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House panel sets hearing on child welfare at Spirit Lake Nation





The Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs will hold a hearing to examine child welfare and justice issues on the Spirit Lake Nation in North Dakota.

Several children have died on the reservation in recent years and the tribe has seen a high number of child abuse cases. The tribe ceded control of its child welfare programs to the Bureau of Indian Affairs amid the controversy.

"The recurring deaths and child abuse cases on Spirit Lake are unacceptable. Clearly the current system is failing our children. The goal of this hearing is to shine a light on the situation and promote a dialogue about solutions between local, state, tribal, and federal government,” Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota) said in a press release.

S.2160, the Native American Children's Safety Act, includes provisions aimed at protecting children at Spirit Lake and on other reservations. There is no companion bill in the House.

The hearing will take place at 2pm on June 24.

Get the Story:
Hearing on Spirit Lake child cases scheduled (The Jamestown Sun 6/12)

Committee Notice:
Oversight Hearing on “Child Protection and the Justice System on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation" (June 24, 2014)

Related Stories:
Authorities investigate infant's death on Spirit Lake Reservation (05/02)
Audio from Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on five bills (04/02)
The Native American Children's Safety Act introduced in Senate (03/27)