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Wednesday, July 20, 2022

IN THE VEINS | Poetry in Indian Country


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.” []

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:

IN THE VEINS contributors and their poems:

ISBN: 978-0692832646 (Blue Hand Books)
Paperback $9.99   Kindle ebook $3.96
IN THE VEINS: Poetry (Vol. 4)

Blue Hand Books Collective is a small Native American-owned publishing company based in western New England.  Website: or

2022 NEW WEBSITE Trace has posted about poets who have passed on. More poets will be published over time.

Vine Deloria Jr. on Our Relationship to the Unseen

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

What does history tell us about adoption

By Trace Hentz (Blog Editor and adoptee)

The Dakota expression for child, wakan injan, can be translated as “they too are sacred,” according to Glenn Drapeau, Ihanktonwan Dakota and a member of the Elk Soldier Society on the Yankton Sioux Reservation in South Dakota.

“To us, children are as pure as the holy, moving energy of the universe,” he says, “and we treat them that way.”

What does history tell us about adoption? Most telling is the timeline of adoption history:

Can you see the curve American Adoption took to become a profitable industry after seeing that timeline?  Do you notice how some states stepped in and made laws? Can you see the influence of the religions and their judgements of single parents? What role did poverty and racism play? Can you see how secrecy and laws protects the industry and the people who adopt?

Twenty years I've studied adoption in my own investigations and I think 20 years later... adoption is not about child care at all but has morphed into child trafficking, a response to an infertility epidemic, lawyers and judges, billions of dollars, propaganda and bad history.

Supply and demand requires: Where do you find an available baby for an infertile couple in America?

What was born of this curve in 20 years: there are camps. The two most common camps for adoptees are "be grateful" and "the activist."

Not everyone wants to hear adoptees in any camp. I simply cannot believe the adoption debate has gone on as long as it has.

If adoption hurts anyone, then it should be abolished. Period.

When you see how adoption was used against Native people, then it was a criminal act. (This was important to document in the four-part book series LOST CHILDREN OF THE INDIAN ADOPTION PROJECTS: see the books in the sidebar of this blog)

My adoptive parents were miserable people, very sick. I cannot begin to calculate the source of their behaviors but their infertility and religion resulted in my being adopted by them through Catholic Charities and then abused by both of them.

If there had been careful awareness by the adoption industry's social workers prior...maybe it would not have happened. But the social workers never returned.

Who would create a system for children that would not check on adopted children?

Child trafficking via adoption is profitable. That seems to be why it won't go away.

I'm not bitter because that was the system and how it was created. But when you see the harm, and the trauma and the lifelong issues for the child in a closed adoption, how does adoption exist in any form?

Caring for children who are true orphans, without any biological family is so rare, a community could step in and care for the orphan.  It would not require a bureaucracy to do that. The decision could be made by tribal leaders. If you are a member of a tribe, the entire tribe is your family. Kinship care always worked for children who had lost their parents.

I was not an orphan. I had two biological parents who were in their 20s. Relatives told me later they could have and would have raised me.

But someone created a system that didn't allow that, and instead the adoption industry chose strangers to raise me.

I was born before the Indian Child Welfare Act was passed in 1978. I do not have my Original Birth Certificate.

I will never stop fighting for Native children. They deserve our protection.

Read my earlier post: What Being Adopted Cost Me.

Toni Morrison says that “facts can exist without human intelligence, but truth cannot.”

Trace is working on a new edition of her memoir in 2020.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Notice to readers

out of print
It was necessary to retire the first edition of Two Worlds. The new 2nd edition replaced it.
If you do have the first edition, it's now a collector item! Nice!
Also, Blue Hand Books has retired Trace's memoir One Small Sacrifice. It was her choice.
She may publish it eventually with updates.

The 2nd Edition is here:

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

wind cave

Thursday, December 14, 2017

TWO WORLDS second edition!

For Immediate Release
Greenfield, Massachusetts (2017)

Tragic, true, heartbreaking, astonishing... those words have been used to describe the anthology Two Worlds, the first book to expose in first-person detail the adoption practices that have been going on for years under the guise of caring for destitute Indigenous children in North America.

What really happened and where are these Native children now? 

The new updated Second Edition of TWO WORLDS (Vol. 1), with narratives from Native American and First Nations adoptees, covers the history of Indian child removals in North America, the adoption projects, their impact on Indian Country, the 60s Scoop in Canada and how it impacts the adoptee and their families.

"This book changed history," say editor Trace Hentz. "There is no doubt in my mind the adoption projects were buried and hidden... we adoptees are the living proof."

The Lost Children Book Series includes: Two Worlds, Called Home: The Roadmap, Stolen Generations, and In The Veins: Poetry. The book series is an important contribution to American Indian history.

Trace Hentz (formerly DeMeyer) located other Native adult survivors of adoption and asked them to write a narrative for the first anthology. The adoptees share their unique experience of living in Two Worlds, surviving assimilation via adoption, opening sealed adoption records, and in most cases, a reunion with their tribal relatives. Indigenous identity and historical trauma takes on a whole new meaning in this adoption book series.

Since 2004, award winning journalist Hentz was writing her historical biography “One Small Sacrifice: A Memoir.” She was contacted by many adoptees after stories were published about her work. More adoptees were found after “One Small Sacrifice” had its own Facebook page and the American Indian Adoptees blog started in 2009. In 2011, Trace was introduced to Patricia Busbee and asked her to co-edit the first edition of Two Worlds.

As Hentz writes in the Preface, "The only way we change history is to write it ourselves." This book is a must read for all that want the truth, since very little is known or published on this history.

"I was asked to update this book by one adoptee contributor and I added a new narrative by Levi Eagle Feather, and more information on the 60s Scoop. Please tell your friends and other adoptees," Trace Hentz says. "One day in America, we Lost Children will have our day in court." 

Patricia Busbee is writing a new chapter on her adoptee reunion in the anthology CALLED Home in 2019.

For more information, to order copies, bulk orders, media etc:

Blue Hand Books Collective is a small Native American-owned publishing company based in western New England.

The first edition has been retired.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

PRESS RELEASE: Stolen Generations


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 (
“I just want to spare a future child the pain and loss we felt,” Hentz said.


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

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.”

Blue Hand Books Collective is a small Native American-owned publishing company based in western New England.  Website:
Media Contact: Trace Hentz, Greenfield, Massachusetts, phone: 413-772-6996, email:
BOOK PDF available for reviewers.  For interviews with book contributors, contact Trace.

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