If I had only known

my first powwow, age 12


Most of you know I wrote a memoir (One Small Sacrifice) explaining how (and when) I opened my adoption file and read my name: Laura Jean Thrall... for the first time.

I was 21.

I was young.

The whole courthouse visit was a miracle.

I cannot recall everything in that file, of course. It was thick, full of legal documents and I was not sure what I was reading but finally realized I was seeing my name for the first time.  Then it hit me.  A flood of tears came next.

I had my name, and I had a mother who signed these documents.

In the new book ALMOST Dead Indians (Atrocity) - I had another recent major discovery.  The Thrall side (mother) and the Bland side (father) both are descended from tribes, albeit a few generations back, in two of my grandmother's ancestry.

My uncle Edward Thrall (now deceased) wrote three books in the KILDUFF TRILOGY and I never knew these books existed until a few years ago. I am descended from an uncle who wrote books? Yes. Total shock!  And cloaked as fiction, the narrator's mother is Ojibwe/Anishinaabe/Chippewa.

Had I known my Anishinaabe descendency on BOTH sides of my family, I would be a different person today. I would have confidence I didn't have before.

But this path I took, the searching, the looking then finding my ancestry and "MY PEOPLE" took my lifetime. I realize if I had not taken his path, the book series and my journalism on adoption, Indian Country, and the 60s Scoop would not have happened.

Lots of things would not have happened but they did...

I am grateful now, having this truth in my bones. I know it was a slow process but the ancestors were determined I not stop searching.

Like you, I have lots of ancestors I love with all my heart. 

These are the people I work for, by the way... They keep me going:

Northeast Annual Powwow of Algonquin Indians (in other words where I live today) October 14, 1915, gone but never forgotten...


In memory of a Harlow Girl, my cousin Cheryl, who passed in 2024, who wore turquoise and loved being "Indian" with all her heart...

 + My recent wordpress blog post: https://laratracehentz.wordpress.com/2024/03/11/native-americans-and-the-movies/




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