Le Soir (detail) by Gabriel Ferrier (1847-1914)
oil on canvas, 1911
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The ACLU has joined the fight to help Native American foster children in South Dakota. They will be presenting this issue to the UN in Geneva this August. Read the report at: https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/assets/2014.07.09_cerd_shadow_report_final.pdf#page=56
Also, read a blog from the ACLU at: https://www.aclu.org/blog/racial-justice/why-are-these-indian-children-being-torn-away-their-homes
Official Press Release:
ACLU to present Lakota Foster Care Crisis to UN
By Lakota People’s Law Project
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has included South Dakota’s persistent and illegal seizure of Lakota children in a report it is scheduled to present to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland in August.
The United Nations will convene the 85th session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, at which the ACLU will present an update on the United States’ compliance issues with human rights provisions as set forth by the UN.
In a section of the report entitled “Lack of Due Process in American Indian Child Custody Proceedings in South Dakota”, the ACLU details how statistics relating to the rate at which Lakota children are removed from their families when compared to non-Native counterparts “reflect intentional and unintentional racism, consistent with practices that have been condoned for decades in much of the United States.
The report further asserts that the Indian Child Welfare Act, passed in 1978 by Congress with the aim of stemming the problems of Indian children being removed from families and extended families within their tribes, has severe limitations. One of these limitations is the lack of a regular and comprehensive review by any federal agency to ensure state compliance with statutory requirements.
“Individual states are already required to report on a variety of measures regarding children in their care, but not on issues specific to ICWA compliance or the Indigenous children under state care,” the report states.
Additionally, the funding apparatus for tribal child welfare programs and officers hired to ensure ICWA provisions are being followed are cobbled together from different federal agencies and child welfare programs, leading to oversight confusion. A lack of funding for oversight and implementation is also listed as a limitation to the law in its current form.
The ACLU filed suit in federal court in March 2013 against various South Dakota state officials involved in the removal of Indian children from their homes under state child custody laws.
The suit was filed on behalf of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, two of the nine distinct tribes that occupy reservations within South Dakota’s borders.
The lawsuit alleges state officials violated the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution along with ICWA provisions routinely, which routinely resulted in the wrongful removal of scores of Lakota children on an annual basis.
The Lakota People’s Law Project (LPLP) has been working on foster care issues relative to the Native American children of South Dakota since 2005, partnering with tribes and leaders in South Dakota. LPLP has uncovered statistical evidence that an average of 742 Native American children are removed from their homes in South Dakota on an annual basis. When controlling for the factor of poverty, South Dakota still ranks third in the nation for the highest number of children taken into custody by the South Dakota Department of Social Services.
While Native American children constitute 13.5 percent of the child population in South Dakota, they comprise 54 percent of the youth foster care population. South Dakota has continued to ignore stipulations in ICWA that mandate placement of Native American children in Native American homes, placing about 87 percent of Native children in non-Native homes.
A report in May by the Argus Leader, the daily newspaper for Sioux Falls, South Dakota, found that South Dakota is one of the least transparent states relating to the operation of their Department of Social Services its cases.
“The state’s confidentiality laws prevent social services from commenting on specific cases, even when there are criminal charges,” the article states. “States such as Nebraska, Michigan and Minnesota are more transparent. In Minnesota, for example, the records and reports from abuse and neglect investigations are open for public review.”
The ACLU will present the child foster care issue as one of seven major issues that continue to confront the United States as it attempts to comply with the major human rights treaty monitored by the UN.
The other issues include Racial Profiling, Racial Disparities in Sentencing, Racial Discrimination in the U.S. Capital Punishment System, The Right to Vote, Discriminatory Treatment of Guestworkers and Undocumented Works and Predatory Lending and the Foreclosure Crisis.
The Lakota People’s Law Project is also funding several Lakota professionals to work on this campaign, and is launching an on-line petition campaign to pressure the Federal Departments to make the South Dakota tribes a priority for funding allocations.
The Lakota People’s Law Project’s activities have included funding and supporting Native experts to provide technical assistance to the tribes on family and child welfare issues. The project combines public interest law, research, education, and organizing into a unique model for advocacy and social reform.
The Lakota People’s Law Project is sponsored by the non-profit Romero Institute based in Santa Cruz, CA. The Institute is named after slain human rights advocate Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador. The Institute seeks to identify and dismantle structural sources of injustice and threats to the survival of our human family.
All of Shel Silverstein books of poems were my absolutely favorites as a kid. This typography quote poster was created in admiration of his words. I tried to bring his language and poetry to life with each quirky letter and type setting. By using typefaces I created (Lunchbox & Lunchbox Slab) I was able to customize areas to fit the words.
The color and texture in the prints are inspired by a combination of watercolor textures and silk screen printing.
Poster has been printed at 1440 dpi on 90 lbs Studio Watercolor Paper. Available in various sizes. On sale at Etsy!
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Branch’s behavior worries Walt. Later, Henry faces a setback in his trial. Share this one proudly. It’s from our friends at A&E.
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