My introduction to Rise was through the writing workshop at the Child Welfare Organizing Project. When I started, I was writing just to write. Then I found that writing was a way to gain insight into my life.
I never knew that writing words on paper would open up so many old wounds.
The first thing I discovered was that I’d suppressed a lot of what happened in my life. I remembered things my mother … Read More
Judge William Thorne as told to Antoinette Robinson
Shortly after I started working as a tribal judge, one of my cases involved whether to remove children from their family. I didn’t know much about the child welfare system and I needed to do some research. But I also trusted that the child welfare system knew the answers. The more I researched, though, the more I learned that the system was broken.
Since the 1880s, the United States … Read More
In 2005, Native Americans in South Dakota reached out to human rights lawyers because more than 700 Native American children in South Dakota were taken from their families every year. Here, Chase Iron Eyes, South Dakota counsel for the Lakota People’s Law Project, and Sara Nelson, its executive director, describe how people came together to bring about change:
Q: What led the Native American community to organize to reform child welfare?
Iron Eyes: … Read More
Illustration by Erika Faye Burke
I was raised to have pride in who I am and stand up for what I believe. Standing up in court to admit that I neglected my children, I felt like everything I knew to be true and right was thrown out the window.
As the judge looked at me and said, “I strongly suggest you plead guilty,” I broke down and cried.
My lawyer put her head down and told me, … Read More