PIERRE, S.D. (AP) –A South Dakota bill aimed at placing Native American children with other relatives when they are removed from their families in abuse and neglect proceedings has been approved in a House committee.
The bill sponsored by Democratic Rep. Peri Pourier passed the committee Friday on a 9-3 vote and goes next to the full House. The National Indian Child Welfare Association says Native American children make up 60% of youth placed into the foster system in the state and, nationally, are in foster care at a rate three times higher than that of white children.
The group attributes the disparities to systemic bias, historical trauma and high poverty and jobless rates.