ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Spirit Lake Nation: A Follow-Up Report On Child Abuse

Updated on August 26, 2013

One Month Later

It has been a month since I first wrote about the atrocities happening on an Indian reservation in North Central North Dakota. The rage I felt then has not subsided, but rather transformed into a slow, deliberate simmering process, which continues to feed my passion for change in this country.

There are so many wrongs in this country that at times it seems overwhelming. At times the temptation to just throw up my hands and walk away is indeed strong. Where do we even start? How can we expect to effect change when so much is vile and despicable? I fill with frustration and I scream at the moon, knowing it does no good to do so, and yet also knowing it is necessary.

Someone needs to scream! When children are being abused and the authorities charged with their care are not acting, then someone needs to scream. Do not think for a second that this is a problem limited to the Spirit Lake Nation of North Dakota. Child abuse is a nationwide problem. Every day in this country, four children die because of abuse. To my way of thinking that is four too many, and I cannot remain silent.

I promised a follow-up report and here it is! I am encouraged by what is happening this last week of August, 2012. Certainly I am more encouraged than I was a month ago, because it appears that someone is listening to our collective voice, and that actions will be taken that can only improve the situation in North Dakota.

Before I go any further, let me give you a quick summary of the problem in case you missed my earlier article.

A map of the Spirit Lake Nation in North Dakota
A map of the Spirit Lake Nation in North Dakota | Source

THE SITUATION

This story did not begin on May 21, 2011, when the bodies of Destiny (age nine) and Travis (age six) DuBois were found. Their murders were only the catalyst that lit the fire of a much bigger story, a story of child abuse that has run un-impeded for quite some time now at Spirit Lake.

For months social workers and even government officials had called out for help, hoping that someone would listen to their stories of neglect and abuse of children, and of incompetency and dictatorial leadership in the Tribe. Their pleas for assistance largely fell on deaf ears, but still they risked retribution from the Tribe and continued to tell their story.

Child case worker Betty Jo Krenz, despite threats to her life, fought tooth and nail to bring this story to the light of public awareness. A solitary figure known only as Cat filled the internet with stories so horrendous as to seem unbelievable, and yet they were true. Tribal psychologist Dr. Tillus was transferred after sending a letter of concern about family and child safety on the Reservation, but his voice could not be quieted. Thomas Sullivan, regional administrator for the U.S. Administration for Children and Families, called for a state of emergency at Spirit Lake. Newspapers like the Grand Forks Herald and The Forum in Fargo covered the story intensely for months, refusing to let it die, and continually pushed tribal, state and federal authorities for answers to the problem.

Finally, on July 23, 2012, fourteen months after the murders of the DuBois children, U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon announced the apprehension and arrest of one Valentino James Bagola in connection with the murders. His tentative trial date is September 24, 2012.

The community of Spirit Lake hoped that the nightmare would finally disappear. It did not! Still concerns were voiced over continual child abuse on the Reservation, and those who did speak out were again threatened by Tribal authorizes. Tribal Chairman Roger Yankton continued to express concern and vowed to make necessary changes, but change, it seems, is very slow in coming to Spirit Lake.

The Spirit Lake Video

A GLIMMER OF HOPE

As reported by the Grand Forks Herald, Democratic Senator Kent Conrad said he would call on Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and ask for assistance in the Spirit Lake matter. Conrad states that Spirit Lake “seems like a rudderless ship” lacking any cohesive or effective leadership in dealing with child protection. He also stated that calls from his office to the Reservation leadership have gone unanswered, and that a staff member recently returned from the Reservation noticeably upset over the conditions at Spirit Lake.

Conrad also stated that his office has been working with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, those responsible for overseeing social services, but that he feels that intervention by the Secretary of the Interior is now necessary. He is calling for a team of specialists comprised of social workers, leadership experts and possibly law enforcement personnel, to enter the Reservation and spearhead necessary changes.

Republican Senator John Hoeven recently stated that his office is now in contact with the BIA and is urging them to take over the social services programs run by the Spirit Lake Tribe.

Senator Conrad, who will soon retire from the U.S. Senate, stated that one of the greatest frustrations he has had in 26 years in the Senate has been “trying to make progress” in the areas of chronic social issues, such as poverty, suicide, crime and abuse of children, and these problems are now clearly focused on Spirit Lake. Conrad states that he believes there is a total failure of leadership at Spirit Lake.

It should be noted that Tribal Chairman Roger Yankton has been unavailable for comment since these issues surfaced earlier this year, and currently, according to a Tribal spokesperson, Yankton is out of town.

A QUESTION OF JURISDICTION???

Yes, Spirit Lake Nation is an autonomous nation with its own government and police force. Unfortunately, it is not quite that simple. Felony crimes are handled and investigated by the FBI. Social services are funded by the BIA. Toss in the Department of the Interior and the Indian Health Service and there are quite a few responsible parties staggering over each other during any given day.

It would be lovely if the Tribe could handle their own matters, and in many tribes across the country that seems to be the case. Unfortunately, there are also a great many tribes, Spirit Lake being one of them, that seem to be “rudderless ships” where basic human rights are ignored.

The question then becomes: should an autonomous nation be interfered with if they cannot protect the innocent? The answer must be a resounding YES! This is a matter of human rights and that must always trump jurisdictional boundaries. The United States has a rich history of entering the fray in foreign countries when human rights are being ignored and trampled on. Why should it be any different within the boundaries of the United States?

FINAL THOUGHTS

I do not care about jurisdictional boundaries; I care only for children who cannot defend themselves. What empathetic human being would not feel that way? Oh, wait, there is at least one! Chairman Yankton, are you available to comment yet? Does your busy schedule allow you to make a statement about dead and abused children? Would it be possible for you to address these concerns publicly, or are you too busy operating the Tribal casino to be bothered with child neglect and abuse?

Yes, the United States government needs to act, and hopefully sooner rather than later. My main concern at this point is that the wheels of government turn incredibly slowly, and simply because a United State Senator vows to pick up the fight does not mean the fight will net results in the next few days, or weeks, or even months. How many more deaths will have to occur before someone takes immediate action?

To Betty Jo Krenz, I say thank you! To Cat, whoever you are, I say thank you! To Dr. Tillus, I say thank you! To Director Sullivan, I say thank you! To those of you who work with these kids daily but, because of fear of reprisals, must stay silent, I say thank you for the job you have done. To the staff of the Grand Forks Herald and The Forum, I say thank you for not allowing this story to lose momentum.

Never tell me that one person cannot make a difference. I refuse to believe it! The history of mankind is filled with stories of individuals who ignored the odds and simply decided that change must happen, and that they would be the instrument of that change.

One person can stand up to injustice. This story is overflowing with people who, despite threats and reprimands, have refused to ignore the trampling of basic human rights of children. It takes one person, and then another, and another, until that one voice is many, and change then happens.

How many more children have to die? What would be an acceptable number while the wheels of justice slowly turn? If we could solve this problem in a month, but two more children die, is that acceptable? How about six months but the loss of five more children? Is that acceptable?

Chairman Yankton, you need to do the only honorable thing and step down from your position of leadership. You have proven yourself to be an ineffectual leader, and worse yet you have proven to be a selfish dictator who has no concern for the people whose care you were entrusted with. Bullies lose their power when someone stands up to them and Chairman Yankton, you now have opposition, and it is growing daily. The legacy of great Sioux leadership ended when you took office but it can be, and will be, regained when you leave.

How many more children have to die? What would be an acceptable number?

There is only one acceptable answer to those questions….zero!

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      BIll, I"ve just posted a link on your Facebook post. I'm not sure how much it will help, but you might want to send a message to someone about this, with this article. In little ways, we can help.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michelle, yes, in little ways, and all those little ways add up. Thank you my young, loyal friend.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill, thank for the much needed follow-up to your original story on the Spirit Lake Nation situation. I too am glad that it seems that someone has heard and does want to try to make difference, but do agree that the wheels of justice can be utterly too slow at times. That said, I also agree about Chairman Yankton resigning. He is obviously corrupt and does not seem to care for the welfare of these poor defenseless children. I am sorry, but that is completely wrong and as a parent my insides are screaming right along with yours on this and 100% agree with zero more children needing to be harmed or die because of this man's incompetence. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Bill for caring enough to post this story and for working to get this heard to make a difference and try to get change to occur. Have of course voted, shared and tweeted of course!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, it does not surprise me that you are outraged as I am....what loving parent wouldn't be outraged? Thank you my dear for the share and for just caring enough to take action of your own. I greatly appreciate you and you have my respect and love from Olympia.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      This story is so heartbreaking and it makes you wonder at times who really is there for the children. We shouldn't be surprised that government corruption is behind this, but I agree with you nothing should matter but the justice and welfare of these poor innocent children. Great job, let's hope we'll see a change in the narrative soon.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alecia; change is happening but it is so slow....and that's what worries me. :)

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Billy, I am really impressed by your beautiful heart! I wish there were more of you out there..... Thanks for doing a follow up of this story, it's absolutely necessary that they don't forget this!

      Voting up and sharing.....

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 4 years ago from New York City

      Bill thanks for the update on this pertinent issue with the case, you are definitely on top of thing here, and I commend you on keeping track of the progress and all, I'm glad that all of our voices combined has helped to make a bit of a difference to put this situation to an end, and lets hope it get taken care of once and for all.

      Children worldwide need people like you Bill who truly care, and have more then just a kind heart, you've been so determined to make a difference, and all of your efforts here will make such an effective purposeful change for them, especially if folks continue to respond by taking actions to make the difference needed today.

      You have become a people fighter, some one who is willing to stick their own neck out there for the rights of others, and that is something highly commendable indeed.

      Thanks for writing this hub here, and lets pray that god is listening as well, to help more people wake up and begin to make efforts to change things for the better just as you have been leading, and doing with your words here on hubpages. Thumbs up and out!

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      I am glad you are continuing to follow this story. No more children need to die from abuse, neglect, and outright murder. Sharing and I hope it helps. Your proactive approach may save a life!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      I'm so happy you did a follow up on this story. I will be interested in knowing what the ultimate outcome will be on this tragedy. Thanks.

      I voted this UP, etc. and will share everywhere to get the word out.

    • Judi Bee profile image

      Judith Hancock 4 years ago from UK

      Too many self-important adults worried about their own reputations and positions so turning their backs on an uncomfortable truth. Sadly not a new story in this sorry world of ours, but definitely a story that needs to make the news. Glad you are keeping on at this one Bill and I truly hope it brings about a change.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LaThing, I just noticed your new profile picture....very nice to see the real you! Thank you my dear; I am embarrassed by your statement...I would hope I have a beautiful heart...I try. :) Thank you for sharing!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, you share the warriors blood with me buddy! We just need to keep fighting...change one person at a time...then it spreads out from there. I don't have that many years left so I need to shake things up as much as possible in the time remaining. Thank you buddy; you are a good man!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tammy, I hope it helps too; thank you for sharing and for caring.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, sharing it is so important...thank you my friend and bless you and the children.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Judi, I will stay on it because a child's life is worth it....always. Thank you for caring and I appreciate your warm words of compassion.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I find it so distressing that it takes so long and the efforts of so many people to bring justice and relief. Meanwhile the morning tv talk shows are running stories about cute kittens during prime viewing time. Good for you for keeping this in the spotlight. Sometimes it really does "take a village..."

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      Justice should prevail immediately and yes, the answer to the question in the end of this well-said hub is zero and it should be this always! In my country, I have witnessed that several cases for the young abused/murdered victims took years to get solved completely and even the perpetrators went scot-free! I don't like this and I always want immediate justice! I completely agree with your strong views! Well-done!

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Well Bill, it is good to know that some things are moving even if slowly, and that this has been shared and brought out of the closet,. Thank you for the follow up. We all, every one of us needs to be outraged and stand up in the face of these evil criminals.

    • TripleAMom profile image

      TripleAMom 4 years ago from Florida

      Hey Bill, was waiting for the follow up. So glad to see that there are some steps being taken to correct the situation. I love how you write about one person being able to make a difference. I did a hub on that a while back. Amazing what one person can accomplish. Great writing as usual!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, you make an excellent point! Child abuse is not prime time news....it isn't sexy or cute...it is disturbing and nobody wants to hear about it. Thank you for caring; I greatly appreciate it!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ishwaryaa, you are a kind and caring person and I greatly appreciate you for who you are. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, I have no doubt where your heart is...any caring person would be outraged by this, and I can't sit idly by and pretend it isn't happening. Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wendy, I agree with you, one person can make a difference, and we are making a difference in this case...it takes time but things are changing. Thank you for the visit; I hope you are well.

    • ROBERTHEWETTSR profile image

      rOBERT hEWETT SR. 4 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      You are doing a great public service. Thanks for keeping the story alive. I have been by that reservation and worked with one Indian from there way back in the 1970s. It is very remote and dealing with tribal matters can be frustrating.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Robert, yes, definitely isolated! I'm just trying to raise awareness and keep the pressure on the authorities. Every little bit helps. Thank you Sir!

    • TravelAbout profile image

      Katheryn 4 years ago from United States

      As always, great piece of writing and great cause. I'm thinking that Nancy Grace may be a good source for some major publicity. Some may not like her brashness, but she is truly a person who strongly advocates on behalf of children. Her show usually focuses on one singular case/child, but I'm sure she would be angered and deeply sadened by this particular case. I don't tweet, but I'll send an email with your story attached.....Katheryn

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Katheryn, you are a good person. Thank you for doing that; I greatly appreciate it!

      Wishing you a great day!

      bill

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Hi Billy, What can I tell you. I support your efforts and the outrage is collective. The spark has been ignited a month ago and even though some ass## want to step on the cause and put it to sleep. They will face a true, and we don't give up easily. Just to let you know that by having some indian in me, it really touches home. Those little souls do not deserve to be between the hands of pedophiles and corrupted BIA animals. We will follow up and let me tweet amd pin this mess! Not your hub, but the sad story, that is still going strong thanks to us.

    • TravelAbout profile image

      Katheryn 4 years ago from United States

      Bill....I sent her an email with the link to your story. I will let you know if I get a response from her or her staff and please let me know if you hear anything.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I will Katheryn; thank you so much!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joseph, thank you Sir! I have so much more faith in mankind when I meet people like you, Mike, Mark and others who show true compassion.

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Bill -

      Thanks for the follow up, my friend! Money buys much power as is proven here. Perhaps, the strength of the voices will instill notice that the time for profits is coming to an end. I would not be surprised to see the casino money being sent to an overseas fund, and filling the pockets of Yankton, who may never be seen again. Great Job, sir!

    • Johnkadu123 profile image

      Johnkadu123 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I cannot quite believe that I am reading about this in the modern age. Thanks for highlighting an important. Your voice will be very important in terms of getting people to take notice. If we do not talk about these things then nothing will be done about them.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      This is so tragic. I don't care about jurisdictions either. We must stop child abuse. There is nothing I hate anymore in this world than knowing children are being abused. I will not even watch any show or movie that has any inkling of child abuse. I don't think that is what our forefather;s meant when they threw that free speech amendment in there. I am glad you are following and writing about this particular situation.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Billy, I am so happy that you continue to follow this tragic story, and, that you are keeping it out here. There are so many sad, sad stories in Indian Country and our country so easily turns a blind eye. Margaret Mead said it best - "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that does." You are one and are doing amazing work. Voted up, shared on twitter and on Pinterest.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rich, thank you! Your scenario about overseas money is not as ridiculous as it may sound. I would put nothing past this man. I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a great comment.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, I agree with you, this must be talked about. As a people we spend far too much time hiding from the truth. Someone needs to stand up for these kids. Thank you Sir!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pamela, I have gone from sickened to mad now. This has to stop and we are making headway; the government is on the reservation right now studying the situation. Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Irc, thank you for sharing. I believe what Mead said; I have seen evidence of it many times. I appreciate you being so caring and compassionate!

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

      This reminds me of how the probation officers who were supposed to be monitoring Garrido did not really do their job, and Jacy Deguard was held captive for almost twenty years. Thanks for bringing this story to our attention.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, you put it in a nutshell when you brought to mind the fact that our country has no qualms about running to the aid of others. But what about our own???? This is inconceivable to me. And yes, if the tribes who have immunity from America's government cannot protect and nurture their people, we must break through the barriers and save the children!

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 4 years ago

      These events still occur in our modern day? I'm literally astonished and disgusted by the events. What's even more discussing is the length of time it took for the government to proclaim that the person linked to the murders will stand trial in September. What was the wait for? What were the problems involved? The government is already involved with Spirit Lake via the FBI and BIA, so why wait 14 months? Who knows what could have happened in that course of time.

      Thank you for opening others to these kinds of situations, Bill. Always a pleasure.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sweetie, thank you for stopping by; there are so many things wrong on this one reservation....and I suspect this is not an isolated problem.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I don't know what to do other than to keep shouting from the mountaintop and hope someone in authority listens. Thank you my dear; sending love your way.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Keith, what was worse, if that's possible, is that another little girl died from abuse and neglect two months ago....this is never-ending at Spirit Lake, and it is disgusting and inexcusable. Thank you for caring!

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Great article, Bill. I think you and all of us will have to be viligent and keep on this to get anything done. Bureaucracy moves so slowly and that seems to be where this is. I am outraged and appalled that intervention has not taken place in all this time. The U.S. government certainly needs to intervene like yesterday! I agree with you, we intervene in FOREIGN countries for God's sake, on humanitarian issues, but we are afraid of a bunch of bully native American indians and their autonomy? This is an insane world, Bill, and this is insanity of the highest. I cannot believe we haven't charged in there and taken over this reservation until this situation can be straightened out. This is our country's problem right now - we can't solve our problems - we stew around and more children are abused and killed. President Obama - where are you? Do something about this!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      It takes a lot of concerned citizens not to turn their backs. In today's landscape evertyhingrequires pro active action. This is really awful and thank you for being a caring person to do all you can about it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzette, I have no answers. I have been close to this story now for over a month and I'm still shaking my head at the insanity of it. How this has gone untreated for so long is beyond me. I do know that there is now movement, but three kids had to die before movement happened. That is unacceptable.

      Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, you are so right. Thank you as always; let's hope the situation improves drastically soon.

    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 4 years ago from Clinton CT

      I'm really glad you followed up, even after the heat dies down. You want to keep the fire under people's butts. Great work Billy. Wish it didn't have to be so that you would need to write about such a thing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Julie, judging from the lack of views today, nobody on HubPages want to re-visit this. I suspect it is too ugly a topic to read about and I find that sad. I really appreciate you bucking the trend and reading this follow-up. That speaks volumes about you as a person.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Good work, Billy. None of this can be allowed to continue. We are in the 21st century. This cannot be happening anymore.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Avian, that was my first reaction a month ago...and then reality hit home. :) Thank you for caring!

    • profile image

      Sueswan 4 years ago

      Hi Bill,

      "The question then becomes: should an autonomous nation be interfered with if they cannot protect the innocent? The answer must be a resounding YES! This is a matter of human rights and that must always trump jurisdictional boundaries"

      I agree 100% with you. Is the U.S. government so caught up in bureaucracy that it takes precedent over the life of innocent children?

      "Referring to a comment from one of the critics, Yankton said he told the federal officials “we didn’t put up any sign at the reservation border saying, ‘welcome pedophiles.’ I asked them if they saw it, and they said no, they only saw welcome signs" http://www.jamestownsun.com/event/article/id/16797...

      What an a*hole! I think he should be arrested and serve a life sentence.

      Thank you for sharing and screaming out against these atrocities towards children.

      Sharing!

      Bless you

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Amen!!! Zero tolerance on this one, billybuc. I agree, forget boundaries when you are talking about the endangerment of children. Wooooo, do not even get me started on those who harm children, that's when my horns come out!!! I am glad you are calling for that person to step down and out, and he should, like real fast. I will pray about this situation, that those in positions of authority who could help, do help! God bless you dear one. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Bill i remember when you first wrote about this. It made me feel fury then as well as now. There is no excuse for child abuse in any situation. A young Father here just went on trial for murdering his 4 month old son. He beat him to death. I watched him as he entered the court room, dressed in a suit and tie, handsome man who showed no visible remorse. Thank you for readdressing this issue. Bravo!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for sharing that article Sue; I hadn't seen that one yet.

      I'm tired of screaming; can you imagine how the people on the reservation feel? They have been screaming for over two years now and nothing has been done.

      I really appreciate you and your compassionate spirit; thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Faith, and God bless the kids because they need his help right now! I wish I had more confidence in the government; meetings are being held right now but I'm very skeptical of the outcome.

      Bless you my dear!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, how do people become so twisted? I don't understand it....I understand bar fights and even murders of passion.....but a little child....4 month's old? I can't wrap my brain around that no matter how hard I try.

      Thank you kind lady!

    • CarlySullens profile image

      CarlySullens 4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Bill, your warrior spirit continues to demonstrate your ability of focused attention on justice and humanity. It is said that these children are abdicated from their own and other's in authority. I am so moved by your writing and hitting the gong as much and as loud as one needs to promote necessary change.

      Your caliber is unique and contagious. It is bringing out the warriors in all of us to continue to stand and say something, promote this story and bring it the attention it needs for necessary change.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carly....thank you my dear! I don't know what else to do. I'm feeling helpless and I'm beginning to get that old feeling that people really don't want to hear about these things, that they are quite happy to live in a protective bubble and let it be someone else's problem.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      You are getting a lot of notice with this hub. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to notice that there is a problem that needs attention. You have definitely called attention to this horrific plight. I truly hope the article reaches the person who can affect change. Don't ever give up.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Billy -- We all appreciate the update. Abuse of children is heinous and horrible, that the situation has been ignored for 14 months is simply unconscionable. If you should decide that letters or emails from us to any number of government officials might be helpful...just say the word.

      Send us names and addresses and we will write letters, make phone calls, send emails to officials, to congressman to newspapers, whatever you think would be most helpful. We have no excuse, ever, to turn away from such terrible things. After all, Jesus said, "Let the little children come unto me."

      Thank you and blessings be upon your head. Theresa

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      Powerful words from a man who is making a difference: you. Your words have touched so many and hopefully there will be justice. But, you have sparked a discussion and brought awareness to a deeper issue in general: child abuse. In general, it's a topic that we need to openly discuss. It goes hand in hand with elder abuse and animal abuse. Great job, my friend. Who you are makes a difference.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Continue to rage, and rage loudly, Bill, for your voice will be heard! No children must be allowed to suffer and perish because of apathy. Thank you for continuing to publicize this outrage and call for action.

      I hope Nancy Grace responds to Katheryn's email of this story and that she will shine the light of national media attention on this situation. If there is enough publicity about it to cause embarrassment in high places, maybe action will be taken faster.

    • CarlySullens profile image

      CarlySullens 4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      "I don't know what else to do. I'm feeling helpless and I'm beginning to get that old feeling that people really don't want to hear about these things, that they are quite happy to live in a protective bubble and let it be someone else's problem."

      Sadly, there is a lot of truth to this statement. Apathy is growing rampant in this country. But that does not mean that ALL people do not care, that all people would rather live in a protective bubble.

      You touched me Bill, that is one. One plus one more begins to grow. Don't underestimate what a mustard seed potential can be.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Austin, it's not in me to give up. I need to find some happiness for awhile and let this issue work through the proper channels. I've burned myself out on this. Thank you for your kind words and for caring.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Theresa, that was a lovely comment. I'm in touch with people in North Dakota and we'll see what the latest government intervention does to alleviate this problem. If we need to do more then I will certainly send out addresses and names for a writing campaign. Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyndi, you are right of course, it does go hand in hand with other abuses and it needs to stay in the public conversation. Thank you, Sis! I'm a little down right now but I'll bounce back. I appreciate you more than you know.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jaye, you are right! It takes a national figure to come out against this and then things will happen quickly. In the meantime, I'll continue to shout and hope that we make a difference. Thank you so much!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carly, thank you my dear! I'm just feeling like it's overwhelming and nobody is listening. I know that's not true, but that's how I feel right now. Tomorrow will be a new day and we'll be fresh and ready to go again.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      I agree with you. Thanks for keeping us informed.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Martin!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Thank you so much for bringing this to attention. Your follow up is greatly appreciated. As for the neighbors who "didn't hear" anything I would say they did. Did they know the children were being murdered? no. Abused? yes. The problem is these people probably grew up being abused themselves and have a hard time distinguishing what is and isn't acceptable treatment of another human being. I'm sure they heard the screams but assumed the kids were being punished for something. I'm sure physical discipline is encouraged there. On top of living in a community that discourages changes for the better. I'm appalled by their behavior but I also feel sorry for them as well. Hopefully these small steps that are being taken will help protect the women and children now so that as a community they can grow away from abuse being the norm. Voted up and shared.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 4 years ago from London, UK

      Thanks for the follow up report. You have done your best in raising awareness of this sad issue and I hope there are positive changes. Children must be protected.

      Great share.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      bill....This is truly saddening as well as enraging.....very much so. When children are the TOPIC, connected with abuse, atrocities and injustice....my question is always....How on earth can a human being's reaction be anything but total outrage? It is beyond us to imagine, I know.

      All due respect to Native Americans everywhere.....their Sovereignty is very much at the heart of ALL matters in terms of aReservation. Most NA's take this extremely far....to the point that they demand "whitey" be informed, alert and aware.....THEY make it well-known they live in their OWN world within a world and all others, STAY OUT. In other words, "No Trespassing" by the white man. This makes matters of law very problematic (near ludicrous, as you can see)........and in cases such as this particular one......I would suspect that the "bad" guys (N.A.'s in authority, so to speak) would become even MORE adamant and combative to protect their "We handle our own at all times" staunch attitude.

      bill....of course this is tragic and completely exasperating.....and like you, I agree this calls for even louder voices, stronger and more often, with the help and cooperation of U.S. authorities with POWER. I relay all of this as an individual who has resided nearly lifelong, smack dab in the center...surrounded by 3 major N.A. Reservations. One would need to be comatose to not be well-educated on Native American Sovereignty and all that it means.

      Thank you so much for the update. I appreciate knowing that there has been some progress and a glimmer of hope. I share your fervor and support this cause. .................UP+++

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sasah, you are probably very correct in your statements. Abuse is passed down from generation to generation in this case. There is fear and intimidation and it is an endless cycle....very hard to break that cycle when everyone is a part of it.

      Thank you my dear!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Elena, thank you; children must, indeed, be protected.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, thank you! This is such a commonplace occurrence on this reservation that to some it seems normal living. I'm really not sure how it is going to stop; even if the Feds do step in, I'm not sure the culture will allow major changes after a time.....when the Feds leave, in other words, I suspect it will be right back to business as usual...the business of abuse and fear.

      I will keep reporting when changes occur....or if they don't occur....either way, with relatives there, I am too heavily invested in this to do otherwise.

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      I'm sorry for reading this hub this late. I'm so busy this week. You are doing a wonderful job, Bill. Thank you for being who you are. The children are our future. They must be saved from the cruelness in this world.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Apologies for lateness in seeing this. Congrats on my warrior friend on doing the follow up on Spirit Nation which stunned and horrified us all. You are a true voice of the people, not afraid to voice your opinion even when others would think "What's the point"? Your demand for justice and fairness are relentless and I applaud you, I stand with you and I hope justice comes sooner rather later, even though sooner is not soon enough for Destiny and Travis.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Made, no apologies necessary! I know how busy you must be. I hope things are well for you my dear, and thank you for taking the time to comment. Yes, children are our future.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzie, nothing has changed. I still get a silly grin when I see you visit. Thank you for your kindness and for caring. I think, for my sanity, I need to pace myself on the number of causes I become emotionally attached to. This story has taken a toll on me emotionally.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Billy I need to go back to your original article, I must have missed it. But based on what I've just read, this seems absolutely incredible.

      The might of America can invade foreign land, fight for human rights, and rightly so, but cannot protect it's own most vulnerable children? You are right to shout, because one small voice can grow into many loud voices.

      The politicians only clean the wax from their ears when it is time for election, good luck with your campaign, give em hell.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tobusiness, I suspect that is the reason the two senators are in the mix now, because re-election is looming. Otherwise they would be out-of-touch until the whole thing blew over. There are so many things wrong with this situation, that at times it seems impossible to believe it is happening in the U.S.....but it is.

      Thank you!

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Bill, you need to take time for you and you and Bev . . I can imagine how draining this must be, you are a man who does nothing Half- hearted so be good to you too, don't forget.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Bill your statement, "should an autonomous nation be interfered with if they cannot protect the innocent? The answer must be a resounding YES! This is a matter of human rights", is what stands out most in your article. No matter what the jurisdiction, human life is precious. Little children cannot defend themselves, they are victims. On a side note, don't forget to take a breather once in a while from the cause - you need to keep your strength up. Voted up and across!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I will, Suzie, and thank you! Bev won't let me lose sight of my own care.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, that realization came to me yesterday....I need to back off of the emotional stuff for awhile and just settle down and give myself permission to relax. :) Thank you my friend and have a wonderful weekend.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Thank you for the update and the tiny bit of encouragement it brings. There should never be a place where children suffer. The US steps in to prevent suffering all over the world and very much needs to right here!

      If we cannot protect our own children what kind of a nation are we? Thanks you again and keep us posted as we pray for resolution and safe life for those children.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting. Sharing and Pinning.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, of course I agree....it is shameful for this nation to allow this....and I'll continue to monitor the situation. Thank you my friend and have a great weekend.

    • ThoughtSandwiches profile image

      ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      Bill,

      It takes a groundswell to remove an entrenched tyrant and the first step in that process is throwing a light onto their activities. You have applied that light for me and so many others and I join you in thanking all those who are working towards a solution.

      The answer is zero to the question posed. Not only in Spirit Lake but across the entire country.

      Thomas

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thomas, you got that right! It most certainly appears un-doable until someone does something. Thank you my friend; have a great weekend in Reno!

    • shruti sheshadri profile image

      shruti sheshadri 4 years ago from Bangalore, India

      This is really saddening bill! oh, those poor children...

      I am sharing this, i hope someone does act immediately and hope things get better asap.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Shruti; it looks like progress is being made!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      I don't know how I missed the publication of this hub! When you said you were writing a follow-up I was excited to read and see what influence your hub (and others actions) had on the situation.

      I am thrilled to the bone that something is being done. NEVER should children be abused, NEVER should we look away when they are...it is our duty, obligation, heart that makes us want to protect children and you my friend are spearheading here....it makes me proud to know that someone has and continues to advocate for these children.

      No matter who's in charge or what the nation it is our duty and even our privilege to look out for the children of world and especially the children in our own country! God Bless you Bill and keep us updated.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting. Shared with my followers as I did the first hub on Spirit Lake.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, thank you! Since you are a person of compassion it does not surprise me at all that you are concerned about this. Yes, change is happening....slowly but still, happening. Thank you for caring so strongly for the kids, and thank you for your friendship.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      What is sounds like is that what has happened there is an individual's wrongs have gone unchecked for so long that he seemingly believes it is ok to neglect the most precious children entrusted at least in part to his care. It is heart breaking and infuriating at the same time. Thank goodness for those who are trying to make changes there.

      Speaking out, shaking the bushes, bringing this to light can and does increase awareness and that is so important. Again you are the champion of those who in this story have no voice. Thanks, Billy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, changes are happening. The Federal government has been all over that reservation like flies lately, so we did shake things up a bit. Thank you for your kind words; I'm just trying to be the voice of those who cannot speak.

    Click to Rate This Article