Mike Myers: Attacks continue on our children and communities

Indian children in South Dakota. Photo from Lakota People's Law Project / Facebook

Mike Myers of the Network for Native Futures looks at the history of genocide against indigenous children in the United States and Canada:
Over the past month or so I’ve read some disturbing articles and reports related to Indigenous children. Suzette Brewer’s ICTMN article on the continuing legal assaults being thrown at the Indian Child Welfare Act first raised my curiosity because of the involvement of the Goldwater Institute. Foundations and non-profits have long been used as “fronts” for mounting attacks on Indigenous ceremonies, families and our children.

Then I received a copy of Aboriginal Children in Care – Report to Canada’s Premiers, written by the Aboriginal Children in Care Working Group. In this report I came across this startling statistic, “The National Household Survey (2011) indicated that 48% of 30,000 children and youth in foster care across Canada are Aboriginal children, even though Aboriginal peoples account for only 4.3% of the Canadian population.” That’s a total of 14,400 Indigenous children who all too often spend years in the system. This number does not include the children and youth who are in treatment or incarcerated in disproportionate numbers.

The Haudenosaunee word for the American president means – “village destroyer”. This title was first given to George Washington because of his scorched earth campaigns against our nations. We have never had a reason to change that name/title because of the continuous attacks on our lands, communities, families and especially our children.

During the 60’s and 70’s Indigenous nations and peoples in North America were impacted by what we call the “60’s Scoops”, the mass removal of our children by provincial and state welfare agencies. Beyond just removal was the agenda to have our children adopted out to non-Indigenous families and to make this happen colluded with private sector agencies. First there was the Indian Adoption Project, administered by the Child Welfare League of America and funded by a federal contract from the B.I.A. and the U.S. Children’s Bureau from 1958 to 1967. Then comes Adoption Resource Exchange of North America (A.R.E.N.A.), founded in 1966, it was the immediate successor to the I.A.P., and worked with Canadian welfare agencies as well.

Get the Story:
Mike Myers: Where Are the Children? (Indian Country Today 9/14)

Relevant Documents:
Aboriginal Children in Care – Report to Canada’s Premiers (July 2015)

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