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Published June 28, 2013, 04:10 PM

Spirit Lake foster parent says children taken away because of false accusations

A foster parent on the Spirit Lake reservation says she lost her four foster children because of lies told against about her. She says she's worried for the children's safety, but says tribal chairman Roger Yankton has done nothing to address the issue.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

A foster parent on the Spirit Lake reservation says she lost her four foster children because of lies told against about her. She says she's worried for the children's safety, but says tribal chairman Roger Yankton has done nothing to address the issue.

Marva Tollefson says she lost her foster kids after being accused by a tribal social worker of letting them visit a relative who is a sex offender, something she claims never happened. Tollefson lost custody of the children after undergoing minor heart surgery on May first. She says she was promised custody of the kids after she recovered, but says Social Services director Paul Hutcheson took them away. Tollefson has signed statements from the children's family members saying they have never been in contact with any sex offenders. She doesn't know where the children are now, and worries they could be in danger if placed elsewhere on the reservation.

Tollefson has written several letters to Hutchenson and tribal chairman Roger Yankton asking for the matter to be addressed. She says the only response she's gotten in nearly two months is that the matter is still unresolved. Roger Yankton could not be reached at the Tribal Administration building and Paul Hutchenson didn't return a message left for him at the tribal social services office.

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