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Spirit Lake Members Testify About Child Abuse & Neglect On Capit - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Spirit Lake Members Testify About Child Abuse & Neglect On Capitol Hill

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Tuesday on Capitol Hill, former employees for the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation testified on the reports of child abuse, assault, and rape.

North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer took part in the oversight hearing on child protection, and the justice system on the reservation near Fort Totten.

The federal government took over responsibility for child welfare in 2012, after whistleblowers came forward, revealing children were placed in homes with known sex offenders and that others had even died from abuse and neglect.

Some testifying today say not enough progress is being made.

"On several occasions families were coming to the court stating Spirit Lake Tribal Social Services removed their children from their homes and they wanted to know when the hearing were taking place so they could attend and work to get their children back,” Former Tribal Judge, Molly McDonald told lawmakers. “The court had no documentation of the children being removed from the home."

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee is looking at a bill co-sponsored by Senators Hoeven and Heitkamp that provides more oversight for Native American children in foster care.

The legislation includes mandated background checks for all adults in such homes.
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