SD lawmakers push to actively reunite Indigenous children with families after abuse cases.
A bill that would push the state’s social service system to actively reunite Native American children and their families in a timely manner, following abuse and neglect case proceedings, passed out of committee Friday morning 9-3. The bill would further codify into state law current federal law when it comes to the reunification of Native American families. Representative Peri Pourier, Democrat from Pine Ridge, said at the moment in state law, the Department of Social Services is directed to act with due regard to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).
The Biden administration on Thursday said 15 Native American tribes will get a total of $580 million this year to fund settlements that ensure access to water that’s legally theirs. The money will help carry out agreements known as water rights settlements. They define the tribes’ rights to water from rivers and other sources and pay for pipelines, pumping stations and canals that deliver it to reservations. Access to reliable, clean water and basic sanitation facilities on tribal lands remains a challenge across many Native American reservations. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1908 that tribes have rights to as much water as they need to establish a permanent homeland.
Those are your headlines at this hour. I’m Colette Keith in the KIPI News center.