Yellow Bird: Indian adoptees find their way home
"Over the weekend, the White Earth tribe in Minnesota welcomed home some American Indian adoptees who are struggling to reconnect with relatives. Their struggle reaches deep inside and twists your gut because it brings you face to face with some of the tragic assimilation policies that the federal government once enforced.

“After many years, we are home,” was the mantra of the adoptees that day.

The Adoptee Welcome Home Gathering held in Mahnomen, Minn., was established by the First Nations Repatriation Institute. The institute was created as a collaboration between the First Nations Orphan Association and the College of St. Catherine/University of St. Thomas School of Social Work around 2004.

Sandy White Hawk, an adoptee herself, is the program's founder and director. In fact, you could say she IS the program. It came from her experiences and the need to help others like herself.

The conference was my first time sitting among a group of people such as this - adoptees, parents and grandparents of adopted children, other family members and relatives of adopted children, social-service workers and visitors.

The adoptees were the stars. "

Get the Story:
Indian adoptees feel a yearning to come home (The Grand Forks Herald 10/10)
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