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Published August 13, 2012, 05:48 PM

New Federal Report Says Spirit Lake Nation Social Service Problems Being Ignored

A new report from a federal administrator says severe problems with the tribe's social services program are being ignored - - and that people who want to blow the whistle on the tribe are being intimidated.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

A new report from a federal administrator says severe problems with the tribe's social services program are being ignored - - and that people who want to blow the whistle on the tribe are being intimidated.

Thomas Sullivan with the Administration for Children and Families has already filed two reports about abuse in the tribe's social services system, but he says the only thing the tribe has done is try to keep those alleged abuses under wraps.

Jessica Ramey-Gillam has two grandchildren enrolled in the Spirit Lake reservation. She's been fighting to change the tribe's social services system for years.

She says it's a good thing more people are starting to pay attention to what's happening on the reservation. Thomas Sullivan's report details graphic examples of abuse and neglect on the reservation. Stories of children being placed in homes with numerous sex offenders, and children asking to be arrested so they can go somewhere safe. The report also alleges tribal leaders have threatened to fire employees who bring abuse issues to the public.

Ramey-Gillam hopes things will begin to change now that the alleged problems are in the spotlight, but she says we still have a long way to go.

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