Hoeven Meets with Director of Indian Health Services to Address Health and Social Service Issues for Spirit Lake Nation

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today met with Director of Indian Health Services (IHS) Dr. Yvette Roubideaux to address concerns surrounding social services for the Spirit Lake Nation. The actions come following a letter of concern from Michael R. Tilus, PsyD, MP, Director of Behavioral Health at the Spirit Lake Health Center to Sue Settle, Chief of the Division of Human Services for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. 

Dr. Roubideaux indicated that she and officials of the Bureau of Indian Affairs are working with the Spirit Lake Tribal Council to ensure its social service programs are properly managed to avoid putting children and families at risk. She said the tribe has hired a new director and that the issues are being addressed. Dr. Roubideaux also assured the senator that IHS will continue to make child welfare referrals to tribal social services, as required by law. 

“We want to ensure that the people, and especially the children, of the Spirit Lake Nation are receiving good care,” Hoeven said. “I urged Dr. Roubideaux to ensure that cases are handled properly and children are being kept safe. We’re also working to contact the Bureau of Indian Affairs and other federal agencies that oversee these programs to make sure that they are also doing all they can to ensure the health and safety of the people of the Spirit Lake Nation.”  

The IHS, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is responsible for providing health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Hoeven serves on U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.