Lummi Indian Reservation, Wash., March 29 - The very full house on Gumel Place was steeped in the usual loud weekend chaos when 14-year-old Cecilia Morris burst through the door.
'Hey,' she said. 'Is Mom in jail?'
No, said her uncle, Jasper Cladoosby, but her mother had gone back into drug treatment. Her father is the one in prison.
Mr. Cladoosby, 27, who is raising four of his own children along with Cecilia and two of her sisters, is one of possibly hundreds of uncles, aunts, grandparents and others caring for children whose parents are unable to raise them because of dire poverty, alcoholism and epidemic drug abuse on this reservation on Bellingham Bay in Northwest Washington. Cecilia's four remaining siblings are being cared for by other relatives."