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Chris Albertson, Rolla, N.D., Published July 20 2013

Letter: Senator sat on sidelines too long

Finally, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., has engaged on the child welfare situation on the Spirit Lake Reservation. Action on this was long overdue and, unfortunately, it took the death of a 2-year-old girl to make it happen.

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., realized there was a problem on the Spirit Lake Reservation weeks before this tragedy happened. They knew that something needed to be done to protect these children and had taken action. Sadly, when Cramer tried to shed light on this issue, he was berated by the Democratic Party and tribal leaders for being extreme.

Heitkamp, on the other hand, sat on the sidelines far too long. I suspect she was reluctant to publicly condemn the tribes, especially after getting overwhelming support from tribal voters in her razor-thin win in the last election.

The well-being of children is not a place to be playing politics. She was not elected to lead when things are convenient for her, but anytime citizens need her leadership.