National | Politics

Sen. Conrad loses confidence in Spirit Lake Nation leadership

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-North Dakota) no longer has confidence in the leadership at the Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation and will press the Obama administration to take over social services on the reservation.

Along with Sen. John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), Conrad has been monitoring the situation and said there's been little progress despite national attention to child welfare conditions on the reservation. The two lawmakers believe the Bureau of Indian Affairs should take over the tribe's self-determination contracts.

“This is not a signal to me that they are coping with this crisis in a way that’s acceptable,” Conrad told The Grand Forks Herald, noting that tribal leaders are no longer talking to him.

“We definitely think BIA taking over the programs is an option that should be on the table,” added a staff member for Hoeven.

The tribe has mainly kept quiet amid the crisis but issued a statement earlier this month that slammed media reports and disputed statements made by federal officials and other critics.

Get the Story:
Conrad: Spirit Lake lacks leadership on child protection (The Grand Forks Herald 8/24)
State says it offered to help tribe protect children (The Grand Forks Herald 8/24)

Related Stories:
Republicans killed money for home visits at Spirit Lake Nation (8/23)
Editorial: Spirit Lake Nation defensive in wake of abuse cases (8/13)
IHS rescinds reprimand of employee in Spirit Lake controversy (8/3)
Editorial: IHS should explain reprimand of tribal whistleblower (7/31)
IHS reprimands employee who warned about Spirit Lake children (7/30)
Man charged for murders of Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation children (7/24)
Editorial: Children's safety at risk on Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation (7/18)
Toddler who died on Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation being laid to rest (7/13)
BIA investigates death of baby girl on Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation (7/11)
Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation faces scrutiny over child welfare woes (7/9)
HHS official blames Spirit Lake Nation for child abuse problems (6/22)
Sen. Hoeven seeks answers on Spirit Lake social services (04/25)
Editorial: A free press is essential, even in a tribal society (4/17)
Deaths of Spirit Lake Dakotah children treated as homicide (05/26)
Spirit Lake mother confirms identities of two slain children (5/25)
Father suspected for deaths of two children at Spirit Lake (5/24)

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