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Jean Lemmon, Fergus Falls, Minn., Published July 07 2012

Forum exposes a major problem

Patrick Springer has done very thorough investigative reporting on the abuse at Spirit Lake (June 22). It is time the public is exposed to the “daunting problem” on our reservation. Due to the actions and inactions of adults, the children have been abused and murdered while everyone looks the other way.

This problem has been covered up for way too long. As a former teacher of Native American children, I was exposed to their lifestyle on the reservations. We would see the “huffers” and alcoholics in grade school. We saw them die at the hands of predators, and it was swept under the rug.

My heart goes out to the innocent victims of this horrible crime committed by pedophiles. And a toddler with 100 wood ticks on his body can only be described as neglect; and this is just “the tip of the iceberg” as the investigation continues.

I applaud Springer for his research, boldness and compassion in writing this story. As usual, tribal administrators duck the issue by not being available. I feel the criticism of North Dakota officials for failing to act is justified. Are they afraid of the tribal sovereignty?

I hope this does not become a Native American issue. It is truly a “heart issue.” Evil is all around us, and we must “root it out” whenever we find it. We need to protect our children.

Thank you again, Patrick Springer, I hope you keep on top of this problem.