Vermont’s Uncomfortable Eugenics History | #ICWA Custody Case | Dawnland | Paradise Papers | #NAAM

Vermont’s Uncomfortable Eugenics History

Read the full article by Stephen Mills in the Rutland Herald.

Dormancy Concept Trailer from Luke Becker-Lowe on Vimeo.

Link to the GoFundMe site for this production.

via Filmmakers Explore Vermont’s Uncomfortable Eugenics History

My earlier post on this

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The Supreme Court refused to hear an Arizona case that pitted a non-Indian mother and Indian father each other in a fight over custody of their children.

READ: Supreme Court won’t hear Arizona case on custody fight over tribal kids | Cronkite News

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“Dawnland,” an upcoming documentary film, follows the stories of several key individuals involved in the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

READ: The Wabanaki people are taking back their narrative | Public Radio International

***Offshore Billionaires (If they don’t pay US taxes and hide their money offshore, then THEY need to move offshore.)

click: America’s Future In One Image — What’s Really in the GOP Tax Plan 

The GOP tax plan would allow generations of the super wealthy to live tax-free. It is a plan so outrageous that one of America’s top experts in helping the wealthy avoid taxes finds it abominable. Read our explanation from David Cay Johnston.

*** November is National Adoption Awareness Month #NAAM

By LT (adoptee, top photo from my memoir book cover)

I have written on this blog about my story, my own search, my reunion, my work to help other adoptees, and the Lost Children Book Series. So MANY times. And I appreciate you have all hung in here with me on the adoptionland coverage, and the human trafficking issues. (If you have not read the coverage, use the search bar on this blog, or the Category tags.)  There are so many stories, after meeting so many adoptees. Not just Native adoptees – adoptees from everywhere.

Where are we now? Not far at all… I wrote this a few years ago:

Now more serious stuff…. It’s National Adoption Awareness Month. I call it Be-Wareness Month. Why? The billion dollar adoption industry tries its best to recruit new people to adopt. Few want to adopt a child(ren) from foster care. Why? They are too old, come with baggage (not just luggage), or already talk.  Foster care kids are the ones who truly are in need of good parents, definitely.

Over at American Indian Adoptees, I’m post lots of adoption news as it relates to American Indian Adoptees. Visit: http://www.splitfeathers.blogspot.com.  

It is a crazy world out there as more people are waking up to the reality of adoption myths (like “babies are blank slates”)(and some of these orphans are not orphans). As an adoptee I am in favor of legal guardianships for children who cannot be raised by their first families, and their kin. Children need their own name, ancestry, medical history and names of both parents, never erased but part of their legal records.

No more fake amended birth certificates that follow us our entire lives. PLEASE!

Here is a revealing 2015 post about the Evolution of Birth Certificates.

Ignorance of biological ancestry has had devastating consequences for some. In the U.K. in 2008, twins that were separated and adopted at birth unknowingly married each other. This year, a Brazilian couple found out after they were married that the same biological mother had abandoned them as infants. Random meetings amongst half siblings are not uncommon, as many have reported in the news, and on the DSR. One mom realized that a distant relative, one whom she and her children had spent time with at family gatherings, had donated sperm and was in fact the biological parent of her children.

From my friend Amanda:

Adoption Statistics That Matter. Right now, private adoption agencies are figuratively peeing their pants about the Adoption Tax Credit because they can charge more when the tax credit is in tact and as high as possible. They claim that the numbers of adopted children will drop drastically as a result (no they won’t, BTW). Blah. Here is some gross stuff that matters more:

-Black and Native children are disproportionately more likely to be taken into foster care than white children.

-Black children, specifically black boys, are less likely to be adopted.

-Adopted children are more likely to become foster children than any other child.

-It costs more to adopt a white female infant, privately, than any other child. The “fees” to adopt a boy of color are at least half of this.

This is an industry. Racism, sexism, adultism, and classism fuel it.

p.s. THANK YOU for reading this long post and watching the videos. YOU ROCK!

[google-site-verification: google237ae8173a935e46.html]

 

Ireland’s ‘house of tears’ | Origins Canada | 60s Scoop | One Small Sacrifice | and my thanks

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(excerpt) Some of the children – the cute ones, says Ms. Corless – were adopted at a price in North America, often without their mothers’ consent. John P. Rodgers, a survivor of St. Mary’s and an author who wrote a memoir about his experience, For the Love of My Mother, now being developed as a Hollywood film script, believes that the available photographs of the home were part of a marketing ploy. “These beautiful photographs of nuns in religious garb taking care of the children with chubby cheeks, white ankle socks and shoes, neat dress, it’s a real film shot. I realized that was a staged photograph,” he says in an interview.

The nuns would send letters to families describing little girls and boys they had available. “One report of an Irish health department in 2012 suggested that perhaps 1,000 children were trafficked from the Tuam institution alone,” Prof. Smith says.

Will there be a TRUTH COMMISSION in IRELAND too?

A harrowing discovery in Ireland casts light on the Catholic Church’s history of abusing unwed mothers and their babies – and emboldened survivors to demand accountability…

But the reality was horrific. They were homes of abuse and neglect; places of forced confinement for the mothers and where babies were allowed to die – murdered, in effect. Kevin Higgins, a lawyer familiar with the issue, says the deaths were “at least manslaughter.” One Irish newspaper has called the scandal “our little Holocaust.”

The reason for the homes was simple and rarely questioned at the time. The mothers were unwed; their children often called “devil’s spawn.” Set up by the government and run by Catholic religious orders, the mother and baby homes were part of a system to deal with the perceived shame of “illegitimate” children and the women who bore them.  …The rest, 796 infants and toddlers, she believed, were in a mass grave in an area of low-cost housing, built on the former grounds of St. Mary’s by Galway County Council.

READ: Ireland’s ‘house of tears’: Why Tuam’s survivors want justice for lost and abused children – The Globe and Mail

*** Has this scandal gone Global?

Many Canadians are unaware that in the immediate postwar decades, federal and provincial governments funded “Homes for Unwed Mothers” in every Canadian province. Over 300,000 unmarried mothers were systematically separated from their babies during this period.  Mothers report verbal, physical, psychological, and sexual abuse in these homes, and the Canadian government has so far done nothing to acknowledge these wrongs.  Origins Canada advocates for a Committee to Investigate such as the one held in Australia to uncover the illegal, unethical and human rights abuses in adoption policies and practices in both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous contexts. This type of inquiry may serve to validate the lifelong psychological and intergenerational damage to families by draconian adoption policies and practices, and to provide mental health and healing services to those denied them so many years ago.  – Valerie Andrews, Executive Director Origins Canada: Supporting Those Separated by Adoption

******** DECLINING International Adoptions

Americans adopted around 5,370 children from other countries in fiscal year 2016. For the first time, males outnumbered females among adoptees from abroad.

Source: International adoptions to U.S. declined in 2016 | Pew Research Center

 

 

 

 

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The $800-million proposed agreement with Sixties Scoop survivors that was announced by the Canadian government isn’t the first aiming to compensate Indigenous people for historical wrongs. (Top photo)

READ: Sixties Scoop settlement the latest involving Canadian Indigenous people – Canada – CBC News

 

And I thought I’d share some of my own experience being an adoptee.

(c)2012
2nd Edition on Kindle and Amazon

Stop a moment.  Who are you?

Stop and think about…  Have you ever considered that an adoptee doesn’t know who they are …?

Placed as a baby, decisions were made for me and my life in a Wisconsin courtroom in 1957. At age 22, in 1978, I went back to that courtroom and found a judge who luckily remembered my adoption and I asked for his help.

Many still do not appreciate or know how difficult it is to find out (WHO YOU ARE) after a sealed closed adoption. Those who don’t experience being adopted have little comparison, comprehension or compassion for its complexities, or what life is like in legal limbo.

I’m a Split Feather, a Lost Bird, an adoptee with Native American ancestry. I know this because I opened my adoption. I wanted to know my name, and why my parents gave me up, or had they abandoned me.

I wanted the truth, good, bad, both. I wanted what you what – ancestors, names, places.

Truly it was like being trapped in two worlds… (After my memoir came we did Two Worlds: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects) – now living with two sets of parents and two last names; life gets fuzzy between truth and fiction.  As a young adult adoptee, it was pure nonsense having to accept “this was done in your best interest.”  Clearly that wasn’t enough information to build a life on.  I needed more.  I needed my own medical information, I told the kind judge.

To get to the truth was all uphill. Years of uphill. Laws made it illegal for me to look or know my own name.  (How strange and confusing all this was.)

The tragedy was I felt like a lost-and-found item in a department store. Unclaimed, some strangers came in, spotted me and said “I’ll take that one.” As their child, I became invisible, unidentifiable, and perfectly suited to blend in with all the other Americans.  (But I didn’t ask for this.)

The agency Catholic Charities handled me (the newborn) and sealed my fate.  My identity and my mother’s identity would remain a secret, papal leaders decreed. (It’s still happening –  records are legally changed and locked up!)

It would take years before I could rightfully claim my identity and know what happened that I happened.

Because adoption records were locked by Wisconsin law, my decision to know who I am involved risk.  Not only would this test my courage, it could get me locked up.

It also meant I’d face the fear of my birthmother rejecting me a second time.

My memoir One Small Sacrifice tells the entire story of how I went from one of the Stolen Generations to now, today… (I was using my adoptee name when I wrote it in 2004. I legally changed my name in 2015 to Trace Lara Hentz. More INFO)

As for any settlement, the USA has not issued an apology or any settlement for the Indian Adoption Projects or ARENA (a program that moved children from Canada to the US and vice versa.) I helped to write and publish a book series so one day, some day, we will have this history to use in the courts.

************************************** AND ONE MORE THING

a little cyber ghost treat that looks good!

I really want you to know that your blogs are so good, my words are insufficient.  I often read HOURS because of you all on wordpress. We are our own community of souls putting good thoughts and ideas out there into the blogosphere. Your photography, your poetry, your reviews, your art, your writing, your books, your experiences fill me up (usually on Mondays!) I cannot thank you enough — all of you. XOX Lara/Trace

Chills, Race, Chin Tattoos, The Powerful’s Brain Damage, Really Old Fossils, Racial Imposters

WONDERFUL CHILLS! A 400-year-old gourd that Grand Chief Membertou gave to his French godfather has returned to Nova Scotia.  GOOD READ: Mi’kmaq curator gets ‘chills’ from rediscovered Membertou artifact – Nova Scotia – CBC News

 

When New Zealand was colonized in the 1800s, the ancient Māori practice of moko kauae—or sacred female facial tattooing—began to fade away. Now the art form is having a resurgence. Here’s what it means to stamp your identity on your face.  READ: ‘It’s Transformative’: Māori Women Talk About Their Sacred Chin Tattoos – Broadly

Over time, leaders lose mental capacities—most notably for reading other people—that were essential to their rise. [So the further you get away from personal poverty to wealth – your brain stops caring about the welfare of others…] READ UP: Power Causes Brain Damage – The Atlantic

The 300,000-year-old bones and stone tools were discovered in a surprising place—and could revise the history of our species.

Source: Scientists Have Found the Oldest Known Human Fossils – The Atlantic

 

 

By Lara Trace (Me-Searcher and Researcher)

Howdy Everyone! So glad you are here reading my refreshed blog.  (I hope the new template is easy to navigate too.) Every Friday or as news breaks, I’ll be posting. This is a long post so please forgive me for sharing so much.

Lots of important news happened (some posted above and below).  You might remember I wrote months ago about historical events (click>) We’re not supposed to Know.  Of course I was writing about local issues but they morphed into national issues.

There is a whole lot we are not supposed to know.  Like The Civil War! Most people hated history in school or opted out or obviously skipped class. American History is not exactly a quick easy study. I believe it was historian Eric Foner who wrote something like, “America’s history starts in 1865.”  Well, that is a BIGLY problem, even for the current President. As George Orwell said, the best way to destroy a people is to destroy their history.

On Facebook in August I posted that I am the descendant of Slave Owners. Monsters. I am still wrapping my mind around this (as a Me-Searcher) — in light of current events in Virginia and a bloody (un)Civil War we are re-experiencing now.  When I was writing One Small Sacrifice and digging through ancestry files, I found that a Kentucky great-great-grandmother Lettice Bland left a will leaving her slaves to her heirs.  Human beings sold to benefit the slave holder and family, my own ancestors did that.  Since no one ever told me this story, I wasn’t supposed to know. (But thankfully we have the internet to help us dig.) Yes, I am multi-racial, and accept my ancestral complexity with open arms and with horrified indignation. I noticed in the Bland genealogy, they were careful to leave slave-holders slave’s names absent (though many still carry the Bland name)…. hmmm.

Here’s a link to Natives talking Race (Many are mixed and proud)

“Slavery and Its Legacies” podcast launched here

Have you dug up the ghosts in your family tree? I am still learning LOTS listening to the Yale podcasts.

Many who read this blog will remember I covered the Osage Murders and then this happened: The Rare Archival Photos Behind ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ – Atlas Obscura (TOP PHOTO)

Slavery (and Native history) as our history is not taught well.  Remember the lack of truth-filled history in textbooks had a purpose. Thus we have a 2017 problem.  And we have a president (for now) who thinks out loud on Twitter.  His grasp of history is so very poor. He’d fail a basic history test like many Americans.

A human person cannot grow spiritually until they see injustice all around and stop it in its tracks. It starts now, here, with me, and with you.

Would we have all these racism problems if we had a good grasp of our own American history and what really happened here? and What is happening now?

How many people know their ENTIRE ancestral make-up?   Check out:  With the rise of spit-in-a-cup genetic testing, there’s a trend of white nationalists using these services to prove their racial identity. Read: White nationalists flock to genetic ancestry tests. Some don’t like the result…

 

What is a Me-Searcher Code Switch on NPR One | 29:33

Listen: A Prescription For “Racial Imposter Syndrome” : NPR One

Alison Fornes, an education consultant based in Salem, Massachusetts, wrote to us wanting to speak with her mother, Julia, as part our “Uncomfortable Truths” series.  Talking to your mom about identity may not seem like a conversation most people would classify as “uncomfortable,” but Julia largely kept the story of her upbringing from her daughter. In 1956, at just six years old, Julia was sent from Puerto Rico to an orphanage in Connecticut. Because of racial tensions in the area in 1956, Julia was discouraged from carrying on her traditions from back home in order to be viewed as a more desirable adoptee for a family. She spent much of her life trying to pass as anything but Puerto Rican. As Alison got older, she started to wonder why she didn’t know more about her mother’s childhood traditions back in the Caribbean. So she sat down to ask Julia about why she felt compelled to hide her Puerto Rican identity, and how she eventually came to embrace it.  LISTEN: A Family Comes Out of the (Racial) Closet – The Takeaway – WNYC

One last thing to consider about knowing your history:

Come back next Friday for more! Thanks for reading this blog! XOX

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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Louise Erdrich on ‘LaRose,’ and the Psychic Territory of Native Americans | In The Veins @BlueHandBooks #NoDAPL

By Lara Trace Hentz  (poet-writer) (founder of Blue Hand Books)

I am remiss in mentioning I’m in the new poetry anthology IN THE VEINS (released 2-1-2017) and last year I did mention the poetry book TENDING THE FIRE by Chris Felver that is coming out in 2017.   Louise and I are both that book.  NICE!

Louise’s bookstore BIRCHBARK BOOKS (top photo) in Minnesota carries some of our Blue Hand Book titles. I am very grateful to her for this. Supporting me as a small press and publisher helps me publish new Native authors.

click logo to visit them

I founded Blue Hand Books in 2011 to give back to my community, right after I did my memoir One Small Sacrifice.  Since then we have published 18 books, with four volumes in the Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects book series. (TWO WORLDS was the first anthology.)  In the Veins is Volume 4.  A portion of the proceeds from this poetry book edited by Patricia Busbee will be sent to the Standing Rock Water Protectors Camps (#NoDAPL).

Here is one of my poems from IN THE VEINS

…When People of the First Light saw ships and strangers disembark

…When the conqueror ran out of the woods firing loaded guns

…When they loaded some of us onto slave boats in shackles

Then a trickle becomes a river then a flood

…When an Indigenous mother loses her child at gun point

…When her child is punished by a nun, kicked in the neck

…When her child dies in residential school, buried in an unmarked grave

Then a trickle becomes a river then a flood

…When a black sedan enters the rez and children run and hide, afraid

…When a Cheyenne adoptee is a small boy, watching westerns on TV, he is told he is Indian

…When a Navajo adoptee is taken at the hospital and disappears, raised by Mormons

Then a trickle becomes a river, then a flood ….. of tears.

The people who chained, who murdered, who hacked, who raped, who hated their way across North America… they are still here, too.

ebook-cover-vein

Read an IN THE VEINS excerpt HERE.  My Ojibwe scholar friend blogger Dr. Carol A. Hand (who I interviewed on this blog) and my dear friend and Unravelling anthology co-editor MariJo Moore and many many other Native American and First Nations poets (some of them famous or soon-to-be) contributed prose and poems for this beautiful new book. If you love poetry, you will love this… LINK to BUY from BHB.

COMING SOON! Blue Hand Books is publishing a brand new novella by Barbara Robidoux, author of Sweetgrass Burning.

Blogging in the Trump years

By LT

Wow, 2017 and 6 years since I started this blog.  I became a journalist in 1996.

In those 20 years, many of us watched journalism change, but not for the better.  (Think about the embedded journalists in Iraq during the Bush years.  Shock-and-awe to have journalists told and shown what they report?  That war cost us billions.)  This loss of fair and honest reporting cost us more than money, as citizens, and as voters.  We do not get impartial reporting in the US.  We’re told so many lies, it’s hard to gauge/guess/judge who is more guilty – the press or the politician.  We know politicians lie but it’s totally out-of-control when media is broadcasting them day and night. (That news cycle 24/7 has made us so weary, apathy and exhaustion sets in fast.)  In the past year, many major news outlets and TV news were not doing their job as investigators, not even admitting their errors.  A democracy demands freedom of the press.  The press serves us, its citizens, its voters, its readers. What happened to the press?


We are heading into unchartered waters with this new Trump administration and the truth gets murkier by the hour. It’s obvious Trump watches a lot of TV, since he’s still a reality TV producer.  Trump’s becoming Leader-in-Tweet. [Those Twitter people should seriously yank his account.] He has a tweet for everything, it seems.


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I had a good cry last night when actress Meryl Streep said, “Take your broken heart and make it into art.” She was quoting her late friend, Carrie Fisher.  Streep took on Trump then a tweet storm exploded.

I’d been seriously wondering if now is a good time to give up blogging, but I quickly reconsidered.  Now is not the time to stop.  NOW is the time to consider and reconsider what we read, write, and how we act/react. 

Our energy is not to be wasted on fluff or gimmicks or shtick.  If Big Media/Social Media is failing us, then blogs will offer a new freedom, free and uncensored in the next four years.  But our quest is to read the BEST blogs and hear the BEST podcasts.  (I am following over 250 blogs now and plan to scale way way back.  Like you, I want to be informed, educated, enlightened, and of course, amused.)

I am thankful to blogs like fivethirtyeight.com who are reporting on Trump’s many conflicts of interest here.  Painter is concerned about Trump’s potential conflicts of interest and said laws should incorporate what we know from science. “There needs to be more effort to address underlying psychological biases,” he said.

I am thankful to Native News Online for constant updates from Standing Rock, like this.

Thanks to my dear friend Carol Hand for her thoughtful amazing blog and this article about our changing climate and effects on trees.  And to Dr. Stuart Bramhall for her

The Most Revolutionary Act.

from Twitter
from Twitter

Big thanks to Hyperallergic for a burgeoning artist movement that is gearing up for the next four years of Trump: Required Reading …good things that happened in 2016, like this Twitter photo on populism in Trumplandia, and more.] Sign up for their emails like  I did.

Looking back, we had a standoff of US military EQUIPPED to wage war against unarmed water protectors in North Dakota, and Big Media barely show up?

How will BIG MEDIA ever earn back our trust? (Like when Fox News was nicknamed Bush Propaganda News.)  Since when did journalists care so much about their own fame and fortune and clicks?  Can’t they see past their paychecks? Does greed poison everything?

We journalists do have a hard job to do, covering politics at a safe distance, building reliable good sources, counting on the integrity of publishers and editors who don’t take bribes or succumb to threats.

Where did their integrity go?  Did it do a nosedive when journalism joined up with social media, and became about who gets the most clicks and hits on their websites.  Is marketing and selling and ratings priority? Social Media has become a perversion, an invasion, a monitor, sanctioned by tyrants like Trump who can dominate an entire news cycle with a single tweet.

As citizens, we need accountability of the press and the politician.  I am sure that Trump Presidency will start a whole new wave of citizen journalism and blogging.

I will be writing here on this blog weekly, and sharing what I find worthy of your time and my own.

journalists

Thanks to all of you who blog/create/write so generously and read this blog.

I hope people, including bloggers, begin to speak up when shit really starts hitting the fan.  Trump will affect nearly all aspects of our daily lives, and at some point I don’t think it’s going to be possible to just pretend it’s not happening.

What do we do now? #Election2016

 

By LT 

(White Lash video: what DO we tell our kids and grandkids? The truth, all of it…)

I’m sure there are plenty of people gloating, in shock, or some even panicking, over the electoral vote for The Donald, as if this one particular presidency is going to make our life better, worse and/or different.  I’m sure there are still optimists out there who think that this guy will change everything and rapidly. Or that Trump is the first common man’s president, since he’s a non-politician and considered an outspoken revolutionary.

When I was editor of Ojibwe Akiing, I recall when Jesse Ventura (left photo) was that guy too.  He was elected governor of Minnesota (1999-2003) and he said (coming from a background of no political experience) that he would not meet with special interests. That was when the tribes in Minnesota requested to meet with him. This knucklehead was unaware of the federal treaties and the government-to-government relationship with tribes.  In Minnesota, there are seven Anishinaabe (Chippewa, Ojibwe) reservations and four Dakota (Sioux) communities.  Lackluster in his governance and low on experience, Ventura didn’t last long in the political arena.  [He told tribes he had used hand grenades to catch fish. Just toss the grenade into a lake and BOOM! Yup, true story.]

We’d assume the learning curve for any non-politician to take office is pretty steep.  What could possibly happen? or go wrong? or nothing happens – like with Obama who was blocked by Congress at every turn?

Other journalists and I are making a list of what is going to affect tribes in the near future with The Donald Presidency.  (Like the Supreme Court Justice appointment.) Personally I don’t think the Standing Rock protectors are safe, the Dakota Access PipeLine (hashtag #NoDAPL) will proceed quickly and some protectors could actually be murdered, a bloody sacrifice for Big Oil interests. Trump invested in pipelines.

I watched the protests last night on TV.  I applaud them but will it work?

My husband is a mix of African American and Native American.  He has lived through many presidents and has lived a very different experience than me, one that is hard for me to fathom.  Frisked for being black? The Danger of DWB: Driving while Black? Hands Up: Don’t Shoot Me (or us)??

Can you for one minute imagine that?

This is real life in America.  Not wanting to take a leisurely drive to hill-towns near us because he could be a target and shot in cold blood by some random rifle-carrying racist?  Don’t take unnecessary risks?  This is his thinking, yet I can only imagine what it’s been like for him; I cannot live his experience in his skin but I am living it my own way.

My husband could be killed. That has been and will continue to be my fear and my reality and more so, due to The Donald presidency.

What I fear most with the Donald President is an increase in racial violence and police killings of non-white Americans.  It’s a real fear, one that was witnessed in the campaign rallies when non-whites were targets, and Trump eagerly encouraged it. It’s hard to tell what “the real Donald is”, as in real life. Was his campaign all “show”? It felt poisonous. Is he dangerous and a psychopath?

I am afraid of Trump and many many other people are, too.

Wishing this would end won’t help us now.  I cannot stop feeling that it’s our reality now.

I ask for your prayers that we rise up united and reject racism at its foundation and core and not be the racist misogynist sexist country that Trump is/was/or will be encouraging.

Thank you for reading this blog! Peace and Love UNITED…

 

 

trumpwarrenpocahontas

 

***Wikipedia:  Trump’s populist[9][10] positions in opposition to illegal immigration and various free trade agreements, such as his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership,[11][12][13][14] have earned him support especially among white[15] blue-collar voters and voters without college degrees.[16][17] Many of his remarks have been controversial and have helped his campaign garner extensive coverage by the mainstream media, trending topics, and social media.[18][19]

QUOTE:

  • “From the start, Trump targeted the (mostly) white working class, which happens to be 40 percent of the country. And he’s done it not just with issues, but with how he talks — the ball-busting, the “bragging,” the over-the-top promises…  But it speaks volumes — whole encyclopedias — about the ignorance of our political and media elites that they’re only now realizing that much of what Trump’s been doing is just busting balls.  It’s a blue-collar ritual, with clear rules — overtly insulting, sure, but with infinite subtleties. It can be a test of manliness, a sign of respect, a way of bonding and much more.  Why Trump Wins

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Ventura in 2016

✓ Ventura endorsed Gary Johnson for the 2016 presidential general election.[6]

Read about the Ventura legacy:

Before Trump, there was Jesse Ventura — and an improbable victory …

MPR: The political legacy of Jesse Ventura

***Ventura’s campaign was unexpectedly successful, with him narrowly defeating both the Democratic and Republican candidates. The highest elected official to ever win an election on a Reform Party ticket, Ventura left the Reform Party a year after taking office amid internal fights for control over the party. [WIKI*]

Standing Rock Protectors | Free Leonard Peltier | Where is Media on #NoDAPL

Native American Activist Winona LaDuke at Standing Rock: It’s Time to Move On from Fossil Fuels

While Democracy Now! was covering the Standing Rock standoff earlier this month, we spoke to Winona LaDuke, longtime Native American activist and executive director of the … (watch video)  Read More →

AMY GOODMAN interview: Is facial recognition technology being used (at the protectors camp)?

Standing Rock Tribal Chief DAVE ARCHAMBAULT II: That’s a crazy question, Amy, and I’m glad you ask it, because when you have a lot of people in an area, there’s all this paranoia that is present. And we don’t have to be paranoid anymore. We need to be proud of who we are. This is a big time in history. We need to hold our chins high and show our faces. We’re not doing anything wrong. And if facial recognition technology is out there, I would doubt that it’s here. All authorities have to do is go on Facebook, go on the Democracy Now! videos, and they’ll see people’s faces there. And that’s where authorities are getting information. The people who are videoing incidents determine—we create the evidence on ourselves with these—with our iPhones and social media. I would highly doubt that facial recognition is something—we have our own websites, we have our own Facebook pages. We give all the information that is out there to the authorities through social media. [(Blackwater?) Trucks have been seen taking photos of people since this comment.]

***The “No Dakota Access PipeLine” (#NoDAPL) camp in North Dakota has grown each and every day… YES YES…we are united… “It’s historic because the 200 or so tribes that are protesting the construction of the $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline have not united together for more than 150 years,” says Jennifer Cook is the policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Dakota.

North Dakota v. Amy Goodman: Arrest Warrant Issued After Pipeline Coverage

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Fletcher Law360 Commentary: “The Right Side Of History: Obama’s Administration And DAPL”

Here:

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, hundreds of Indian tribes that support its position, and the thousands of Indians that stand by its side in Cannonball lost an important ruling by a federal court on the Dakota Access Pipeline fight (DAPL), only to learn minutes later that the Obama administration, the defendant in Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. United States Army Corps of Engineers, would dramatically reverse its position and grant most of the relief requested by the tribe.

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Seattle lawyer explains why the North Dakota pipeline protests mark a historic moment

Cape Cod Times:  …And with hundreds of natural gas, oil, and petroleum pipeline accidents that have occurred in just the last 20 years, including when Shell Oil’s Texas pipeline burst in 2013, irreparably poisoning the Vince Bayou; and the 2011 Exxon Mobil pipeline break, which spilled 1,000 barrels of crude oil into the Yellowstone River in Montana, U.S. residents should be worried that the project could move forward.

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Leonard Peltier has been in prison for 40 years Published September 12, 2016 WASHINGTON – To mark his 72nd birthday today, Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) released a new video urging President Obama to grant clemency to Anishinabe-Lakota Native American activist Leonard Peltier before leaving office. The video highlights Amnesty International’s human rights concerns about Peltier’s case…

via Amnesty International USA Releases Video Urging President Obama to Free Leonard Peltier — Native News Online

My earlier post on interviewing Peltier

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Standing Rock is HUGE news but somehow ABC, NBC, CBS (US MEDIA) aren’t covering it… hmmm. WHY? I tell my students, go look on Twitter… or read Indian Country Today News Media online and we can always count on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman!

(click links in tweets)

So there you have it… see you next week…L/T

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Survivor | Hero | Umran’s brother | you/me/we

Former Indian school student remembers good, bad times

By CHRISTINA LIEFFRING SOURCE

GENOA, NEBRASKA — Sid Byrd, a former student at Genoa Indian Industrial School, opened his talk in August at the annual school reunion with a story about his name.  “My middle named used to be Oliver, but I changed it to Howard because I got sick and tired of initialing S.O.B,” he said.

The 97-year-old (or 97 winters, as his tribe says) is a gifted storyteller who managed to slip in slivers of humor while recalling the hardships and discrimination he faced while attending the Indian school.  Byrd grew up in Porcupine, South Dakota, as a member of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe. In 1927, Byrd was sent to the Genoa Indian School to receive a Western education. His biggest struggle as a child was learning to speak English. Byrd, who grew up speaking Lakota, said English had many sounds that did not exist in his native language. And children were harshly punished for speaking their own language.

Byrd recalled a story of a little boy who was crying one night while others were sleeping and began to pray in his native tongue. He was reported and punished by being sent to “the hole.”

“God hears all prayers, whatever language,” the boy told Byrd. “Was it wrong for me to pray?”

KEEP READING

Standing Rock Tribal Nation needs your HELP with their big standoff with Big Oil #NoDAPL:

On HEROES:

According to Joseph Campbell, the hero emerges from humble beginnings to undertake a journey fraught with trials and suffering.  He or she survives those ordeals and returns to the community bearing a gift — a “boon,” as Campbell called it — in the form of a message from which people can learn and benefit.  So, properly, the hero is an exceptional person who gives his life over to a purpose larger than himself and for the benefit of others. Campbell had often lamented our failure as human beings “to admit within ourselves the carnivorous, lecherous fever” that seems endemic to our species. “By overcoming the dark passions,” he told Moyers, “the hero symbolizes our ability to control the irrational savage within us.” READ

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By Lara Trace

I’m back (blazing a bright new writing path I hope). A big birthday happens for me in a few days. I have a 9-9 birthday. This year is 9-9-9.  That can mean an end or completion. At this six decade milestone, I find myself more excited to plan the next 30+ years… There is more… more adventure, more everything.  Sid Byrd the survivor is my inspiration – 97 and still telling stories!

As this presidential campaign makes abundantly clear, no hero is going to swoop in to save us. We have to be our own heroes.

How you/me/we SEE the world and VISION the future, that matters most.

These massive overt and covert military defeats prompted one former CIA acting director to campaign for the killing of Russians and Iranians in Syria during an interview in the mainstream media. (Really?)

War is a global industry. As Americans, we don’t have bombs hitting our house and all these world conflicts are massively confusing and frightening. There are powerful people (very few) making decisions we don’t agree with or understand, obviously.

Then this happened. This image (below) of Umran, a little Syrian child, age 5, gripped the world. It shook us awake.  We ask (and ask and ask), why is any war or this war necessary?  What is the religious or political dogma behind it?  Why are there so many militarists at war?  Does war bring peace or more war?  Who benefits from any war?    Who are all these Arms Dealers and weapons manufacturers*?  [The arms industry is one of the most profitable and powerful industries in the world.] Who are the private contractors?  Who decides who drops the bombs?  Who wants What?  Is this war in Syria about oil (again) or seizing land or just another tribal conflict you/me/we can’t understand?  Who knows the truth?  Why and how did the US evolve in to this righteous world bully?  Who today is better at being the conqueror: Russia, China or America? Or are we seeing another illusion (again) and is something bigger manipulating us like pawns and puppets?

Does this small child understand the powers-that-be who bombed his village, his family and killed his brother?

Umran’s brother Ali, age 10, died from his injuries on August 20.

What I’ve learned from many elders is we are all related, all human. There will always be disagreements, feuds, conflicts.  People create reasons, dogma, and rationale to fight and make war games on each other.  We can also disarm.  We can also negotiate.  People can always choose to negotiate, to unite, to stand down, and to not kill. (People must unite.)

How in the world? MAKE PEACE in your own family, in your own corner of the planet, in your own community, in your own heart!

If you/me/we don’t, many more children will be harmed and killed.

US Has Killed More Than 20 Million In 37 Nations Since WWII *Weapons manufacturing is a $400 billion dollar industry. 6 of the 9 most powerful weapons companies are located in the U.S

READ

In a recent speech by the Pope at the Vatican, he denounced the leaders of the war/weapons industry of being greedy tyrants, profiting from other people’s deaths:

“This is why some people don’t want peace: they make more money from war, although wars make money but lose lives, health, education. The devil enters through our wallets.”

Keep an OPEN MIND!

Ask yourself: Who makes the money?

 

{p.s. Hope you like the new blog design. It still needs tweaks…xoxox}

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What VERSION are you reading?

By Lara Trace Hentz  (history buff)

 

Wounded Knee Media Coverage (New Film: Line in the Sand by Kevin McKiernan

EXAMPLE  http://listen.sdpb.org/post/dakota-midday-wounded-knee-line-sand#stream/0

Years ago I realized the “version” is what we need to examine as much as the writing itself.  It’s very very important to look at WHO wrote it and why.  Ellowyn in Pine Ridge, South Dakota shared her tribe’s version of history that differed greatly from American textbooks.  That version of my education began in early 1990s in her kitchen.

In Pine Ridge, it’s usually by 4th grade the student turns off and loses interest, Ellowyn told me.  (She was a teacher.)  The Lakota do not believe what is in the American textbook because their history is left out.  She thinks (as do many in her Oglala tribe) that it’s important history is taught at home. It’s oral.  It’s not written down.  (If you google Oglala Lakota history, it’s generally written by the non-Indian and not accepted by the Oglala.)

My anthropologist sister Dr. Raeschelle Deimel in Vienna Austria and I were also discussing education a few days ago.  (She teaches college-level history.) It’s obvious certain “subjects” (like history) are a matter of importance and priority for governments who control our education and what version we get.  Not only do they control what we learn but how much, when we learn it, and there is no legal enforcement to measure accuracy or honesty, obviously.

Do parents have a say in what children learn?  Yes, kinda.  (If you teach at home, choose the version and control the story yourself).  (Top Photo:  Rae sent me this book and said it’s very important all Americans read it.)  I plan to spend my summer reading Zinn ingesting every chapter. I am still a history student on my own.

We in America don’t even recognize the agenda and propaganda in our history textbooks, Rae said.

Sadly too many Americans have turned their backs on history, we decided.  Probably too boring.  If you went to college you might choose a certain period of history to study in depth.  (That would also depend on which professor you get and how good they are.)  Now we think it’s a general lack of interest and disgust, as in “what good is history?” to make my life or salary better… or maybe deep down we sixth-sense we’re learning bullshit (?) – perhaps.

c4cebe7e3a9bf5d636b4a784167434b41716b42It surprised me when I learned from a German journalist Monique in Munich in 2005 that Americans know more about the Nazis than the Germans do.  History again is used as a tool, or it’s not used at all.  Why would the Germans suppress their own history? She said they don’t have museums to teach any version of their own Nazi history.  REALLY!  (Of course she told me she and other Germans do learn about it on their own.  Many of their parents were sent to the Hitler’s Youth Camps and were indoctrinated with propaganda.) History/story used as mind control? She said yes.

What I learned in my Catholic grade school happened over two straight days watching Germany’s Holocaust films on concentration camps when I was in 4th grade.  I now realize how disturbing it was for me to see that as a kid.  The nuns warned us but didn’t give us an option to leave the classroom.  I choked back tears and nearly threw up. I had nightmares for months.

Much later as an adult I studied WWII and the Nazis on my own, watching documentaries especially.  (We called it my scary Nazi phase.) I needed to understand HOW people could be this way and why. It took me many years to see WHO was behind the genocide of American Indians, and Jews, and many other ethnic minority groups and WHAT they ultimately wanted: domination and land, mostly.  READ a historic SOLUTION BY GABOR MATE

Today of course I question everything I read.  My two granddaughters deserve better than what their history textbooks will teach them.  It’s my job and it’s going to have to come from me.  Oral history, at home, in my kitchen.

 

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” –George Santayana (16 December 1863 in Madrid, Spain – 26 September 1952 in Rome, Italy) was a philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist.

History is so peculiar, right?  You can look and look –and read and read — and find only glimmers of truth.  “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” It was someone who told me to look at it as His = Story (Chapter 19 Surprises in Zinn’s book is an eye-opener on Indian Country history. I humbly suggest you spend some time this summer with Zinn’s book or watch him on youtube, if you haven’t already.

 

Read this blog too! Dr. Stuart Bramhall is brilliant HERE

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THIS VIDEO simply blew my mind :  please take an hour and listen to Biology of Belief:

f24c8-adoption-visa_200x200

 

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Dealing with adoption propaganda is also a full-time job for some of us…

The war on human trafficking and adoption ebbs and flows…blogs come and go… and here’s a brilliant post from 2013:

From Transracial Eyes blog:

Elsewhere on the site we have explored the “cost” of adoptee activism [ link ], and we have heard some stories of closed-down blogs and the like.  Certain adoptee sites have erased past posts …  (My dear friend Von experienced this censorship with Blogger when her earlier site was taken down. FBI, really?)

Source: The Adoption Mafia.

and HERE

Taking advantage of poor vulnerable families is a crime.  Adoption Agencies are wolves in sheep clothing.

Adoption is really taking children from the poor and giving to the rich.  Adoption Trafficking is coercive language that in the end, the person of ‘power’  manipulates the vulnerable parent, typically the mother, out of her child.  The end goal is to fulfill the demand of wanting infertile adopters and financially benefiting the industry.  The adoption fees are disguised as the costs to ‘process’ the child for adoption and can cost as high as $60,000+ for each transaction.  It’s modern day, 21st century, legalized child trafficking.  Think of how much that $60,000 could help a community in Uganda, China, India keeping families together.  Instead it’s an undercurrent of corruption in foreign countries all happening from the demand of rich Westerners.  The middle man (adoption agencies) strips away the true identity of the child and the adopter buys the child, so he or she will become one of their ‘own’.  In the adopters minds they may think of it as saving an ‘orphan’ or a ‘solution for infertility issues’, but there is strategic modern day ‘verbiage’ agencies use, social workers, lawyers or counselors (or anyone working for the adoption industry) to manipulate young mothers out of their children and that took decades to perfect.

Trafficking in Africa (2016)

2016: Fake passport used to take adopted child Home

For more news on industry practices, go to Adoptionland.org

adoptionlandTo get a copy of Adoptionland: From Orphans to Activists visit here. (I am in this book)

***** I know my views on adoption are controversial. Hey, read me anyway. You might learn something… true?

p.s. If any reader wishes to read Stolen Generations in exchange for an honest review on Amazon, I will email you the pdf or epub. Email me: laratrace@outlook.com.  No strings attached.

Ghosts

ZOOLOOZ STORE OWNER
Me in my store Zoolooz in Portland, Oregon (1990) – yes that is a blow up shark!

By Lara Trace (called Lala by her sister in Austria)

Am I the only one?

 

Every. SINGLE. DAY…  I feel like I’m overreacting to an insane horror flick.  YEEGADS, what the hell is going on in this world?  It’s like a very very very bad movie, between X RATED and profane.  If I turn on the TV I end up swearing like a sailor.  (I do get fined $$ when I swear.) Don’t hand me that TV remote. I’ll end up watching Ancient Aliens as a marathon again.

(We had a freak meteor shower on May 17 and I still have insomnia.)

The photo is me when I had a store in Portland in the late 80s.  Yes, I liked and sold crazy shit. Yes, that is a blow up shark, dinosaur and cactus. I am eccentric. I still like crazy shit, though I don’t have those blowups anymore.

OH, the new book STOLEN GENERATIONS is out and it’s doing well.  I did a radio interview (see link below)

Something I’m working on… I am doing a talk in San Diego in a few weeks with other adoptees.

Here are some basics:

If the Native population was just 2 million and one quarter of all children were removed before the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, then (on-paper) 80,000+ children were removed from their families during the early to mid-1900s. If the population was 3 million, then over 100,000 were removed and so on…

I did pretend to be someone – and live a lie – because I’m adopted.  Ask any adoptee who has Native American ancestry.  If you are not told, you’re just another dead Indian, at least on record or on tribal rolls.

America is like that.  Adoptees, of all skin colors in the United States, are now estimated to number between six and ten million.  They’d prefer every one of us to live as an American citizen as if none other were as good or as important.  America forgets it’s very new by all standards; it just acts like its old.

Indian Country is ancient.  Our cells are identical to those of our ancestors of 30,000 years ago.  Indian kids who are adopted and raised outside Indian country eventually get it – more or less.  We get that less Indians around is best.  We get that America didn’t respect us or our culture.  We get that America tamed us, stole our land, and revised our history.  We get that more Americans prefer us tucked away somewhere.  They’ll teach us their version of our story.  We get that it’s wrong, but it’s America (or Canada).  It’s been this way a long time.

(Thirty+ years ago I opened my adoption.  Having to start this story somewhere, I started with a chronology, first the steps, opening my adoption, how I handled it, good, bad, etc.  It seemed to take forever.  What I encountered – besides shock – was me, barely alive, what I’d call living dead.  Let me explain.  I started to see that I was usually caught up in other people’s lives just to avoid living my own.  Under layers of denial, I conveniently forgot what I didn’t like to remember.  I had stopped caring about the past but it had me, all of me.)

No one is exactly sure how many Indian children were taken, but thousands are gone, probably living on the fringe as an urban Indian. That is how I see myself.

[Adrian who is my brother sent me this:  One can never tame that which is genetically wild and free….. Like the WolfDogs I love and raise,they adapt to me out of love and pack mentality….,But they will always be Wolves and if not respected as such, will turn back to that which they are genetically,born to be……………We are like The Wolves.]

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And here’s what is happening up north – my 60s Scoop brothers and sisters are leading the way… (top photo of Solidarity Rally)

via Open Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau Call for Action for ‘60s Scoop Adoptees | Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare

The history of the United States and its treatment of American Indians is very similar to Canada’s history in that there was a “necessity”, from the Federal Government’s standpoint, to deal with Indian Tribes for treaties to keep the “Peace” and to gain “Dominion” over Indian lands so that the Federal Government could carry out the theory/doctrine of “Manifest Destiny”. Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/05/22/non-status-indians-us-part-2-daniels-v-canadacrown

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My recent interview with Native Solidarity:  https://soundcloud.com/user-633130202/trace-hentz-interview

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Leland and I will be in San Diego. He gave Stolen Generations to a Hopi Federal Judge in Boston recently.
Leland and I will be giving a talk in San Diego. He gave Stolen Generations to a Hopi Federal Judge in Boston recently. He’s a great guy and Navajo adoptee- actor-jewelry designer!

Hey, your blogs are wonderful, by the way.  I’ve been reading you all like I’m holding onto you for dear life.

I will be back… as in writing again mid-June. I’m here in spirit.  Like a ghost.

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NEW: Author Site

I’ve transformed this blog over to my author website.

Sleeps_with_Knives_Cover_for_Kindle
my pen name is Laramie Harlow

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I am legally Trace Lara Hentz and I use the pen-name Laramie Harlow.

Blog Bonus (good stuff I’m reading)

I’m adding BLOG BONUS in 2016:  a mix of good stuff I’m reading and you might want to read them too!   I know, I know, you all read way too much, but this is when you don’t have enough material… a new category Blog Bonus will be there when you need it… XOX  Lara

In the News

Remembering Slavery, Again (our national amnesia?)

by Susan Gillman | February 7th, 2016 Los Angeles Review of Books

IN 2015, A YEAR OF DEBATE over the Confederate flag and intense meditation on the meaning of race in the United States, it would be a shame to miss the equally public memories of race-slavery in Britain.  Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners, a two-part BBC documentary, publicized the Legacies of British Slave-ownership (LBS), a University College London database of all the slave owners in Britain who were awarded compensation when slavery was abolished on August 1, 1834.  A Broadway musical, Amazing Grace, dramatized the story of the British slave-ship captain John Newton, who wrote the hymn that would become associated with African-American culture and civil rights struggles — and which President Obama sang during the eulogy for Pastor Clementa Pinckney, killed in June 2015 by a white supremacist who shot six other members of the AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. British novelist Caryl Phillips published The Lost Child, partly a prequel to Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, in which he draws on the long critical speculation that Heathcliff, brought from the slave port of Liverpool to the Yorkshire moors, is black.  It appears that both the United States and the United Kingdom are witnessing one of those moments when we confront what Toni Morrison said in an early interview about Beloved (1987), “something that the characters don’t want to remember, I don’t want to remember, black people don’t want to remember, white people don’t want to remember. I mean, it’s national amnesia.”

Read more: https://lareviewofbooks.org/essay/remembering-slavery-again

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Tracing Slaves to Their African Homelands

From Caribbean sugar plantations to the South Atlantic island of St. Helena, researchers are unlocking the long-kept secrets of enslaved peoples.

By Andrew Lawler| National Geographic | FEBRUARY 4, 2016

More than twelve million people crossed from Africa to the New World as slaves. Historians know a good deal about the African ports where they embarked, the slave ships that carried them across the ocean, and the destinations of these enslaved peoples.  

But they know surprisingly little about where in Africa these masses of people originally came from.  

Now, thanks to recent advances in genetic techniques, scientists are filling in this important gap in the tragic African diaspora.

“This will change our understanding of population and migration histories,” says Hannes Schroeder, a biological anthropologist at the University of Copenhagen. “What was just potential is now being fulfilled.” 

Read more: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/02/160204-tracing-slave-dna-africa-mesoamerica/

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Albany’s long, neglected history of slavery

New research, exhibit starts to tell story of centuries of bondage

By Paul Grondahl | Albany Times Union February 4, 2016

Here is a statistic that might shock you. In 1790, there were 217 households in Albany County that owned five or more slaves of African descent, a portion of the county’s 3,722 slaves, the most of any county among New York state’s 21,193 slaves counted in that year’s census.

History textbooks and conventional wisdom tend to relegate slavery as an issue of the Southern states, a shameful narrative bracketed by President Abraham Lincoln‘s Emancipation Proclamation and the grim toll of the Civil War.

But new research at the State Museum and an exhibit at Fort Crailo, a state historic site in Rensselaer, titled “A Dishonorable Trade: Human Trafficking in the Dutch Atlantic World,” is bringing slavery out of the shadows and directly onto the front stoops of Albany across three centuries.

Through historical research and archaeology, the emerging scholarship is painting a fresh portrait of a deeply ingrained system of wealthy Dutch families in Albany and the Capital Region who owned human beings and subjugated them to their will during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/tuplus-local/article/Albany-s-long-neglected-history-of-slavery-6808527.php

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Rest in Peace, Earth Wind Fire founding member Maurice White…Photo of Maurice White: HERE

maurice white

I’m reading the delicious scoop of amazing Ann Friedman: These are her to-read recommendations!

The UN calls for reparations.  A Michigan judge puts a violent cop in his place.  Toni Morrison’s obituary for James Baldwin.  One of the only black editors in publishing.  The DuVernay TestDidion in Los Angeles.  A Turkish American in Istanbul.  A masochistic tour of the British royal palaces. Why do so many incompetent men become leaders?  Women on the left against Hillary, fighting erasure.  How candidates devour black youth culture for political gain.  Mistaking feelings for politics.  A long-haired biker dude discovers how women are really treated.  Don’t call her “curvy.” What happens when a country where abortion is illegal tells women not to get pregnant?  A suicide pact as “a reasonable choice.”  The life-changing magic of dropping acid.  Craft vodka is a sham. America’s best gas station restaurants.  On not observing the Super Bowl.  The social networks of trees.  On writers and envy.  The predictable seduction of Nicholas SparksHandwritten letters from creative women to other women. Yes!

“The light is he, shining on you and me.” – the Earth Wind and Fire website on Maurice (top photo)

2016: Time to Rev Up

By Lara Trace

It’s good to be home and I’m revved up to resume a weekly schedule of blog posts. (I missed you guys [I really did] but I was reading your inspiring bad-ass blogs!) (for some weird reason I stopped getting email notice of your new posts – um, still working to fix that.)

I do hope you all made good memories this past month or so…

We traveled to Philadelphia PA twice and had a great time babysitting our youngest grandgirl (she’s a one-year-old) and of course we watched Sesame Street. We didn’t have many shows when I was a tiny kid like her, other than Captain Kanagroo. Remember him?

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Each week I may give you some of what I have been reading and these stories are truly worth a read!

Method Homes home design CREDIT Method Homes

Melissa’s story – Make It Right. It’s a Brad Pitt Project and it’s REALLY GOOD!

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How the Federal Government Continues To Victimize American Indians (no big surprise!)

…”Upfront I will stipulate that the treatment of the American Indian by the federal government has been nothing less than an egregious nightmare. It is a case study in progressive paternalism that has enriched a small coterie of privileged contractors, provided a bevy of bureaucrats with job security and self-importance, and reduced the American Indian population still living on reservations to a dystopic and nightmarish existence.

The Indian schools, at least in some areas, face challenges most public schools don’t face.  The Indian bureaucracy, BIA and BIE represent the very worst impulses of government: big, unwieldy, unresponsive to citizens, slavish to big contractors and the powerful, uncaring, and casually cruel. Where the BIA merely steals from today, the BIE steals the future. It is a national shame that this situation is allowed to persist.”

READ

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Aging out of Foster Care:

Photographer Aaron Fallon shared an idea with seven other professional photographers in Los Angeles. Together, the group collaborated while donating their efforts to a three-year project that will move and inspire you. In today’s Huffington Post Gay Voices RaiseAChild.US “Let Love Define Family®” series installment, RaiseAChild. US founder and CEO Rich Valenza interviews the group that now calls themselves the Image Hoarders about their recently published book called “Aging Out.”  READ

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1976: Government admits forced sterilization of Indian Women

A study by the U.S. General Accounting Office finds that 4 of the 12 Indian Health Service regions sterilized 3,406 American Indian women without their permission between 1973 and 1976.  The GAO finds that 36 women under age 21 had been forcibly sterilized during this period despite a court-ordered moratorium on sterilizations of women younger than 21.  Two years earlier, an independent study by Dr. Connie Pinkerton-Uri, Choctaw/Cherokee, found that one in four American Indian women had been sterilized without her consent.  Pinkerton-Uri’s research indicated that the Indian Health Service had “singled out full-blooded Indian women for sterilization procedures.” SOURCE

and watch this horror story :

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sheepRacism, Class and Adoption

An Oldie but Goodie from my friend (who I call a Thought Leader on Adoption) :

“…The mother in question has published her own book, which promotes itself as a “guidebook” for white adoptive parents of black children. Whatever her intentions, wherever her heart may lie, this should, in and of itself, set off a million alarms.” via Racism, Class and Adoption.

“…For starters is the myth that adoptive parents have some kind of unique agency and free will outside of the society in which they acculturate the children temporarily in their care. By this I mean to say that adoption, as an institution born of and reflecting its roots in indentured servitude, racism, and class warfare, does not suddenly “shift” into a tragedy based on the adoptive parent’s “awakening”. It is a tragedy, and a criminal one at that, from the start…”

“Something much more sinister is transpiring, and this shows up how unequal our words are when spoken on corporate-sponsored platforms equally bent on painting a Happy Gotcha Day for all involved…”

The “adopter narrative” is morphing and adapting in order to silence us; it is stealing the power of our words and the weight of our tropes in order to render us harmless and pointless…

(the power of propaganda is immense when it comes to the trafficking of children for profit…)

READ HIS ESSAY: The New Adopter Narrative: https://danielibnzayd.wordpress.com/2015/12/15/on-the-new-adopter-narratives/

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pass-system-card-1Another Dark Secret: The Pass System

Filmmaker Alex Williams decided to dig into this dark chapter in Canadian history for his first documentary, The Pass System.

Williams said the pass system came into effect after the North-West Rebellion in 1885.

“It was an illegal… system that was put in place as a temporary ‘security measure’ after the events of 1885 that stuck around for over 60 years,” he said.

“Its intent was, in the words of one historian, to keep [Indigenous] people out of the towns and cities.”

READ The pass system: another dark secret in Canadian history | Warrior Publications.

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AMAZING FIND!

Dr. Amy Helen Bell:  Recently my excellent colleague Tom Peace and I found out that among these rich sources are dozens of rare prayer and hymn books in Indigenous languages, written and used by both European and Indigenous scholars, missionaries and priests. The Diocese Archives also holds personnel files on six Indigenous men who graduated from the Theological College in the nineteenth-century and went on to work in churches and parishes in both indigenous and settler communities. And exposing the darker side of the Christianizing mission, the archive also holds some records of the Mohawk Institute, a residential school run by the Anglican Church in nearby Brantford. Along with hundreds of other punitive institutions, the school sought to assimilate Aboriginal children into Euro-Canadian culture in a process the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has described as “cultural genocide.” And nobody at Huron has ever looked at these sources.

Source: Rare Books and Reconciliation – Dr Amy Helen Bell

 

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favorite words?The MIX e-magazine is up and running for its second year.  Go take a read!  Send us some writing on your mixed ancestry and ethnicity! Carol Hand and I are expecting more writers in 2016… The topic is timely and important – we are all related – really truly we are –  INFO

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And if you missed this post, it’s one of my MOST popular – about HEALING HERE – it doesn’t surprise me we ALL want healing in this crazy world!

I am working on a brand new anthology STOLEN GENERATIONS with first person narratives of First Nations and American Indian adoptees in 2016 – should be out in April 2016. It’s the fourth book in this series on Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects and I am so excited to have many new adoptees in this book!

I’ll be back with MORE of everything soon … Happy New Year! xoxoxoxoxox

[I have a page on Facebook – posts will be here]

 

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We Come as Friends

“We Come As Friends” Explores the Beautiful Nightmare of South Sudan

As a filmmaker, Hubert Sauper does not take the road less traveled. That would be far too easy. He doesn’t, in fact, take roads much at all. First he spent two years on his French farm building his own ultralight plane out of tin and canvas and lawnmower wheels. Then, in 2010, he flew it from France to southern Sudan. And then things got interesting.

The Austrian-born Sauper spent the next two years flitting around the country in his rickety, two-seat, single-engine prop plane, keeping his eyes open and his camera rolling. The result, We Come As Friends (which opened in New York on August 14 and will screen nationwide throughout the fall), is an improbable, cinematic magical mystery tour of a documentary: a portrait of a new nation being born out of the ashes of civil war amid a swarm of self-professed do-good American evangelicals, expat humanitarians, Chinese oil workers, and South Sudanese power brokers — most of whom seem to do anything but good. The film comes at an opportune time, as another in a long line of potential peace deals to end South Sudan’s 18-month-old civil war has evaporated. While it does so in exceptionally subtle fashion, We Come as Friends helps explain just how things got to this tragic point.

The acclaimed director of 2004’s Darwin’s Nightmare, a harrowing study of globalization and economic exploitation in Tanzania, Sauper works in verite style and doesn’t lean on talking heads, title cards, or scolding voiceovers about the ills of neocolonialism, racism, globalization, or capitalism. Instead he allows his subjects to do the heavy lifting. “There must be a reason they’re still 200 years behind the rest of the world,” says a British Iraq War veteran, in Sudan to defuse landmines for an aid group, of the people he has come to help. Nineteenth-century “dark continent” themes seem barely submerged as the U.S. ambassador announces, “Today we are, literally and figuratively, bringing light,” before flipping the switch at a ceremony celebrating a modest electrical power project. And then there are the American Christian missionaries. “They don’t understand property ownership the way you and I do,” says one. “You were here first, but now there’s a fence here, so…” was how another explained it to locals who complained when the Americans took away grazing land to build a house for themselves.

Some of Sauper’s directorial decisions skirt the outer limits of heavy-handedness. He pans his camera from the partying of United Nations staff on South Sudan’s independence day to a lonely South Sudanese cleaning up the grounds outside or juxtaposes combat footage shot by a soldier, replete with gunfire and corpses, with a scene of white folks relaxing at some posh resort. We’re never given much context about these episodes, but far from phony, the contrasts ring true; anyone who has spent much time in the country (especially the capital, Juba) has no doubt witnessed similar incongruities.

In Darwin’s Nightmare, which shows how an invasive species of fish upends not only the local economy but the entire society around Lake Victoria, Sauper demonstrated an uncanny ability to document the everyday horrors of the developing world with an artist’s visual sensibility. The result was disturbing and beautiful. We Come as Friends shares the same DNA.

Sauper understands the power of ambiguity and its ability to involve the viewer in his investigations, so there isn’t much context or explanation anywhere in We Come as Friends. But this film isn’t about easy narratives or perfectly packaged stories. It’s about big themes told in very small fashion — a collection of discrete, seemingly disconnected vignettes mixed with stunning, sometimes dizzying, aerial footage taken from his trusty tin can, the aptly named Sputnik.

WeComeAsFriends_Sputnik-Mediterraneo
Sauper’s flying machine, “Sputnik,” over the Mediterranean Sea, on the way to South Sudan. Photo: Courtesy of Hubert Sauper

“The airplane was the key of this whole project,” Sauper said at a recent New York City screening of the film. “We are obviously Europeans … and we also repeat, despite ourselves, all these patterns. You know, like going to other places, discovering adventure. The notion of adventure is a very European, kind of colonial idea, right? Going to different worlds and the science fiction narrative is a post-colonial phenomenon; traveling through time and space and penetrating these other worlds, encountering these kinds of sometimes hostile, sometimes friendly other beings.”

Sauper wrapped up filming before December 2013 when South Sudan plunged into the current civil war. Today, it would be impossible to do what he did, though it was hardly less so then. For that alone, he deserves credit. For the documentary he made, Sauper deserves praise. Thoughtful and moving, We Come as Friends encourages the viewer to look closely and think deeply. “A lot of times … we, as filmmakers, were like ‘What the hell are we doing here?’” Sauper admitted at the Manhattan screening. “We’re just another set of white guys … and sometimes, you go, ‘Okay, we’re making a movie, but does it make sense at all?’” People interested in South Sudan or Africa or the human condition would be well-served by spending 110 minutes with We Come as Friends and answering that question for themselves.

Nick Turse is the author of Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam and Tomorrow’s Battlefield: U.S. Proxy Wars and Secret Ops in Africa. He has reported from South Sudan, most recently earlier this year.

Photo: Adolescent boy from the Bari tribe, South Sudan, apparently imitating the tribal traditions of warriors putting ashes on their body. This ash is produced from burning trash. 

The film opens at the Laemmle Royal in Los Angeles and the AFI Silver Theater in Washington D.C. on August 21. It will continue to open across the nation with engagements in markets including Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, and more. Sauper will be participating in special appearances and Q&As in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C.

WE COME AS FRIENDS is a modern odyssey – a dizzying, almost science fiction-like journey into the heart of Africa. At the moment when the Sudan, the continent’s biggest country, is being divided into two nations, an old “civilizing” ideology re-emerges – one of colonialism and  a clash of empires – with new episodes of bloody (and holy) wars over land and resources.  Academy Award® nominated director of Darwin’s Nightmare, Hubert Sauper, takes us on a voyage in his tiny, self-made aircraft constructed from tin and canvas, leading us into the most improbable locations and into people’s thoughts and dreams in both stunning and heartbreaking ways. Chinese oil workers, UN peacekeepers, Sudanese warlords, and American evangelists ironically weave common ground in this documentary.

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Hey there, this post will be it until mid-September.  Please share this film.  Go see it.  Time for a road trip and a family reunion…  XOX Lara Trace XOX

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