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Published July 02, 2013, 04:07 PM

Heitkamp, McDonald meet to discuss child welfare on Spirit Lake Nation

Senator Heidi Heitkamp says she's committed to working with newly elected Spirit Lake tribal chairman Russ McDonald to help fix the tribes embattled social services program. The two met today in Devils Lake to discuss how the tribe and the federal government can work together.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

Senator Heidi Heitkamp says she's committed to working with newly elected Spirit Lake tribal chairman Russ McDonald to help fix the tribes embattled social services program. The two met today in Devils Lake to discuss how the tribe and the federal government can work together.

Heitkamp says she'll keep pressing the issue because the number one priority any government has is to protect its children. Russ McDonald was only sworn in as the tribal chairman Monday, but he says he's already at work figuring out ways to solve problems on the reservation. That includes meeting with Heitkamp this morning. The two discussed several issues on the reservation, including tribal social services, which has been embroiled in controversy for more than a year. Heitkamp says she hopes to get several federal agencies on board to help the reservation. McDonald says he offered

suggestions on ways to bring a positive change to Spirit Lake.

Heitkamp says she can make the biggest difference by raising awareness of the problems at Spirit Lake on a federal level. She says she's been in touch with the Department of Justice, BIA and White House Chief of Staff trying to bring attention to the social services issues on Spirit Lake.

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