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Title IV-E is a federal foster care program that is administered by state and local public child welfare agencies.

Title IV-E is an open-ended entitlement program, meaning that there is no set limit on the amount of money states and tribes can receive. However, this does not prevent states from imposing their own caps on funding when serving as a middleman between tribes and the federal government and, in the process, paying themselves and non-tribal entities more than they pay tribes for the same work.

Title IV-E of the Social Security Act provides funds to states and tribes for establishing and maintaining foster care systems and transitional independent living programs for children, guardianship assistance programs, and adoption assistance for children with special needs.

Despite recommendations from the American Indian Policy Review Commission that all federal domestic assistance should be offered to tribes in the same way as it is to state and local governments, it took until 2008 for Title IV-E funding to be made directly available to federally recognized Indian tribes.

Help us support Title IV-E funding for all of the Lakota tribes in South Dakota by signing the petition that implores President Barack Obama to stop the illegal taking of Lakota children by the state of South Dakota: lakotalaw.org/action

An editor said to me, ‘It’s wonderful that you are depicting this Native American woman as a strong woman who is educated, she’s an attorney, but that’s just not realistic. We all wish that there were American Indian women lawyers, but that’s just not the reality.’ And I felt somewhat flummoxed. Because I had a tribal ID and I had a law degree, and I was sitting there. I realized it might be more challenging than I anticipated to get out the stories that to me rang true. But also that there was a tremendous need for them.
— 

Cynthia Leitich Smith, New York Times best-selling author of TANTALIZE and RAIN IS NOT MY INDIAN NAME, on the challenges of writing contemporary Native stories.

Listen to the full interview here, or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

Teen survivor Rinelle Harper joins call for national missing-women inquiry

Rinelle Harper, the shy, soft-spoken survivor who has become the living face of the lost women of her First Nations people, has added her voice to those calling for a national inquiry into murdered and missing indigenous women and girls.

Ms. Harper, from Garden Hill First Nation in northern Manitoba, addressed hundreds of chiefs at a gathering on Tuesday in Winnipeg, where a new leader of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) will be elected this week.

“I am here to talk about the end of violence against young women,” Ms. Harper said, her voice quivering as she took deep gulps of air between each sentence. “As a survivor, I respectfully challenge you all to call for a national inquiry.”

The 16-year-old, a boarding student at Winnipeg’s native-run Southeast Collegiate, thanked all those who have offered their thoughts and prayers. “I understand that conversations have been occurring all across the country about ending violence against indigenous women and girls,” she said.

Ms. Harper was attacked in the early morning hours of Nov. 8, ended up in the frigid waters of Winnipeg’s Assiniboine River, then crawled out only to be attacked by the same men again. Her cheekbone was fractured. She was so close to death that the police homicide squad was assigned to her case.

Continue Reading.

As a bisexual native woman I am just amazed. Never in a million years did I expect to see someone like me in the media.

This is literally everything I’ve ever wanted. To have that kind of validation… just wow. This is literally the best Christmas present I’ve ever gotten.