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South Dakota panel pressed on Indian child welfare

A hearing on child welfare policies in South Dakota became heated on Monday over concerns that Indian culture and tribal rights aren't been addressed, The Rapid City Journal reports.

The South Dakota Legislature's Government Operations and Audit Committee opened the first of its two-day hearing into the policies of the Department of Social Services. Lawmakers heard from two Indian women and their attorney but some members blocked certain parts of their testimony and threatened to have the attorney removed, the paper said.

Gwen Caldwell and Hazel Bonner tried to describe their concerns with the system but were asked to provide specifics. When one woman tried to provide details, the committee said it wouldn't hear them without a confidentiality waiver. Their attorney tried to offer information but was accused of being argumentative, the paper reported.

The women said the state needs to ensure Indian children are placed in Indian homes and that tribes need to be involved.

Get the Story:
DSS hearing turns into racial debate (The Rapid City Journal 10/4)

Relevant Links:
National Indian Child Welfare Association -

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