Woman Crush Wednesday (WCW) No. 1: Native Mothers
See, almost every single one of our moms from my generation—roughly 1960-1980—were encouraged to 1) abort their Native child, 2) tie their tubes (and in some cases were tricked into tying their tubes) and/or 3) give away their kids to non-Native families. All these things were encouraged in the name of trying to “make their children’s lives better.” Since many of our dads weren’t present, it was almost 100% the mom’s call whether or not they gave away the kids or aborted us or got their tubes tied. This was pre-Indian Child Welfare Act, and so there were a lot of Indian babies that got taken away and a lot of Native women’s tubes that got tied against their will. Now, some of them agreed to these things—it made sense; they were poor and uneducated and oftentimes with no real opportunities to make things better.
“If it will make my child’s life better.”
No judgment to those who did give their children up—it was absolutely an understandable decision at the time. But thankfully most of those Native moms did not. They kept the faith that things COULD and WOULD get better. As a result, Native people are still here today and growing in numbers and opportunities every single day. I thank God everyday that my mom didn’t and I was able to grow up with the richness of being raised by a wonderful Native family in amazing Native communities.
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