JoDe Goudy: Yakama Nation committed to well-being of children

Desmond, 12, is living with his aunt in Tennessee. Photo from Facebook

JoDe Goudy, the chairman of the Yakama Nation of Washington, responds to concerns raised about a 12-year-old tribal member who is under tribal court protection as he lives with his relatives in Tennessee:
Desi is in need of medical care and a number of allegations have been made regarding how the tribe has handled his case. First and foremost, our commitment is to his health, safety and wellbeing.

Because nothing is more important than the welfare of all of our Yakama Nation children, we have carefully reviewed claims made by Mandi Lumley-Sage, who has been awarded temporary custody of Desi.

Many of the claims reported by media outlets are not accurate.

Our investigation found Yakama Nation never denied permission for Desi’s heart surgery and medical therapy. The tribe has not pursued removal of Desi from Ms. Lumley-Sage’s home, nor has the tribe sought a gag order on the case.

We will continue to monitor this situation carefully to ensure Desi’s safety, health and wellbeing. Our prayers are with him for a successful surgery and a quick recovery.

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JoDe L. Goudy: Yakama Nation Committed to Health and Safety of Tribal Children (Indian Country Today 3/12)

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