From Adoption to Employment Issues

Former School, Administration,Community Center and Courthouse of Hannahville Indian Community

Yesterday I published a personal opinion article and received many views. Although some considered the piece “fake news” or “revenge writing” for some past transgressions, the writing is purely personal. I have a long history with my tribe and many of the stories I have about my experiences with the tribe center around legal issues from adoption procedures in tribal court to employment battles with tribal administrators. One can make their own conclusions about facts in the stories I write but most are of a personal nature and my experiences and life on an Indian Reservation.

At the young age of 5, tragedy fell upon my family leaving my younger brother and sister and I alone. This led to being bounced around homes in the Upper Peninsula until we ended up in Florida where I was raised by my second cousin and his family, on my mother’s side of my family. I am considered a half-breed as my mother is of Swedish decent and my father is Potawatomi. None the less, I have a deep connection with my tribe and care deeply for the members success in life. This was instilled in me by my adopted father, William E. Wilsey, from an early age as he would encourage me to learn so I could return to my tribe and help my people one day.

I returned to the Hannahville Indian Reservation in 1987 to visit my relatives, I have never looked back. Many of my experiences can be considered negative but I prefer to look at them as learning times in my life.

Life has been quite a struggle and opposition often has been frequent for me while living in this tribal community. Tribal politics are very brutal here and often lead to many false accusations so the status quo does not change.

I believe my life goal is to clean up dirty politics and make sure people, in this case tribal members, are the primary beneficiaries in areas other than a court system looking to restrict their freedom or keep them from employment opportunities.

More on my story later.

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