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BIA 'strike team' to address child safety at Spirit Lake Nation

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has sent a "strike team" to the Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation in North Dakota to address child safety issues on the reservation.

BIA Director Mike Black, Office of Indian Services (OIS) Deputy Bureau Director Hankie Ortiz, OIS Social Services Chief Sue Settles and Office of Justice Services (OJS) Deputy Bureau Director Darren Cruzan will help the tribe address deficiencies that have drawn nationwide attention. “While the BIA has been working closely with the Tribe and other stakeholders on this for several months, I feel it is incumbent upon me as the acting Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs to bring additional resources to bear on this critical matter for the people of Spirit Lake," acting assistant secretary Del Laverdure said in a press release.

The BIA said an August 2011 review of the tribe's self-determination contracts uncovered "serious deficiencies." The agency is working with the tribe on a corrective plan as some members of Congress have sought a federal takeover of social services on the reservation.

Get the Story:
Interior sends high-level officials to Spirit Lake (The Grand Forks Herald 8/25)

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