Native American Culture, Transracial Adoption, and Acculturation Issues

I have worked with local bands of Southern California Native Americans, first in the capacity of an MSW intern, and then, after receiving my Master in Social Work from San Diego State University 1999, as a social worker for Child Protective Services with the County of San Diego. Additionally, I, myself, have Native American heritage. As an Indian baby born before 1978, when the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) came into being, I have an intimate knowledge and a highly personal understanding of the impact of being Native American, but raised white within a white culture. I have struggled all these years to connect to my “roots,” and have experienced difficulties, as I may “look” like a Native American physically, but I think and feel like a white person. I, too, understand what it is to be an “apple,” i.e., white on the inside, red on the outside, and how hurtful it can be to lose your true self. Let’s take the journey together.