All Tribes have their version of the making of a relative ceremony which we call the Hunka ceremony. The picture above is of Kyrie Irving, the NBA basketball star, and his sister, who were adopted into the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Mr. Irving was given the name Little Mountain and his sister, Buffalo Woman. In our way when you make a relative it is as if the spiritual connection with that person is even stronger than it is if you are directly related to them. This is a very powerful for all those who are involved. The chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Mike Faith, stated that they were “welcoming them home.”

Many of our people lack that sense of belonging that Eric Erickson, the noted psychologist, described in his 8 stages of development. This was due to so many of our people being placed in non-Indian foster homes and adopted out in non-Indian homes. This is why the Indian Child Welfare Act is so critical for our communities to strengthen our families and make sure our children are raised in an environment where they are not only loved and cared for but they know where they belong. Our children need to grow up with their relatives and other Tribal members so they can learn the beautiful ways of our people.

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