Posts tagged "south dakota"
State officials say they have to do what’s in the best interest of the child, but the state does have a financial incentive to remove the children. The state receives thousands of dollars from the federal government for every child it takes from a family, and in some cases the state gets even more money if the child is Native American. The result is that South Dakota is now removing children at a rate higher than the vast majority of other states in the country.
"They make a living off of our children," said Juanita Sherick, the tribal social worker for the Pine Ridge reservation.
Some children are removed from their homes for legitimate reasons. But in South Dakota very few are taken because they’ve been physically or sexually abused. Most are taken under a far more subjective set of circumstances. The state says the parents are neglectful. But NPR’s investigation shows that even Native American children who grow up to become foster care success stories, living happy, productive lives, say the loss of their culture and identities leaves a deep hole they spend years trying hopelessly to fill.
“Plagued by an unemployment rate above 80 percent, arid land, few prospects for industry, abysmal health statistics and life-expectancy rates rivaling those of Haiti, it’s no wonder outsiders ask: Why do the nine tribes constituting the Great Sioux Nation, including those on Pine Ridge, staunchly refuse to accept $1.3 billion from the federal government?”
Why the Sioux Are Refusing $1.3 Billion
(PHOTO: A young Lakota Sioux girl at the 26th annual Powwow on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. BY: Mike Fritz/PBS NewsHour)
Shorter article: because it’s trying to pay them off for the theft of something that is priceless.