Spirit Lake Nation social service director was in foster care

The new social services director for the Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation of North Dakota remembers what it's like to be torn from a home.

“I was 4 years old, the youngest of five children,” Mark Little Owl told The Grand Forks Herald. “My father had just died and my mother, in her grief, was … there was alcoholism.”

Little Owl, a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, and his siblings were split up. “I lived in seven different foster homes before graduating from high school," he told the paper.

Little Owl hopes to provide a better future for children at Spirit Lake, whose leaders have come under for social service problems on the reservation. He signed a four-year contract.

"They were pretty honest and up-front. What they told me about the issues here corresponded with what I had been hearing and reading," Little Owl said of tribal leaders who recruited him.

Get the Story:
Spirit Lake child protection leader knows what it means when children are removed from home (The Grand Forks Herald 9/13)

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