FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Indian Adoption Projects survivors write new history in new book Called Home: The RoadMap
GREENFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS (2016) — Blue Hand Books Collective in Western Massachusetts has published a second edition of CALLED HOME: The RoadMap Vol. 2 [in the Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects book series]. This edition has been revised and updated with a new book cover. It includes a new essay The RoadMap: DNA and ICWA, devoted to those adoptees still searching, offering tips on how to open sealed adoption files, how to use DNA tests and the services of search angels, and how the recently-revised Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 could help them.
The Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects book series [Two Worlds Vol. 1; Called Home: The RoadMap Vol. 2; Stolen Generations Vol. 3; and a new poetry collection In The Veins Vol. 4 to be published in 2016] exposes a dark chapter of North American history when First Nations and American Indian children were forced to attend residential boarding schools, or were taken from their tribal parents under the government-sponsored Indian Adoption Projects and ARENA. These actions and programs were largely overlooked this past century by historians and scholars. Canada did issue an apology for its Sixties Scoop of adoptees in recent years, but the US has not.
Book series editor, journalist and Native American adoptee Trace Lara Hentz, explains, “Americans and Canadians are only now becoming aware of these genocidal programs specifically targeting Native American and First Nations children. Adoptees called the Sixties Scoop in Canada are filing a class action lawsuit in 2016. For me, it was essential to find these children-now-adults and give them a voice, to write their own story in first-person narratives.
“These writers don’t spare us any details of what it was like growing up outside of their culture then trying to fit back in. They are not “angry bitter” but changed by their experience of being adopted, losing contact with their culture and tribal families. (Many were small children and separated from their siblings, too… heartbreaking to read.)
“Finding your way back home is usually the most challenging part. Then come the intricacies of reunions with family members. Remember, generations of families in Indian Country were affected and adoption does change all of us. That is the dilemma: adoptees feel we don’t know enough to fit back in but we have to be home with our relatives to learn or re-learn what we missed!”
Writing personal experience actually heals you in many ways, she said. “The changes I have noticed in the writers in Two Worlds, Called Home and Stolen Generations (the series up to now) is very significant. Each has grown more secure in themselves, most are still in reunions, and they have developed a unique voice as writers. Some of them had never been asked to share these personal details and for some, yes, writing about being adopted was scary, not easy at all.”
There is no shortage of talent among Native Americans, and these writers are from across North American (and one Lost Bird is from Ireland via Newfoundland and another is a Lakota Dakota who was living in Germany and is now back living on his reservation in Rosebud, South Dakota.)
“As much as I changed in the past ten years, readers of this book series will see this clearly in the updates from the adoptees/writers in part two of Called Home,” Hentz said, who wrote her own memoir One Small Sacrifice over a five-year period.
Called Home covers topics like DNA tests, Baby Veronica (in depth), the movie PHILOMENA, Stolen Generations (and 60s Scoop) history and historical facts like OPERATION PAPOOSE, one of Arnold Lyslo’s Indian Adoption Projects.
“My husband Herb was saying that our press release needs to interest people who are not adopted,” Hentz said. “He said lots of people have difficulties being with their own family members. That is definitely true.
“So the question is: will the general public care to know that thousands of American Indian and First Nations children were adopted out to white families prior to the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978? Will they care that not every adoption was magical or perfect? Will they care that adoptees have opinions about their own experiences and about the BABY V case which stunned many of us adoptees called Lost Birds? Do Americans and others want to know what happened to LOST BIRDS in history? That remains to be seen,” Hentz said. “As a matter of record, every adoptee in Called Home wanted to find and reunite with their tribal relatives. These are mini-biographies with twists and turns, filled with such courage!”
In Part Three, there is a section in the book for adoptees that are still searching and have been told that one or both birthparents are Native American.
“They are all excellent essays, but Levi’s THE HOLOCAUST SELF will definitely stop you in your tracks,” Hentz said. “It applies to many humans who are marginalized, but especially Native Americans and adoptees in general.”
Hentz said her co-Editor Patricia Busbee’s introduction in the book is brilliant and heart-wrenching as she shares her reunion with siblings and shares pieces of the past in her adoptive mother’s diary.
Quote from the popular American Indian Adoptees blog [www.splitfeathers.blogspot.com]:
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….
***Here’s an excerpt from a new writer Cynthia Lammers (who has found she has 5 brothers and they are Lakota.)
…My case worker told me I had to write a letter to my birth mother, explaining why I wanted to know her. I did this and sent it to her. Then I had to do some legal paperwork for the State of Nebraska and pay $15 to have it processed. Then I later received a phone call from my case worker, telling me to come to Omaha on a certain date. That I was not to come alone, to have a friend or family member come with me. My best friend Susan went with me to Omaha. We had no idea what this was about to happen? Was I finally going to meet my birth mother? We arrived at the address that I was given at the time they told us to be there. We were at a College Campus, in a classroom, filled with about 50- 60 people, sitting at round tables with 6-8 people at each table. We ate lunch. Then a Native American man started the meeting with a prayer. Then several different Native men and woman got up to speak, each one telling a story about their lives. The strange thing was, almost every story was almost the same about how they grew up and who they grew up with. Native people growing up in white families. We were all adopted. We all had alcoholic mothers who couldn’t take care of us. We all felt lost at some point in our lives and maybe some of us still did. We all had questions about who we really were. What was our Indian Culture or Heritage about, we didn’t know. Were we all related? Probably not, I thought to myself. Then suddenly, it hit me, I turned and looked at my caseworker from the Children’s Home. She had tears running down her face. I said to her, “You have been lying to me all these years, haven’t you?” She began to cry. I began to cry. Once I got myself back together, I told her it probably wasn’t her fault, that she was just doing her job. She’d been telling me what she was told to tell me…”
“I am honored to be in this anthology, too,” Hentz said, writing as an adoptee with her own reunion with her mixed Native American father Earl Bland. “With this series, the writers share what they want, how they want. I look forward to see how these incredible stories reach new hands and make new history in North America.”
The second edition of Called Home: The RoadMap (ISBN: 978-0692700334, $12.96) is on Amazon. An e-book version is on Kindle. FMI: http://www.splitfeathers.blogspot.com
“For Lost Birds/adoptees coming after us, when they find this new book and the earlier anthology TWO WORLDS, adoptees themselves documented this history and evidence. We have created a roadmap, a resource for new adoptees who will wish to journey back to their First Nations and understand exactly what happened and why. There is no doubt in my mind that adoption changes us, clouds the mind and steals years of our lives, but there is something non-Indians can never steal and that is our dreams and the truth we are resilient!”
PHOTOS Available: All the adoptees in this book are available for interviews.
CONTACT: Publisher/Editor Trace L Hentz firstname.lastname@example.org, Message: 413-258-0115
Facebook: CALLED HOME LOST CHILDREN (please click like if you visit)
MEDIA BLOG: http://lostchildrencalledhome.blogspot.com/
New anthology sheds new light on the STOLEN GENERATIONS
Greenfield, Massachusetts  — Award-winning Native journalist Trace Hentz continues her heart-rending efforts to peel away the malodorous layers of Native American adoption with her newest book, Stolen Generations: Survivors of the Indian Adoption Projects and 60s Scoop (Publisher Blue Hand Books).
“What is significant about this new book? Everything,” Hentz said. “Ten years ago there were no books on stolen generations. Now we have more than one generation who have experienced the Indian Adoption Projects and 60s Scoop. These survivors have bravely documented their life experience in their own words in three anthologies (Two Worlds, Called Home and now Stolen Generations) that I’ve compiled so far.”
Hentz (formerly DeMeyer) has worked tirelessly since 2004 to shed light on the dark corners and secret crevices of American Indian adoptions, and by extension, all adoptees.
“For me, that is all I hoped for, prayed for,” Hentz said. An adoptee herself, Hentz reunited with her own birth family over the past 20 years. Her late-father Earl was Shawnee-Tsalagi and Euro mix. “I had to do something, as a journalist and as an adoptee to end the secrecy.”
When adoptees do start asking about their birth parents they often run into a wall of silence. Hentz offers to help them and often refers them to work with Librarian Karen Vigneault-MLIS, a member of the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel in California, who can provide genealogy and research for no charge.
In the case of a First Nations adoptee in the US or Canada, being unable to trace a birth parent can deny that adoptee and their child(ren) their rightful place on tribal rolls, their rights to ancestral land, and may disqualify them from tribal benefits they qualify for and deserve.
Indian adoption is nothing new, nor has the essential purpose changed.
It was long common policy to take Indian children from their families and communities and to place them in non-Native homes or send them to residential boarding schools. In fact three contributors in Stolen Generations were the children of parents who had also been adopted out.
In 1978 tribes fought to get the Indian Child Welfare Act approved by the federal government. ICWA’s intent is to keep Native children in tribal communities.
However, even now, some in Congress seek to overturn the ICWA.
“We are the pre-ICWA adoptees – before the federal law was signed, preventing adoption to non-Indian parents, thereby lawfully supporting kinship-care adoption so First Nations children remain in their community,” Hentz explained.
Stolen Generations is an anthology, letting adoptees tell their own stories, in their own words.
“For these adoptees and their adult children, it takes real courage to think about the past and try to make sense of it,” Hentz said. “Many of us thought we were the only one. I know I did. Many of us felt very alone, isolated, confused.”
The introduction to Stolen Generations was written by Johnathan Brooks (Northern Cheyenne). Trace Hentz (Shawnee-Cherokee mix) wrote the preface.
Among the other contributors are author Patricia Busbee (Cherokee), Joseph Henning (Cree), Leland Pacheco Kirk (Navajo), Susan Devan Harness (Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes), author Dana Lone Hill (Oglala Lakota), Rebecca Larsen (Quinault Indian Nation), Nakuset (Cree), and Joshua Whitehead (Peguis First Nation Manitoba). (Read complete list of contributors below)
“They told their story in their own way in their own words,” Hentz said. “As you read this book, you will see Native adoptees must overcome many barriers preventing them from uniting with their own tribal families, to regain status as enrolled tribal citizens.
“It’s widespread (in Canada and the US) and it’s a growing issue,” she said. “With sealed adoption records and the Bureau of Indian Affairs not actively helping, adoptees might wait years to rejoin their tribes and reclaim sovereignty.”
Hentz will continue fighting for the many generations affected by the various Indian Adoption Projects and 60s Scoop, supporting ICWA’s intent, using her blog American Indian Adoptees (www.splitfeathers.blogspot.com.)
“I just want to spare a future child the pain and loss we felt,” Hentz said.
ISBN-13: 978-0692615560 (Blue Hand Books)
Kindle ebook $3.96
Stolen Generations: Survivors of the Indian Adoption Projects and 60s Scoop; Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects (Book 3)
An anthology of adoptees’ firsthand accounts and historical background of the Indian Adoption Projects and 60s Scoop in North America
INTRO: Johnathan Brooks (Northern Cheyenne)
Preface: Trace Hentz (Shawnee-Cherokee mix)
Joseph Henning (Cree)
Leland Pacheco Kirk Morrill (Navajo)
Debra Newman (Choctaw Cherokee)
Belinda Mastalski Smith (Oneida New York)
Janelle Black Owl (Mandan, Hidatasa, Turtle Mountain Chippewa, Lakota)
Susan Devan Harness (Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes)
Dana LoneHill (Oglala Lakota)
Joy Meness (Iroquois)
Levi William EagleFeather Sr. (Sicangu Lakota)
Patricia Busbee (Cherokee)
Karl Mizenmayer (Minnesota Ojibwe)
Mitzi Lipscomb (Walpole Bkejwanong First Nations)
Rebecca Larsen (Quinault Indian Nation)
Joseph M. Pierce (Cherokee)
Mary St. Martin (Koyukon Athabascan)
Joshua Whitehead (Peguis First Nation Manitoba)
COVER ARTIST: Terry Niska Watson (White Earth Ojibwe adoptee)
“This illustration I painted years ago when I was in a very dark place in my life. This is a painting of a subject matter that has always drawn my interest, that is the Native life and the beauty of tradition, family and nature. As my sister, Elizabeth Blake, said about this painting that still hangs on my wall, “the most interesting part is that the face is not visible. That is how it is when you do not know your birth family.”
BOOK PREVIEW LINK: Once Upon A Time (via pressbooks)
Blue Hand Books Collective is a small Native American-owned publishing company based in western New England. Website: http://www.bluehandbooks.org