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?


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!


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.”



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

++++++++++++ Research… hard to read…

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 :



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/


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.



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



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


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]



Fulfilling a promise to her Native American grandmother

CNN PHOTO: Rochelle lives in Glastonbury CT ( we met a few years back when I was working with the Mashantucket Pequot)

By Allie Torgan, CNN

Rochelle Ripley’s nonprofit has delivered an estimated $9 million in services and goods to the Lakota people. She and volunteers run a food bank and provide free health services, home renovations and educational opportunities

In an isolated area of South Dakota — a three-hour drive from the nearest large city — some 6,000 Native Americans struggle to survive on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.

They are members of the Lakota tribe. Poverty runs rampant on the reservation. So does unemployment, alcoholism and diabetes. Suicide rates are also high.

Rochelle Ripley is working to change that.

Growing up, Ripley spent her summers listening to her grandmother’s stories.

Her grandmother, a full-blooded Lakota, taught her about their culture and the struggles faced by the people.

“She taught us to be very proud of who we were. Our people have survived through all of the challenges that have come over the generations,” Ripley said.

Before her grandmother died, she asked Ripley to do one thing: Go home and help their people.

Today, Ripley is fulfilling that promise.

“The spirit of the people, it’s alive. But they struggle with the conditions tremendously,” Ripley said.

Through her nonprofit, hawkwing, she has delivered an estimated $9 million in services and goods to the Lakota people.

Ripley and her group help them find jobs and live in safe homes and provide them with healthy food.

Four to five times a year, Ripley makes the trip from her home in Connecticut to the Cheyenne River Reservation. Working alongside the tribe, she and volunteers run a food bank and provide free health services, home renovations and educational opportunities.

For Ripley, the main goal is honoring the Native American people with dignity.

“My grandma gave me the gift of being put on this path,” said Ripley, who is one-quarter Lakota. “To be able to both honor her and to honor our people here, that’s the reason for life.”




CNN spoke to Ripley about her efforts on the reservation. Below is an edited version of the conversation.

CNN: You have been steadily providing help to the reservation for 16 years. How do you begin to address the myriad issues there?

Rochelle Ripley: I describe what hawkwing does as a table and that there’s four legs to the table: housing, health, employment and education/job skills. And the tabletop is jobs. Until those four legs are secured and solid, we can’t put the top on.

We started by providing a holiday gift box to every child on the reservation, about 2,600. They all get new clothes, toys, books, personal care products and school supplies. It was to form and build relationships. We continue that to this day.

About seven years ago, we added a variety of direct service projects like medical and dental clinics, construction work and youth activities. Through hawkwing’s efforts, we’ve provided between 100,000 and 125,000 pounds of food, and we get in everything from beds to washers and dryers.”

CNN: Health issues are a big challenge on the reservation. How do you help?

Ripley: We really do work collaboratively with the tribe everywhere we go. We have naturopathic doctors who give out supplements and vitamins and lots of information on how to eat healthy, how to take care of your diabetes. We have a respiratory therapist meet with families that have challenges around asthma, which is also a big issue because of black mold out here. We have an acupuncturist doing acupuncture for stress management.

One of the reasons that we bring a lot of naturopathic people out as part of our medical team is because it really is paralleled to the type of medicine that our ancestors practiced. The medicines are still here all over the reservation. So many of our elders, especially, really appreciate getting that type of education and opportunity. They love getting the natural teas as part of their healing. They love working with any of the alternative ways as well as using traditional Western medicine.

CNN: You’ve turned personal tragedy into something that benefits an entire community.

Ripley: When I was child, I was a victim of a violent crime.  And during that time, I stopped speaking.  When I went to see my grandma, she did a healing ceremony on me, and we spent the day together.  She talked about our culture.  That’s when she said to me that I was born into two worlds, because my other side is New York Jewish.  And she asked me if I would promise to go home and help our people when I grew up.

CNN: You made that promise, but it wasn’t until 45 years later that you acted on it. What triggered you?

Ripley: When my daughter came to me to tell me I was to be a grandmother for the first time, that memory came back, and I knew it was time for me to do the work that needed to be done.

In my mind, things had to have improved to some degree because it was 45 years later. I just was shocked that it was worse than I could imagine. So that was just that motivation that really spurred me on to create hawkwing. It really was the inspiration to say I understood what my grandmother meant and it was time to get moving and change things. And I decided to take my human services skills that I had built as a lifetime career and form a nonprofit to begin the process of coming home and helping.

We’re all children of this earth, and we need to work together so that everyone has a chance at having a decent life.

Want to get involved?  Check out the website at www.hawkwing.org and see how to help.

In the News: THE MIX emag, Mary Beard, Storyteller Irving Howe, Richmond Slavery, Redneck Racism

Mary Beard, an intellectual genius

By Lara/Trace

If it wasn’t for the doctor’s office who had a recent issue of the New Yorker, (I borrowed it) I never would have fallen head-over-heels for (a reported intellectual genius) British Professor Mary Beard, her site TLS and her blog A DON’S LIFE (http://www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/), and twitter account, which lead me to this: http://www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/public/article1474017.ece about starting a magazine.

See? Sometimes we are lead by visionaries and great thinkers, by the New Yorker, by chance, by synchronicity, by WAKAN TANKA (GOD).

This January, it’s time to start something fresh, new. THE MIX (web-blog – emagazine – whatever you want to call a digital magazine/blog) is that fresh egg, that mind-hatching idea for me.  We (Patricia and I and friends who blog) plan to invite writers to write about ancestry in a new way, in their own way, with a look at how “mixed” we are as humans. None better than the other.

[My opinion: Race doesn’t exist. It’s constructed by people who oppress others deliberately and subtly. We are all people of color.]

Once we see how related we are to everyone else, we have a fighting chance as humans to refresh/change/reboot the planetary awareness and change our/your/their views as humans – how we are ALL related. (The Lakota phrase MITAKUYE OYASIN speaks to this – and it is a great honor/compliment to be told “we are all related.”)

So, my friends-relatives-readers, please share this post with your circle of writer friends and let’s kick this off in a good way. Here’s to JANUARY! THE MIX!  Start writing! Email me: larahentz@yahoo.com and let me know if you are interested in contributing. It’s open to EVERY HUMAN who can type and email!  [Future site: http://mixemag.wordpress.com%5D

In December an extended interview with Anishinabe Scholar Professor Carol Hand will run over several weeks.

I will be back in January with more about THE MIX…

Thanks for a great year, all you wonderful subscriber-readers! THANK YOU ALL!


Irving Howe, 1962 Photograph: Photo by Jose Mercado/Stanford News Service © Stanford University
Irving Howe, 1962 Photograph: Photo by Jose Mercado/Stanford News Service © Stanford University

Irving Howe, storyteller of ideas


Nina Howe, editor
Selected essays of Irving Howe
416pp. Yale University Press. £28 (US $40).
978 0 300 20366 0 |  Published: 22 October 2014

When intellectuals can do nothing else, they start a magazine”, Irving Howe quipped when explaining why he founded Dissent, the independent leftist quarterly, in 1954. The Eisenhower era was not hospitable to left-wing politics, and Howe’s phrase is often repeated at the intellectuals’ expense, as if it were a confession of their irrelevance. But that is not what Howe meant. He went on to write: “But starting a magazine is also doing something; at the very least it is thinking in common. And thinking in common can have unforeseen results”.



History Replays Today: Slavery in Richmond

Richmond.com | November 11, 2014 

Shockoe Bottom was a center of some of the most egregious atrocities of American history, if not world history. However, the story is not discussed enough perhaps because it is not an easy topic to talk about.

Generally, the details get glossed over especially in the form of sound bites in the debates over the proposed Shockoe Stadium.

The new episode of History Replays Today, the Richmond History Podcast discusses Richmond’s slave trade with Gregg Kimball and Maurie McInnis.

Read more: http://www.richmond.com/discover-richmond/article_53629e50-66a0-11e4-bf29-0017a43b2370.html

Redneck Racism: agenda to close down communities

15 Nov 14: “The Western Australian Government’s move to close down up to 150 of 274 remote communities has been labelled redneck racism. It is the ugliest act of racism to be seen in this nation in 70 years, with many fearing that it will pale the ugly racism of the Northern Territory ‘Intervention’. Elders, advocates and former politicians are warning the State Government to not close down the communities of First Peoples, that to do so will lead to a further spiral of suicides, despair, homelessness, to irreparable trust issues between First People and Governments but also to hate.” By Gerry Georgatos, a life-long human rights and social justice campaigner, a multi-award winning investigative journalist


Remember that slavery was woven into Connecticut’s fabric

Randall Beach New Haven Register 11/22/14

Ten years ago, Hartford Courant reporter Anne Farrow, acting on a tip from a friend, sat down at the Connecticut State Library and began reading three logbooks from ships that sailed out of New London in the mid-1700s.

The first ship was called the Africa. It was aptly named.

The crew was bound for West Africa to buy slaves and then sell them on England’s colonial islands in the Caribbean. Some of the “human cargo” probably stayed on board to be brought to Connecticut, where they were sold and owned by residents here.

Read more: http://www.nhregister.com/opinion/20141122/randall-beach-remember-that-slavery-was-woven-into-connecticuts-fabric


Museum on slave trade planned for Episcopal cathedral in Providence

Paul Davis Providence Journal November 16, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A shuttered church could soon shine a light on Rhode Island’s dark role in the slave trade.

Church leaders hope it will also help heal a divided state and nation.

The Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island wants to use part of the Cathedral of St. John for a museum that will look at those who made money in the slave trade — and those who opposed it. Churchgoers and clergymen filled both camps.

In the 18th and early 19th centuries, Rhode Islanders backed 1,000 trips between Africa and the Americas. Newport, Bristol and Providence were among the busiest slave trade ports in North America.

Read more: http://www.providencejournal.com/news/ri-life/20141116-museum-on-slave-trade-planned-for-former-episcopal-cathedral-in-providence.ece


“Policing Sexuality”: The Mann Act And White Slavery

 By David Martin Davies | November 26, 2014 | Texas Public Radio

 Charles Manson, Charlie Chaplin, Frank Lloyd Wright and Chuck Berry: what do these men have in common?They were all charged with violating the Mann Act, also known at the White Slavery law. The progressive era law has been on the books for over one hundred years – and was used to build the FBI – enforce a moral code against sexual deviancy and promote gender roles for women. The Mann Act was America’s first anti–sex trafficking law. It made it illegal to transport women over state lines for prostitution “or any other immoral purpose.” It was meant to protect women and girls from being seduced or sold into sexual slavery. But, as Jessica Pliley illustrates, its enforcement resulted more often in the policing of women’s sexual behavior, reflecting conservative attitudes toward women’s roles at home and their movements in public.

Listen to the program: http://tpr.org/post/policing-sexuality-mann-act-and-white-slavery


 Slaves Waiting for Sale

November 1, 2014 |Withgoodreasonradio.org

 In 1853, Eyre Crowe, a British artist, visited a slave auction in Richmond, Virginia. His painting of the scene was later exhibited at the Royal Gallery in London in 1861. In her new book Slaves Waiting for Sale: Abolitionist Art and the American Slave Trade, Maurie McInnis (University of Virginia) describes the impact this pivotal painting had on the British Public at the outbreak of the American Civil War. Gregg Kimball (Library of Virginia) talks about a new exhibition of art dealing with the American slave trade. Also: Jonathan White (Christopher Newport University) says many Union soldiers were not for re-election of Abraham Lincoln in 1864, and were in fact pressured to vote for him.

Listen to the program: http://withgoodreasonradio.org/2014/11/slaves-waiting-for-sale/

***** BONUS

FUCK Colonization by Frank Waln HERE

My family getting together to eat and celebrate our lives on a day that represents the genocide of our ancestors and culture is, in its own way, a “fuck you” to colonialisation. America’s colonial project failed. We’re still here, and we’re keeping our ceremonies and traditions alive. We’re still speaking our languages. We’re living our culture. I’m alive and I know what it means to be Lakota. For that, I give thanks every day.