Raymond Foxworth: Spirit Lake Nation crisis rooted in US history

"Dakota children in the social service program of the Spirit Lake Dakota Nation into national headlines. The sad and untimely death of two Dakota children, discovered by their mother, has been played out like a mad melodrama. The real losers of this media frenzy are Dakota children, and this could have implications for Native children in social service programs nationally.

The tragic death of these children has played out in the press, with news of BIA “strike” teams called to the reservation to save the day and other political pundits asking for the sovereign nation to answer questions about child welfare on the reservation, and even allegations that the tribal chairman could face charges for neglect and culpability in the matter. It is with some irony that political pundits (and some Native critics) have suggested that a solution to this issue for the betterment of Spirit Lake children is to turn over administration of social services to outside state and federal authorities. The irony of this situation rests in the historical reality that federal and state agencies have also been the source of neglect, mistreatment, and harm when it comes to the welfare of Native children."

Get the Story:
Raymond Foxworth: Who Will Speak for Native Children? (Indian Country Today 9/1)

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