From the December 2009 Idaho Observer:

The Travalino Family Travesty

by Donna Trammell

Once upon a time in America, The Land of the Free, those of us of a certain age were taught in school that our forefathers wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to protect our right to life, liberty and property. If our founding fathers knew what is happening to our children at the hands of our government, they would spin in their graves.

There is a conspiracy between the pharmaceutical companies, members of the state and national legislatures, physicians and Children’s Protective Services (CPS) in every state of the union to “dumb down” our children by providing them with unlawful “black-boxed” psychotropic drugs (not approved for use by ANYONE under the age of 25). Ann Blake Tracey, PhD has conducted numerous studies on the effects of these drugs on children. Findings show these drugs can cause the child to become suicidal, violent and even cause death. Most of the children, a majority of them in foster care or on Medicaid, receive prescriptions for at least two drugs at a time. Pharmaceutical companies pay large bonuses to physicians, psychiatrists and psychologists to prescribe these drugs “off-label”.

Michael Travalino a.k.a. Mark White Eagle, Native American Shoshone medicine man and shaman, and his family are a horrifying example of the effects of this conspiracy. Travalino was a single parent to his three children for nine years. He received custody when his former wife set their 18-month-old daughter on the sidewalk while she went into a bar with a man she had just met and never returned.

Living in Roswell, New Mexico, Travalino homeschooled his three children as a registered home school with the State of New Mexico and dispensed herbal formulas from his herbal shops. His files are stuffed with testimonies of people treated successfully for intractable diseases.

On June 18, 2006, the Travalino family’s nightmare began. A woman, who had been diagnosed by her doctor with advanced cancer and had submitted to chemotherapy and other drugs to no avail, was at the Travalino home for a consultation and to receive herbal treatment. Her daughter who lived in another state and didn’t approve of her mother’s decision to try herbs to treat her cancer, contacted the Chaves County Sheriff’s Department to go to the Travalino home to check on her mother. When the sheriff’s deputies arrived at the home, the woman answered the door, stepped outside the house and told the deputies that she was fine, and there of her own volition. The story should have ended there.

Instead, deputies proceeded to enter the Travalino home with their weapons drawn and without a warrant and no probable cause. They handcuffed Travalino, kidnapped the three children and turned them over to the Chaves County Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD). The house was ransacked and bottles of herbs seized which have never been returned or paid for. Chaves County Sheriff’s Deputy Ralph Moore allegedly told Colleen Heild of the Albuquerque Journal that he didn’t get a warrant because he didn’t think the judge would give him one. The New Mexico Appeals Court later ruled that it was alright for the deputies to enter the house without a warrant or probable cause. So much for constitutional rights.

The family was in the process of moving to St. Louis, Missouri. Most of the furniture had been placed in storage; clothes were packed in U-Haul boxes and placed in the family’s RV. The deputies claimed the children were neglected because of the lack of clothing, furniture and no sign of school books. Remember, this was mid-June. The cabinets and refrigerator were still full of food, because it had not yet been packed.

Interviewed by investigative reporter Colleen Heild of the Albuquerque Journal July 6, 2008, Heather Wilson, then director of New Mexico CYFD stated immediate physical danger is the only reason to remove children from their homes. The deputies’ report said the children were in no immediate physical danger.

Travalino had raised the children from birth to only use herbs. They had never taken so much as an aspirin. Three days after CYFD seized his children, Travalino served the children’s court and CYFD by certified mail, return receipt, that his children were not to be treated by Western medical doctors, nor were they to be vaccinated as this violated their Native American culture and religious beliefs. The CYFD ignored this order and proceeded to take the children to doctors and had them vaccinated.

New Mexico CYFD also tested the children with standard placement tests and found all three to be “mentally incompetent”. Native American children are to be assessed with tests designed specifically for them since they are taught to think in a circular manner, instead of linear thought patterns as other children. Therefore they do not test well on standardized tests. This writer has not found these children incompetent in any way. Travalino taught his children Spanish, their native Shoshone language, identification and uses of herbs as well as the standard school subjects. He also hired a tutor for three hours a day, three days a week. The tutor reported that all three children were very intelligent and accomplished in their schooling.

Many people are not aware that the Federal Government is charged with protecting and caring for Native Americans. The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 and the 1979 Bureau of Indian Affairs Clarification for the States set out a very definite set of rules designed to protect Native people. The Act states that a tribal court is the only court that can hear this type of case. It also states that siblings must be housed together in a Native American foster home. The Travalino children- Shishwaska, 14, Washshakie, 12 and Comet White Dove, 10, were separated from the very beginning and never placed with Native Americans. They were denied any contact- phone calls, letters, or visits, with their father, after CYFD determined that the children were “unmanageable” after a first supervised visitation. Could this be because they were distraught from this heinous trauma and wanted nothing more than to be a family once more?

Fifth District Court Magistrate Charles C. Currier ultimately found Travalino guilty of “educational neglect”. There is no such statute in New Mexico. Travalino was found guilty of a non-existent charge. This magistrate is guilty of racial discrimination. The court records show Currier forbidding the word “Indian” in his courtroom. This fact alone should have thrown the case out of court. He also refused to allow the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 to be applied to the case. Magistrate Currier insists that Travalino is not Indian, even though Travalino produced his tribal membership certificate from the Gabrielino/ Tongva Tribe of Southern California along with his federal recognition certificate from the Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs.

After three and a half years, Magistrate Currier terminated Travalino’s parental rights for his youngest daughter and son but not for his oldest daughter. CYFD has kept all three children on the “black-boxed” drugs Trazadone, Abilify, Decadron and Prozac. His oldest daughter has attempted suicide twice. She also ran away from CYFD nine times, once for a month. CYFD never has issued an Amber Alert. The children are still denied contact with each other and their father. From the very beginning, all letters between Travalino and the children have been intercepted by CYFD social workers and Guardian Ad Litem Judy Pittman, opened and not delivered. This is a federal offense, interfering with the U.S. Mail. It is also a violation of the New Mexico Children’s Code and a violation of the Foster Child’s Bill of Rights.

CYFD Foster Care is big business. On any given day, there are between 2,000 and 3,000 children in foster care in New Mexico. CYFD claims their goal is to find a “forever home” for every child. If they did, they would be out of business because they would not receive the federal subsidies and Medicaid they receive for every child in foster care. Placing foster children on drugs nets an additional return of $400 per day per child for “mental health services”. What business doesn’t want two to three thousand new customers a day? This writer applied to adopt all three Travalino children. I’ve raised my now 30-year-old adopted daughter, own my own home and business and I am financially able to provide for these children. CYFD refused to even consider me since I know the father. They mistakenly sent me an email meant for their employees stating that if I wasn’t the “Donna” that was helping the father, then they might be able to take a closer look at me. So much for the best interests of the children.

Travalino contacted the FBI in Roswell on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 to seek protection so he could attend a hearing for his oldest daughter on Friday, November 13, 2009. His life had twice been threatened if he went to court hearings. The court has never notified him of hearings as required by law. The FBI agent told him his rights had not been violated and to hire a civil attorney.

Let’s review: his house has been unlawfully entered, his herbs unlawfully seized, children kidnapped and continually drugged for three years, family ripped apart, he’s been convicted of a non-existent charge of educational neglect by a racist judge and his life threatened twice. But his rights have not been violated. We can all do without this much justice. Michael Travalino has spent over $40,000 and over three years battling the CYFD and the judicial system. His family is still torn apart. He is not giving up. He studied law in California for 17 years and had his own legal service. He is a barrister (one learned in law) and taught law previously. Knowing the law has been of little use so far when fighting a corrupt legal system.

This dedicated father has written numerous letters all certified mail/ return receipt asking help. All letters were delivered: Three to President Obama received no acknowledgement. Senator John McCain said it wasn’t his jurisdiction. Rep. Heather Wilson also said it was not her jurisdiction. Rep. Ciro Rodrigues says he doesn’t have time to read letters from constituents. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson didn’t acknowledge. New Mexico Attorney General Gary King said it wasn’t his job. New Mexico ACLU said no civil rights were violated. NAACP, who claims they represent all people of color, said no discrimination. FBI Director Robert Mueller received four letters and sent two replies that no civil rights were violated. The Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Special Trustee for the American Indian and the National Indian Child Welfare Association all gave no answer. Even his own tribe, the Gabrielino/ Tongva Tribe of So. California would not help. The tribe is trying to establish a gambling casino and doesn’t want to “rock the boat”. The list goes on- but the picture is clear.

Travalino has also been on television in Iowa plus several radio programs in Nevada and New Mexico. He tells everyone who will listen that they need to be aware that this can happen to anyone. [Ed. Note: if you’re a natural health practitioner successfully treating disease, you are a better target.] Child Protection Service is out of control in this country. Every day, over 2,000 children are “lawfully” removed from their homes and turned over to CPS custody. Then the horror of being forced to take unlawful black-boxed drugs begins. If a parent did this to a child he would go to prison. Adults everywhere need to speak up and be heard. All Children’s Court proceedings are secret and the records sealed “to protect the privacy of the children.” Clearly it’s the criminals’ privacy that is being protected.

Michael Travalino continues to fight for the return of his children. The two youngest continue to ask to be returned to their father. The oldest, now 18, should have been released on her birthday but has been deemed mentally incompetent to keep her in the system, placed in “semi-independent living”. There are no plans to release her.

Every parent needs to be aware of the National Children’s Code, Foster Child’s Bill of Rights and their states’ own Children’s Code. There is a constitutional right to be a parent. These codes all state the rights of the child- the right to send and receive uncensored mail, the right to make frequent phone calls to parents and relatives, the right to receive visitors of their choosing, etc. Scream loudly and repeatedly to receive these rights. Do not give up. You have the right to make audio and video recordings of any visit you have with your child. This right is not reserved for CPS. is a recommended website which includes information, blogs and actual case histories from many states. Former Georgia Senator Nancy Schaefer has formed the Eagle Forum for Parental Rights and has several excellent videos. Let’s unite in this fight to save our children and support newspapers that are not afraid to print this information.

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