Mix two long contentious issues: The forced assimilation of Native Americans into “White Culture” and the increasing powers of state authorities to remove children from homes deemed “unsafe” and you have a wonderful cocktail for public anger and investigations.
A recent story on National Public Radio has highlighted how a disproportionate number of Native American children are being removed from their homes and placed in “safer” often White American homes by child welfare authorities. Apparently the most egregious cases have been occurring in South Dakota, where at last count about 700 children are removed from their homes every year. This was actually standard practice at the end of the 19th century when turning Indians into good civilized White folk was a major priority of the federal government. But in 2011 it seems like a throwback to much less pleasant and respectable times.
The foster parents claim that their side of the story is being ignored since state law requires them to remain anonymous but something tells me that the criteria for being a foster parent is not nearly as stringently enforced as the criteria being used to remove some of these children from their homes.
This article originally appeared at Politic365.com.