Become a member at This is just an example of the corruption that South Dakota DSS perpetuates. Learn more about the Mette Case at There are many stories like this, which is why we are assisting the Lakota tribes to create their own foster care system.

Free the Mette Children!

The South Dakota Dept. of Social Services placed 7 Lakota foster
children into foster care with a non-Native, known molester.

In what appears to be a common situation, the state of South Dakota placed 7 Lakota children into a foster family with a known molester, Richard Mette, and his enabling wife, Wendy Mette, from 2000 to 2013. The DSS knew of the accusations against Mr. Mette, but still placed Lakota foster children with him.

The state ignored MULTIPLE complaints of sexual and physical
abuse, and pleas for help from the children.

1. In 2001, the state ignored the foster boys’ complaints of molestation, and simply made the Mette adoptive parents sign a contract pledging to discontinue any illegal behavior.

2. In 2007, one of the girls told the police how she was sexually molested by Mr. Mette. She reported that Mrs. Mette knew about the molestations. Again, the DSS defended the Mette foster parents, and allowed the children to stay in the home.

3. Afterwards, Kelly, the older foster sister who had aged out of the Mette foster family, was getting reports from her younger siblings that the sexual and physical abuse was increasing and intensifying. She reported this to the South Dakota DSS, who ignored it and said they did not believe the children.

Yankton Doctor sees bruises and reports abuse. In October 2010, the only boy among the Mette foster siblings at that time went to see a doctor at the Human Services Center in Yankton, S.D. The child, covered with bruises, disclosed abuse occurring in his adoptive home. He also detailed how Richard Mette, the adoptive father, was molesting the girls. The doctor contacted the authorities at once.

Brandon Taliaferro, the Assistant State’s Attorney responsible for criminal child abuse cases in Brown County, immediately began an investigation.

The police search the Mette house and find more evidence of sexual abuse, including enough pornography to “pack a store”, including “family incest” porn.

The children revealed they had been subjected to physical abuse, sexual molestation and threats of being beaten if they did not comply with the molestation or if they told anyone. In addition, the children explained that they were often given a choice between “b***jobs or beatings”.

The children say they were forced to watch incest porn with Mr. Mette. The children were told that the porn, with titles like “Family Heat”, is how families are supposed to act.

The disgusted police charged Mr. Mette with 23 counts of child rape and incest, and Mrs. Mette with 11 counts of physical abuse and enabling.

The State prosecutor, however, first attempted to drop all charges, and charged sexual predator Mr. Mette with only one count of “spanking”.

When the State was not allowed to do this, they decided to charge Mr. Mette with only one count of rape of a child under 10. The other 22 charges of aggravated child rape and incest were

The State then dropped all charges against Mrs. Mette, who the children said knew about and enabled the abuse.

Children are now back with Mrs. Mette, where they can’t sue the State DSS. As the state’s DCI agent explained, South Dakota fears that they will face an expensive lawsuit by the seven Lakota foster children whose complaints of sexual abuse were ignored by the state
for 10 years. Since they are now minors in the custody of Wendy Mette, the person who enabled the abuse, they cannot sue the state without her permission and support.

What can we do?

Please call Tony West, the Associate Attorney General of the United States, and let him know that the federal Department of Justice needs to Free the Mette Children immediately!
(202) 514-9500

Learn more:

The Eagle Bull- Oxendine family is being sued by their child’s school for defamation, because they asked the school to permanently change their offensive and culturally insensitive Thanksgiving curriculum and to honor a two-year scholarship taken from their daughter after they voiced their concern over Native appropriation there.

They’re raising funds to defray mounting legal expenses. Please share this link and donate what you can. If they lose, we all lose. This case has the potential to set dangerous precedent where Natives are effectively gagged from speaking out against appropriation and the abuse of our culture and sacred ways by mainstream society. This is legal conquest. We can’t allow them to play Indian and hide behind judicial robes to do it. Thank you.
Contribute here:

American Indians were very careful scientists. They learned important facts about objects in the sky and used them to tell time, to predict the changes of the seasons, and to use maps. Today, American Indian scientists help us learn more about the sky and galaxy. In fact, (Lakota) Native Americans have known for thousands of years that there was a black hole located through the center of the bowl in the big dipper. NASA discovered it just a few years ago.
—  John Herrington, the first enrolled member of a Native American tribe to fly in space

A ride to heal, remember 1862 hanging of 38 Dakota in Mankato

They ride to remember.

Traveling by horseback 330 miles from Crow Creek, S.D., to Mankato, through harsh December weather, Dakota tribal members completed this year’s Dakota Wokiksuye memorial ride on Thursday morning.

As in years past, they shared sacred sage smoke, prayers and dances to commemorate the 151st anniversary of the largest mass execution in the nation’s history. On the day after Christmas 1862, on orders signed by President Lincoln, 38 Dakota fighters were hanged in Mankato following the bloody, six-week U.S.-Dakota War.

The spot where the gallows once stood is now known as Reconciliation Park.To learn more about that tragedy and see a photo gallery of the riders, visit

DAKOTA 38 from Smooth Feather on Vimeo.


1. Kiowa girl. Photographed 1890.
2. Photo of Hopi women by Edward S. Curtis, circa 1906
3. Sixapo (aka Black Plume, aka Long Mane) - Blackfoot (Kainai) - 1895
4. Beaver Tail, Stony Brave, British Columbia
5. Ansel Adams - Navaho Girl - Canyon de Chelle - Arizona - 1941
6. Hattie Tom, a Chiricahua Apache (1899).
7. Three Lakota boys on their arrival at the Carlisle Indian School

Please SHARE! 

The Senate is currently accepting testimony on violence being done to #Native children. We want to make sure they hear about the abuse being done to the many Native children placed in non-Native foster families and institutions. If you have a story, or know someone else’s, please email the testimony to


1. Little Iron Horse, Crow Agency, Montana c1905
2. Lakota girls
3. Battle In The Woods. Photographed 1899.
4. Bull Shoes Children, two small indian girls. It was taken in 1910 by Edward S. Curtis.
5. Jicarilla Maiden. Photograph by Edward S. Curtis.
6. Nettie Morris, a young Nez Perce girl. Photo taken 1900.
7. Nez Perce boy, Colville Indian Reservation, Washington, ca. 1903.

The Indian Child Welfare Act states that Native American children can only be placed with non-Native families as a last resort. In South Dakota, however, this law has been ignored, resulting in a large number of native children who are isolated from their culture and familiar way of life.

Help us investigate South Dakota’s foster care system! 


We warned that one day you would not be able to control what you have created. That day is here. Not heeding warnings from both Nature and the People of the Earth keeps us on the path of self destruction. This self destructive path has led to the Fukushima nuclear crisis, Gulf oil spill, tar sands devastation, pipeline failures, impacts of carbon dioxide emissions and the destruction of ground water through hydraulic fracking, just to name a few. In addition, these activities and development continue to cause the deterioration and destruction of sacred places and sacred waters that are vital for Life.
—  Chief Arvol Looking Horse, Lakota, with the Council of Indigenous Elders and Medicine Peoples in a statement of resistance to environmental destruction, saying there is “no time left to defend the Earth.”