Essay published in High Country News – Adoption Didn’t Solve the “Indian Problem”

During the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, American Indian children were placed with white families at a phenomenal rate.  By 1974, approximately 30% American Indian children were removed from their American Indian families and placed with non-Indian families.  Neglect was cited most often, a vague term that was responsible for changing the lives of Indian children, […]

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Star Tribune Review of Bitterroot: A Salish Memoir of Transracial Adoption

Last month, Carter Meland, Ph.D., wrote  a fabulous review for Bitterroot: A Salish Memoir of Transracial Adoption, noting that there are many ways to be Native.  Transracial adoption was one of them.  This is  an important point to make.  Our families and communities have become fragmented due to the atrocities committed by the U.S. government […]

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Indian Summer

Autumn is my favorite season.  The chill in the air has once more arrived, almost without notice, taking me by surprise, as if I thought the dog days of August and early September would go on forever.  But I have to admit, the surprise is a pleasant one; I can wear my sweaters, make butternut […]

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Colonization and Adoption – A History

This first appeared in Gazillion Voices, November 2014, Issue 16 Recently, after giving a presentation on American Indian Transracial adoption, I was asked a question.   “Where do you think you’d be now if you hadn’t been adopted?” Without pausing, the man who asked the question answered for me.  “I bet you wouldn’t be giving presentations […]

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Being Indian – A Memory

THE AMERICAN WEST is stunningly beautiful.  Its images, quilted together, form a landscape that can be brought to mind with the aroma of pine that stings my nostrils, the feel of soil between my fingers, the sound of a waterfall or the taste of chokecherry jelly that Mom used to make in August.  To me, everything […]

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