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Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Dark Piece in America’s Subconscious: Native Children in the Child Welfare System

A Dark Piece in America’s Subconscious: Native Children in the Child Welfare System

In 1879 an army officer named Richard H Pratt opened a boarding school for Indian youth in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  This was the first of many schools which ran with the full support of the federal government, and with the expressed goal of Americanizing Native Americans, or in other words, “Kill the Indian, and save the man.” When dealing with the issue of child welfare, the research and literature suggest this is an issue inseparable from racial disparity.  When we consider the experience of Native American children in the welfare system we see an additional component, not only the often competing interests of keeping a family together, and keeping a child safe but also that of preserving cultural integrity.

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