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Government Obligations and American Indians

The government’s relationship with and duties to Native American individuals and tribes are generally defined in the first instance by applicable statutes and regulations. Many of those original statutes are still in tact and applicable, unless expressly overwritten. Malfeasance, lack of due diligence or any other intentional act should be fully reviewed and considered based on the legal requirements governing at the time it occurred and equally so, legal requirements today if those illegalities are allowed or perpetuated by individuals now.

There is no implied right by anyone under any guise to avoid what the law, or clear objective facts or moral consciousness requires. Due Process of law does not mean lip service. It is never satisfactory to say, “It happened so long ago, redress is not worth the time.” Due process is on a time continuum. It is as important then as it is now! It does not diminish by whim or fancy.


Under both federal and state laws, efforts to diminish a person’s rights are against the law. The following provisions are not exclusive and there are many more. We start with these:

Rely on 18 U.S.C. § 241 which states: 

If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or

If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—

Further rely on Oklahoma State law under 15 O.S. § 58: 

Actual fraud is:

Actual fraud, within the meaning of this chapter, consists in any of the following acts, committed by a party to the contract, or with his connivance, with intent to deceive another party thereto, or to induce him to enter into the contract:

1. The suggestion, as a fact, of that which is not true, by one who does not believe it to be true.

2. The positive assertion in a manner not warranted by the information of the person making it, of that which is not true, though he believe it to be true.

3. The suppression of that which is true, by one having knowledge or belief of the fact.

4. A promise made without any intention of performing it; or,

5. Any other act fitted to deceive.




About Foster Parents on Reservations

Original post http://educationalfamilyestateapps.com/2016/06/06/aboutindianfosterparentsonreservations/.

Is it just me or has someone else noticed that below the surface and behind the mandatory background checks for Foster Care Parents on Reservations, there are alternate motives other than child safety including a sneaky effort to undermine tribal sovereignty here?

I will share some background information. The primary purpose behind the BIA revision to the ICWA Guidelines and subsequent proposal for rulemaking was two-fold: 1) to address the gross, almost routine non-compliance by states in the implementation of ICWA and 2) as a response to the recent ICWA legal challenges primarily from the adoption industry. The industry made an important collateral attack. Boil it down, the fundamental question posed is whether the stricter Guidelines after the revision should apply to Indian children offreservation as it does to Indian kids on reservation. Revision to the Guidelines clarified what the fundamental role of ICWA is: to keep Indian children with Indian relatives or communities and reunify Indian families.  The intent of the legal challenges is to undermine tribal government jurisdiction, autonomy and inherent interest in enrolled members. How does this new law requiring background checks for foster care parents on reservations fit into the picture? I explain below.

A child’s immediate family and community are key to fulfilling the most vital purpose of ICWA – reunification. A minor legal issue within a family member’s background should not act to bar consideration of that person as a Indian Custodian or Guardian. However, that is exactly what happened off the reservation. This formal law “requiring” an extensive, non-forgiving back ground check now on the reservation will produce an even shorter supply of foster parents. More importantly, the new law specifically acts to undermine the hard work of those tribes which have created and now run their own Title IV-E Foster Care and social services programs.

These two issues – the collateral argument against ICWA stemming from recent litigation and the impact of the new law requiring background checks on Indian reservations will combine with the Federal Adoption and Safe Families Act passed in 1997, under the Clinton Administration to produce the perfect storm. The Safe Families Act is just a federal incentives program which pays states more money when foster children are adopted. Basically, the Safe Families Act requires children who have been in state Foster Care Programs at least 15 months to be prepared for adoption (such as express removal of parental rights).

The adoption industry is a $14 billion industry with an expected growth rate of 10% annually. Without making any distinction between Indian or non-Indian children, any financial incentive program contradicts the reunification goal stated in both ICWA and the Social Security Act procuring Title IV-E funding. Is this leading up to total circumvention of ICWA? Pseudo shortage of Native foster parents may be used to declare a state of emergency and with looming state budget cuts within the foreseeable future, it is imperative an alternate model to supplant ICWA is created.

Please, consider buying a copy of the American Indian Probate Guide which is written expressly for American Indians who have Trust or Restricted lands. There is a model Will available and compliant under the American Indian Probate Reform Act. I created my legal guide service in response to the unmet need for affordable in-depth legal education in Indian Country at http://www.educationalfamilyestateapps.com. Additionally, you can access my unique analysis on the Indian Child Welfare Act.

After extensive research, I have concluded that many who benefited from the ICWA and / or adoption gravy trains were not interested in revealing what you needed to know. I propose a voluntary Legal Guardianship model which is expressly exempted from ICWA within ICWA itself. YES!

Read more at Educational Family Estate Apps under Our Products and then the American Indian Probate Guide or on my website’s Blog. Feel free to contact me if you are interested in learning more.
Helen Nowlin, Attorney and CEO

American Indian Probate Guide

This downloadable pdf, American Indian Probate Guide (located at http://educationalfamilyestateapps.com/american-indian-probate/) discusses what you need to know about the American Indian Probate Reform Act. The Act applies if you are a member of a federally recognized tribe with Trust or Restricted lands!

It includes: a Model Will and Testament (compliant under the Act) and immediate access to our great Guest Writer Series, too! Get it now for $69.00 (look for our Groupon deal coming soon!).

We are an affordable legal service with the information EVERYONE needs.

Helen Nowlin, Attorney and CEO picture

An Alternative to the Indian Child Welfare Act

Dis-Honor Native Blood Perpetuates Theft

Your Birthright is there.  Then taken. Then gone. Never again do you have any say.

Oh, the atrocity and now the audacity to fail to correct the fraud perpetrated against my Father, Raymond Nowlin by his cousin (in the Indian way, his sister) Katherine Josephine Brown Graham (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/deceit-oklahoma-helen-nowlin).

Seattle Councilperson Debora Juarez Holds “Deeply” Personal Beliefs against Disenrollment

In the coming days, I will post new information about this matter and will document more about the fraud.

The Alternative to Indian Child Welfare Act



While the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) had some success, the level of success was not as much as anticipated or hoped for due to repeated State and adoption agency efforts to maintain the status quo. Most saw the problem but measured the solution only through the lens of ICWA. Tribes and American Indian parents were convinced State removal authority was absolute, and it wasn’t.

The author of this paper challenges the status quo and lays out a system which will better support Indian Child Welfare. It is comprised of a rather simple system requiring only the dedication and implementation of two basic steps. First, ensure access to affordable or no cost legal services in low income, ethnically diverse communities. Then expand use of Estate Planning and Legal Guardianship tools available to any resident. Guardianship can work in any situation while allowing retention of parental authority. Legal Guardianship is a direct alternative and can achieve what ICWA could not do – slow down the rate of Indian children going into non-Indian homes.

Stay tuned! If you wish to read my full article, please, send a request.

Thank you and help spread the word! Knowledge is Empowerment….

Helen Nowlin, Attorney and CEO


Veterans Informing Veterans About Lenders and Home Buying Process

Are you a Veteran who bought a house using your home loan benefit? What kind of experience did you have during the lender or buying process? Would you like to share with other Veterans a great experience (or not so great experience) with a particular lender?

While helping a disabled veteran buy his first home, it struck me that the home buying experience is particularly frustrating for Veterans. Veterans and their families are kind of stuck taking the “toss the coin” approach on how to proceed, such as which lender is more commonly used or has the best consumer ratings as V.A. authorized lenders.

Lenders or Real Estate Agencies are not all the same. However, it is impossible to compare “apples to apples” or “apples to oranges” when there is no available data for a consumer Veteran to consider, except for the random hit and miss of word of mouth.  Of course, the value of that depends on whose “word” and whose mouth!

Veterans invariably have questions about whether the loan deal is it a good deal. Or whether the process they are having is processing normally or exceptionally slow. We believe Veterans need a place to write or share their consumer experiences. The Veterans Administration isn’t able to give particular endorsements, neither it seems are there resources to compare real consumer experiences and help you to avoid any pitfalls in the buyer and lender processes.

It is your right as a Veteran and as a consumer to have that information or to share your experiences! What another Veteran shares as his or her experience is just something more to consider. Who knows? It could turn out to save you and your family some undue stress and headache.

Educational Family Estate Apps is a place where Veterans and their families can do just that – leave their information or read the experiences of other Veterans to empower each other during the home buying journey. Start by leaving your comment now! We at Educational Family Estate Apps believe education should be affordable. Empower yourself today!

Buying a home with a V.A. loan?

I have been working with a service connected, disabled Veteran, since he is a first time home buyer and requested that I assist him through the buying process. I have found that there is still a great deal of misinformation from both lenders and real estate agents about the V.A. Home Mortgage Loan Program. As a result, I will be writing about my experiences, so this reflects one post within a series. Stay tuned!

Are you thinking of buying using your V.A. home loan benefit? Good for you! Do you have 100% service connected disability/ities? If so, you will receive a waiver of the V.A. funding fee, along with the standard benefits, such as no required down payment.

After securing proper financing, home ownership represents a significant source of personal wealth in the United States. Home ownership and net equity are together about one – third (1/3) of net worth of American households. Recognition of the U.S. government of this fact is represented in the provision of significant subsidies to home owners. Except for the uncertainty the 2007 housing meltdown created and the ease in which hard earned financial stability and overall family financial legacy could be lost, it is still a safe bet that home ownership is a good, long term investment. Overall, home related subsidies in 2009 reached a whopping $137.6 Billion in 2009! Of that total, mortgage interest tax deduction represented the majority. Clearly, if you are renting, you are missing an important source of help when building your family’s overall financial stability.

It should be comfort to any Veteran set to embark on utilizing his or her V.A. home loan benefit that the Denver regional office of the V.A. has been a great source of valuable information. Everyone I talked to has been quite helpful. While I personally asked for a reference of any information I received, so I could research it myself at a later time, I would suggest relying on the information received from your regional office first over what your real estate agent or even lender may say.

What kind of house should you buy? It is estimated that around 10% of Americans currently live in manufactured housing in 2015 (a value created from estimation of Americans who live in manufactured housing versus the total estimated U.S. population in 2015 ). Since, manufactured houses represent a path toward affordable home ownership and typically cost less than conventional, stick built homes, an upward trend is expected in the number of families who will own a manufactured home. The main factor for the lower pricing is attributable to the controlled, factory based assembly process of manufactured houses. It produces significantly less waste and reduces time spent on the assembly process.

Unfortunately, lenders can still tack on as much as a full percentage point to your overall interest rate. It reflects a penalty in fact for purchasing a manufactured home and the practice is based on old stigmas. This is despite the evidence that manufactured homes can be more energy efficient and better built than conventional ones! For example, an Energy Star qualified model can cut your average energy costs as much as 30%!

After I assisted in cleaning up the Veteran’s credit history by contacting the credit bureaus, closing delinquent accounts that were outside of the state’s Statute of Limitations (he had never filed for bankruptcy) and by definition eligible to be closed, his FICO credit score went from 550 to almost 700 in about a 45 day period!

If affordability and predictability of your monthly mortgage payment are factors high on your list of criteria, prepare to make a purchase now by cleaning up your credit history and then select the kind of house that maximizes your present buying power.  It is always preferred that any purchase includes the property to maximize the long term investment represented in your place of residence and “new” or new to you manufactured home!

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Radiation to Increase Rates of Thyroid and Other Cancers in the U.S.

“Almost one third of children born on the Pacific coast of the United States are now at high risk for thyroid cancer (and a host of other cancers that will be revealed over time.) The inevitable has happened. Radioactive Cesium isotopes from the leaking nuclear reactors in Fukushima, Japan have reached our Pacific shores and are contaminating our ocean, our, soil, our air, our food supply and our born and unborn children.”  Full blog article can be found at http://thecontrail.com/forum/topic/show?id=4744723%3ATopic%3A670254&xgs=1&xg_source=msg_share_topic

While it is not known how fully the Fukushima meltdown  will impact the health of Americans overall, the U.S. West Coast was more impacted by radiation fall out after the crisis began on 11 of March 2011. We can anticipate greater future illnesses, especially in “in womb” and young children in the adult stages of life due to this early exposure to radiation. Fukushima Daiichi is a disaster of global proportion and no containment appears likely. Time is now being measured in decades, not years before the release of radiation into the Pacific Ocean and atmosphere can be contained. It is not certain if a viable solution exists that can stop the release and re-release of nuclear radiation and it may continue into the foreseeable future.

It is important to have both national and individual plans for a significant increase in health disorders. Consider looking at http://www.educationalfamilyestateapps.com for some ideas on how to plan for your family’s protection. We offer a cheap legal service and an educational Guide which will educate and inform you about the things you should know NOW!