Spirit Lake

February 2013, CAICW attended a Spirit Lake town hall meeting where one member after another stood up to tell the panel of tribal and federal officials tragic stories of how they tried to get the tribal police, BIA and U.S Attorney to help. But criminals continue to roam unchallenged. As tribal members told of continuing abuse of children, officials claimed everything that can be done has been done. “Investigations take time” U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon said over and over.

Tom Sullivan, Regional Administrator of the Administration of Children and Families in Denver, had written report after report to DC detailing the abuse and number of children who’d been removed from safe homes off reservation and placed into dangerous homes – even homes of sexual offenders – at Spirit Lake. At the town hall meeting, Purdon claimed Tom Sullivan “misrepresented the facts.

Yet, while Spirit Lake was under oversight of the BIA, FBI, and Purdon in 2012 and 2013:
• An elder witnessed two young boys doing something unspeakable on her lawn, but despite her many attempts to report it – it was ignored by tribal & federal authorities. The boys are related to a councilman.
• 3-year-old Laurynn Whiteshield was placed in a relative’s home where she was beaten to death in June, 2013.
• Roland Morris’s grandson was shot and left for dead at Spirit Lake in July 2013. No one has been charged, though it is common knowledge he was shot over drugs by relatives who are part of a Minneapolis gang.
In Tom Sullivan’s 12th Mandated Report to the ACF office in DC, February 2013, (https://caicw.org/wp-content/uploads/Twelth-Mandated-Report-Concerning-Suspected-Child-Abuse-on-the-Spirit-Lake-Reservation.htm). he stated:

“In these 8 months I have filed detailed reports concerning all of the following:
– The almost 40 children returned to on-reservation placements in abusive homes, many headed by known sex offenders… These children remain in the full time care and custody of sexual predators available to be raped on a daily basis. Since I filed my first report noting this situation, nothing has been done by any of you to remove these children to safe placements.
– The 45 children who were placed, at the direction of Tribal Social Services (TSS), BIA social workers, BIA supervised TSS social workers and the BIA funded Tribal Court, in homes where parents were addicted to drugs and/or where they had been credibly accused of abuse or neglect…
“…Those adults remain protected by the law enforcement which by its inaction is encouraging the predators to keep on hunting for and raping children at Spirit Lake.

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