About Me

Susan Devan Harness
Susan Devan Harness says she was called “squaw girl” and drew suspicious stares and was followed by employees every time she entered a store in the Montana town where she was raised.

Susan Devan Harness is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Susan’s interest in transracial adoption extends well beyond the academic.

Born in Montana to a family living on the Flathead Indian Reservation, she became a transracial adoptee at the age of two when she was removed from her home by a social worker because of “neglect.”

Susan received her B.A. in anthropology from the University of Montana, Missoula, and her M.A. in cultural anthropology from Colorado State University, Fort Collins.  She is currently finishing up an M.A. in creative nonfiction in the Department of English at Colorado State University.   Susan works as a Field Director for the Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research at Colorado State University; her projects include the Our Youth, Our Future Survey, as well as the study Using a Media Campaign to Prevent Substance Use Among Middle School Youth.  

Susan is still very much involved in the topic of American Indian transracial adoption  and continues to write and lecture about adoption and American Indian assimilation issues.  Susan’s husband, Richard is a Certified Wildlife Biologist for EDM International, Inc. in Fort Collins, CO.  Their two sons, Chris and Dan, live nearby with their families.