Joseph Morsette was sworn in Monday as chief judge for the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe near Devils Lake. Morsette, 46, just left his job Friday at UND directing the Native Americans Into Law program, recruiting Indian students to the state’s only law school.
Twenty-seven months after the brutal abuse and killing of two young siblings at their home on the Spirit Lake Sioux Indian reservation, Valentino “Tino” James Bagola goes on trial in U.S. District Court in Fargo Tuesday facing four felony counts of murder.
The Spirit Lake Tribal Court apparently issued a restraining order Wednesday against former Tribal Chairman Roger Yankton Sr., barring Yankton from entering the tribal government building or having any contact with members of the Tribal Council.
A 16-year-old boy was shot at the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation Thursday, according to the FBI. Kyle Loven, a spokesman for the agency in Minneapolis, said the teen was airlifted Thursday to Altru Hospital in Grand Forks.
When Tribal Social Services at Spirit Lake brought 2-year-old Laurynn Whiteshield and her twin sister back to the reservation in May from the Bismarck foster home where they had lived for most of their brief lives, the department followed to the letter the process spelled out in the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), the department’s interim director said Wednesday.
Wearing a full traditional headdress and vowing to “represent myself and the Spirit Lake Tribe with dignity and respect,” Leander (Russ) McDonald was sworn in Monday as new chairman of the tribe as about 150 supporters cheered and applauded.
Hope Whiteshield, charged in the June 13 death of a Spirit Lake Nation toddler, will remain in federal custody pending trial, a judge ruled Wednesday after hearing testimony about a criminal record that includes a half-dozen previous cases involving child neglect and endangerment.
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