Lakota People’s Law Project

Letter from Chase Iron Eyes: S.D. Foster Facilities are the New Indian Boarding Schools

The state of South Dakota has forcibly removed our Lakota children from their tribes for 150 years. The Indian Child Welfare Act continues to be violated daily. Lakota leaders agree on the best permanent solution to this crisis: a Lakota-run foster care and family service system. I am writing here today to urgently request that you watch our new video and support us in our campaign to bring the Lakota children home.

See the letter from Chase Iron Eyes and a fundraising video at the Daily Kos website.

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Two Reports to Congress from the South Dakota ICWA Directors

From the Lakota People’s Law Project website:

Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Directors in South Dakota voted 6-0 to submit a report to Congress asserting that the South Dakota Department of Social Service has for over a decade “systematically violated the spirit and the letter of the Indian Child Welfare Act.” ICWA directors are federal employees tasked with enforcing the Indian Child Welfare Act, a law that says that state agencies must place Indian foster children with family and tribal members whenever possible. The ICWA directors’ report, yet to be published, is titled “Reviewing the Facts: An Assessment of the Accuracy of NPR’s ‘Native Foster Care: Lost Children, Shattered Families.’” The study was written with assistance from the Lakota People’s Law Project, a nonprofit law firm based in Rapid City, SD and Santa Cruz, CA.

In addition, the coalition prepared a second report focusing on pharmaceuticals being given to native children in foster care, and the incentives the state of South Dakota gets for diagnosing and over medicating foster children for mental illness.

The reports — Reviewing the Facts: An Assessment of the Accuracy of NPR’s Native Foster Care: Lost Children, Shattered Families (1/22/2013) and Is South Dakota Over-Prescribing Drugs to Native American Foster Kids? (1/29/2012) — are available online from the Lakota People’s Law Project at