By Peter d’Errico, January 02, 2013 (published in Indian Country Today)
Two Worlds: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects is a new book about the campaign to break indigenous social structures by removing the children: “Governments… paid agencies and churches to remove and Christianize children… and raise them to be non-Indian.” Edited by adoptees, the history is told through chronicles by those who lived through it. Ethnic cleansing by Adoption projects take children away permanently, to assimilate them into non-Indian society via non-Indian families. A common element of the stories is painful curiosity, children trying to figure out who they are, and why their biological parents gave them away. What is learned may compound the pain, when the child’s displacement turns out to be a subchapter in the parent’s (or parents’) own survival struggle. The “stolen generations” is only part of the trajectory of Indian genocide. Two Worlds shows that the pain of the non-Indian adoptive families often compounds the pain of displacement. For whatever reasons—many are discussed in the multitude of stories—adoptive parents may be trying to escape from their own pain when they take an Indian child into their homes. Those who try a to fill a void or carry out a messianic belief by adopting an Indian child cause pain that multiplies pain; everyone is scarred. As if all this pain were not enough, the stories tell of a whole new world of pain that may open up at the end of the genealogical quest, when the search for the past has led to the present: the pain of re-assimilation; or worse, the pain of not being able to re-assimilate into one’s origin community.
Judy Leaming reviewed Two Worlds: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects
June 15, 2013
This will be a resource book in a workshop on Native Nations this summer. It’s an important contribution to Native history.
Jk12 reviewed Two Worlds: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects
3 of 3 people found the following helpful
Not Just for Native Adoptees
November 17, 2012
This book contains very personal experiences and thoughts of Native adoptees. Their often painful experiences are similar to non-Native adoptees. The authors write in such a compelling manner that it is hard to put down. Its an emotional roller coaster that also includes the history of American Indians constant struggle with a government determined to exterminate an entire race. Beautifully written, not to sound cliche but it is a must read. The most important book published since DeMeyer’s first book.
Yassmin Sanders (UK)
5.0 out of 5 stars: Thought-provoking and moving
11 October 2012
Two Worlds – Lost children of the Indian Adoption Projects
If you thought that ethnic cleansing was something for the history books, think again. This work tells the stories of Native American Indian adoptees “The Lost Birds” who continue to suffer the effects of successive US and Canadian government policies on adoption; policies that were in force as recently as the 1970’s. Many of the contributors still bear the scars of their separation from their ancestral roots. What becomes apparent to the reader is the reality of a racial memory that lives in the DNA of adoptees and calls to them from the past.
The editors have let the contributors tell their own stories of their childhood and search for their blood relatives, allowing the reader to gain a true impression of their personalities. What becomes apparent is that nothing is straightforward; re-assimilation brings its own cultural and emotional problems. Not all of the stories are harrowing or sad; there are a number of heart-warming successes, and not all placements amongst white families had negative consequences. But with whom should the ultimate decision of adoption reside? Government authorities or the Indian people themselves? Read Two Worlds and decide for yourself.
Kindle Customer reviewed Two Worlds: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects
We are all related
March 30, 2013
This is one of the most poignant, honest and sad books I’ve read. It tells finally of the unspeakable wrongs done to Native American children those many years ago. The scars remain like scabs that don’t heal. The words, the cruelty. We wondered WHY when we were growing up. We looked different. We felt different. We longed for someone that looked like us. I am one of the lost birds and at age 59 the wounds seem fresh at times but better with every revelation, every truth that comes out. It helps to know the stories of others. We may be of different tribes but we are truly “all related.” Thanks again Trace, our hearts are woven with our sisters and brothers for all time. This book is a must read for all that want the truth.