I have obtained a copy of much of the information that the South Dakota Governor’s Office sent out to legislators and the media in response to the recent NPR reports on Native American Children in Foster Care. There is a wealth of good and specific information, and all of these are recommended reading for anyone interested in this topic.
There was also an Indian Child Welfare Act Commission study done in approximately 2004 with the goal of identifying what could be done by the State and tribes to help ensure compliance with the ICWA. The report from that commission is available online here. An brief explanation of what the Department of Social Services has done to address the recommendations of that report has also been produced, and is available below.
It is my opinion that the reporting done by Laura Sullivan for this series was seriously lacking in journalistic integrity. If NPR wishes to maintain its integrity as an organization, I believe that a correctional story and an apology to its listeners is in order. I am not so naive as to believe that most news reports are not colored by the viewpoints of those reporting the story. However, when I listen to Public Radio, which I often did, I at the very least expect that the reporter is not outright lying to me about objective facts. If you feel the same way, I would suggest that you let NPR know.