I never use alcohol or drugs – not in decades anyway – and have no intention of starting. While I struggle with ADD – which can definitely make situations more adventurous if not challenging – it hasn’t stopped me from ultimately doing what I need to.
If anyone wants a fuller listing of my faults, they can find them in the book ‘Dying in Indian Country.’ There are plenty of faults in there – (https://dyinginindiancountry.com/ ).
I have a job to finish with ICWA and fully intend to do so.
In fact – following recent events and the dishonest manipulations those events exposed – I have renewed motivation. We cannot leave our families at the mercy of those bent on political agendas, greed and/or personal power.
I have had less time to work with CAICW over the last five years or so because I was in school, working on my Master of Arts: Public Policy, then began my doctorate.
I had also toned down my work over the last three years because I had been nominated to the Commission on Native Children and was advised not to rock boats for a little while.
Well…“a little while” is done. I will no longer remain ‘toned down.’
As some of you know, we have filed Amicus briefs in the Brackeen case. With the Brackeen case and others along the pipes, we might see an end to this horrid law within a couple years. Praise God.
I have also published my Master thesis – which, at 350 pages, is a wealth of documented history from colonial times as well as legislative history and case law concerning various aspects of Indian law. You might be surprised by some of the facts that came out of that research.
“The Philosophical Underpinnings and Negative Consequences of the Indian Child Welfare Act”
Further, there is the Commission on Native Children. I hope each and every one of you will SUBMIT TESTIMONY.
When you consider the testimony you will be sending to the Commission on Native Children – form it as the message you know CONGRESS needs to hear.
We need genuine talk from genuine people about the best interest of their children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, siblings, students, foster children, playmates, neighbors, “2nd Cousin’s girlfriend’s grandma’s nieces”… anyone that has anything at all to say. We need to know: What things genuinely helped the children to grow – and which things did not.
We especially need testimony from young adults that have tribal heritage – explaining what they felt helped or hurt them.
The testimony from tribal entities and their supporters, which the writers of the final report will focus on and play up, is that participation in tribal programs, tribal services, language immersion, etc, are the only way our children can be healthy and happy.
To prevent Congress from continuing to sign the lives of our children over to these tribal entities, we need Congress to accept that there is a full range of possibilities for our children – not just the politically-favored viewpoint. If the other options and experiences are not mentioned to the Commission, they won’t be included in the data as acceptable and effective avenues of healthy growth for the children.
One does not need to mention tribal programs if tribal programs haven’t been a part of that child’s experience. That is fine. One could elaborate on what the child HAS experienced as a normal part of growing up. For example – how high school sports impacted a child, or learning jazz dance, or participation in school plays, or an interest in gardening, raising sheep, playing the harp, or the child’s relationship with the church or a particular school teacher.
However, it is also important to mention experiences that were detrimental to health and growth – including whether tribal programs or services were harmful. It is very important to include those experiences if the child has had them. Congress needs to accept that this has been a reality for many, many children.
Did the above make sense? For more information, including where to send your testimony – read this post on CAICW’S blog…