Spirit Lake says lack of fed support led them to surrender programs

Staff Writer
Devils Lake Journal

FORT TOTTEN, N.D. (AP) — The Spirit Lake Tribal Council says a "tremendous shortfall" of support from the federal government is the reason the North Dakota tribe decided to surrender control of its social service programs.

The council in a letter to tribal members also says it was hampered by "baseless" accounts of tribal corruption made by two federal officials who reported problems with the tribe's efforts to protect vulnerable children.

Those allegations ultimately led to the Bureau of Indian Affairs takeover of tribal social service programs, which became effective Monday.

The Forum newspaper reports  that the tribal council's letter says the tribe struggled to address social problems without proper federal funding and other help. But Tribal Chairman Roger Yankton says he hopes handing over social services administration to the BIA will improve relations.