The year 1978 was the beginning of hope for Native Americans. Religious practices were no longer outlawed. They could begin to rebuild their cultures. This was continued with the Indian Child Welfare Act. This act was designed to keep Native American children in their home culture, and not adopted out, or away in boarding schools.
This protected children. It also protected parents legally from being forced to send their children away. There have only been 38 years (less than 2 generations) to heal the wounds of the 118 year (6 generation) project to remove culture from the Native Americans. What this often means, is that the generation growing up on the reservation is experiencing something their parents cannot relate to. Many of their parents, and grandparents, had been forced to abandon their parents to go away to school. Or fear being taken to be adopted outside the tribe.
In Crosswinds, we see the result of this, both an Terra’s actions and thoughts, and in Vasa’s insistence that the community leave the reservation if they want to survive. Keama’s story implies her fear, even as a spiritual leader, when one generation before, Terra had been brought to her as an infant.
Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). The Adoption History Project. http://pages.uoregon.edu/adoption/topics/ICWA.html.
Date Accessed: September 2, 2016.