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Published October 22, 2013, 07:46 PM

Child abuse issues on Spirit Lake Nation getting national attention

Child abuse issues on the Spirit Lake Nation are getting national attention thanks to a story that aired Monday night on CNN.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

Child abuse issues on the Spirit Lake Nation are getting national attention thanks to a story that aired Monday night on CNN.

The four minute story, which aired on the show "Erin Burnett Out Front", says sexual abuse in rampant on the reservation. Opinions are divided on the piece.

Child Advocate Jesse Ramey-Gillem says she's concerned that CNN only interviewed one abuse victim.

Jess: "They could have talked to other individuals. To a larger contingency of individuals who have been through the system.

Some say the CNN piece doesn't paint the whole picture. They say it only focuses on the negatives and not on what's being done to help solve child abuse problems on the reservation. Ramey-Gillem says North Dakota's senators seem committed to helping tribal members.

Jesse: "To say the federal government does absolutely nothing is disingenuous."

Betty Jo Krenz is a former tribal social worker who was featured in the story. She says the piece truthfully shows just how bad the sexual abuse issue is on the reservation.

Betty Jo: "What's bothered me is what's ok."

Krenz, along with tribal members interviewed in the piece, say the federal government needs to do more to help Spirit Lake.

Tony: I'm saying we need help immediately. That's my message to the federal government.>

CNN did interview tribal chairman Russ McDonald. He didn't respond to multiple messages today asking for a comment on the piece.

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