The Atlantic Spotlight on Photojournalist Daniella Zalcman’s “Signs of Your Identity”

Link: Erasing Indigenous Heritage by Emily Anne Epstein (Oct. 30, 2016)


For nearly a century, the Canadian government took indigenous Canadians from their families and placed them in church-run boarding schools, forcibly assimilating them to Western culture. Children as young as 2 or 3 years old were taken from their homes, their language extinguished, their culture destroyed. With support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, photographer Daniella Zalcman has been documenting the lingering effects of this trauma for her book, Signs of Your Identity, this year’s winner for the FotoEvidence Book Award.


The Atlantic: Why Several Native Americans Are Suing the Mormon Church

Links: Sunday’s article by Lilly Fowler, earlier post with briefs


The location where the cases are litigated will prove crucial. These lawsuits have been filed in Navajo Nation District Court in Window Rock, Arizona. But the LDS Church is fighting to have the lawsuits dismissed on jurisdictional grounds, arguing the alleged abuse took place outside the reservation. The Navajo Nation allows alleged sexual-abuse victims to bring claims up to two years from the time when the harm of their abuse is discovered, accounting for the time it can take for people to realize the nature of their injuries. Other jurisdictions have stricter statutes of limitations to ensure claims are brought in a timely manner. In Utah’s civil courts, the statute of limitations for child sex abuse was recently eliminated, but only when the case is brought against the alleged perpetrator personally. The recent change in Utah law would not benefit those in the Indian Student Placement Program because the LDS Church is named as a defendant, and many, if not all, of the perpetrators are deceased. If the lawsuits were refiled in Utah, or one of many other states with a shorter statute of limitations, they would likely be dismissed.

David Clohessy, the national director of the Survivor’s Network of Those Abused by Priests, an organization dedicated to helping victims of sexual abuse, said it often takes years for those affected by abuse to talk about it. “The more isolated and powerlessness victims … feel, the longer it takes for them to come forward,” Clohessy said. And “even if they had the smarts to understand they were being hurt, the courage to report it, given how many whites felt about Native Americans, many would find these boys and girls not particularly credible … This particular program is a predator’s dream.”

Further documents and briefs in the matter of the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, et al v. RJ et al, 16-cv-00453 (D. Utah):

Doc. 17 Second Amended Complaint for Declaratory Judgment

Doc. 19 Amended Motion for Preliminary Injunction

Doc. 24 Combined Memorandum in Support of Amended Motion for Preliminary Injunction, and in Response to Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs’ Amended Complaint for Declaratory Judgment

Doc. 25 Reply to Plaintiffs’ Response to Defendants’ Objection and Motion to Dismiss

Doc. 29 Defendants’ Objection to Plaintiffs’ Second Amended Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs’ Amended Complaint for Declaratory Judgment

Kevin Maillard’s Atlantic Article on Putative Father Registries


Since the 1970s, 33 states have created Putative Father Registries, designed as a way to link unmarried men to the mother of their child. States expect men to report—voluntarily and honestly—information about all their sexual partners; otherwise, they forfeit their right to be contacted if a partner pursues adoption. The registry is not a petition for custody or a determination of paternity—only a right to notification. Without registry, the wishes of the biological father are irrelevant.

The Atlantic Article on Climate Change and Yup’ik Fishing


“Subsistence is living from the land,” said Flynn. “It’s what we’ve always done. We go hunt ducks and seals in the ocean in the springtime. Ptarmigan. Salmon. My great-grandfather and grandfather told us we have to be very careful what we catch. God made them for everyone. I was living subsistence even when I was in the military. My whole life. I make a fish camp every year and dry 30, 40 kings. I set a net last summer but there was too much closure. Things have been rough.”

“And how did it feel not to be able to catch enough?” Davis asked him.

“I have a grandchild, 2 years old—” He paused and rubbed his eyes. Several other men in the gallery also began to cry. “My grandson said to me, ‘When we gonna go check the net?’ And I couldn’t say anything.”

Michael Cresswell, a state trooper, leaned over and whispered in my ear: “This is momentous. This is climate change on trial.”

Via J.S.

Andrew Cohen on Baby Veronica in The Atlantic

A powerful read. Update — We’ll keep this on the front page of Turtle Talk for a few days.


An excerpt:

The United States Supreme Court next Tuesday hears argument in a head-spinning case that blends the rank bigotry of the nation’s past with the glib sophistry of the country’s present. The case is about a little girl and a Nation, a family and a People. The question at the center of it has been asked (and answered) over and over again on this blessed continent for the past 400 years: Is the law of the land going to preclude or permit yet another attempt to take something precious away from an Indian?

Update: Kate Fort’s post on the case here on the Faculty Lounge.