Trace A. DeMeyer, also known as Tracy Ann DeMeyer or Laura Jean Thrall-Bland, (b. 1956) is a multi-genre author, artist, poet and journalist of Shawnee-Cherokee descent. Her writing is mainly focused on Native Americans and Native American adoption issues.
DeMeyer was born on September 9, 1956 in St. Paul, Minnesota and was adopted in Wisconsin in 1957. When she was 22, DeMeyer began investigating her adoption, which was one of many that stemmed from the Indian Adoption Projects. She was able to open her sealed adoption records, and with the information she found in her adoption file, DeMeyer spent the next 27 years looking for and connecting with her biological relatives.
Her memoir, One Small Sacrifice: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects, chronicles the story of her adoption, and comments on both the history of the adoption of Native American children and its effect on those who were adopted. DeMeyer is an advocate for other Native American adoptees who are trying to discover their heritage. Her advocacy led to her and fellow adoptee Patricia Busbee compiling many Native American adoptee stories into the anthology Two Worlds: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects.
DeMeyer's past has influenced her career, leading her to write for, and about, Native American tribes across the country. She is often involved in important events related to the Native American population. DeMeyer interviewed political prisoner Leonard Peltier in 1998, while he was still a prisoner in Leavenworth, a federal prison. In 2001, DeMeyer also attended the first intertribal Wiping the Tears Ceremony that was held in Wisconsin, where a public apology was issued by Shay Bilchik, who was the director of the Child Welfare League of America at the time.
DeMeyer graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in 1978 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater and Communications. After graduating, DeMeyer was the lead singer and front-woman for a number of bands. She also worked on a ranch, was a business owner, managed a Smithsonian Museum audio tour, and was the assistant for the president of a record label. She later became a staff writer, an editor and a publications manager for the publications news from Indian Country, Ojibwe Akiing, Pequot Times and Sawyer County Record.
DeMeyer is currently working on a number of digital technology projects. She has created a number of blogs, started a Twitter newspaper titled Modern Ndn, founded an online publishing company called Blue Hand Books, and teaches Introduction to Blogging 101 and Exploring Social Media at Greenfield Community College in Greenfield, Massachusetts.
Blue Hand Books
In 2011 DeMeyer founded Blue Hand Books, a publisher that features Native American authors.
Blue Hand Books helps Native American authors publish their work through the use of Amazon Create Space and PressBooks. Among Blue Hand Books' published writers are John Christian Hopkins, James Chavers Jr., and DeMeyer herself.
- Honor Restored: Jim Thorpe's Olympic Medals from Olympics at the Millennium: Power, Politics and the Games, edited by Kay Shaffer and Sidonie Smith. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2000. ISBN 9780813528205
- One Small Sacrifice: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects. Greenfield, MA: Blue Hand Books, 2012. ISBN 9780615582153
- Sleeps with Knives (as Laramie Harlow). Greenfield, MA: Blue Hand Books, 2012. ISBN 9781477494608
- Two Worlds: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects. Greenfield, MA: Blue Hand Books, 2012. ISBN 9781479318285
- Unraveling the Spreading Cloth of Time (co-authored with MariJo Moore). Candler, NC: rENEGADE pLANETS pUBLISHING, 2013. ASIN B00C3M4824
In addition to her chapbook of poetry, Sleeps With Knives, DeMeyer has contributed poems to a number of publications:
- What I Know in Spirit in the Woods, Bozell Worldwide/DaimlerChrysler, 1999.
- The Silence is So Loud in Invoking the Muse. International World of Poetry, 2004.
- Your God Doesn't Forget displayed in the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Tennessee, 2006.
- Your God Doesn't Forget, People Waking Up, and Heart-shaped Ass, beauty in pounds in Yellow Medicine Review, Spring 2008. Mankato, MN: Southern Minnesota State University, 2008.
- Jump in Rabbit and Rose (Kim Shuck ed.), 2010 and River Blood Corn, 2012.
- Earth's Funeral, Swallow Manifesto and Heart-shaped Ass in I Was Indian Vol. 2. Foothills Press, 2012.
- Swimmer in 30 Poems in November, Massachusetts, 2012.
DeMeyer has written for a number of publications throughout her career as a journalist. Many of her pieces were awarded or honored by the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA). Publications DeMeyer has written for include:
- Fish Wrap (Sawyer County Record publication, Wisconsin)
- Greenfield Recorder (Greenfield, Massachusetts)
- Indian Life (Winnipeg, Canada)
- Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism (Nixon, Nevada)
- Last Real Indians
- Merkaba Gate Organic Growers Newsletter (northern Wisconsin)
- Native Peoples Magazine (New Mexico)
- News From Indian Country (Wisconsin)
- News From Native California (California)
- Ojibwe Akiing (Wisconsin)
- Pequot Times (Connecticut)
- Sawyer County Record (Sawyer County, Wisconsin)
- Talking Stick (New York)
- Tawacin (Poland)
- Trailblazer Magazine (Sawyer County Record magazine, Wisconsin)
- Turtle Mountain Times (North Dakota)
DeMeyer has received many awards from the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA), including:
- General Excellence, News From Indian Country (1996)
- Best News Story, Honorable mention, "Free Peltier" (1998)
- Best Feature Writing, "Kusah Hakwaan" (film) (2001)
- Pequot Times General Excellence, Honorable mention (2001)
- Best News Writing Monthly (2nd place), "America Stands United in the Shadow of Tragedy" (9/11 coverage) (2002)
- Pequot Times Best Layout and Design, Tabloid, monthly (2002)
- Pequot Times Best Layout and Design, Tabloid, monthly (2nd place) (2003)
- Pequot Times Monthly General Excellence (2nd place) (2003)
- Best Feature Writing, Eastern Pequot Tribe (2nd place) (2003)
- Pequot Times Monthly General Excellence (2nd place) (2004)
- Encyclopædia Britannica. "Indian Adoption Projects". Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- Hopkins, John Christian (May 2010). "One Small Sacrifice: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects". News from Indian Country.
- DeMeyer, Trace (2010). One Small Sacrifice: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects. Greenfield, MA: Trace A. DeMeyer.
- Anonymous (October 4, 2012). "'TWO WORLDS, Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects' offers astounding narratives that challenge views on adoption". Char-Koosta News.
- DeMain, Paul (December 31, 1996). "Welcome to Ojibwe Akiing". Ojibwe Akiing.
- DeMeyer, Trace. "What you need to know about Blue Hand Books". Blogger. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- Schaffer, Kay (2000). The Olympics at the Millennium: Power, Politics, and the Games. Rutgers University Press. p. 299. ISBN 978-0813528205.
- Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation (July 1, 2003). "Pequot Times wins 7 awards". Pequot Times.