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I come from three different tribes. My father was Omaha tribe, my mother was Winnebago tribe. When I was four and a half years old I was raised by my grandmother. I was a product of a broken home because of drinking. At the time the BIA was collecting children from the families to send them off to boarding school and that was during the era where they were trying to take there language and their Indian ways away from them to assimilate them into the white world. They were punished for speaking their language. That was something that I was brought up with in that way. They tried to educate us in a way to forget who we were. I thank God that I did have an education. I’m sorry to say that it wasn’t the way I wanted it but at least I got educated.
Often our native students who attend public schools are not provided the resources mandated under title seven of the “leave no child behind” act. Unemployment in the winter can run as high as 89%. The average family income is less than six thousand per year and recent survey revealed that 54 out of 84 families in the school district are homeless. Which means families double up or triple up in homes with as many as 20 people in living in a small two or three bedroom home.
There is a federal law that governs what is supposed to happen to native kids who are taken in by the public foster care system and it is meant to protect them. It is the Indian act that was passed in 1978 because so many native kids were removed from their families and their tribes and they were adopted out into non native families to basically deindianize them.