Suite101: A stolen generation of Crow Creek Sioux children

"The Crow Creek Indian Reservation is the site of a grave miscarriage of justice. This small community is no stranger to economic hardship, but what has occurred here in recent years has been viewed by many as an assault on native culture. Crow Creek has joined the ranks of dozens of tribal entities throughout South Dakota who have experienced the type of degradation that only the loss of its most precious resource can bring. In what some are calling a clear violation of federal law, the state of South Dakota’s Department of Social Services has seized more than 30 children from the Crow Creek reservation over the past year. This is not an isolated incident. In that same time, more than 700 children have been removed from native communities throughout the state. This pattern has been repeated in over thirty states throughout the last ten years. Alleging corruption at the highest levels, tribal leaders have drawn a line in the sand and the nation is starting to take notice.

The South Dakota Department of Social Services has claimed that rampant poverty has lead to the systematic abuse and neglect of tribal children. Acting on only a few credible claims, the state has seized these children from their homes and schools and placed them in foster care facilities far away from the reservation. The Department of Social Services defends its actions, claiming it has the best interest of the children in mind. Tribal members claim that the state has a far more sinister motive. They allege that the state is profiting from removing native children and placing them in foster facilities outside tribal borders. To the tribes, these actions are an infringement of tribal sovereignty and a violation of federal law regarding the protection of native children. After recognizing a similar pattern emerging throughout the country, many are calling for federal intervention."

Get the Story:
A Stolen Generation (Suite101 11/4)

Related Stories:
Lawmakers ask BIA to investigate Indian child welfare cases (11/2)
NPR: Boy was taken from Winnebago Reservation at age 8 (11/1)
NPR Investigates: Foster children finding their way home (10/27)
NPR Investigates: Indian children being taken from tribes (10/26)

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