NAWDIM Statement on Family SeparationTweet
June 22, 2018
The Native American Women’s Dialog on Infant Mortality (NAWDIM), a collective dedicated to indigenous infant and cultural survival, joins the outraged chorus of voices raised opposing family separation and criminalization of asylum-seekers.
NAWDIM’s horror is somewhat mitigated by the Trump administration’s executive order to end the despicable policy of family separation but the human rights of the children previously separated from their families or those who will be detained with their families have not been adequately addressed.
As indigenous peoples, we are well versed in the dark history of the United States government forcibly removing children from their families and communities. Historical trauma from destructive, government sanctioned policies continue to impact indigenous communities across North America, both reservation-based and urban communities.
These impacts include poverty, racism-based health disparities, and destruction of natural resources. We also call attention to the fact that arbitrary borders were created without the consent of indigenous peoples, who have lived in North America since time immemorial. As such, we feel there can be no “illegal” immigrants on stolen lands. We recognize it is not illegal to seek asylum.
Through our universal humanity, we are connected to the suffering of separated families and people that are forced to flee their homes to protect their lives and that of their children. We call on the Trump administration to rescind its “zero tolerance” policy, use its full force to swiftly reunite separated families, and release these families as they seek to create better lives for their children.