Just three hours after a Native American mother got home from the hospital after a suspected heart attack, Child Protective Services (known in Alabama as DHR, Department of Human Resources) showed up on her doorstep and took away her two autistic sons. Now, her two sons are living in a foster home in Mobile, almost 250 miles away from their Sylacauga home, and their mother says that they are being abused in foster care and that their culture is being trampled by the social workers and foster parents. Dawn "Adaleha" ("my sunshine" in Cherokee) Cullins was appointed as the Alabama Ambassador for the Sokoki tribe, and in 2003, was recognized for "acts of compassion and kindness" and awarded the Civic Recognition Award in her community. She holds a degree in Paralegal studies and is very active in tribal activities. Her record is squeaky clean, without so much as a traffic ticket. DHR got involved with her family after one of her autistic sons wandered away from home and was reported to DHR by neighbors. The charges against her were "a messy house and dirty children." Today, Dawn claims her children are beaten in foster care, and are given multiple drugs to keep them compliant without her approval. She calls it "genocidal kidnapping," and reports that when she told DHR that her children were Native American, the social workers told her that she would never get her kids back.
We have previously reported how the Department of Social Services makes up 53% of the entire budget for the state of South Dakota every year, mainly by removing children from Native American homes, and usually placing them in white people's homes. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced this week that a federal court has ordered South Dakota officials to stop violating the rights of Indian parents and tribes in state child custody proceedings.
Genocide is not too strong a term for what is now happening in South Dakota. The huge, shocking violation of legal and human rights being carried out by the state is tantamount to genocide against the Native American nations, the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Sioux, residing within its borders. It is the abduction and kidnapping by state officials, under the cover of law, of American Indian children. South Dakota is committing blatant and flagrant genocide against the Sioux people by transferring Indian children to white homes, and also amid allegations of sexual abuse and drugging of Native children in DSS foster care. This is a most serious case of ethnic cleansing.