by Albert Bender
Genocide is not too strong a term for what is now happening in South Dakota. The huge, shocking violation of legal and human rights being carried out by the state is tantamount to genocide against the Native American nations, the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Sioux, residing within its borders. It is the abduction and kidnapping by state officials, under the cover of law, of American Indian children.
This is a gross violation of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978. Further, these abominable kidnappings are being upheld by the courts of that state.
The best approach to this crime against humanity is by the following initial checklist:
1. Over 700 American Indian children are removed by South Dakota state officials from their homes every year.
2. These hundreds are sent to white foster homes or group homes.
3. Many are adopted by white families.
4. Indian children account for 13.8 percent of the state’s child population, yet they represent 56.3 percent of the foster care population.
5. Of the hundreds of Native children in foster care in 2011, 87 percent were placed in non-Indian homes while Native foster homes went empty.
6. Because of its targeting Native children, South Dakota is currently removing children from their families at a higher rate than the vast majority of other states in the U.S.
7. Once removed, the state’s courts routinely keep Indian children from even seeing their families for at least 60 days.
8. The state’s Department of Social Services (DSS) workers warn Native children that if they become emotional during a visit with their parents, the visits will be discontinued (this is incredible!).