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Peter d'Errico: Adoption an ongoing assault on Indian people

Filed Under: Opinion
More on: books, icwa, peter d'errico

"Worlds: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects is a new book about the campaign to break indigenous social structures by removing the children: "Governments…paid agencies and churches to remove and Christianize children… and raise them to be non-Indian."

Edited by Trace A. DeMeyer and Patricia Cotter-Busbee, themselves adoptees, the history is told through chronicles by those who lived through it.

Ethnic cleansing by child removal is a counterpart to the boarding school system, aimed to "kill the Indian and save the man." Boarding schools take children away from home for months and years at a time, returning them as "civilized." Adoption projects take children away permanently, to assimilate them into non-Indian society via non-Indian families.

A common element of the stories is painful curiosity, children trying to figure out who they are, and why their biological parents gave them away. Answers are sometimes never discovered. What is learned may compound the pain, when the child's displacement turns out to be a subchapter in the parent's (or parents') own survival struggle."

Get the Story:
Peter d'Errico: Stolen Generations: Adoption as a Weapon (Indian Country Today 1/2)

Related Stories:
Peter d'Errico: Indian people long viewed as uncivilized in law (12/10)
Peter d'Errico: Indigenous people outlast Edward Curtis photos (12/4)
Peter d'Errico: Western Shoshones fight mining on treaty land (11/19)

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