Spirit Lake social services probe to continue

Associated Press

FORT TOTTEN, N.D. (AP) — Federal officials plan to return to the Spirit Lake reservation in North Dakota next month to check on progress resolving problems with the tribe's child protection programs.

U.S. Sen. John Hoeven says the Bureau of Indian Affairs will decide after that review whether to take over control of the social services program from the tribe. The member of the Senate's Indian Affairs Committee also plans to travel to the reservation next week to get a firsthand look at the situation.

The tribe has been criticized for alleged lapses in protecting endangered children. Federal officials have accused tribal officials of repeatedly ignoring reports of child abuse and neglect.

Interior Department officials were at the reservation Monday to meet with tribal officials. Tribal Chairman Roger Yankton says most problems predate his administration.