Saturday, July 2, 2022

Play

The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.

Play

SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

New SD Project Builds Foster Homes in Tribal Communities

Play

Friday, November 19, 2021   

LA PLANT, S.D. -- South Dakota has struggled to establish a network of foster parents in tribal communities, but solutions are in play, including a space where Indigenous children can feel as close to home as possible.

Over the years, South Dakota has been criticized for often placing Indigenous children with white families through aggressive custody hearing, inspiring outreach efforts to recruit foster parents in tribal areas.

Marcella Gilbert, a Lakota and Dakota community organizer on the Cheyenne River Reservation, works with the nonprofit Simply Smiles, which has been building homes for local kids in need of care.

She stressed the importance of giving kids a professional and nurturing support system, even when they turn 18.

"It isn't like, 'Okay, you're done. See you,'" Gilbert asserted. "It's like, 'Okay, let's talk about what you want to do here. Do you want to go to college? Do you want to go to job training? You know, what do you want to do? We'll help you do that.'"

Gilbert pointed out because the foster-care system is not aligned with Native American culture, the homes allow kids to maintain their identity.

Prospective foster parents are trained to care for the kids through therapy and other standard practices.

Gilbert explained only six homes are being built, so the occupants don't feel like they're in a residential setting. So far, three are finished.

Alex Gross, communications manager for Simply Smiles, said by offering an environment steeped in Lakota traditions, kids are likely to have a greater sense of belonging, even if they've dealt with trauma in the past.

"We are doing everything to make sure that they remain with their kin and community," Gross stated. "That includes working with a team of Lakota elders. We call them the 'grandmothers group.'"

Simply Smiles urged local families interested in becoming trained foster parents to visit the group's website.

Statewide, the Department of Social Services has launched a campaign to recruit more foster families in tribal areas.

Laurie Gill, South Dakota Secretary of Social Services, sees hope in reaching their goal of 300.

"We have met 42% of our first-year goal, and we launched this in May," Gill emphasized. "So, we're very pleased with the progress."


get more stories like this via email
While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…


Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …

Environment

The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …


The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …

Environment

Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Medicare fraud costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021