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Gazillion Voices, Issue 16: Colonialism and Adoption – Who knew those two went together

As you may know, Gazillion Strong, our more productive/nicer/nonprofit partner organization, has a publication called Gazillion Voices magazine. It just published its 16th issue and the issue tackles colonialism and adoption. WTF, right? Yeah, I didn’t know those two went together either! Who knew?! Anyway, all but 1 of the articles/videos/podcast are FREE for 1 week. So, check it out, and, if you want to help GV expand by adding more contributors/sections, give them a little monetary love people!

Some kickass quotes from GV16:

From ‘Colonization and Adoption – A History’ by Susan Devan Harness

Rescue, need, abandonment, destructive social mores, child movement, and trafficking are the fallout of colonizing and imperialistic global practices.  The fallout for adoptees is experienced as burdens, which we carry alone for being different, separated from, “othered” within the boundary of “us”.  We are tired of labels of who we are or are not, who we should be, or should not be.

From ‘The Intimacy of Three Settler Nations: Colonialism, Race, and Child Welfar’ by Dr. Kit Myers

Of course the adoption industry and the nation-state have tried to appropriate this unsettling ambivalence and difference through the less threatening practice of celebrating superficial multiculturalism. The most explicit example of appropriating culture (and seemingly rejecting the requirement of assimilation / mimicry) is through the emergence of culture and heritage summer camps that have sprouted across the country. Moreover, Indigenous and transracial/national adoptees who are “successful” have become the adoptee poster childrenfor racial inclusion. While assimilation and mimicry have allowed many Indigenous and non-Indigenous transracial/national adoptees to survive or even “thrive,” they were crucial psychological and social components to the structures of settler colonialism and white supremacy. By the 1970s, Native Americans, tribes, and a coalition of allies came together to reject the notion that children removed from Native families and reservations were being given a better future.

From ‘Telling Our Stories’ by Dr. Raven Sinclair

When I began university in 1981, I was naïve about the world generally and about colonization and Indigenous issues specifically. Discovering that my adoption was part of the colonial child welfare system alleviated the burden I was carrying in my belief that I was adopted because of some fundamental personal flaw. The contextualizing of my experience within the Canadian colonial child welfare system was an epiphany because first, I realized it didn’t happen because I was a flawed human being, and second, I was relieved to learn that I was not the only Indigenous child adopted into a white family. It was a gift to discover that I was one among thousands and thousands of adoptees who all have stories that are similar to mine.

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