Press "Enter" to skip to content

Stricherz to Propose Bills on Protection Orders, Indian Child Welfare Compliance

Rep. Patricia Stricherz (R-8/Winfred) is working on two pieces of legislation to protect women and children. The first bill is tentatively titled the "South Dakota Indian Family Preservation Act." It is essentially an effort to bring South Dakota into compliance with the federal Indian Child Welfare Act. South Dakota's failure to comply with ICWA was documented in the controversial Sullivan & Waters October 2011 report on NPR. Federal officials are planning a summit on Indian foster care issues in South Dakota, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs is considering sending federal lawyers to South Dakota to push ICWA enforcement. Rep. Stricherz's proposed legislation is the first formal state-level response (other than denial) that I've seen. Rep. Stricherz deserves our thanks for her willingness to lead this conversation in the state legislature.

The second bill from Stricherz would create a "Hope Card" program like the project piloted with Montana's Crow Tribe and implemented statewide in Montana in April 2010. Rep. Stricherz explains:

The Hope Card Project is an attempt to couple law enforcement's need for information during incidents involving violations of protection orders and the victim's need for streamlined services during times of crisis.

...The Hope Card is approximately the size of a standard business card and contains a photo and personal information of the vicitm and the respondent, as well as the case number of the order of protection, the issuing court and county, the date it was issued as well as the expiration date, if any.

These special cards are available to anyone with a valid permanant order of protection. They are also available to children that may be involved in this order [Rep. Patricia Stricherz, Facebook post, 2011.08.13].

The Missoulian editors and Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock think Hope Cards will greatly improve the lives of domestic abuse victims:

These wallet-size cards would contain all the information needed for law enforcement to immediately determine if a person has a valid order of protection, no matter where in Montana that person might be. Thus, a person who lives in one police jurisdiction may travel to another jurisdiction without the need to carry a thick file around at all times. In addition, Hope Cards would include a photo of the person restrained under the order, something many orders of protection lack.

..."It is without a doubt, that these cards will make incredibly difficult situations for law enforcement and victims more manageable," Bullock said in a prepared statement. "They are compact and easy to carry, so those protected will be more likely to have them in their possession in dangerous scenarios and law enforcement won't have to decipher lengthy court documents" [editorial, "Hope Cards Simplify Protection...,"The Missoulian, 2010.04.29].

Rep. Stricherz deserves further commendation for keeping her eyes open for good ideas from our neighbors. Both the Hope Card and legislation to improve our foster care system promise benefits for children and families across our state.


  1. Nick Nemec 2012.01.03

    The Hope Card is a great idea. Hopefully it will be adopted. Expect one of the arguments against it to be that it costs too much and among the extreme right that the state shouldn't be involved in such things.

  2. Steve Sibson 2012.01.03

    Going into bed with the feds may not be a good idea. I just began a book that I think Cory, Bill, Larry, and many of you would find very interesting. Here is an excerpt from a review of the book:

    From Thy Will Be Done Acknowledgments : p.xvi " ...In the Amazon basin countries, the conquest followed the general trend of exploring for oil, rubber [etc.]...and U.S. competition with other big powers...All this was assisted by a foreign aid system which was gradually crafted over thirty years by Nelson Rockefeller, beginning as Roosevelt's Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs during World War II and as Truman's foreign aid architect.

    "The missionaries came in on the cultural, social, and political side of the conquest, their leader influenced by Rockefeller philanthropies and a counterinsurgency network shaped by Nelson Rockefeller's development goals. Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) was hired by military dictatorships and civilian governments, often headed by Nelson's allies, to pacify the tribes and integrate them into national economics increasingly being brought into the North American market. SIL used the Bible to teach indigenous people to "obey the government, for all authority comes from God.""

    The massacre and genocide of, for example, the Indians of Cintas Largas, Brazil for the land, minerals and wealth of the land was for the most part officially ignored until 1968, although well documented today. According to Colby and Dennett, "the disastrous impact of missionary activity" remained officially ignored. 'in reality those in command of these Indian Protections posts are North American missionaries--they are in all the posts--and they disfigure the original Indian culture and enforce acceptance of Protestantism.' But officials of the American Fundamentalist missionary organization that worked with SPI [Service for the Protection of the Indian] among the tribes---the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL), known in the United States by its less scientific alias, the Wycliffe Bible Translators--denied that any genocide took place. The head of SIL's branch in Brazil disclaimed all reports of genocide, and the founder of SIL, William Cameron Townsend, denied any knowledge of the massacres at all." [Colby, p.3-4]

  3. larry kurtz 2012.01.03

    Screw South Dakota and Montana, though AG Bullock is at least trying. Reservations should be counties in a non-contiguous 51st State.

Comments are closed.