Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Native American Children: Separate But Equal?


The obituary of Laurynn Whiteshield depicts her as a happy and playful little girl. And for most of her short life, she was.

From the age of nine months, she lived with her twin sister Michaela in a loving foster family that wanted to adopt her. When the girls were just shy of three, the county acted to make them available for adoption. But a court ordered that the girls be taken from their foster home and placed with their grandfather and his wife, who had been arrested a half-dozen times for abuse, neglect, endangerment, and abandonment of her own children.

Thirty-seven days after the transfer took place, Laurynn was dead. The grandfather’s wife admitted to pushing both down an embankment, explaining that she “was getting depressed about having kids all the time.” Although her sister survived, Laurynn suffered blunt force trauma to her head.


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