Quest for Wakiya

I decided to start documenting my journey, with finding my brother.

First off, since this is my resolution I finally did a little researching this weekend and read more on the NPR investigation, which only pissed me off. I emailed NPR on Saturday and received an automated reply saying they would get back to me.

I also emailed the director in the state ICWA office. I checked my email on my phone every few minutes all day and was only disappointed. So when I got off work I started making calls, only to find out the guy in the state office was on vacation until tomorrow-imagine that. I was given a local number for someone who handles records of children lost to foster care.
I talked to a worker from the local office and talked to some lady who just basically shut me down and told me because he was over the age of 18, there was nothing they can do. Maybe I should check local law enforcement agencies to see if he has a record or local social service offices to see if he’s getting food stamps.

“First off, do you think because he is an Indian he is in trouble with the law or gets food stamps automatically?” I asked her all pissed off and hoping she couldn’t or wouldn’t look up my records at the same time.

She was a little shook, “No, no, I didn’t mean it like that. I meant that is the only way you could find him, since he is an adult he has to be the one to find you.”

“But he doesn’t know about me. How would he even know he has the four of us on my dad’s side even exist?” I really just say this because I know she won’t answer me. Again she tells me she is going to contact their legal dept, but she thinks there is nothing more they can do.

“Are you familiar with the NPR investigation?” I ask her.

She answers all slow “Yes, is that where you saw him?”

“Uh, no I think if I saw him in the stories, I would have a better chance at finding him than at a loss. But I think it’s horrible how a system could tear a family apart like this. I was 19 when he was taken and not once did I know, not once did anyone contact me. I was on my own and working, nobody asked me if I would take in my brother. If they had, there would have been no question about it. I would have done it in a heartbeat. I am the oldest of 11 children and I didn’t know about the 11th one until later, but no matter what, he’s still my brother. We share the same blood.”

She promised to call me tomorrow. And tomorrow I call the ONTRAC office in Pine Ridge, thanks to my ex’s Aunt Susie. God, I hope they can help.


4 thoughts on “Quest for Wakiya

  1. dana, don’t ever give up the fight…never lose hope. it took me 40 years of trying to find my family( half of them anyways), it was beyond worth it.when you are adopted/fostered sometimes you have a hole in your spirit from not knowing your families, those that are left behind too. It never goes away till they reunite.I had to do this before the internet got going, but i know when it started, i tried adoption bulletin boards for help/questions, ( it’s so much easier to find info in the states), and i wrote to Lost moccasins in Manitoba, which dealt with native kids being adopted out wholesale from Canada.maybe there is something similar here in the US?as silly as it seems i tried dear abby, unsolved mysteries ( which did indeed write me back),and every family in Canada with the same last name,thanks to who where.There are actually tv shows now ( one is called ‘the locator’) based solely on helping people find lost/adopted family). if i can help you in this quest let me know, i have decades of stories and ideas. the internet will make it all easier for you…i doubt even cell phones were around when i finally got a letter form Saskatchewan, form an 80 year old lady whose first line was ” I know who your mother is…” don’t give up! Wakiya is out there looking for you!

  2. Dana, contact Patti Riess at the Pierre adoption office (605) 773-3227 ,,,not sure if you have done it already, but at the very least she should have records on his adoption. His mom can call and see if he has contacted Patti’s office. In SD we have a passive registry where adoptee’s and birthparents/familys can update contact info, let the office you want to have contact and they will try and track him down.

    Also all of the tribal benefits etc……should have followed him, so his tribal office should have information?

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