Rosebud to welcome
Tiwahe GlukinIpi (Bringing the family back to life)
ROSEBUDGenerations of Lakota people have been cast out
in to the Native Diaspora by state and federal policies designed
to break down traditional familial units.
The citizens of the Rosebud Sioux Nation, however, are working
to mend some of these relationships destroyed by government policy
by welcoming home tribal citizens who were once thought of as lost.
Since the inception of colonization in North America federal
policy has been designed to erase the cultural bonds that Native
people have with their communities occupying their ancestral lands.
Early ideas on dealing with the Indian problem consisted
of outright extermination, efforts to assimilate, and eventually
to relocate whole nations, as well as individual tribal citizens
to urban areas.
The Indian Relocation Act of 1956 provided financial and professional
incentives to Native people willing to abandon their lives on the
reservation. After four years of the program the Bureau of Indian
Affairs reported that approximately 31,000 people had joined the
program, however, the full impact of Native peoples migration
was that, according to PBS, as many as 750,000 Native people left
their reservations to work in the cities.
Today many Native children find themselves living with non-Native
families and in state foster care facilities as a result of hyper-aggressive
efforts by state social service programs to seize Native children.
According to a 2011 report by National Public Radio Native children
make up 50% of those in South Dakotas foster care system despite
only being 15% of the overall population. Of those Native children
in foster care 90% of them are living with non-Native caretakers.
The Rosebud Sioux Tribe will welcome home adoptees at the 139th
Annual Rosebud Fair, Rodeo & Contest Powwow, which runs August
28-30 at the Rosebud Fair Grounds in Mission, South Dakota. Image
The result of these policies is thousands upon thousands of
Native people living in the United States without a connection to
their people or nations. To help repatriate these citizens with
their own communities, at this years Rosebud Sioux Tribal
Fair, a special ceremony will take place that will welcome home
those who were sent off through adoption or in to foster care.
The inspiration for the event was Sandy White Hawk,
said Marlies White Hat of Sinte Gleska Universitys Tiwahe
GlukinIpi (Bringing the family back to life) program, a program
that specializes in juvenile mental health.
According to White Hat , Ms. White Hawk was placed in to a foster
home in a small all white town. White Hawk would eventually find
her roots and would embark on an effort to help bring Native people
who were taken away back to their communities.
Once she approached representatives of the tribe word spread
throughout a network of tribal programs who were all supportive
of the idea to host an event to welcome these people home. White
Hawk has also created the First Nations Repatriation Institute whose
mission is partly to to bring awareness and healing to Indian
communities impacted by adoption and foster care.
During the fair the tribe will have a ceremony during the pow-wow
for those coming home as well as family members of those who were
Almost everyone I talked to mentioned that they knew someone
or had a relative who was taken in to foster care. There are some
stories of a black car pulling up and entering the home to take
four children out. It was bad, said White Hat.
White Hat would add that all family members of people who were
adopted out are invited to come.
For more information on the event please contact Sandy White
Hawk at (651) 442-4872 or Marlies White Hat at (605) 856-8203.