Former Spirit Lake Employee Will Testify at Government Hearing - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Former Spirit Lake Employee Will Testify at Government Hearing

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  In just over 1 week, Spirit Lake Tribal members and former employees will travel to Washington D.C. to testify at an oversight hearing addressing child protection on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation. The spirit lake tribe is located at Fort Totten, North Dakota. The hearing will assess whether congressional action is needed to address problems on the reservation. Valley News Team's Ashley Bishop spoke with one of the former case managers on why this is important.

Over the past 2 years numerous news reports have shown multiple cases of child abuse and assaults on the reservations and the offenders are often tribe members. A former Spirit Lake Tribal foster care case manger has been leading the mission to bring justice to the offenders and more accountability to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  

"I have seen little boys go through forensic & medical interviews  when the doctor tells me that a 3 year old is a long term survivor sexual abuse I can't get that out of my mind and when you see the expression on a dead child's face you don't forget that...you can't forget that, " says Betty Jo Krenz.

Krenz and another former Tribal Judge will testify on June 24, 2014 and hope to see the those involved held accountable. She says not many people realize the issues on the reservation go beyond just abuse, it is also corruption. Krenz says that this issue is not just a reservation issue but a North Dakota Issue and everyone should care.  

"There is not a fence around the reservation, these kids grow up and could live next door to you. If you have a child that knows nothing but violence and sexual abuse, grows up and lives next door to you.and you have a 3 year old daughter...do you feel safe?

Krenz is hoping to take 3 young adults that have grown up in the foster care system with her to Washington D.C. so they can also testify at the hearing.  Currently she is raising money for the airfare by using a go fund me account. If you would like to help by making a donation, click here.

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