Editorial: Another hearing won't help Spirit Lake Nation children

Indianz.Com Sound Cloud: House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Oversight Hearing on Child Protection and the Justice System on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation. June 24, 2014

North Dakota newspaper says only the Spirit Lake Nation can change the way children are treated on the reservation:
More money is not the answer. Testimony at the Tuesday hearing indicated that the social ills and law enforcement failures at Spirit Lake have gotten worse because of endemic institutional corruption that is nourished by misappropriation of tribal and federal funds. Throw money down a rat hole, and you still have a rat hole.

Moreover, the rapid turnover of social service workers is not necessarily related to salaries. Rather, qualified people take the jobs with noble intentions, only to learn quickly that tribal politics, a web of family relationships and corruption from the police to the courts stymie meaningful reforms. In other words, working conditions are hostile.

Congressman Cramer can convene a hearing at Spirit Lake every week if he likes, but he and his colleagues would only be reassessing symptoms of deeply rooted malaise. Nothing will happen until causes of the malaise are targeted. And only tribal leaders, who embrace the honest and candid self-determination they say they want, can affect change.

Get the Story:
Editorial: Another Spirit Lake hearing? (The Fargo Forum 6/26)

Also Today:
New Details Emerge in Hearing on Abuse at Spirit Lake (PBS Frontline 6/25)
National, local tribal officials weigh in during hearing (The Devils Lake Journal 6/25)
House panel explores Spirit Lake child abuse (Scripps Howard Foundation Wire 6/25)
As Child Abuse Persists at Spirit Lake, Congress Steps In (PBS Frontline 6/24)
Spirit Lake tribe: Problems linger with child protection (AP 6/24)
Congressional leaders hopeful a house oversight hearing on child welfare concerns will lead to positive changes on Spirit Lake Nation (WDAZ 6/24)

Committee Notice:
Oversight Hearing on “Child Protection and the Justice System on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation" (June 24, 2014)

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Audio from Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on five bills (04/02)
The Native American Children's Safety Act introduced in Senate (03/27)

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