Conditions for children drive many off reservations

Monday, July 8, 2013
Charlie Butts (

Another Native American child has died on the Spirit Lake, North Dakota reservation, and a Christian ministry wants a more intense focus on the situation.

The reservation is rife with alcoholism, drug addiction, crime, violence and sexual abuse of children, and this is not the first time a child there has died. Elizabeth Morris and her husband, who is 100-percent Chippewa, head the Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare.

"This little girl and her twin sister were at a Bismarck foster home for two years and were well-bonded there," Morris explains. "There were no problems. They were removed last month because of the Indian Child Welfare Act and placed with family members at Spirit Lake. On June 13, one of the girls was beaten to death."

Morris' husband insisted on raising their children off the reservation because they knew conditions were deplorable.

"We started speaking against the Indian Child Welfare Act because we thought that if we should pass away, there is no way we would want our children to be brought to the reservation under the jurisdiction of the tribal government because we have seen such horrible things happen to so many children," she tells OneNewsNow.

Morris believes that is the reason why 75 perecent of Native Americans do not live on reservations, according to two U.S. censuses. Morris recommends three steps: first, pray; second, repeal the Indian Child Welfare Act that removes children from good homes and returns them to reservations; and third, take steps to clean up the reservations.

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