Editor’s Note

A wave of historic discovery:  THANKS to academic author Margaret D. Jacobs’ latest book “A GENERATION REMOVED: THE FOSTERING AND ADOPTION OF INDIGENOUS CHILDREN IN THE POSTWAR WORLD.”  I have told many people this could help with a class action lawsuit for America’s Stolen Generations.

About her book:  On June 25, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Girl, which pitted adoptive parents Matt and Melanie Capobianco against baby Veronica’s biological father, Dusten Brown, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Veronica’s biological mother had relinquished her for adoption to the Capobiancos without Brown’s consent. Although Brown regained custody of his daughter using the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Capobiancos, rejecting the purpose of the ICWA and ignoring the long history of removing Indigenous children from their families.
In A Generation Removed, a powerful blend of history and family stories, award-winning historian Margaret D. Jacobs examines how government authorities in the post–World War II era removed thousands of American Indian children from their families and placed them in non-Indian foster or adoptive families. By the late 1960s an estimated 25 to 35 percent of Indian children had been separated from their families.
Jacobs also reveals the global dimensions of the phenomenon: These practices undermined Indigenous families and their communities in Canada and Australia as well. Jacobs recounts both the trauma and resilience of Indigenous families as they struggled to reclaim the care of their children, leading to the ICWA in the United States and to national investigations, landmark apologies, and redress in Australia and Canada.
Editor’s Note: I met Margaret at Yale at a conference in 2014. She has mentioned the anthology Two Worlds in her new book. I thanked her for all her work, and the research in her books. She helped us Lost Children. We hugged. We both cried.
[Photo: Craig Chandler/University Communications/University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Margaret Jacobs, professor of history and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, has just published a second volume based on her research.]


Stealing Children: A Look at Indigenous Child Removal Policies

Tanya H. Lee | 11/21/14 | Indian Country Today Media Network

Margaret Jacobs, professor of history and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, won the Bancroft Prize for her book White Mother to a Dark Race, an investigation of the U.S. and Australian policies of breaking up indigenous families and removing children to be raised in boarding schools run by whites.  She has just published a second volume based on her research. A Generation Removed looks at indigenous child removal policies from just after World War II up until passage of the Indian Child Welfare Act in 1978.

ICTMN interviewed Jacobs about her work. “When I got to Australia [to begin research] it was shortly after the ‘Bringing them home’ report [1997] had come out about the stolen generation [of Australian Aborigine children]. When I went to the archives, I asked, ‘What were white women doing about indigenous children?  Were they involved in this policy of the stolen generation?’”

Coming back to the U.S., she asked the same question and found that “many white women were involved in even a more pronounced manner in the United States than in Australia. They were involved in creating policy and were even hired by the federal government to carry out the policy of removing indigenous children.”

“So that was the book that I wrote. It was called White Mother to a Dark Race: Settler Colonialism, Maternalism, and the Removal of Indigenous Children in the American West and Australia, 1880-1940. As I was researching that book I was also very interested in looking at more recent examples of the removal of indigenous children.  This second book, called A Generation Removed: The Fostering and Adoption of Indigenous Children in the Postwar World, focuses less on white women and much more on indigenous women’s experience of having children removed and the activism that they engaged in to reclaim the care of their children.”

Jacobs found that during the termination period, the Bureau of Indian Affairs was eager to close down the boarding schools because they were not accomplishing the goal of assimilating American Indian children into the mainstream culture, and they were expensive.  “So they turned to this policy of trying to close down the boarding schools and they turned toward a policy of trying to turn over the education and care of Indian children to the states,” says Jacobs.

SOURCE: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/11/21/stealing-children-look-indigenous-child-removal-policies-157884


“The eradication of Indigenous languages was an attempt by colonial governments to eradicate the Indigenous mind, which would result in the disappearance of Indigenous knowledge for the purpose of assimilation, an act of cultural genocide.” —Caroline VanEvery-Lefort  READ: http://www.realpeoplesmedia.org/news/2016/1/4

Dr. Evelyn Blanchard is a member of the Laguna Pueblo of New Mexico and has been working in the field of Indian child welfare for over 50 years. A grandmother and tribal elder, Blanchard was one of the first Indian women in the country to earn a doctorate and has worked with tribes across the U.S. and Canada to establish and codify their child welfare laws. Additionally, she has worked with several states to implement best practices in the promulgation of ICWA.  Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/05/21/war-words-icwa-hearings-reignite-ancient-clash-over-indian-children-part-1-160454



Almost four years ago, five Wabanaki Chiefs and Maine Governor Paul LePage signed a mandate to launch a Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The commission was charged with examining Maine’s child welfare practices on Wabanaki people.  Its focus was on “truth, healing, and change.” Over the next three years, the commission collected statements from nearly 160 individuals and focus groups.  A final report with findings and recommendations for future action was published on June 14, 2015. At the conclusion of its work, the commission transferred its extensive archives to the Bowdoin College Library’s George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives.  The collection includes video, audio, and written statements, and other personal documents contributed by participants.  It also includes founding documents, the final report, and administrative and research records.  A website provides online access to all the unrestricted statements in the collection. Researchers interested in consulting other components of the collection may do so by contacting the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives. http://digitalcommons.bowdoin.edu/maine-wabanaki-trc/

Maine is the only state with a commission. We wait for more.

Please read Suzette Brewer (Cherokee) at Indian Country Today Media Network for the latest developments on ICWA and adoption news.


Stolen Generations Copyright © 2016 by Trace L. Hentz. All Rights Reserved.

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