Walt Lamar: Protecting Indian children from dangers of drugs

"Recent news stories about state child welfare agencies removing Native children from their families, highlights the need for tribal leaders to engage proactive solutions to keep our children safe and within the tribal community.

The White Earth Nation of Minnesota succeeded in reducing the number of children threatened by drug use in their homes through a Tribal Proclamation and Call to Action and a broad strategy to educate service providers, families and friends to recognize the signs of drug endangered children. The strategy includes tribal administrators, educators, and community members in a comprehensive plan devised to assure appropriate intervention before a child is harmed. The White Earth Nation has received federal certification for its Tribal Child Support program. Tribal leaders decide how to best keep children safe within the community.

The St. Regis-Mohawk Tribe has been effective in keeping tribal children safe from drug abuse in their homes while keeping them within the community. The tribe’s Eagle Watch program is a grassroots effort to educate community members how to proactively enforce anti-drug goals and how to intervene on behalf of children endangered by substance abuse."

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Walt Lamar: Drug Endangered Children in Indian Country (Indian Country Today 1/11)

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