Leech Lake Band placed girl in foster home where she was killed

Nathan Daniel Jackson Sr. is booked into the Beltrami County Jail in Minnesota.

A Minnesota man is facing manslaughter charges in connection with the death of a two-year-old girl who was in the custody of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe.

Nathan Daniel Jackson Sr., 38, was taking care of Kira Rain Friedman at a home in Bemidji, according to news reports. She died after he left her unattended in a shower, The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Kira had been placed in the home by the Leech Lake Band. According to NNCNOW.Com, the tribe had asserted jurisdiction under the Indian Child Welfare Act after she had been in a non-Indian home.

"This didn't have to happen. This little girl didn't have to die. She should be right here with her parents at this time," Patti Larsen, a spokesperson for the family and a director at the Mending The Sacred Hoop, told NNCNOW.Com.

Kira Rain Friedman appears in a photo posted by her mother on Facebook.

The Leech Lake Band has not commented on the situation. According to the tribe, the Foster Care Program conducts "criminal and child protection background studies" of applicants and other people "living in the residence who have regular contact" with any children.

It's not clear who the applicant was in the case of Kira's placement. But Jackson has convictions for convictions for property damage, disorderly conduct, assault, drunken driving and theft, The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Kira, whose Ojibwe name was "Ziigwani-diindiisi," died on June 5, according to her obituary. She was laid to rest on Friday on the Fond du Lac Reservation, also in Minnesota.

Two days earlier, President Barack Obama signed S.184, the Native American Children's Safety Act, into law. The bill requires tribes to background checks of all adults in a tribal foster home before a child is placed in the home.

Get the Story:
Charges: Girl, 2, in Minn. foster home drowns in care of admitted drug user (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 6/11)
Questions surround death of 2-year-old child in foster care (NNCNOW 6/11)
More details emerge in death of 2-year-old (The Bemidji Pioneer 6/10)
Bemidji Man Charged with Manslaughter after Toddler Drowns (KSTP 6/9)

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