Welcome to the TRC of America
A Cultural Impact in Modern America
- Coming Soon @ Price Center, San MarcosSan MarcosComing Soon @ Price Center, San MarcosSan Marcos, 222 W San Antonio St, San Marcos, TX 78666, USAComing Soon @ Price Center, San MarcosSan Marcos, 222 W San Antonio St, San Marcos, TX 78666, USAFor most of the 20th century, government agents systematically forced Native American children from their homes and placed them with white families. As recently as the 1970’s, one in four Native children nationwide were living in non-Native foster care, adoptive homes, or boarding schools.
The Truth & Reconciliation Commission is a Native American founded organization that is dedicated to ending system injustice within the child welfare system in America. Since the colonization of what used to be Turtle Island, what we now call the United States and its government has progressively become more restrictive and exclusive of what we call the "American Dream". By way of failing systems of government, various groups of people have been executed, persecuted, and oppressed by these systems...starting with the Native people of this country. It is no secret that most of the Native American people in the United States were slaughtered, that is genocide. The systems built by christian radicals that followed, continued in what we call cultural genocide by way of stolen children and the idea that the Native American culture must conform to white christian standards to maintain their parental rights in America.
As a Native American person, I can find no better way to honor my ancestors than fighting to end the injustices that which nearly brought my people to extinction and continue to do so. Tribes in this country are fighting to maintain our culture and keep native children within our tribes, but lack of funding and support from fellow americans due to a general unawareness that cultural genocide is real and still happening. Our children, among others are literally being kidnapped by public officials while other children are being left in abusive homes due to an overcrowding in the foster care system. These children are growing up without the support they need to fully sustain life and 80% of foster care children end up in our overcrowded prison system. What might seem obvious to me has yet to be seen among our government leaders as a failure of the child welfare system. Part of the problem is the power within individual states to govern themselves and take what was meant to be a standard set of procedures (ICWA) for all removal of children from their homes, and quite frankly not followed at all. Attempts to follow the Indian Child Welfare Act results in years of litigation between the states child welfare system and the parents or Native Tribe, often times on whether or not the Tribe or parents have the right to implement ICWA. As stated in this "Federal Guideline", an investigation into whether or not a child should be removed must include an extensive investigation with expert witnesses and proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a child is in direct harm...BEFORE a child is removed. Children, like my son, are being removed from wonderful parents due to testimony from strangers based on esthetic appearance and I quote, because they "were barefoot and looked hungry". Meanwhile, the use of video evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt is not utilized, such as bodycam footage or surveillance cameras. In 2023, there is no other way to define this ignorance other than intentional and discriminatory action by public servants. The TRC's main focus is to gather testimony by Native people who have been negatively impacted by the Child Welfare System. In our culture, the children are the center of our being and without them, we will cease to exist. The dis-proportionality rate of Native children who enter the Child Welfare System in the United States, while has reduced, is still outrageously high compared to white children. This can not happen any longer.
I used to be so proud to live in America when I still believed in the ideals were were promised upon birth in this country....Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness. I do not believe that anymore, but in and effort to restore that faith and promise I made to a five year old little boy, the TRC shall continue to fight for these freedoms and we wont give up...ever.
-Andrea Freeman, TRC President