The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs has scheduled a series of legal training seminars for judges, prosecutors and defenders who work in tribal courts, including a four-day session in Grand Forks June 17-20.
Rod Cavanaugh, superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs agency at Fort Totten, N.D., and a key figure in the continuing child protection issue at the Spirit Lake Nation, has taken early retirement, officials confirmed Wednesday.
A meeting scheduled by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to provide Spirit Lake Sioux leaders and members an update on efforts to improve the tribe’s child protection services will be open to the public, a spokesman for Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and tribal officials confirmed.
Most of the cases involving at-risk Spirit Lake Nation children cited in earlier reports of suspected child abuse have not been investigated or dealt with by responsible federal, state or tribal officials, a federal whistle blower alleges in his 12th such report.
A meeting of senior Bureau of Indian Affairs officials and leaders of the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe to assess BIA progress in dealing with child protection issues on the reservation has been scheduled for Wednesday, but it is not clear how public that discussion will be.
Senior officials from the U.S. Interior Department and its Bureau of Indian Affairs have agreed to conduct a “town hall meeting” on the Spirit Lake Sioux Reservation to update members of the tribe on efforts to better protect the tribe’s children.
Correspondence obtained by Forum Communications between the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Spirit Lake Tribe over the past six months shows the federal agency persistently urging the tribe to fix serious problems in its management of Tribal Social Services.
A top Bureau of Indian Affairs official will return to the Spirit Lake Sioux Reservation for two weeks starting Tuesday to supervise BIA social workers detailed to the tribe’s social services department, the Interior Department announced today.
Former Sen. Byron Dorgan: Child abuse on reservations needs better, more coordinated response “There aren’t enough resources, and there aren’t enough people to care,” he said following the death of a a two-month-old child at the Spirit Lake Nation. Child abuse and neglect is one of the most vexing problems facing Indian country today, experts say. Dorgan chaired the Senate Indian Affairs Committee until 2010.
Chuck Haga and Patrick Springer
, July 13, 2012
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