Kira Friedman

2 year old Kira Friedman. Image source.

Health Impact News

Local media in Minnesota is reporting that a 2 year old Native American child originally from the Fond du Lac Reservation was found dead in her foster home last month (June 2016). The Star Tribune reports:

A Bemidji man accused of killing his 2-year-old foster daughter has a criminal record that would have prevented him from being a care provider under a law signed this month by President Obama, records show.

Nathan Daniel Jackson, whose home had a foster license from the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, has been charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter. He’s accused of leaving the girl, Kira Friedman, unattended in a shower with an 18-gallon plastic bin on June 5, according to the criminal complaint.

Jackson told police that he left the girl in the shower and when he returned found her in the bin, which was full of water. Police found Kira in the basement of a home with bruises to her head and body and blood draining out of her nose. A preliminary autopsy found that the girl drowned.

Both Jackson’s girlfriend, Amanda White, and his sister told police they were concerned he was using methamphetamine or other drugs.

Based on court records and media reports, it appears that this home was not a safe environment to place a child.

So how did this happen?

Danielle Taylor, writing for Northland News Center, reports:

‘This didn’t have to happen. This little girl didn’t have to die. She should be right here with her parents at this time,’ said Patti Larsen, a family spokesperson.

Larsen, who serves as the Sacred Hoop Coalition Director, was shepherding 2-year-old Kira Friedman’s case through the St. Louis County Court system on behalf of the little girl’s family, and believes her death was preventable.

‘The maternal grandmother identified numerous people who would be potential placements for the child,’ she said.

Larsen wanted to ensure Kira was placed in a Native American home. Therefore, she says the County let this child down when they removed her from a Native foster home, and placed her with a white foster family in Duluth.

‘Kira was just a number, was shipped off to a place,’ Larsen said.

Complicating matters further is the fact that the child was placed into an alleged dangerous white foster home, not by Minnesota DHS, but by the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. Part of the band’s mission, it explains on its website, is to seek “extended family members or other Native Families to care for children who need to be placed out of the home.”

It would appear that the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe did not follow their own policy. Instead of placing the girl with family members who wanted her, they placed her into a white foster home with a man that had a past criminal record, and now a 2 year old Native American child is dead.

Other stories about Native American children being kidnapped by the State:

South Dakota Commits Shocking Genocide Against Native Americans by Abducting Their Children

Native American Children in Maine Five Times as Likely to be Placed in Foster Care as non-Native Children

Corrupt North Carolina Officials Try to Silence Whistleblower Using Child Protection Services