August 27, 2006 (Letters from Mother; Grandmother’s letters follow)
Hi my name is M…. I think I’m the mother that wrote you. I have a baby girl who was a potential member of an indian tribe. The tribe took her and told me I had no rights to her under the indian child welfare act and gave a me a no contact order and then an exclusion order and then removed my name from the birth certificate. I have no more rights to my daughter and I have no more money to pay another atty. I paid an atty, to take me to federal court at the last minute he decided to go to superior court and that judge said that because she was identified as an indian child the tribe had exclusive jurisdiction and what they said went. The tribe relinquished all of my rights for me. the fact of the matter was I did nothing to deserve this , nor did my baby.
– Feather’s story
Because I’m white I have no rights to my daughter! This is a true statement! I have not seen my now 3 year old daughter for one year. All civil rights I thought my daughter and I had as an American citizens have completely been violated by Oregon’s Warm Springs Tribal court judges.
In April of 2005 I was living in the state of Washington. I was awakened to find tribal police at my door with a warrant to arrest my daughter then one-year-old. I tried to fight them off by shutting my door. But a tribal officer pushed the door open. I kept saying you can’t take my daughter. I kept fighting them but they took my arms and then put hand cuffs on me and put me in a police car. Then the officers went into my house, got my daughter and took her to Warm Spring, Oregon. I was left with a court order to appear two days later in Warm Spring. In this court hearing the Judge returned my daughter to me with permanent custody. She also stated the tribe had no jurisdiction on my daughter.
One year later, a judge on friendly terms with the alleged father summon me to court on the pretense of a DNA test. I was afraid to not show because of what happened last year. In the court the judge order my daughter to be taken from me at any force necessary . She so instructed the police officers to break my arms if need be. The judge then came from her desk and started to hit me on the head and screamed at the officers “do it, I won’t hold you responsible.” I could not resist the pressure on my arms so I let go. The police officer told me to let go or he would break my arms and he didn’t know when I would get help. My daughter was taken from me and declared a ward of the court. I was allowed supervised visit which never seemed to work out as they never let me see her when I made appointments. I was allowed to see her twice. Once in my mother house and once in their cps office. The last time I saw her was April 20th, 2006.
That was one year ago. I now have no visitation rights because I went public with them taking my child. This last year I have tried everything to get her back but I have had the worst luck. I can’t even give her a present, know if she is sick, how much she has grown this last year , I can’t even give her a kiss and hug. Put her to bed at night not one thing we did for the first two years of her life. I was her sole and primary care give. I never did drugs or treated my daughter in a bad way. I took three urine test and one complete blood work to show them wrong in their thinking and still they the judge refused to give my daughter back to me. I lived in a new log cabin house and went to college. Was a member of my college baseball team. My daughter now lives in a alcohol and drug infested home with 14 other people. The father is a convicted felon and has child abuse and neglect charges, the tribe does not recognize his crimes because they were not committed on the reservation. I also filed abuse charges on behalf of my daughter which the police refused to follow up on.
I will never see my daughter again if I do not get some help. I ‘m asking for any donations towards feather’s legal aid. I need people to get involved and involve others. My daughter is not tribal chattle! Feather has rights and she needs voices. Please help!
UPDATE April 2, 2007
Hi, Lisa! Its me … Last year was very hard for me, and the constant let down of not being able to see or speak to my baby has tore me apart. I have spoken to the alleged biological father and he informed that is is final that I will never be able to see (my baby) again as long he has anything to do with the process. So I have taken it very hard. I did write the the tribal court judges, and asked for another hearing at least for visitation, and my pleas were denied. This tribe and its judges wrecked my life!! …I’m afraid to be disappointed anymore. I’m using a friends e-mail’ feel free to e-mail me back. There is probaly not a day that goes by that I don’t cry for my baby. I feel like the life I once had no longer exists.
UPDATE April 3, 2007
Lisa, … I had a conversation with him and begged him for visitation and I let him know that I had petioned the tribal court again asking for a reconsideration of my case… he let me know that as long as he has anything to do with it I will never see feather again. he also will not give me any information about her and will not let me talk to her . I had a baby in december and he was born stillborn. I don’t understand why all of happened to me. … I lost everything that was important and meant something to me. … I’m still strong I just don’t want the constant let down and heart break. I will check for more of your e-mails.
Be sure to make note specifying the donation is for Feather.