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CASA Equity & Social Justice Book Group

Wednesday, December 7, 2022
12:15 pm1:30 pm

CASA Equity and Social Justice Book Group
Please join the next meeting of the CASA ESJ Book Group for a mixed media approach, especially considering the pending Supreme Court case of Brackeen v. Haaland set for oral argument on November 9.
*** Reading the book is not required to join us and participants are encouraged to review other suggested media relevant to the topic.
Wednesday, December 7, 2022
12:15 – 1:30 pm
Via Zoom (see link below)
Questions? Contact facilitator Jennie Cowan (
***1.5 hours of ESJ continuing education credit for attendance

Bitterroot: A Salish Memoir of Transracial Adoption (American Indian Lives)
By Susan Devan Harness
Lecturer, Oral Historian, and Author Susan Devan Harness describes her experience to overcome being an American Indian child adopted by a white couple. This book traces her journey to understand why she was subjected to racist remarks and why she was an outsider looking in. The author’s journey helped her understand the often puzzling questions of stereotypes, a sense of non-belonging, the meaning of family, and the importance of forgiveness.

1. Daughter of a Lost Bird - Film
The Office of Tribal Relations has paid for access to the film, Daughter of a Lost Bird available throughout the month of November.
This film will only be accessible between November 1-30, 2022 using the following password: lostbird922
“Lost birds” – a term for Native children adopted out of their tribal communities. Right after the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 became the law of the land, Kendra Mylnechuk Potter was adopted into a white family and raised with no knowledge of her Native parentage. This beautiful and intimate film follows Kendra on her journey to find her birth mother April, also a Native adoptee, and return to her Lummi homelands in Washington State. With a sensitive yet unflinching lens, director Brooke Swaney (Blackfeet/Salish) documents Kendra and April as they connect with relatives and navigate what it means to be Native, and to belong to a tribe from the outside looking in. Along the way, Kendra uncovers generations of emotional and spiritual beauty and pain and comes to the startling realization that she is a living legacy of U. S. assimilationist policy. By sharing a deeply personal experience of inherited cultural trauma, the film opens the door to broader and more complicated conversations about the erasure of Native culture and questions of identity surrounding adoption.
2. Brackeen v. Haaland –US Supreme Court Oral Argument on November 9, 2022

Brackeen v. Haaland - SCOTUSblog
Argument Audio ( (argument will be posted on November 9)
Issues: (1) Whether the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978’s placement preferences — which disfavor non-Indian adoptive families in child-placement proceedings involving an “Indian child” and thereby disadvantage those children — discriminate on the basis of race in violation of the U.S. Constitution; and (2) whether ICWA’s placement preferences exceed Congress’s Article I authority by invading the arena of child placement — the “virtually exclusive province of the States,” as stated in Sosna v. Iowa — and otherwise commandeering state courts and state agencies to carry out a federal child-placement program.

3. This Land – Podcast by Cherokee Citizen Rebecca Nagle on another case similar to Brackeen: 3. Grandma Versus The Foster Parents | Crooked Media

Description: The award-winning documentary podcast This Land hosted by Rebecca Nagle reports on how the far right is using Native children to attack American Indian tribes and advance a conservative agenda. Rebecca Nagle is an American activist, writer and public speaker. She is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

• The importance of the adoptive parents’ role in supporting the child’s culture and biological family connections
• Social and cultural bias and a new perspective on a familiar experience, and spark meaningful conversations about this historical trauma, generational cycles due to systemic racism
• How can CASA best support children of color in their adoptive home to provide resources to the family in answering tough questions from the children and from others
• How might you as a CASA volunteer support a child and family under these stressful circumstances? What would benefit your effectiveness as an advocate in your case? Case discussion: do you have a case with similar themes

Time: December 7, 2022, 12:15 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 856 9168 2232
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