here making an effort to coordinate and care about what we are doing within the context of what we can accomplish under the law,” Christopher said.

The National Judicial College presented information about the Indian Child Welfare Act, a federally-imposed mandatory regulation for how courts must treat tribal children. The conferences gave judges the opportunity to discuss issues, such as which court has jurisdiction over the cases and how to best maintain family relationships.

“That is why it’s really cool to have tribal judges here,” Christopher said. “Most of the other reservations are closed, but even courts not on reservations must follow the regulations, taking into account social and cultural backgrounds.”

Other larger issues focused on child pornography and how quickly kids can be made a victim in social media, plus what new changes to laws must be taken into account, and how secondary trauma is impacting judges and attorneys.

Polson businesses showed Montana hospitality to the visiting judges, museums opened their doors, and the Polson Chamber of Commerce provided informational bags. Rob and Halley Quist provided music, Polson Mayor Heather Knutson gave a tour of Country Pasta in Polson, Vine and Tap hosted a social time, and other local restaurants and business just treated the judges “really, really well,” Christopher said. “The judges were made to feel welcome, and they said so.”

Meeting face to face and just talking with each other was the highlight of the conference, Christopher said, which helps reach across cultural borders.

“People to people, Montanans can always get things done,” she said

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Stephanie Woodard: The Police Killings Noone is Talking About

Native Americans killed by police (L to R) from top: Marcus Lee, Lance McIntire, Daniel Covarrubias, Raymond Eacret, Jessie Lee Rose, Jacqueline Salyers, Mah-hi-vist Goodblanket, Richard Estrada, Jeanetta Riley, Larry Kobuk, Jamie Lee Brave Heart, Loreal Tsingine, Corey Kanosh, Allen Locke, Sarah Lee Circle Bear
Hi Readers,
You may recall Stephanie Woodard for her excellent writing in the anthology TWO WORLDS.
She has reported on adoptees many times.

This new report is just as disturbing. Please read. 

"The Police Killings No One Is Talking About": Native Americans Most Likely to be Killed by Cops

A new investigation by In These Times explodes myths about who is most likely to die at the hands of police by revealing that, compared to their percentage of the U.S. ... Read More →

You may recall I wrote about Alan Locke (above), who is a relative in my Lakota Tiyóspaye. Read about him and The Phone Call here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

#NAAM Lost Children Book Series #60sScoop

Just in time for November's Adoption Awareness Month or #NAAM? Yes.

Photos of the Native children in the anthology Two Worlds (vol. 1) and Called Home (vol. 2). These anthologies are a major and important contribution to American Indian history told by its own lost children/adult survivors.

On Amazon and Kindle!

ISBN-13:  978-0692700334 (Blue Hand Books)

Are you searching for your tribal family? We have the roadmap and advice you need in this book series Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects...
There is a growing need for answers, answers adoptees have trouble finding. In this anthology, you will hear their answers and how other adoptees were able to find their tribal relatives, but most importantly, how they healed....


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Called Home: The RoadMap

[2nd Ed.] An important contribution to American Indian history told by its own lost children/adult survivors, American Indian and First Nations adoptees and family... Editors Patricia Busbee and Trace L. Hentz are writers and adoptees who reunited with their own lost relatives. From recent news about Baby Veronica, Canada’s 60s Scoop, and history such as Operation Papoose, this book examines how Native American adoptees and their families experienced adoption and were exposed to the genocidal policies of governments who created Indian adoption projects. "Adoptees do need a road map and that is what other adoptees have created," Hentz said about this anthology and book series.

CALLED HOME offers even more revelations of this hidden history of Indian child removals in North America, their impact on Indian Country and how it impacts the adoptee and their entire family. “We have created a body of work, a roadmap for adoptees coming after us. Governments stole the land and stole children. It’s time the world know,” Hentz said.


The second anthology in the Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects Book Series is published by Blue Hand Books in Massachusetts. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

President Obama Signs Bill For Native Children Commission

President Obama with Native Youth at Standing Rock - AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, President Barack Obama held a Native baby during his visit to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Nation, in Cannon Ball, N.D., Friday, June 13, 2014. It was his first trip to Indian Country as president and only the third such visit by a sitting president in almost 80 years.

Vincent Schilling |10/14/16 | ICT

U.S. Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) are celebrating a long-fought victory after President Barack Obama signed their bill to improve the lives of Native youth by creating a commission on Native Children.

The commission will be called The Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children, named for the former Chairwoman of Mandan, Hidatsa & Arikara Nation in North Dakota, and for the Alaska Native elder and statesman.

The bill was unanimously passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, after being approved by the Senate last year.

As ICTMN reported, the bill will create a commission to identify the complex challenges facing Native children in North Dakota, Alaska and across the United States by conducting an intensive study.

In a statement from the White House, President Obama said, "Today I am pleased to sign into law S. 246, the "Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act," which will create the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children. The Commission is tasked with the important work of undertaking a comprehensive study of Federal, State, local, and tribal programs that serve Native children, and making recommendations on how those programs could be improved. Over the past 8 years, my Administration has been committed to working closely with tribes to strengthen our nation-to-nation relationships and to forge a brighter future for all our children. During my own visits to Indian Country, I have been inspired by the talent and enthusiasm of young people who want nothing more than to make a positive difference in their communities. From the Indian Child Welfare Act to working to return control of Indian education to tribal nations, I am proud of the progress we have made over the past 8 years. I applaud the Congress, and in particular, Senator Heitkamp, for the efforts that made this new law possible."

Heitkamp is thrilled that the President has signed but said now is the time to roll up sleeves and get to work.

“This is just the beginning stages, with a commission is now established we need to make sure this commission is held in a way that achieves results and we measure the success based on outcomes.”
Heitkamp and Murkowski’s efforts and a formal commission will address the overwhelming obstacles Native children face – including levels of post-traumatic stress similar to newly returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan dramatically increased risks of suicide, and lower high school graduation rates than any racial or ethnic demographic in the country.

“I am so pleased to see this piece of legislation cross the finish line, creating a commission established in memory of the late Dr. Walter Soboleff, a treasured Alaska Native elder and a champion for Native youth. I can cite many examples of young Native people who are living healthy lives and doing great things for their people. Yet far too many have found themselves in a world of despair,” said Murkowski.

“There is an urgent need for a broad range of stakeholders to come to the table and formulate plans to give every young Native person a fighting chance at a productive life,” she said.

Heitkamp also said Native children were of great concern to both Barack and Michelle Obama.

“I am so gratified that we were able to do this so that this President was able to sign this bill,” said Heitkamp.
Senator Heidi Heitkamp at the Fort Yates Pow Wow.  File Image.
Senator Heidi Heitkamp at the Fort Yates Pow Wow. File Image.

“We have always lived by Sitting Bull's words, ‘Now let's put our heads together and figure out what we're going to do for our children,’” said Heitkamp.
The Commission on Native Children will conduct a comprehensive study of the programs, grants, and resources available for Native children, both at government agencies and on the ground in Native communities, with the goal of developing a sustainable system that delivers wrap-around services to Native children.
For a summary of the bill, click here.
See Related: Bill to Help Native Children Passes Unanimously in House


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.

Casting Call

Casting Call
Are you still searching?

Decolonize with John Kane

Read this SERIES

Read this SERIES
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#defendicwa #nicwa .#ap .#cnn .#abc .#nbc .#ict

A photo posted by defendicwa (@defendicwa) on

“Cherokee Nation ICW (Indian Child Welfare) is supporting the campaign #DefendICWA developed by the National Indian Child Welfare Association. Our department is asking individuals to express their support by writing down how and why they support and defend ICWA, with a snapshot of their self holding their document of support. Cherokee Nation is the largest federally recognized tribal nation. We also have the largest ICW department. ICW has around 130 employees who work continuously to ensure our Native families and children’s rights are protected and the ICWA is enforced. The BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) has published ICWA regulations, which will be in full effect this December 2016. These regulations address issues in the past that were misinterpreted by state courts and blatantly ignored. The regulations make the ICWA stronger, give it teeth and (makes) more clear for state courts understanding. The regulations also address the so-called ‘existing Indian family doctrine.’ This doctrine is no more. Unfortunately, there is still misconception and misunderstanding as to why the ICWA is so significant to tribal nations. There is a constant struggle with the media whom paints tribal nations so horrific and develops a very negative perception of ICWA. We are here. We are not going anywhere, and we will continue to fight for ICWA to ensure our future by taking care of our children. Every Cherokee child matters no matter where they reside. This campaign puts a face to supporters’ words. This campaign shows Indian Country’s strong supports of ICWA.” Heather Baker, Cherokee Nation citizen on the “I support and defend the ICWA because” Campaign #RealPeopleSeries

A photo posted by The Cherokee Phoenix (@thecherokeephoenix) on


National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network (NISCWN)

Membership Application Form

The Network is open to all Indigenous and Foster Care Survivors any time.

The procedure is simple: Just fill out the form HERE.

Source Link: NICWSN Membership

Customer Review

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.


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.

from pinterest

click for more info

click for more info
Native American sex trafficking resource

Hilary Tompkins, adoptee

Support ICWA

“I came to California in 1956. I am 83 years old. I will be 84 in October. I was born in 1932. I am one of 12 children. I am the great-great-great granddaughter of Chief Richard Fields of the Texas Cherokees, and also my grandmother, who married Walker Fields, (1876-1902) was Annie Bushyhead (1885-1902). Her father was Jesse Bushyhead(1854-1906). Jesse was the first cousin of Ned Bushyhead (1832-1907), the first editor of the San Diego Union newspaper. Ned Bushyhead went to California in 1849 for the Gold Rush. The Cherokees did not do too well in the gold fields. The Cherokee women did excellent because they did laundry and things for the miners, and they made more money. I moved to San Diego from Grove, Oklahoma, actually Peter’s Prairie. I was born one-half mile from where John Ridge died, murdered or assassinated, whatever you want to call it. I was also born only a half-mile from the cemetery (where John Ridge, his father Major Ridge and Gen. Stand Watie are buried). It’s called the Polson Cemetery (Delaware County). It’s now a National Historic monument, and my parents and grandparents, and my brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles and my great-grandmother Bushyhead are all buried in the cemetery. All of my relatives were allotted land in that same area. I still own 16 acres of my dad’s allotted land. My ancestor on the Fields side came (to Indian Territory) with Major Ridge before the Trial of Tears.They came in 1837. The Ridges had slaves, and one of the slave’s names was Peter, and he cleared this prairie. It’s called Peter’s Prairie. I was born right in the middle of that prairie. Our house was a three-room house that daddy built in 1922. Six of us were born there, and the last six of us wereborn at the Claremore Indian Hospital.” Etta Jean Fields, Cherokee Nation citizen from San Diego #RealPeopleSeries

A photo posted by The Cherokee Phoenix (@thecherokeephoenix) on