Change Is Coming: Youth Suicide Pacts, Canada’s Move Away from the 141 Year Old Indian Act and more news

By Lara Trace Hentz

I am still on my hiatus, of course, but these stories I have covered on this news blog before (kinda). I will be back later in 2017. That is, if we don’t suffer a nuke someday soon.

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From August 11, 2017 at Indian Country Today

Wawatay News reported that the Canadian Army responded to a declaration of emergency by the government of Wapekeka, an Oji-Cree community of about 400, located about 375 miles north of Thunder Bay. The emergency was an epidemic of youth suicide. The First Nation asked for outside help after the third suicide by a 12-year-old girl this year and discovery of suicide pacts among some youngsters.

The Army sent a unit of Rangers—an all-indigenous unit of part time reservists—with an assignment to conduct night patrols and daytime activities for at risk youth.

Chief Brennan Sainnawap commented in extending thanks to the responding Rangers:

There were no suicides after the Rangers arrived. There were attempts but no suicides. The Rangers coming in helped our staff on the ground and the whole of the community to have a chance to rest. We were traumatized and exhausted. The Rangers gave us breathing room.

The Rangers did not approach the assignment as policing. They spread out in the community and tried to get to know the kids, but they did take custody of some suicide paraphernalia. They made lots of referrals to suicide counselors. A few kids were airlifted for emergency treatment.

As the government was able to bring in more civilian help the reservists withdrew as a unit, but individual friendships remain. If Chief Sainnawap’s evaluation is correct, the Rangers hit the sweet spot of signifying to the kids that the government cares without becoming an oppressive force.

Cousin Ray helpfully pointed out once more that the responding unit was indigenous, and it might have been harder for a unit made up of settlers to find the sweet spot even with the best intentions.

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For First Nations, the end of the Indian Act is an opportunity to return to tradition and empower indigenous female leaders

Sandra LaFleur • August 12, 2017

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Jody Wilson-Raybould’s historic announcement of a move away from the 141 year old Indian Act had to have left some Assembly of First Nations (AFN), and provincial Indigenous leaders scratching their heads. Indigenous activist leaders (land protectors, water protectors, suicide watch groups), Native Women’s Association of Canada {NWAC}, Idle No More {INM}, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP), grassroots people and the average non-indigenous Canadian are also likely, wondering what a life beyond the Indian Act means and how the move will affect them in their day to day lives.

… Let’s use Monaco as an example

The Treaty of Versailles is an agreement between France and Monaco similar to that of First Nations treaty’s with the Crown (Britain’s representative; Canada), is eerily similar in basic foundation….

Monaco has its own law enforcement similar to what is already implemented on most First Nation communities. And the near two mile sovereign state also has a Constitution of Monaco (adopted in 1962 and updated to reflect government power and legislative changes). Furthermore and somewhat, simplistically, Monaco’s agreement with France came in part by Monaco’s cessation of land to (similar as First Nation’s and the Crown’s agreement on land), France and in return, an agreement was reached wherein, a part of France’s obligation is a responsibility to militarily protect Monaco.

There are many more similarities however; the Treaty of Versailles could be a starting point in building First Nation, nation-to-nation legislation, with Canada.

First Nation government leaders, activists, FN women’s groups and all affected parties need to start the process.

The process could be as simple as surveying individual First Nation members on who they would like to see sit at the helm; in mediating the drafting of new legislation.

Read the entire Op-ED: Change Is Coming: Canada’s Move Away from the 141 Year Old Indian Act – Indian Country Media Network

 

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A new Navajo law criminalizes human trafficking on the country’s largest American Indian reservation.

READ: Navajo Sign Law Criminalizing Human Trafficking – Indian Country Media Network

 

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U.S. House appropriators did what they could before recess to limit dramatic cuts to American Indian programs proposed by the Trump administration.

READ: Trump’s Proposed Cuts to American Indian Programs Still in Play – Non Profit News For Nonprofit Organizations | Nonprofit Quarterly

 

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Museums Move to Return Human Remains to Indigenous Peoples – The New York Times

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An Open Wound: The Scandal of the Kidnapped Yemenite Children

From time to time, the scandal of the abduction of Yemenite babies from the years 1948 through 1954 finds its way back into the headlines, leaving the entire country shaken and appalled all over again. It is happening again… but this time it will not end until all the classified documents from earlier investigations are open…

During the 1950s, Yemenite children were stolen from their parents’ arms in the State of Israel. This may sound bizarre, farfetched, and even unfathomable, but it is no longer questioned: It has been confirmed as fact. The State of Israel committed a crime against those children; their parents were told that they had died, while they were actually taken for adoption. In most cases, the children had been brought to a hospital or medical clinic for some reason, and they were taken from those facilities to be placed with the new families where they were raised.

Why were the parents silent? Actually, they weren’t silent at all. They screamed. They threatened. They pleaded. They wept. But no one listened to them. The Israeli government turned a deaf ear to their cries, hardening its heart to their anguish.

As for how such a thing could happen, we must turn back the clock to that period in the state’s history in order to understand it.  The establishment viewed the Jewish immigrants from Yemen as a group that had emerged from the Middle Ages.  In their view, the Jews of Yemen were primitives who adhered to a bizarre set of ancient traditions that had no relevance to the modern era.  They felt that it was an act of kindness to those children to extricate them from a life of ignorance, poverty and backwardness, and to bring them up in an enlightened, progressive society.  In short, the children were being given a chance for a good life.  In most cases, they were given to well-established Ashkenazic families who were interested in adoption.  The adoptive parents considered themselves highly privileged.

You can understand, then, that in addition to the actual abduction of the children, there was a campaign to tear them away from their religion. Children who had been born to Torah-observant parents were raised in secular homes, often on kibbutzim whose agenda was to deny everything about the past, creating a “new Jew” who had turned his back on the “golus mentality.”

Source: An Open Wound: The Scandal of the Kidnapped Yemenite Children – Yated.com

 

THE BBC reported on this on June 21, 2017. Parents are now doing DNA to try and locate their lost children.

The 40 Hour Work Week: “Hungry Ghosts” | Bad Apples | Thirst | Rat Race

 

Excerpt: All of our well-publicized problems, including obesity, depression, pollution, and corruption are what it costs to create and sustain a trillion-dollar economy.

For the economy to be “healthy,” this world has to remain unhealthy.

(Read that again – for the economy to be healthy, the world has to remain unhealthy? WHAT the_?) (People have perfected marketing their services and telling us what we need …ie. big weddings, funerals, etc.)

…Here in the West, a lifestyle of unnecessary spending has been deliberately cultivated and nurtured in the public by big business.  Companies in all kinds of industries have a huge stake in the public’s penchant to be frivolous with its spending, and in the documentary “The Corporation,” a marketing psychologist shows just how easy it is to increase sales by targeting nagging children, and the effect that nagging has on the parents’ spending.

READ: The 40 Hour Work Week & More: How Culture Has Made Us “Hungry Ghosts” – Collective Evolution

WATCH THE CORPORATION documentary (Bad Apples)

THIRST:: Essay about THIRST (.pdf)

WATCH THIRST

Excerpt: …I arrive in a sparsely lit room where the Latvian artist Voldemārs Johansons’s “Thirst” (2015) is showing. A video of a stormy North Atlantic Ocean filmed in the Faroe Islands, the work is a single-shot visual capturing the sea in all its fury. Coupled with the waves’ frightening roars, the video truly envelops the visitor; it is threatening and immersive, drawing you in, spitting you out, relentlessly pulling and pushing. It is a powerful experience and I know my memory of it will endure. READ

#thisisnotnormal

TALK OF WORK WORK WORK and THE RAT RACE

By Lara Trace

Hungry Ghosts? …Nagging from media (esp. those horrible drug ads I mute or shut my eyes).  The rat race reminds me of the book The Reinvention of Work by Matthew Fox which I still think about now, many years after reading it!

Time and Life is too short to be a hungry ghost, modern slave or in any rat race… In Fox’s book, “in four highly provocative chapters, Fox presents his ideas on the reinvention of work as related to family, politics, education, youth, health care, psychology, art, economics, business, and science.  (Brilliant MAN!) As a critic of the old way of looking at the professions, he makes it clear that good work contributes to the extension of justice, compassion, and social transformation.” Read a book REVIEW

The Dutch Reinvention of Work

Are any US companies reinventing the 40-hour work week? Hardly. But do read this

Zappos is also turning traditional management on its head. They announced at their All Hands meeting in November 2014 that they are becoming a Holacracy.  Holacratic organizations are organized in circles.  Workers are members of several circles depending on what they are working on at the time.  Decision authority is distributed throughout the organization, with everyone focused on the core purpose and strategy.

If you worked 30 hours or less each and every week,  wouldn’t you be more productive, creative and rested? Wouldn’t you spend more time with your kids, friends and family? Wouldn’t you do more of what you love to do?

“…In the indigenous story, Earth is our Sacred Mother, a living being and the source of our birth and nurture.  Her care is a sacred responsibility and cannot be compromised no matter how much money may be at stake.  The significance of the indigenous perspective hit me full force when Karma Tshiteem, secretary of Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Commission, summed up his presentation on Bhutan’s development philosophy with three words: “Time is life.”

[I was raised to believe that “Time is money.”]  QUOTE SOURCE

I hope you seriously consider this for you and your life and your kids and how much time you allot for work and play.

My last salaried position, I worked 60+ hours, including weekends.  (An earlier journalism job was pretty much the same.) I punched in at 8 am every weekday.  We had two 15 min. breaks and a 30 minute lunch.  I was salaried so I could leave work at 5 pm but the work often required more time, more hours and weekends.  In my fifth year there, I consulted a therapist for stress-related issues (even a rash on my face!)  The stress was affecting every aspect of my life, including my health (and my skin!). I had to make a choice, and I chose to leave.

Now I make my own hours for writing/editing/blogging so I will work when I have the good energy to do the work.  I may work at midnite or all weekend.  Some weeks, it’s 30 hours+ on book formatting and publishing other people’s books. I am doing blog consulting locally too.  Charles and I are wrapping our academic writing on Dr. Thomas Augustus Bland, Red Cloud and Council Fire.  Some afternoons I watch a movie or check out VIMEO (do watch Thirst). I often read blogs on weekends and usually Mondays.  I blog in more than one place… BOOM! I often use Pinterest to inspire me as I write a fiction story about two elderly Oregon women I knew in Tillamook, particularly the one who rescues dogs.

I’m doing too much, says my hubby. “Make time for you.  Shut off the media for awhile.” This is important. He’s right.

…Ever wonder what all the tweeting, skimming and Pinterest is doing to your brain? Make information overload disappear: http://project.wnyc.org/infomagical/

I’m taking time off social media, Facebook, Twitter, and not blogging …

I plan to single task (aka write the book about dogs). Two Worlds has been edited and will be republished as a second edition soon.

You will see me visiting your blogs (wouldn’t it be something to meet up in person!?) Your comments and blogs have meant much to me and you have given me many many things to think about and consider, so thank you!

(You can read the blogs I read (My Community) by clicking around in the sidebar.)

I admit I will struggle to be single-tasking (Over-work has been an addiction for too many years. Yes, I get a lot done but at what cost to my own brain?)

See you in the fall. (Yes, I’ll be taking months off)

You might want to do this, too. SERIOUSLY, give your brain a nice long break. I need more ocean, rocking chairs and books and long walks.  You too?

 

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“The whole language of writing for me is finding out what you don’t want to know.”

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Blog Bonus: Rising Up Against Climate Change: A Reading List | The Other Slavery

On Earth Day, thousands marched in support of science and the environment. But as these stories show, the fight has just begun.

READ: Rising Up Against Climate Change: A Reading List

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TOP PHOTO:

Earth First and Last, a poem by Connolly Ryan

Source: Earth First and Last, a poem by Connolly Ryan

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Review of The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America

My review of Andrés Reséndez’s The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America is up on JOTWELL: Equality. I highly recommend the book. It’s a dense and emotionally difficult read but well worth it for the knowledge you will gain. One of the things I was struck with was that the removal of Indian children from their homes by social services agencies has its roots in hundreds of years of stealing Indian children into slavery.

Another key historical antecedent to these removals was the genocidal boarding school system, which came to the forefront in the late 1800s.

Footnote By LT  (writing a new book) (one novella fiction about dogs and Tillamook, OR)

Hey there! If you are a reader, for more history of Indian child removal, I compiled: The Lost Children Book Series.

American Indian Adoptees blog (since 2010)

In coming months/years I plan to be researching/writing on how American Indian history was deliberately colonized in print, in news, in movies…as propaganda and poop. This is a form of war.  More of “What we are not supposed to know…”

Thanks to everyone for your comments and reading this blog ❤

Breaking the “Buckskin Ceiling”: Notes from a Day Devoted to Native Feminist Art

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The Feminist Art Project’s annual “Crossroads” conference was a day of panels and performances centering queer, female, and Indigenous experiences.

[This spring, the Met announced that it would begin including Native American art in the American Art collection. Back in February, the Feminist Art Project presented its annual conference CROSSROADS: Art + Native Feminisms, a day of panels, performances, and dialogue. The event took place at the Museum for Arts and Design, a venue that embraces both craft and art — a categorical division that has historically been used to exclude artists of native ancestry from the mainstream art market. It was a day filled with ceremonies, deeply considered conversations, and moving performances, centering female, queer, and Indigenous experiences of the art world. Videos of the event have just been released and can be found here.]

Source: Breaking the “Buckskin Ceiling”: Notes from a Day Devoted to Native Feminist Art

Hunting down runaway slaves: The cruel ads of Andrew Jackson and ‘the master class’ | Osage Murders

A historian collecting thousands of runaway slave ads describes them as “the tweets of the master class” in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Source: Hunting down runaway slaves: The cruel ads of Andrew Jackson and ‘the master class’ – The Washington Post

Osage Murders for Oil

The Osage tribe in Oklahoma became spectacularly wealthy in the early 1900s — and then members started turning up dead. David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon describes the dark plot against them.

LISTEN: In The 1920s, A Community Conspired To Kill Native Americans For Their Oil Money : NPR

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Gaslighting: Protect Yourself | Quebec Suicides End Suffering | Trump: America’s gaslighter in chief

Gaslighter in Chief? I wanted to share an earlier post about gaslighting that was very enlightening. And it’s driving journalists crazy!  HERE

Gaslighting is a manipulation tactic used to gain power. And it works too well.

READ: Gaslighting: Know It and Identify It to Protect Yourself | Psychology Today

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Five suicides in Quebec indigenous communities were avoidable

The coroner added that most of the victims had not wanted to die, but wanted to end their suffering.

Source: Five suicides in Quebec indigenous communities were avoidable: coroner’s report | National Observer

Donald Trump Is Conning America With His Lies

Dear America,

This is an intervention.

You have a problem.

Donald Trump.

He’s gaslighting you.

***It’s a technique abusers use: Through manipulation and outright lies, they so disorient their target that the person (or in this case, the country) is left defenseless.

Trump is a toxic blend of Barnum and bully. If you’re a good mark, he’s your best friend. But if you catch on to the con, then he starts to gaslight.  Ask him a question and he’ll lie without batting an eye.  Call him a liar and he’ll declare himself “truthful to a fault.” Confront him with contradictory evidence and he’ll shrug and repeat the fib.  Maybe he’ll change the subject.  But he’ll never change the lie.

Evidence?  He says he never settles lawsuits.  He says he’s polling better than Clinton in New York.  He says he never encourages violence at his rallies.  He says he’s winning Latinos.  He says he’s the first candidate to mention immigration.  He says, he says, he says.

But forget all that, because evidence is for losers.  READ MORE

Donald Trump is ‘gaslighting’ all of us

OP-ED

Now Trump has brought it to the United States. The techniques include saying and doing things and then denying it, blaming others for misunderstanding, disparaging their concerns as oversensitivity, claiming outrageous statements were jokes or misunderstandings, and other forms of twilighting the truth.

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LAST ONE:  “The violence was all around us… The fear was mapped in the way people walked wide around us at the Paul Bunyan Mall.”

The myth of distance or separation (not us, over there, that other place) is one of the myths that support the whole American enterprise, an enterprise committed wholly to the notion of its own innocence and goodness.  The perversity of this commitment to the fiction of goodness (equaled only by the perversity of the violence—against blacks, against Indians, against immigrants—which is nothing less than the unwritten covenant meshed with, embraced by, our nobler-seeming founding documents because a Bill of Rights or a Constitution mean nothing without implied exclusions in the way untested faith is no faith at all) is not an act of ignorance.

Rather, the fiction of goodness is itself an act of violence.  – David Treuer is an Ojibwe writer, translator, and professor at the University of Southern California.

 

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TWEETS

If you check this ProPublica site, you can go to a database with Jared’s holdings, which are gi-normous…

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BIG NEWS: Nebraska Liquor Stores Near Pine Ridge Reservation Lose Licenses

Read more about Oglala Lakota here (top photo)

Here’s a story I wrote about Ellowyn’s life in 2007 and the road blocks to the rez… here

China’s abandoned daughters search for their parents | | Al Jazeera

The stories of three women who were abandoned by their parents during China’s one-child policy.

Source: China’s abandoned daughters search for their parents | | Al Jazeera

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For First Time, Met’s Indigenous Art in American Wing | Leanne Betasamosake Simpson | Guardian of a holy lake

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With a major gift of 91 works of Native American art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will now include indigenous art in its galleries on American art.

Significantly, the museum states that the art will be displayed in the American Wing, as previously indigenous works from the United States were sequestered in the Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas galleries.

Source: For the First Time, Metropolitan Museum Will Display Indigenous Art in Its American Wing

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  Leanne Betasamosake Simpson wants to make sure the Anishinaabe people are able to hear their own stories. Through writing and music, she has been able to do so, while also bringing the voices of her people to the wider world. The Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg artist just released her latest album, f(l)ight, on Sept. 30, 2016 and will follow with a connected book of poetry in 2017. Simpson began her career as a writer, but eventually found a way for her poetry and music to flow together and create new meaning about the past and future of her indigenous community. Q&Q spoke to Simpson about how storytelling has always been a part of her life, the accident that made her realize her poetry should be put to music, and her goal to tell the true story of her people. How do music and your writing connect for you? Poetry and lyric writing are both about storytelling for me. I want to take audiences and readers on a journey that’s not just intellectual but also political and artistic and

READ: Q&A: Anishinaabe artist Leanne Betasamosake Simpson on combining poetry and music | Quill and Quire

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Sergei Kechimov, appointed guardian of a holy lake by his community, says the indigenous way of life is under threat…

READ: The reindeer herder struggling to take on oil excavators in Siberia | World news | The Guardian

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“Wapikoni, Cinema on Wheels” Launches Cross-Canada Tour

VANCOUVER – On April 23, Vancouver will be the starting point for the pan-Canadian tour of Indigenous short films: “Wapikoni, Cinema on Wheels.” To celebrate this new adventure, Wapikoni Mobile and the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) are thrilled to present a special selection of 13 films made by young Indigenous filmmakers who have participated in Wapikoni’s filmmaking workshops. The choice of these works, with their unique stories, is aimed at discovering dynamic Indigenous voices and incredible talents coming straight from the communities.

The launch will take place on Sunday, April 23, at 4:30 p.m. at Vancouver’s Vancity Theatre.

Members of our teams will be on site to answer your questions and our projection caravan will also be there.

“Through the project “Wapikoni from Coast to Coast: Building Bridges and Reconciliation through Media Arts,” young Indigenous Canadians will have the opportunity to be heard and to exchange ideas. The audiovisual and musical creative workshops will give young creators the chance to express themselves, and the resulting works will be presented in several communities across the country. Let’s take advantage of the 150th anniversary of Confederation to have a positive dialogue and to strengthen relations between us all,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

From April to November, a caravan equipped with exterior projection equipment and staffed by two facilitators will travel west to east, covering 10 Canadian provinces and stopping in 100 Indigenous communities and 50 cities. The screenings will be in English, French and Indigenous languages.

Source: Indigenous Film Program, “Wapikoni, Cinema on Wheels,” Launches Cross-Canada Tour at Vancouver International Film Festival – Native News Online

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Next Generation Nepal | “earthquake orphans” | Reconnecting Trafficked Children with Their Families

Reconnecting Trafficked Children with Their Families. Next Generation Nepal rebuilds family connections torn apart by child trafficking and helps rural communities become stronger, healthier places to raise their children.

SEE: Next Generation Nepal – How We Work

NGN Turns 10: A Decade of Rescuing and Reunifying Trafficked Children with their Families

With your help, we have brought over 500 children home, raised awareness and started an initiative to stop trafficking before it begins.


Dear Friend of Next Generation Nepal,

It has been 12 years since I first arrived in Nepal for what I thought would be a small blip in my story. Little did I know that I was about to embark down a path that would change the entire trajectory of my life in ways I couldn’t imagine.

This journey began in 2004 when I volunteered at Little Princes Children’s Home on the outskirts of Kathmandu and met a group of boys and girls who would change my life forever. I’d been led to believe that these kids were orphans, which invoked heartfelt empathy and a strong desire for me to bring them joy in their young lives. I soon learned the truth—they had mothers and fathers, siblings and communities where they once had a full and happy life which they had been taken from. I was shocked to know these kids had been trafficked. It was because of this realization that I made a promise to do whatever possible to bring them and as many others back home. Out of that promise the seed that would grow into Next Generation Nepal was planted.

It took two years of commitment and hard work, but, in 2006, NGN was finally able to open the doors of its official office in Nepal and rescue the Little Princes. Soon after, I set off to the remote district of Humla in search of their families. This was the first rescue and reunification that NGN did.

Over the last 10 years, NGN has continued to grow.  Today we work in 31 districts and have helped reconnect over 500 children with their families! In addition to our reintegration work, NGN is now considered an expert on ethical volunteering in Nepal, and our Community Anti-Trafficking (CAT) project works to prevent children from being trafficked in the first place.

NGN has persevered through a civil war, earthquakes and constant political unrest, but we have not let anything stand in our way in accomplishing our mission. Our teams continue to rescue, care and search in the remotest parts of Nepal for the families of these children so that we can bring them home.

NGN is celebrating the joy of 10 years of rescuing and reunifying trafficked children as well as broadening NGN’s reach into bringing awareness to families and communities of the causes of trafficking and stopping it before it begins.

There are still thousands of children who have been displaced from their families and living in abusive conditions for the financial gain of their captors. Please help us to begin this next 10 years by supporting NGN’s work so we can not only bring hundreds more children home, but to stop child trafficking at its core.

With Gratitude,

Conor Grennan (author)
President, Next Generation Nepal

MORE:  After the Great Nepal Earthquake
April 25, 2016

I drove to the NGN transit home where I was overjoyed to find 17 children playing games in a make-shift tent of tarpaulins, and being cared for by our staff and —believe it or not— the Little Princes!  Yes, the now young adults whom NGN Founder Conor Grennan had made famous as children in his book, “Little Princes,” had kept their promise that in the event of an earthquake they would protect the younger children. In addition to this we had a four-week supply of food, water and medicines, so even if the roads and airport were shut off, we could all still survive.

Within the heavily cracked walls of a room at the Central Child Welfare Board, I joined the Government and other NGOs to plan what our response would be for affected children. We knew that the situation in Kathmandu was not as bad as the rural areas. But we also knew that the traffickers were already prowling the villages looking for children to remove them from their frightened parents and place them in profit-making children’s homes.  To make matters worse, several children’s homes were already announcing hundreds of new places for children to come to Kathmandu. It was like the previous decade’s civil war all over again—families would be torn apart by hollow promises of safety and education, only to be used as fundraising tools by organizations wishing to profit from the millions of dollars of disaster aid money flowing into the country.  All these unscrupulous organizations needed to succeed in their plans were children to be falsely presented as “earthquake orphans.” We had to act fast.

…A child-friendly space is a basically a large tent that acts as a safe space for children after a disaster. In the NGN child-friendly spaces, the children were offered structured play and learning activities, psycho-social counseling and locally-prepared nutritious meals. This gave them the opportunity to regain a sense of normality in their lives, and allowed their parents some much-needed respite.  But our child-friendly spaces were more than this—they also built trust with the local community, which, in time, allowed NGN to start raising awareness within the community of the dangers of child trafficking and the importance of family preservation.

By July we had established 11 child-friendly spaces in hard-hit villages where we had assessed there was a high risk of trafficking. We had also supported the Nepal Police to establish two transport check posts where we could intercept buses to search for children who might be being trafficked to Kathmandu.  When we found unaccompanied children on the buses, we rescued them, and the local government returned them to their families.

By now we were also able to roll out our awareness-raising campaigns. These included a traveling acting troupe that performed a street drama about child traffickers pretending to be representatives of NGOs to lure vulnerable children to the city; several passionate street rallies led by school children demanding an “end to child trafficking”; leaflets and posters; competitions and speeches; and a radio jingle to reach the most remote families whom we could not access by road or foot.

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An International Adoption Clouded in Deception

February 20, 2012: Imagine a complete stranger telling you that your adopted daughter, who you always believed was an orphan, was actually not. “Surreal and heart wrenching” is how Ana would describe it.
Names have been changed in the story to protect the privacy of those involved.

In early 2004, a Spanish woman named Ana wanted to adopt a Nepalese child. Nepal was still in an armed conflict and she was told that many children were losing their parents. She arranged a meeting with a representative at the Consulate of Nepal in Spain to find out more information. Ana was given the contact information for an orphanage in Nepal and started the complex process necessary to adopt a child.

After about one year, the adoption became official and Ana, overcome with joy, traveled to the orphanage in Kathmandu to meet her new daughter and bring her home to Spain. The orphanage had arranged for Ana to adopt Sunitha, a six-year-old girl with a personality that enchanted Ana from the beginning. As months passed, Sunitha quickly learned Spanish and slowly began assimilating to Spanish culture. “Sunitha was becoming a Spaniard, but I also wanted her to be aware of her Nepalese heritage. I did not want Sunitha to forget her origins,” said Ana…

Keep Reading

 

Editor’s Note
Many of the children in Nepal’s “orphanages” are there because traffickers (who are sometimes relatives) deceive parents in remote villages into allowing them to take their kids to “elite educational facilities” that are actually centers for child exploitation. In fewer instances, impoverished Nepalese parents make desperate decisions to take their children themselves to children’s homes under the assumption that they will at least have a chance at an education and a successful life. However, these parents do not think the homes’ managers would ever send their children overseas through adoption. They assume that children’s homes will care for their kids until they enter college and can work on their own.

According to The U.S. State Department website, the United States “continues to strongly recommend that prospective adoptive parents refrain from adopting children from Nepal due to grave concerns about the reliability of Nepal’s adoption system and credible reports that children have been stolen from birth parents, who did not intend to irrevocably relinquish parental rights as required by INA 101(b)(1)(F). We also strongly urge adoption service providers not to accept new applications for adoption from Nepal.” To read more about the US State Department’s guidelines on adoptions from Nepal click here.

By LT

Last year: Children left devastated by the earthquake in Nepal in 2015 were preyed upon by slave traders… Wealthy British families are buying children left devastated by last year’s earthquake in Nepal to work as domestic slaves. The children – who are as young as 10 – are being sold for as little as £5,250 (Rs 500,000, $7,468) by black market gangs operating in India’s Punjab region, according to an investigation by The Sun. I published about Nepal here.

Here is another adoption trafficking victim here.

Just remember conflict areas like Syria are ripe for human trafficking.

 

Dongria Kondh – Royal descendants of the mountain God

‘We are born of this earth, and this earth is ours. Niyamgiri belongs to us.’— Laksa Majhi

Royal descendants of the mountain God

The Niyamgiri hill range in Odisha state, eastern India, is home to the Dongria Kondh tribe. Niyamgiri is an area of densely forested hills, deep gorges and cascading streams. To be a Dongria Kondh is to farm the hills’ fertile slopes, harvest their produce, and worship the mountain god Niyam Raja and the hills he presides over, including the 4,000 metre Mountain of the Law, Niyam Dongar.

Yet for a decade, the 8,000-plus Dongria Kondh lived under the threat of mining by Vedanta Resources, which hoped to extract the estimated $2billion-worth of bauxite that lies under the surface of the hills.

The company planned to create an open-cast mine that would have violated Niyam Dongar, disrupted its rivers and spelt the end of the Dongria Kondh as a distinct people.

‘We’ll lose our soul. Niyamgiri is our soul.’

The Dongria Kondh of India’s Niyamgiri Hills have won a heroic victory against mining giant Vedanta Resources to save their sacred hills. The Supreme Court told Vedanta in 2013 that the Dongria must decide whether to allow mining on the Mountain of the Law. The Dongria answered with an unequivocal ‘No’.

 

Mother Drum | A Poetic Video Work on Native American Fancy Dancers Goes on View

The recent unearthing of a Native American City beneath the modern metropolis of Miami was the initial inspiration for filmmaker and video artist Dara Friedman’s latest work, Mother Drum.  In the summer of 2015, Friedman travelled to powwows on the Swinomish Reservation in Washington, the Coeur d’Alene Reservation in Idaho, and Crow Agency Reservation in Montana, where she met with Native American Fancy dancers and drummers.  Instead of presenting a straightforward documentation of these social gatherings, Friedman filmed the dancers and drummers performing solely for her camera, apart from the main events. The resulting footage is a poetic, evocative meditation on the power of movement, music, and ceremony.  The three-channel video, just over 14 minutes, will be on view at Kayne Griffin Corcoran starting this Friday.

A performance featuring one of the dancers from the film will take place during the opening reception at 7:45pm.

When: Opens Friday, March 31, 6–8pm

Where: Kayne Griffin Corcoran (1201 South La Brea Avenue, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)

More info here.

Source: A Poetic Video Work on Native American Fancy Dancers Goes on View

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