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Heitkamp’s first Senate bill proposes Commission on Native Children

WASHINGTON  – The first bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp since she took office in January proposes creating a commission to conduct an intensive study into issues facing Native American children and recommend ways to ensure they are better cared for and given opportunities to thrive, a news release from her office stated.

Heitkamp, D-N.D., a member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, introduced the bipartisan bill Wednesday with Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

The proposed Commission on Native Children would study issues such as high poverty rates, unemployment, child abuse, domestic violence, crime, substance abuse and few economic opportunities, the release stated.

All five North Dakota tribes have endorsed the bill, the release stated.

A lack of adequate child protection services has been of particular concern on the Spirit Lake Reservation in recent months.

Mike Nowatzki

Mike Nowatzki reports for Forum News Service. He can be reached at (701) 255-5607.

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