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“When I was very young, my sisters and I were removed from the reservation where we lived. The reservation was the world, and I didn't think anything else existed. Then one day, strangers showed up, put our stuff into garbage bags, and drove us off. And the more they drove, the more our world disappeared into nothing. They brought us to this horrible place where we were basically tortured for four years.”—
Says Denise Altvater, a Native American who was taken away from her reservation. It all started when White Church Groups relocated Native children and taught them to be ashamed of their culture, in Maine, in the early 1870’s.
In 1958, the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Child Welfare League of America began a 10-year “experiment” to place 1,000 Indian children in the foster care of white families. While the federal government initially thought the experiment would be a success, Native Americans have called it cultural genocide.
How can taking children away from their families and teaching them to hate their own culture and deny them the right to practise their own religion be “success”? Like the Native Americans say themselves, it’s nothing more than cultural genocide. (Read the entire article here)