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Standing Rock

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Invisible Indian

The Invisible Indian

It’s strange to me how people always want me to be an “authentic Indian” when I say I’m Haudenosaunee. They want me to look a certain way, act a certain way. They’re disappointed when what they get is…just me. White faced, red haired. They spent hundreds of years trying to assimilate my ancestors, trying to create Indians like who could blend in. But now they don’t want me either. They cant make up their minds.
They want buckskin and face paint, drumming, songs in languages they can’t understand
recorded for them- but with English subtitles, of course. They want educated, well-spoken,
but not too smart. Christian, well-behaved, never questioning. They want to learn the history
of the people, but not the ones who are here now, waving signs in their faces,
asking them for clean drinking water,
asking them why their women are going missing,
asking them why their land is being ruined.
They want fantastical stories of Indians that used to roam this land.
They want my culture behind glass in a museum.
But they don’t want me.
I’m not Indian enough.
They say I’m fake, but they don’t realize that every time I have to write and speak to them in English, the language of the colonizer, I am painfully aware of what I’ve lost. So I sneak around quietly, gathering pieces- beads here, a word there, a dance, a song, until I’m strong enough to stand tall and tell them who I am.
They tried to make Indians like me who could blend in.
My great grandmother moved her children out of their community into the big city of Toronto to try hid in plain sight.
Keep it.
Hush.
Hush.
I will break the silence.
I am clinging to every piece of my mom, my grandma, my great grandma that I have. I am clinging to any bit of tradition that found its way through the cracks, like a plant growing towards the light.
I have always been in love with these small pieces of resistance.
My great grandmother told my dad to bury my umbilical cord in the dirt behind my home, Now a trees grows from that piece of me. I am connected.
When my aunties gather around tea I will absorb every story they tell.
I will stare at photos of my Akshotha until they speak to me.
I will scavenge all the bits of knowledge from here and there and pull them together.
Close to my heart.
Cover them.
Protect them.
Bundle.
I will knit with my grandma’s needles. The only piece of her I have.
I will knit until I know her.
I will forgive. Forgive my mom, her mom, and her mom, for what they couldn’t teach me. They
always did the very best they could.
I will hold on for dear life.
I will dig my hands into the dirt.
I will let them drag
and pull on me
until the earth is embedded under my fingernails.
But I won’t let go.

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Every. Day.

Every. Day.
adoptees take back adoption narrative and reject propaganda

To Veronica Brown

Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

Three Years already

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Customer Review

Thought-provoking and moving 11 October 2012
Two Worlds - Lost children of the Indian Adoption Projects

If you thought that ethnic cleansing was something for the history books, think again. This work tells the stories of Native American Indian adoptees "The Lost Birds" who continue to suffer the effects of successive US and Canadian government policies on adoption; policies that were in force as recently as the 1970's. Many of the contributors still bear the scars of their separation from their ancestral roots. What becomes apparent to the reader is the reality of a racial memory that lives in the DNA of adoptees and calls to them from the past.
The editors have let the contributors tell their own stories of their childhood and search for their blood relatives, allowing the reader to gain a true impression of their personalities. What becomes apparent is that nothing is straightforward; re-assimilation brings its own cultural and emotional problems. Not all of the stories are harrowing or sad; there are a number of heart-warming successes, and not all placements amongst white families had negative consequences. But with whom should the ultimate decision of adoption reside? Government authorities or the Indian people themselves? Read Two Worlds and decide for yourself.

Read this SERIES

Read this SERIES
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ADOPTION TRUTH

As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.

Our Fault? (no)

Leland at Goldwater Protest

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