Siouxlanders discuss child welfare within Woodbury County’s Native American community

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — There is no past or current community-wide needs assessment related to Native American child welfare in Woodbury County, but a group of Siouxlanders is trying to change that.

Several city decision makers met at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center Wednesday to discuss issues among the county’s Native American population.

Members from the Iowa Department of Human Services, the Sioux City Police Department and other groups heard a presentation on how to increase child welfare and reduce disparities in the county’s Native American population. Attendees discussed the county’s high rates of Native American children who suffer abuse and who are in foster care.

Terry Medina, a probation officer for Nebraska’s Winnebago Tribe, said this meeting is about empathy, not finger pointing.

“Love, compassion, sensitivity and respect for our different colors and language we speak and so today, here, to me, this is the start now of really strengthening relationships by coming together in good fellowship to provide services not just for the Native community but people of all colors,” Medina said.

Tomorrow is the second day of the session and the members will regroup to review their findings and brainstorm strategies.

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