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Senate Committee on Indian Affairs heading to Spirit Lake Nation






Youth on the Spirit Lake Nation in North Dakota. Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs is hitting the road for its first field hearing of the 115th Congress.

The April 21 hearing takes place in familiar territory, in the home state of Sen. John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), the committee's chairman. And it focuses on one of his achievements -- the Native American Children's Safety Act.

Hoeven introduced S.184 in response to a foster care crisis on the Spirit Lake Nation. His bill, which became law last June, requires background checks on adults living in homes where Native children are placed in foster care.

The field hearing at the Cankdeska Cikana Community College will examine how the new law is being implemented. In a commentary published on Turtle Talk, attorney Brian Newland, who worked at the Bureau of Indian Affairs during the Obama administration, it imposes mostly unfunded mandates on tribal courts and social service agencies.

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Notice:
Oversight Field Hearing on “Safeguarding to the Seventh Generation: Protection and Justice for Indian Children and the Implementation of the Native American Children’s Safety Act of 2016.” (April 21, 2017)

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BIA to help tribes with background checks for child placements (08/20)
Indian youth face enormous economic and health obstacles (07/21)
Sen. Barrasso welcomes passage of bills to help Native children (06/02)
Native American Children's Safety Act clears House and Senate (06/01)