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Old 11-02-2006, 03:43 PM   #1
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Question "Adopting" non-Indians as relatives.....

How do people feel about Indians "adopting" non-Indians as relatives (sisters/brothers)? This question may be tribe specfic to the Sioux as I am not sure it exists in other tribes. I am not necessarily against it all together but I have seen some people go through this ceremony with out being particularly careful in their selection and it turned out very badly. One example is a friend who "adopted" a white man as her brother only to have that person turn around and advertise the fact as an extra marketing technique to make money as an entertainer.
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Old 11-02-2006, 05:42 PM   #2
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Well, I think it's a fine, if done carefully as you say. For example a ndn brother or sister, from another Nation, who lives in your area, it makes sense, makes them more a part of the community where they live.
However, i don't get adopting white ppl, I think it's pretty much a gaurentee of problems. I have seen it done in other nations, and it usually ends up with a non-native person who thinks they are now justified in teeling us how to be ndn.
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Old 11-02-2006, 05:44 PM   #3
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It goes both ways, sometimes the adoptees are just another source for money.

If you are adopted, does that give you the right to change your name to the adopting families name.
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Old 11-03-2006, 10:00 AM   #4
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I have a woman who I consider part of my family (as does the rest of the family as well) She is white but I see her as more ndn than alot of ndns I know. Most of the time I don't even remember that she is white. She's just one of us.
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Old 11-03-2006, 11:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzzeQ4
Well, I think it's a fine, if done carefully as you say. For example a ndn brother or sister, from another Nation, who lives in your area, it makes sense, makes them more a part of the community where they live.
However, i don't get adopting white ppl, I think it's pretty much a gaurentee of problems. I have seen it done in other nations, and it usually ends up with a non-native person who thinks they are now justified in teeling us how to be ndn.
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Yea, I want to be open minded and not pre-judge because everyone is an individual. However, I have never seen an adoption of a non-Indian turn out well and I am very skeptical of them even fully understanding or respecting what this means.
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Old 11-03-2006, 12:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyjoejimbob
It goes both ways, sometimes the adoptees are just another source for money.

If you are adopted, does that give you the right to change your name to the adopting families name.
No, but you are given a name.
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Old 11-03-2006, 06:05 PM   #7
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i know you get a name, im talking about me, Billy Joe, getting adopted into the Running Water family. Should I call myself Billy Running Water now?

Cause there is alot of that going on im sure.
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Old 11-03-2006, 08:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyjoejimbob
i know you get a name, im talking about me, Billy Joe, getting adopted into the Running Water family. Should I call myself Billy Running Water now?

Cause there is alot of that going on im sure.
I am not in agreement w/that though I am sure it does go on.
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Old 11-04-2006, 09:14 AM   #9
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I am adopted into three families. Two of the families dressed me in their tribal clothing, on their tribal grounds, gave away and fed many witnesses. They have asked nothing of me, other than respect and a genuine concern for them and the other members of their family. I have asked nothing and paid nothing (either through money or gifts) for these honors. It is a great honor and very humbling to go through this sort of thing, especially since I cannot lay claim to being of native american blood.

I am married to a wonderful native man, and have two beautiful indian children of my own. I made it my business to learn the ways of my children's people in order to teach them who they were, since their biological father wasn't interested in teaching them. I participate in these ways beside my husband and children, because I love them and it is part of who they are. They all dance and we are very active in our indian community. I make dance regalia and have been dressed by my husband as well. I am fortunate to be able to wear the clothes of three tribes, Kickapoo, Otoe and Osage.

When I am introduced or asked what tribe I come from, I tell people that I am very honored and blessed to have been adopted into these families but that I am non indian. I am very blessed to be thought of in this manner, but I refuse to bill myself as anything other than what I am. That is false advertsing and misrepresentation of ones self, living a lie for lack of better words. I am a non-indian who has been honored and I hold nothing but respect and admiration for these families. I means a great deal to me to have been chosen as their relative and I take these realtionships very seriously.

I would not dream of going by any of the families name, other than my married name. Nor would I tell anyone that I was a member of any of these tribes, adopted or not. I know of several people on this board and in this community that tell others they are indian (when they are not...maybe married to indian, or through adoption only). they dance in indian clothes, and some even compete. I have issues with the competition aspect. In my opinion it is okay to wear the clothes, only if given to you properly, but you have no business competing. If you list yourself as indian and do not posess any blood, then you are lieing to yourself and to others. If you feel the need to list a tribe, to make yourself feel indian, then at least be respectful to the family that adopted you and list your self as "adopted whatever". It is a bigger honor to be adopted than to lie about who and what you are, because someone will always find out the truth and you will eventually be called on it. Be honest and be proud of who you are, that would be a great honor for the family you are adopted into.
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Old 11-04-2006, 10:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvstraightdancrs
I am adopted into three families. Two of the families dressed me in their tribal clothing, on their tribal grounds, gave away and fed many witnesses. They have asked nothing of me, other than respect and a genuine concern for them and the other members of their family. I have asked nothing and paid nothing (either through money or gifts) for these honors. It is a great honor and very humbling to go through this sort of thing, especially since I cannot lay claim to being of native american blood.

I am married to a wonderful native man, and have two beautiful indian children of my own. I made it my business to learn the ways of my children's people in order to teach them who they were, since their biological father wasn't interested in teaching them. I participate in these ways beside my husband and children, because I love them and it is part of who they are. They all dance and we are very active in our indian community. I make dance regalia and have been dressed by my husband as well. I am fortunate to be able to wear the clothes of three tribes, Kickapoo, Otoe and Osage.

When I am introduced or asked what tribe I come from, I tell people that I am very honored and blessed to have been adopted into these families but that I am non indian. I am very blessed to be thought of in this manner, but I refuse to bill myself as anything other than what I am. That is false advertsing and misrepresentation of ones self, living a lie for lack of better words. I am a non-indian who has been honored and I hold nothing but respect and admiration for these families. I means a great deal to me to have been chosen as their relative and I take these realtionships very seriously.

I would not dream of going by any of the families name, other than my married name. Nor would I tell anyone that I was a member of any of these tribes, adopted or not. I know of several people on this board and in this community that tell others they are indian (when they are not...maybe married to indian, or through adoption only). they dance in indian clothes, and some even compete. I have issues with the competition aspect. In my opinion it is okay to wear the clothes, only if given to you properly, but you have no business competing. If you list yourself as indian and do not posess any blood, then you are lieing to yourself and to others. If you feel the need to list a tribe, to make yourself feel indian, then at least be respectful to the family that adopted you and list your self as "adopted whatever". It is a bigger honor to be adopted than to lie about who and what you are, because someone will always find out the truth and you will eventually be called on it. Be honest and be proud of who you are, that would be a great honor for the family you are adopted into.
I admire your honesty. It's a hard path to travel being the the only one in the family without the blood. But it appears to me that you do live as a traditional person. You take care of your family as a ndn wife and mother. You also show much respect for the native family values you hold. I give you a lot of credit for what you do and who you are. You don't have to have native blood to have the heart of a native person. It appears because of your dedication to your family, you have that heart that appears as a native person. Sometimes this is more important then having the blood itself. There are many native out there that live a non native life.

Your not alone. There are others out there just like you both male and female. What you tell people about yourself is just being honest. Some will accept what you say and others will say that your just a white woman (assuming) married to an ndn. Just remember one thing: YOUR ACTIONS WILL SHOW YOUR TRUE COLOR!!! You may be white but is your true color RED?????????? Think about it!
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Old 11-04-2006, 12:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvstraightdancrs
I am adopted into three families. Two of the families dressed me in their tribal clothing, on their tribal grounds, gave away and fed many witnesses. They have asked nothing of me, other than respect and a genuine concern for them and the other members of their family. I have asked nothing and paid nothing (either through money or gifts) for these honors. It is a great honor and very humbling to go through this sort of thing, especially since I cannot lay claim to being of native american blood.

I am married to a wonderful native man, and have two beautiful indian children of my own. I made it my business to learn the ways of my children's people in order to teach them who they were, since their biological father wasn't interested in teaching them. I participate in these ways beside my husband and children, because I love them and it is part of who they are. They all dance and we are very active in our indian community. I make dance regalia and have been dressed by my husband as well. I am fortunate to be able to wear the clothes of three tribes, Kickapoo, Otoe and Osage.

When I am introduced or asked what tribe I come from, I tell people that I am very honored and blessed to have been adopted into these families but that I am non indian. I am very blessed to be thought of in this manner, but I refuse to bill myself as anything other than what I am. That is false advertsing and misrepresentation of ones self, living a lie for lack of better words. I am a non-indian who has been honored and I hold nothing but respect and admiration for these families. I means a great deal to me to have been chosen as their relative and I take these realtionships very seriously.

I would not dream of going by any of the families name, other than my married name. Nor would I tell anyone that I was a member of any of these tribes, adopted or not. I know of several people on this board and in this community that tell others they are indian (when they are not...maybe married to indian, or through adoption only). they dance in indian clothes, and some even compete. I have issues with the competition aspect. In my opinion it is okay to wear the clothes, only if given to you properly, but you have no business competing. If you list yourself as indian and do not posess any blood, then you are lieing to yourself and to others. If you feel the need to list a tribe, to make yourself feel indian, then at least be respectful to the family that adopted you and list your self as "adopted whatever". It is a bigger honor to be adopted than to lie about who and what you are, because someone will always find out the truth and you will eventually be called on it. Be honest and be proud of who you are, that would be a great honor for the family you are adopted into.
I am glad that you posted. It is good to hear that some one who is non-Indian and adopted into an Indian famiy is truly appreciative and respectful of this honor.
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Old 11-04-2006, 09:14 PM   #12
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I have not been "adopted" by anybody, but my partner's family have certainly made me feel welcome. I am also somewhat known in the community and I feel very accepted. I also know a few of the Elders, and they know who I and my partner are and the nature of our relationship. They have been nothing but warm and respectful to me. I am learning the language, and last year I even taught some of it to the kids at the elementary school I work at. This does make me feel a certain kinship with and loyalty to the tribe, though I would never claim to be a Tribal Member. I'd like to think I wouldn't be stupid enough to try to tell anyone how to be ndn, either.

I feel blessed to live in such a wonderful community.
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Old 11-05-2006, 11:08 AM   #13
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My brother Philip is a big, goofy white boy from Alabama, married to a beautiful blonde Katie, and has two beautiful blonde little white girls and expecting a very handsome little baby boy any day now....but this guy is MY BROTHER! He couldn't be more my brother than if we had the same parents.

But I didnt' make the decision to adopt Philip lightly. I thought about his character and our relationship, how we treated each others families, and most especially, how he treated my people when he came up to our big powwow. When they called veterans, he volunteered when there was a shortage to take down the flags, and was so proud he almost floated outtat he arena! People noticed how respectful and involved he was, and accepted him. Hes in the Army, and now, after asking elders, I get to have an honoring and giveaway for him when he comes back up here.

But this is one instance that turned out well because our families were involved, and we didn't just fly into the decision. Hunka, or making of relatives, is a big deal! You take on alot of responsibilities, so you should make the decision like you would any other huge event. Hunka is meant to be for life, and long time ago, it was used only when extraordinary events happened and drew people together in a tight bond. Now it seems to be a common event....and FYI...in the Lakota culture, a hunka ceremony is often held during a naming ceremony, but they are actually two seperate ceremonies! When you tie a feather on someones head, it doesn't automatically make you their Hunka....and if you are a hunka, that doesn't always mean you get a name.

Adopting new family like this is unique to us....we shouldn't abuse it....we should NEVER do it to extort money out of some pathetic white person looking to "belong", and it should never be used to further some non-natives career....holy cow!!!
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Old 11-05-2006, 11:33 AM   #14
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well i am pleased to stand corrected & to know that there are white ppl who get adopted in & respect who we are & respect who they are & don't need to lie or go on a wierdo power trip of some sort.
Of course i guess it all comes down to knowing what your doing & making the decision carefully, like a marriage i guess.
Now if we can just end the other adoption problem (being adopted out) & close off all those loop holes those social workers use to steal children. But I guess thats another post.
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Old 11-05-2006, 12:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzzeQ4
well i am pleased to stand corrected & to know that there are white ppl who get adopted in & respect who we are & respect who they are & don't need to lie or go on a wierdo power trip of some sort.
Of course i guess it all comes down to knowing what your doing & making the decision carefully, like a marriage i guess.
Now if we can just end the other adoption problem (being adopted out) & close off all those loop holes those social workers use to steal children. But I guess thats another post.
Suzze
My grandmother and all of her siblings were taken and placed in a catholic mission school, this was in 1922. She spent almost her entire childhood (until she was 14) separated from her family and her culture. Her experience in the school mirrors what many others report regarding abuse and neglect. The nuns tried to get my great grandmother to give up her children to be adopted by whites but she refused. Then when my grandmother was 14 they tried to get her to enter the convent to become a nun but she ran from there as fast as she could. When she came out of the school she did not have much of a connection to her parents or her family on the rez, and the nuns had made sure that she developed a deep sense of shame about herself. I consider the mission school experience for my family one of the most destructive and wounding episodes of our history. Stealing Indian children and disconnecting them from their roots and culture was as violent and genocidal an act as anything the military ever carried out.
Although things have improved with the Indian Child Welfare Act, it is not enforced to the degree it should be and children continue to be lost.
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Old 11-05-2006, 01:37 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by DaCotau
. Stealing Indian children and disconnecting them from their roots and culture was as violent and genocidal an act as anything the military ever carried out.
Although things have improved with the Indian Child Welfare Act, it is not enforced to the degree it should be and children continue to be lost.
You nailed it. It actually is considered an act of genocide under the geneva convention. And your right, it's not enforced. Some of us in our community have tried to keep local ndn kids in ndn homes but it's a hard fight, and has only been sussecful with 2 families. Of course th community worked with the kids res, but the CAS (I live in Ontario, but it's the same both sides of the boarder) doesn't care.

I was adopted out, so was my real Mom. Her parents wouldn't send her to the schools, & finally the social workers got her & adopted her up into Canada (She was from Standing Rock). Being a 2nd generation scoop, getting back is hard. I hired a private detective to find my Mom. He found my sister, but not my Mom, he believes she doesn't have an address. And without my Mom to tell me her real last name no one wants to help me. I have alot of identifing info on her, that would help someone who knew her family identify her but people want the papers (which I need my Mom for). Not that I want anything more then family.
And this is how the whole adopting out thing has been sucessful.
There are alot of similarities betwen those who were adopted out & those who were placed in the schools. It would be good if we'd all ban togetherand adress the issues caused by both situations. But I guess the plight of those adopted out will be delt with when we are old.
Anyway DaCotau, if you or anyone else wants to continue this conversation, cause it would probably be a good one, maybe start a new thread, I'll be there with my 2 cents for sure.
Suzze
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Old 11-05-2006, 05:52 PM   #17
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"DaCotau, if you or anyone else wants to continue this conversation, cause it would probably be a good one, maybe start a new thread, I'll be there with my 2 cents for sure"
Suzze

One of the reasons I did not start a thread on the residential/mission school & adoptions issue specifically is because it is so painful. Although so many of us share this grief it is difficult to discuss. But because of your response Suzze I will go ahead and start a thread, I think it is a good idea.
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