Editorial: BIA takeover of Spirit Lake social services welcome

"The unusually quick decision by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to take over Spirit Lake Nation social services underscores the failure of tribal leadership to protect children. In formal terms, the tribe asked the federal government to take control, but let’s be honest. The tribe had no choice after it was clear its own mismanagement of child protection services was bordering on criminal.

The pressure to act on behalf of the tribe’s children had been building for months. Complaints and concerns from residents of the northeast North Dakota reservation became more than anecdotes when the U.S. attorney for North Dakota conducted investigations that uncovered criminality as serious as murder. Child welfare professionals put their jobs on the line when they blew the whistle on the tribe’s failures.

Media reports, specifically the work of Chuck Haga of the Grand Forks Herald and Patrick Springer of The Forum, exposed a situation that was so appalling it was hard to believe."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Takeover by BIA welcome (The Fargo Forum 9/20)

Related Stories:
BIA to take over Spirit Lake Nation social services program (9/17)
Spirit Lake Nation social service director was in foster care (9/13)
BIA reviews Spirit Lake Nation self-determination contracts (9/11)
Investigation continues into death of child on Spirit Lake Nation (9/6)
US Attorney wants to provide help to Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation (9/5)
Editorial: Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation blames everyone for abuse (9/5)
Trial delayed for man accused of murdering Spirit Lake children (9/4)
Raymond Foxworth: Spirit Lake Nation crisis rooted in US history (9/3)
BIA reportedly sets deadline over Spirit Lake Nation contracts (8/28)
BIA 'strike team' to address child safety at Spirit Lake Nation (8/27)
Editorial: Spirit Lake Nation problems need sharper attention (8/27)
Sen. Conrad loses confidence in Spirit Lake Nation leadership (8/24)
Editorial: Don't let politics harm children on Spirit Lake Nation (8/24)
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)

Join the Conversation