September 10, 2013

Baby Veronica case violates sovereignty

UN official issues statement on Veronica

By Michael OverallDrawing international attention to the ongoing custody battle, a UN official demanded Tuesday that Oklahoma respect Baby Veronica’s “human rights as a child and as member of the Cherokee Nation.”

State and federal authorities should consider Veronica’s best interest before making a final custody decision, said James Anaya, the United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples.

“Veronica’s human rights as a child and as member of the Cherokee Nation, an indigenous people, should be fully and adequately considered in the ongoing judicial and administrative proceedings that will determine her future upbringing,” Anaya said in a statement from Geneva.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court is considering an appeal from the girl’s biological father, who has been ordered by courts both in Oklahoma and South Carolina to hand the girl over to her adoptive parents.
Indian Country Needs a Red Line in Sand Against Assaults on Sovereignty

By Jay DanielsHow sad that the Adoptive Couple may one day have to tell this little Cherokee girl that they challenged her in court. It’s under the guise of their challenging the biological father, but the case name is Baby v. Adoptive Couple. How would you feel to find out that you are one of the most significant Indian court cases in history and the plaintiff was your adoptive parents? The adoptive mother made a statement to a journalist recently “We beat the Cherokee Nation.” Was their intent to beat the Cherokee Nation, or to adopt the baby? That’s the history of Native Americans. It’s not so much that non-Indians believe they are right in their fight, but they love the feeling when they can take something away from us. They enjoy sitting back after it’s over and being able to say “We beat them.” Classic confrontation and it’s still happening today.

There are assaults on our casinos, smoke shops, water rights, unwanted mining on our trust lands or close proximity to reservations, lack of adequate supervised development of oil fields, taxation issues around the country, etc. We are given a bone here and there while they attempt to backdoor Indian Country by eroding our inherent right and sovereignty. We are forced to focus on winning a battle but sometimes losing the war. It’s one step forward and two steps backwards. Never able to completely move ahead because we are forced to move behind in key issues not only affecting tribes today but potentially drastic implications down the road for all of Indian Country.
Comment:  For more on Baby Veronica, see Oklahoma Governor Orders Extradition for Brown and Christian Adoption Groups Stereotype Indians.

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