In the fall of 2016, the Kahnawà:ke Community Decision Making Process revised the Kahnawà:ke Law on Membership regarding adoption. It was decided that any non-Indigenous child adopted by a Kahnawà:ke family after 2003 would not be recognized as a Kanien’kehá:ka of Kahnawà:ke or an approved resident. Parents were committing an offense in adopting non-Indigenous children and would no longer be eligible to reside in Kahnawà:ke. This decision drew national and international attention, with some questioning the logic of targeting a practice so integral to many Indigenous legal orders. This article frames Rotinonhsiónni adoption, belonging, and identity formation beyond the confines of colonial thought. This might seem like a tall order given colonialism’s all-encompassing grasp on Indigenous minds and communities; indeed, we are all entangled in the colonial order. But there is a way to challenge this by moving beyond frameworks reliant on colonial control.

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School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies

Horn-Miller, K. (2018). How did adoption become a dirty word? Indigenous citizenship orders as Irreconcilable Spaces of Aboriginality. AlterNative. doi:10.1177/1177180118802861