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Published July 03, 2013, 04:16 PM

Former Spirit Lake Tribal Judge speaks out

Former Spirit Lake Tribal Judge Shirley Cain speaks out about why she thinks she was fired from tribal court. She says former tribal chairman Roger Yankton let her go as a political move after the death of 2-year-old Laurynn Whiteshield on the reservation three weeks ago.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

Former Spirit Lake Tribal Judge Shirley Cain speaks out about why she thinks she was fired from tribal court. She says former tribal chairman Roger Yankton let her go as a political move after the death of 2-year-old Laurynn Whiteshield on the reservation three weeks ago.

Cain signed the order placing Whiteshield and her twin sister in the home where she was injured, she says only after a tribal social worker said the home was safe. She says Yankton had undermined her ever since she became a judge on the reservation, so he took the opportunity to get rid of her. She says she feels responsible for Whiteshield's death, but says both the child's parents and tribal social workers could have objected to placing the kids in the home, which she says didn't happen.

Cain: "[The decision] was based on the report given to me by the indian child welfare worker. She did a home study, and that's usually what workers do prior to placement."

Cain had kind words for new tribal Chairman Russ McDonald. She says he will be able to help the reservation get back on the right track after Roger Yankton's troubled tenure.

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