Editorial: Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation blames everyone for abuse

"The reaction of Spirit Lake Nation tribal officials to revelations the tribe failed to protect children is misguided and outrageous: misguided because the goal in this sorry saga should be protecting kids, not trying to save the tribe’s bacon; outrageous because the defensive posture of the tribal chairman and other tribal officials is a purposeful distraction, not a responsible focus on the welfare of children.

Every independent examination of the abuse and neglect situation on the northeastern North Dakota reservation has confirmed children are at risk because they are in environments rife with the worst of social pathologies. The staff of a U.S. senator, a Bureau of Indian Affairs “strike team,” a clinical psychologist at the tribal health center, and a regional administrator of the federal Administration for Children and Families found appalling abuse and neglect, even leading to at least one murder of a child.

And what was the response from Tribal Chairman Roger Yankton? He attacked the messengers. He suggested he and his tribal officials are doing all they can. He blamed everyone except the tribe. He condemned anyone who charged a scandal of major proportions was unfolding. He extended criticism to media for reporting it."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Reaction from tribe an outrage (The Fargo Forum 9/5)

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