Monday, January 30, 2017

IN THE VEINS to hit Amazon (SOON!)



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Indigenous Native Poetry collection IN THE VEINS gives power to words


Greenfield, Massachusetts [2017]  --  “These poet’s words jumped off the page and made their way under my skin, into the chambers of my heart,”  said Editor Patricia Busbee (Cherokee) who has edited the new Native prose and poetry book, IN THE VEINS  (Vol. 4,  ISBN: 978-0692832646, Publisher: Blue Hand Books, Massachusetts). 

“It’s a transformative collection of poetry, truly Medicine for the Soul,” Busbee said, who has contributed poetry and prose to this collection and is Poetry Editor for Blue Hand Books.  I thought about the iron infused blood that flows thru our veins and how our bones, blood and skeletal systems house our history, our stories and our ancestors.”

“Reading these poems I recognized how poetry affects all generations and how it bypasses our cautious minds and relates to us on an intimate soul level. Poetry is a vehicle that transports us from the outer world to the inner,” Busbee said.  Twenty-eight poets from across Turtle Island contributed, including First Nations poet David Groulx (Anishinabe Elliott Lake), Assiniboine playwright William Yellow Robe, Ojibwe scholar Dr. Carol A. Hand who wrote an introduction, North Carolina’s past Poet Laureate MariJo Moore (Cherokee), and many more.

“These poets come to us from across Turtle Island.  Some are very well-known, even famous, and many will be in the future,” Busbee said.  “Their poetry offers exquisite interpretation of life and story, personal perceptions, and their views on issues of historical trauma, land-taking, loss of identity and culture, and child theft/adoption projects in the name of Manifest Destiny in North America.” 

This highly-anticipated collection is part of a history-making book series Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects.  This series includes TWO WORLDS (Vol. 1), CALLED HOME: The Road Map (Vol. 2), and STOLEN GENERATIONS: Survivors of the Indian Adoption Projects and 60s Scoop (Vol. 3).  IN THE VEINS (Vol. 4) will share part of its proceeds with Standing Rock Water Protectors.  All books were published by the Blue Hand Books in Massachusetts, a collective of Native American authors.

Blue Hand Books founder Trace Lara Hentz, Busbee’s friend and co-editor on the book series, has also contributed to this collection. “These word warriors take us with them to the outer reaches of Indian identity and history.  Reading could not be more powerful,”  Hentz said, adding that she recommends the entire book series and hopes to reach new readers, both Indian and non-Indian.  

“These poems do make clear that words do have power, word by word by word… With the current political climate, we need good thoughts as we all are standing with the Standing Rock Water Protectors to end the Black Snake and Dakota Access Pipe Line.” [www.bluehandbooks.org]

ABOUT THE EDITOR:
Patricia Busbee is a writer, author, editor, devotee of outsider art and poetry. She is also a soup maker and bread baker. She believes that nourishment is found not only in food but in stories. Patricia is a strong believer in blood memory. She can be found in her kitchen cooking for her family—both the living and the deceased or in her too small office that is over-run with geriatric cats and hand crafted altars, writing about family dynamics, multiculturalism, adoption, ancestry or whatever else is clamoring for her attention. Most likely she is scrolling thru her Twitter feed pretending to be busy. She enjoys adding poetry, proverbs, folklore, recipes and snippets of conversations to her work. Her heart's desire is to write a magical realism novel in 2017.  She is the co-editor of Two Worlds, Called Home: The RoadMap and editor of IN THE VEINS.  Her noir-fiction “Remedies” was published in 2013. Her website: singingthemoon.me

IN THE VEINS contributors and their poems:
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ISBN: 978-0692832646 (Blue Hand Books)
Paperback $9.99   Kindle ebook $3.96
IN THE VEINS: Poetry (Book 4)
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Blue Hand Books Collective is a small Native American-owned publishing company based in western New England.  Website: www.bluehandcollective.com or  www.bluehandbooks.org

Thursday, May 5, 2016

BUY NOW button for new paperback

Stolen Generations in paperback (signed!) (US only) 
Order as many as you need!



Thursday, April 28, 2016

PRESS RELEASE: Stolen Generations


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New anthology sheds new light on the STOLEN GENERATIONS

Greenfield, Massachusetts [2016]  -- Award-winning Native journalist Trace Hentz continues her heart-rending efforts to peel away the malodorous layers of Native American adoption with her newest book, Stolen Generations: Survivors of the Indian Adoption Projects and 60s Scoop (Publisher Blue Hand Books).
“What is significant about this new book?  Everything,” Hentz said.  “Ten years ago there were no books on stolen generations.  Now we have more than one generation who have experienced the Indian Adoption Projects and 60s Scoop.  These survivors have bravely documented their life experience in their own words in three anthologies (Two Worlds, Called Home and now Stolen Generations) that I’ve compiled so far.”
Hentz (formerly DeMeyer) has worked tirelessly since 2004 to shed light on the dark corners and secret crevices of American Indian adoptions, and by extension, all adoptees.
 “For me, that is all I hoped for, prayed for,” Hentz said.  An adoptee herself, Hentz reunited with her own birth family over the past 20 years.  Her late-father  Earl was Shawnee-Tsalagi and Euro mix.  “I had to do something, as a journalist and as an adoptee to end the secrecy.”
When adoptees do start asking about their birth parents they often run into a wall of silence. Hentz offers to help them and often refers them to work with Librarian Karen Vigneault-MLIS, a member of the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel in California, who can provide genealogy and research for no charge.
In the case of a First Nations adoptee in the US or Canada, being unable to trace a birth parent can deny that adoptee and their child(ren) their rightful place on tribal rolls, their rights to ancestral land, and may disqualify them from tribal benefits they qualify for and deserve.
Indian adoption is nothing new, nor has the essential purpose changed.
It was long common policy to take Indian children from their families and communities and to place them in non-Native homes or send them to residential boarding schools.  In fact three contributors in Stolen Generations were the children of parents who had also been adopted out.
In 1978 tribes fought to get the Indian Child Welfare Act approved by the federal government.  ICWA’s intent is to keep Native children in tribal communities.
However, even now, some in Congress seek to overturn the ICWA.
“We are the pre-ICWA adoptees – before the federal law was signed, preventing adoption to non-Indian parents, thereby lawfully supporting kinship-care adoption so First Nations children remain in their community,” Hentz explained.
Stolen Generations is an anthology, letting adoptees tell their own stories, in their own words.
“For these adoptees and their adult children, it takes real courage to think about the past and try to make sense of it,” Hentz said.  “Many of us thought we were the only one.  I know I did.  Many of us felt very alone, isolated, confused.”
The introduction to Stolen Generations was written by Johnathan Brooks (Northern Cheyenne). Trace Hentz (Shawnee-Cherokee mix) wrote the preface.

Among the other contributors are author Patricia Busbee (Cherokee), Joseph Henning (Cree), Leland Pacheco Kirk (Navajo), Susan Devan Harness (Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes), author Dana Lone Hill (Oglala Lakota), Rebecca Larsen (Quinault Indian Nation),  Nakuset (Cree), and Joshua Whitehead (Peguis First Nation Manitoba). (Read complete list of contributors below)
“They told their story in their own way in their own words,” Hentz said. “As you read this book, you will see Native adoptees must overcome many barriers preventing them from uniting with their own tribal families, to regain status as enrolled tribal citizens.
“It’s widespread (in Canada and the US) and it's a growing issue,” she said.  “With sealed adoption records and the Bureau of Indian Affairs not actively helping, adoptees might wait years to rejoin their tribes and reclaim sovereignty.”
Hentz will continue fighting for the many generations affected by the various Indian Adoption Projects and 60s Scoop, supporting ICWA’s intent, using her blog American Indian Adoptees (www.splitfeathers.blogspot.com.)
“I just want to spare a future child the pain and loss we felt,” Hentz said.

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ISBN-13: 978-0692615560 (Blue Hand Books) 
Paperback $12.96 
Kindle ebook $3.96
Stolen Generations: Survivors of the Indian Adoption Projects and 60s Scoop (Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects Book 3)

An anthology of adoptees’ firsthand accounts and historical background of the Indian Adoption Projects and 60s Scoop in North America


Contributors:
INTRO: Johnathan Brooks (Northern Cheyenne)
Preface: Trace Hentz (Shawnee-Cherokee mix)
Joseph Henning (Cree)
Leland Pacheco Kirk Morrill (Navajo)
Nakuset (Cree)
Debra Newman (Choctaw Cherokee)
Belinda Mastalski Smith (Oneida New York)
Janelle Black Owl (Mandan, Hidatasa, Turtle Mountain Chippewa, Lakota)
Susan Devan Harness (Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes)
Dana LoneHill (Oglala Lakota)
Joy Meness (Iroquois)
Levi William EagleFeather Sr. (Sicangu Lakota)
Patricia Busbee (Cherokee)
Karl Mizenmayer (Minnesota Ojibwe)
Mitzi Lipscomb (Walpole Bkejwanong First Nations)
Rebecca Larsen (Quinault Indian Nation)
Joseph M. Pierce (Cherokee)
Mary St. Martin (Koyukon Athabascan)
Joshua Whitehead (Peguis First Nation Manitoba)
 
COVER ARTIST: Terry Niska Watson (White Earth Ojibwe adoptee) 
“This illustration I painted years ago when I was in a very dark place in my life.  This is a painting of a subject matter that has always drawn my interest, that is the Native life and the beauty of tradition, family and nature.  As my sister, Elizabeth Blake, said about this painting that still hangs on my wall, “the most interesting part is that the face is not visible.  That is how it is when you do not know your birth family.”

BOOK PREVIEW LINK:  Once Upon A Time (via pressbooks)

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Blue Hand Books Collective is a small Native American-owned publishing company based in western New England.  Website: www.bluehandbooks.org
Media Contact: Trace Hentz, Greenfield, Massachusetts, msg 413-258-0115, email: bluehandcollective@outlook.com
BOOK PDF available for reviewers.  For interviews with book contributors, contact Trace.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

AMERICAN INDIAN ADOPTEES: STOLEN GENERATIONS!

click: AMERICAN INDIAN ADOPTEES: STOLEN GENERATIONS! Survivors of the Indian Adopti...:


Cover art by Ojibwe adoptee Terry Niska Watson

NEW BOOK NOTICE: April 20, 2016

Contributors:
PREFACE: Johnathan Brooks
(Northern Cheyenne)
Joseph Henning (Cree)
Leland Pacheco Kirk Morrill
(Navajo)
Nakuset (Cree)
Debra Newman (Choctaw
Cherokee)
Belinda Mastalski Smith (Oneida New York)
Janelle Black Owl (Mandan, Hidatasa, Turtle Mountain
Chippewa, Lakota)
Susan Devan Harness (Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes)
Dana LoneHill (Oglala
Lakota)
Joy Meness (Iroquois)
Levi William EagleFeather Sr. (Sicangu Lakota)
Patricia Busbee (Cherokee)
Karl Mizenmayer (Minnesota
Ojibwe)
MITZI LIPSCOMB/ROSEMARY BLACKBIRD (Walpole Bkejwanong
First Nations)
Rebecca Larsen (Quinault Indian Nation)
Joseph M. Pierce (Cherokee)
Mary St. Martin (Koyukon Athabascan)
Joshua Whitehead (Peguis First Nation Manitoba)
 
COVER ART: Terry Niska
Watson (White Earth) 

Friday, December 12, 2014

An interview with Leland Morrill, Navajo adoptee

CLICK HERE: AMERICAN INDIAN ADOPTEES: My interview with Leland Morrill, Navajo adoptee (click)



Weaving a new life: My conversation with Dine adoptee Leland Morrill 

There was a reason Indian leaders went to the Senate in the 1970s...

Leland Morrill (Navajo) met recently with Chai Feldblum, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity  Commissioner (at left), to discuss the Real ID Act of 2005 and how it affects Native Americans who are adopted without an original birth certificate, census number, or certificate of Indian blood. Lack of documentation now affects employment, Morrill said, creating a sub-class of "former" US Citizens who are unable to get work without a state issued driver’s  license. Morrill, who is an adoptee, and Feldblum are writing an amendment and will present it to Real ID Act of 2005 author, Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin).”

Monday, November 17, 2014

Telling Our Stories

Becky shares her story and her mother's story in the new book Stolen Generations

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Book Review: Two Worlds, Called Home contributor Johnathan Brooks

Beacon Hill Training rated it 5 of 5 stars Good Reads
 
Johnathan Brooks (Cheyenne/Cree) Contributor to Called Home and Two Worlds
In the final countdown to BAAF National Adoption Week, I stumbled across a story on Twitter reported in the Kent and Sussex Courier about a Native American man adopted into a Western family in the mid 1960s. The article caught my attention, not only because of my interest in adoption but also because of the fascinating cultural implications of such a tale. Johnathan Brooks has contributed a chapter to the edited volume Two Worlds: Lost Children of the Adoption Projects, which I have now been able to read. Johnathan's is just one of several stories detailing the cultural assimilation of Native Americans into a wider American / Europe world, something about which I was previously unaware.

Johnathan was relinquished as a baby by his Native American mother and adopted by Countess Barbara von Bismarck-Schonhausen and her husband Hollywood publicist Steve Brooks. From a life of almost certain poverty in a Native American reservation, Johnathan was raised in London and received a progressive Steiner education in rural Sussex. As was 'the norm', Johnathan's history was effectively erased and he was issued with a new birth certificate. He was aware that he was adopted and was told almost by accident when his mother found him play-shooting the Indians who were 'baddies' in the Western movie he was watching.

Sadly, Johnathan's privileged upbringing was marred by his adoptive mother's mental health and addiction problems following the tragic deaths of her parents and sister. Johnathan felt that his relationship with her was always strained, perhaps due to the fact that he was not her biological son and she felt his place in her life was not necessarily permanent. This emotional distance was somewhat exacerbated by their lack of physical proximity; Johnathan lived with another family during term-time to prevent him from boarding at school.

Despite his adoption being almost taboo within the family (the main exceptions being when his birth mother was being disparaged), Johnathan's adoptive mother bought him a ticket to America when he was 21. He tells the story of his desire to trace his biological parents, juxtaposed with the ongoing routine of his life in England. I won't 'spoil' your enjoyment of this book by telling you much more, but it certainly is an engaging story and had me captivated.

As a human interest story, this one certainly is entrancing. But it serves more than that. Of course, given that the average age at adoption has significantly increased, there is less possibility to 'hush up' adoptions today. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that adoptive parents wouldn't do so if they felt able to, despite current thinking that honesty really is the best policy. The realities of adoption for both the adoptive parents and the children must be more thoroughly explored by the applicants and their social workers before the matching takes place. I'd suggest you try our previous blog post Opening the Eyes of Prospective Adopters for a real eye-opener about the realities of modern adoption.

Perhaps the more alarming aspect of Johnathan's story is the cultural assimilation (eradication?) of the Native American people in this period. The book as a whole contains many stories of 'transracial' adoptions where Indian children were raised by non-Indian families and their histories sealed by the government to prevent later re-entry into their tribes. The sad reality is that the children of this 'stolen generation' were removed, sometimes forcibly, in a methodical attempt at ethnic cleansing. The recent Nigerian baby exchange scandal shows just how easy child trafficking can be, preying on vulnerable people who simply wish to have a child. The popularity of international adoptions in the celebrity world has raised their profile and are often considered by people wishing to adopt a newborn. While ethnic compatibility is no longer considered the be-all-and-end-all of matching criteria (and certainly a stable and loving home should override this), I would certainly recommend that social workers and adoptive parents read this book to as a stark reminder of the damaging effects of closed adoptions and sealed birth records.

[Johnathan wrote an update in the new anthology CALLED HOME (book 2) Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects]

AMERICAN INDIAN ADOPTEES

  • www.splitfeathers.blogspot.com
  • www.bluehandbooks.org
  • www.laratracehentz.wordpress.com