Thoughts on depression from an artistic mind – The Globe and Mail

sheepHey everyone!

I just finished up writing an essay for a new anthology about adoptees, adoption and Ireland! Whew, it’s done! The editor wants the Irish government to sit up and listen.  Exactly!  (We all want America to sit up too and listen to first mothers and adoptees.)  As some of you know, I am a mix of American Indian (Tsalagi-Shawnee with French Canadian- Irish) – That makes me a very spunky gal.. so I hear.

I want you to read this post Thoughts on depression from an artistic mind – The Globe and Mail — since it pertains to so many of us humans right now … Yes, it seems like today everyone has depression — or is now becoming depressed.  I do understand why!! Hello? It’s like – turn on the news – the world is insane!

Really, though, I had heard this about comedians. Many are depressed. Many show only one side – the humor, the smile, the goofiness, the wit, the brilliance.

As a kid, I was the class clown, smart alec, etc.  One nun hated me so much she flipped me out of my desk! I also had a home life that was anything but funny. Humor was an outlet, a good one. I made all that nastiness go away with laughter! (I still want to…)

Robin Williams was the court jester of the world. He brought us to our knees with laughter. We needed that. Now that he is gone, we still have his many movies.

Michael RedHill

This says it all: “ROBIN WILLIAMS… REST IN PEACE… MAKE GOD LAUGH” — the poet-playwright Michael RedHill did a bloody brilliant job on his post.


I’ll be back next week posting more of my brain farts…Lara/Trace




We Are Story Stones On Which Sacred Carvings Are Made Daily | WNC Woman

We Are Story Stones On Which Sacred Carvings Are Made Daily | WNC Woman.

Creativity can be a spiritual experience, opening one to a deeper understanding of one’s connection to the whole, and deepening the belief of interconnectedness – that everything has a voice if one will listen. Story is who we are, where we come from, and where we are going. Our individual lives are a story unfolding, day-by-day, revelation-by-revelation, and creation-by-creation. No matter the wound, no matter the past, we can assist our healing process by learning to listen to creativity… – MariJo Moore (my dear friend and co-editor of Unraveling the Spreading Cloth of Time)

story stones

AMERICAN INDIAN ADOPTEES: GUEST POST: Reactive Attachment Disorder by Levi Eagle Feather


Levi EagleFeather

Levi EagleFeather

AMERICAN INDIAN ADOPTEES: GUEST POST: Reactive Attachment Disorder by Levi Eagle Feather. Part One

Many times, emotionally, mentally and spiritually we become lost and tired within the hubbub of it all. What else can we do but feel lost. As far as adoption goes the whole basic, being separated from the herd to which you belong thingy. Something which we all have experienced is pretty much the icing on the cake of it all. It not only disrupted our natural experience of familial roots and belonging which is the core of our birthright, but it screwed with everyone else’s experience as well. It removed all of us at the same time from that first belonging which showed us and told us to whom and how it is that we belong. It’s been very hard for me to square myself with that even to this day!

While the boarding school process and the relocation process do basically the same thing that the adoption process does as far as removing one from the herd.

Knowing that “belonging” isn’t there is easy to understand. It also is easy to understand why someone might be skeptical about wanting to have anything to do with who and what they are being redirected to. And it doesn’t have anything to do with any wow factor or how cool something might be either. 

Naturally, situations like this will affect ones behavior. The Mayo clinic says that some of the signs and symptoms of someone experiencing a RAD condition may include:      
·       Withdrawal, fear, sadness or irritability that is not readily explained
·       Sad and listless appearance
·       Not seeking comfort or showing no response when comfort is given
·       Failure to smile
·       Watching others closely but not engaging in social interaction
·       Failing to ask for support or assistance
·       Failure to reach out when picked up
·       No interest in playing peekaboo or other interactive games [3]   
I was four when this all began for me. Since that time not much in my life has been acceptable to me. In a “feeling about it” kind of way. Something is always missing or just not quite right!
Read the rest by clicking this link... I am cross-posting this. Levi is a contributor in the new anthology CALLED HOME.

New Book — Safety for Native Women: VAWA and American Indian Tribes


You can publish a book but it takes actionable actions to make lasting change. When you think about who created these conditions for such violence to exist, by connecting the dots, we are all pawns in a government “show of force.” Quite a show across the planet!

Originally posted on Turtle Talk:

Safety for Native Women: VAWA and American Indian Tribes

By Jacqueline Agtuca, Edited by Dorma Sahneyah

National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center

Paperback $15.99

Digital $12.99

A powerful presentation of the impact of colonization of American Indian tribes on the safety of Native American women and the changes to address such violence under the Violence Against Women Act. This essential reading reviews, through the voices and experiences of Native women, the systemic reforms under the Act to remove barriers to justice and increase Native women’s safety. It places the historic changes witnessed over the last twenty years under the Act in the context of the tribal grassroots movement for safety of Native women. Legal practitioners, students, and social justice advocates will find this book a useful and inspirational resource to creating a more just, humane, and safer world.

To place orders please use this form:

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Headlines: trafficking, adoption, Indian Child Welfare

On Wednesday, July 23, 2014, the House of Representatives unanimously approved H.R. 4980, the “Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act.” This bipartisan, bicameral bill reflects agreements reached between House and Senate leaders on three separate bills designed to prevent sex trafficking of children in foster care, increase adoptions from foster care, and increase child support collections for families, among other purposes.

House Committee on Ways and Means sealRead the full press release at Chairman Dave Camp’s website.


Alaska Supreme Court sides with Interior tribe in child custody, sovereignty case

The Alaska Supreme Court ruled Friday in support of an Interior tribal court in a child custody and tribal sovereignty Native American Rights Fund logocase that was contested by Gov. Sean Parnell’s administration.

The case, Simmonds v. Parks, started almost six years ago as a custody dispute in the Village of Minto, a town of 200 people about 130 road miles northwest of Fairbanks.

Read the full article at the website.

Learn more about the case at the Native American Rights Fund website.


Why Are These Indian Children Being Torn Away From Their Homes?

Imagine entering family court and knowing that what’s at stake is the person you hold most dear – your child. Now imagine having a judge tell you that he’s removing your child from your custody, from your home. When you ask him why, the judge’s replies, “I honestly can’t tell you.” The judge then signs an order giving custody of your son to Social Services.

You might think that such a court proceeding could never happen in the United States – but you’d be wrong.

Read the full article by Stephen Pevar at the ACLU website.




The National Child Welfare Resource Center for Tribes (NRC4Tribes) is one of the new resource centers within the Children’s Bureau Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA) National Network. The NRC4Tribes joins the Children’s Bureau’s Child Welfare Training and Technical Assistance Network (T/TANetwork) which is designed to improve child welfare systems and to support States and Tribes in achieving sustainable, systemic change that results in greater safety, permanency, and well-being for children, youth, and families.

The Children’s Bureau is located within the Administration for Children,Youth and Families (ACF) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Tribes continue to be able to access training and technical assistance (T/TA) through various national resources centers within the Children’s Bureau national T/TA Network.The NRC for Tribes is the focal point for coordinated and culturally competent child welfare T/TA for Tribes within theT/TA Network.The NRC4Tribes works collaboratively with Tribes and the T/TA Network to assist Tribes in the enhancement of child welfare services and the promotion of safety, permanency and well-being for American Indian/Alaska Native children and families.


“Those are Our People and That’s our Family” written by Erika Bjorum

August 7, 2014

“Those are Our People and That’s our Family”, written by Erika Bjorum, who conducted a graduate research project with Maine-Wabanaki REACH, is published in the latest edition of Journal of Public Child Welfare. Her study examined the perspectives of Wabanaki community members and child welfare staff on state child welfare involvement in Wabanaki communities.

In the acknowledgements, Erika states, “The author gratefully acknowledges the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Convening Group and the staff from the Muskie School of Public Service for their partnership in developing and carrying out this project, as well as their valuable contributions to the editing process.”

Closure…is it what people think it is?


Traumatic events don’t go away, they change you. They become part of your soul. They effect in some way every decision made, action taken, thought, feeling and reaction from that point forward. Answers to why the event happened, doesn’t make the pain you felt, or still feel, go away, they are just answers to the questions that were gnawing away at your soul. They can offer a measure of peace so you stop wondering, searching for, the why – but they can’t change you back to the person you were before, and even if you have worked hard to conquer your feelings and fears, they are still there, deep inside. So please don’t assume that adoptees are different from everyone else, and once they find “closure” it’s all over, and they have “moved on” after “working through those feelings”…it doesn’t work that way…” Yes Yes YES!

Originally posted on The adopted ones blog:


I’ve been thinking about what closure is for a long time.  Can you actually close the door on your past, or event, and walk into your future unscathed?  I can’t.  Every single event in my life that touched me so deeply that one would seek closure for – has molded, and shaped me, into who I am, today.

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On sanity and self-inquiry


As someone who has tried to understand my own memories, the figments of my imagination that were ruling me and my decisions, this post by Jen Peer Rich expressed it so clearly, I’m sharing it!
“The flickering light of awareness drew my attention out of pure exhaustion. I was being destroyed by these beliefs, the whole thing felt like it was crumbing around me and it was really a matter of survival that I began to use the light to look around the beliefs without fear….”

Originally posted on Beyond Meds:

By Jen Peer Rich

inquiryInquiry is a spontaneous, honest investigation into what is happening in my mind, body and experience. When I am inquiring, I am awareness within every inch of what is here- thoughts, sensations, images, attuned with my senses, standing fully inside of this moment. I am home.

When I first started doing inquiry, I had a minuscule awareness of my own thoughts. For me life was an epic submersion in the neurotic narrations of my mind and dysfunctional attachments to various body identities. I believed my thoughts were real and really who I am. This lead to a lifetime of disastrous and destructive behaviors because of one simple misunderstanding that happened early on in life- that I am my thoughts and thoughts are real.

If I believe in thoughts, and that my thoughts are me, I am beholden to an array of insecurities arising with each and…

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Mount Polley Mine tailings pond breach is one of the worst in the world



As appalled as you are, I am so concerned about the Penokee Range in northern Wisconsin. This is not acceptable mining – it’s criminal.

Originally posted on Global News:

WATCH: How much will it cost to clean up the Mount Polley tailings pond disaster, and who will pay the bill? Rumina Daya explores those questions.

VANCOUVER – At this point it is unclear just how far reaching the damage is and just how much it will cost to clean up the mess.

Environmental experts say it’s one of the worst tailings pond breaches in the world.

When the pond burst it sent millions of cubic meters of sludge and water cascading through the natural landscape.

It caused massive damage to everything in its path.

The government says it’s really too early to know how long the cleanup will take and how much it will cost.

But we can compare it to a tailings pond breach in Tennessee in 2008. Officials there anticipated the cleanup would take six months, but within that time, they only managed to cleanup three per…

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Lost Birds on AlJazeera

Four adopted women seek out their Native American roots

For more than one hundred years, U.S. policies and practices separated Native American children from their families. Prior to 1978, when the Indian Child Welfare Act went into effect, Native American children were regularly plucked from their homes and sent to live with non-Natives. Some children grew up surrounded by love; others suffered enormous hardships. Many had a powerful desire to reconnect with the culture that they had lost.

In “Lost Birds,” we profile four adopted women who sought out their Native American roots. Click on the image below to read the stories of how each woman came to discover and connect with her true heritage.

Lost Birds, A Fault Lines Story

LINK: – I am honored they shared my story here along with friends Suzie, Julie and Diane… listen to each (by clicking the arrows) – I hope you all enjoy this, I sure did! …Lara/Trace

Who Rules Washington? The Fourth Branch?


Tomgram: Engelhardt, Who Rules Washington? | TomDispatch.

In their 2010 Washington Post series “Top Secret America,” Dana Priest and William Arkin offered this thumbnail summary of the extent of that boom for the U.S. Intelligence Community: “In Washington and the surrounding area,” they wrote, “33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings — about 17 million square feet of space.”  And in 2014, the expansion is ongoing.

In her Senate speech, Feinstein accused the (CIA) Agency of potentially breaching both the law and the Constitution. “I have grave concerns,” she said, “that the CIA’s search [of the committee’s computer system] may well have violated the separation of powers principles embodied in the United States Constitution, including the Speech and Debate clause. It may have undermined the constitutional framework essential to effective congressional oversight of intelligence activities or any other government function… Besides the constitutional implications, the CIA’s search may also have violated the Fourth Amendment, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as Executive Order 12333, which prohibits the CIA from conducting domestic searches or surveillance.”

Her sobering speech should be read by every American, especially as it comes not from a critic but a perennial supporter of the Fourth Branch.


This is another WAKE UP CALL! We do owe Edward Snowden a debt of gratitude for his whistle-blowing! What will we find out from new whistle-blowers?

The article mentions “warrior corporations” – private contractors like Haliburton and others who make $$$$$$’s off the American taxpayer, you and me. I ask “when did we say this is OK with us?” … I didn’t… And who gave them this power and authority? Someone had to…and that someone needs to put an end to this NOW… Lara

Changing the Way We See Native Americans – 500 NATIONS


Changing the Way We See Native Americans – 500 NATIONS | 500 NATIONS.


By Lara/Trace

This talk was given at a TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. In 2013 Matika Wilbur (story/project link) took on a project of massive scope: to photograph members of each Federally recognized tribe in the United States. “My dream,” Wilbur says, “is that our children are given images that are more useful, truthful, and beautiful.”

This is my post for this week…It needs no words from me…Just my Love and Appreciation… AHO

Proof from the CUB Video Archives; NOT Much has Changed in 40 Years of Adoption | Musings of the Lame

Adoption: No, NOT Much has Changed in 40 Years

The Sad Depressing Proof from the CUB Video Archives

I think I literally hear it or read it at least once a week, “But adoption is different now… those horrible things don’t happen anymore” or something along those lines.

It goes along with the thought process of “Sorry you had a bad experience, but not all adoptions are like that.” Granted I am an eternal optimist, but these statements are really just wishful thinking often used to dismiss another’s reality so the speaker can continue to hold the view that works well for them. In other words,  I call BS.

While due to the many voices and stories being told and with much credit given to books like The Girls Who Went Away and films like Philomena, there has been great progress in having people accept that there were indeed forced adoptions in the past.  Maybe enough time has passed that the general public feels safety in admitting that perhaps the way mothers were treated during the Baby Scoop Era was wrong or that society wasn’t being “nice” when forcing moms into maternity homes, laboring with no support, and almost literally ripping newborns out of their wombs? It seems to have gotten somewhat accepted that adoption “was” sometimes/ often “bad” or that mothers were treated sometimes/often cruelly in the past, but the keyword there is  PAST. We have to believe that things are different now and adoption has changed. Never mind that the foundation of the institution itself and all the accepted adoption practices of the past were built on the forced cruelty, the world has strong vested interested in keeping adoption’s reputation as pure and innocent of any wrong-doings.

  • It doesn’t happen like that anymore.
  • Adoption is different now.
  •  Those days are in the past.

Yeah right.

40 Years Post Baby Scoop Era; Stagnate Adoption Practices

OK, yes the Baby Scoop Era is definitely over. Most will give the end date there for the passing of Roe V Wade (even if there are all too many instances of forced adoption post), but has adoption actually improved since then?  Like many, I would like to think so and there have been many times when I have, again, the eternal optimist, though yes, we HAVE come a long way….at least with public perception? With getting the word out? With education?  Right? I mean so many have been working for so long…some progress has had to have been made! And then, I offered to help Lee Campbell with the  Concerned United Birthparents‘ videos.

And I got really really depressed. I’ll tell you why in a hot minute, but first abut these videos…

A Video Glimpse into Adoption History

cub the birth parent groupThere are four of them; newly added to the CUB | Concerned United Birthparents channel on YouTube.
So that’s changed. There is definitely MORE money in adoption now. Granted, everything cost more, but just for fun, I used an inflation calculator to see what a 5K adoption SHOULD cost now and it is  only a 129.4% increase to $11,469.83 based on general inflation not five times that amount.

what a 5K adoption SHOULD cost now and it is  only a 129.4% increase to $11,469.83 based on general inflation not five times that amount.

Other than that, sadly, not much has changed in adoption. The proof is in the CUB Video archives. I strongly suggest you watch them all so you too can know your adoption history and understand that we have a very long way to go. No adoption is NOT different now. It just costs more money and the same horrible practices of adoption coercion DO happen every day.

REALLY VERY IMPORTANT to know our adoption history…Thanks Claudia for the CUB videos!

Here were my thoughts on how adoption has changed for me in the past 10 years