A Look Back: Recent Accomplishments

  • October, 2014:

    October, 2014:

    In an Historic moment, two Lakota tribes
    receive federal title IV-E planning grants.
    The Oglala (Pine Ridge) and Standing Rock
    Sioux tribes begin the two year process to
    build capacity for tribal foster care programs.
  • July. 2014:

    July. 2014:

    Five Lakota Tribes submitted Title IV-E planning grant applications in July with support from Lakota People's Law Project and A Positive Tomorrow.  New short film exposes the over-drugging that happens in state foster facilities. Watch the video
  • May, 2014:

    May, 2014:

    Launch of the Lakota Initiative for Family Empowerment Campaign.  Our team got to work preparing planning grant applications in South Dakota.
  • January, 2014:

    January, 2014:

    Lakota People's Law Project launches the "Free the Lakota Children" petition on MoveOn.  As of mid-October, the petition has gained over 38,000 signatures.  Sign the Petition Here.


  • December, 2013:

    December, 2013:

    Lakota People's Law Project Attends the Lakota Nation Invitational Basketball Tournament in Rapid City.  Our "Hearts On the Ground" film shown to thousands of Lakota families and athletes.  LPLP interviewed former DSS workers on the unfairness of ICWA violations (Watch Video).  Our team worked with President Brewer and Lakota allies to organize and educate.
  • November, 2013:

    November, 2013:

    Lakota People's Law Project and a Tribal delegation traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with the leadership of the Departments of Interior, Justice, Health and Human Services and the Senate.  Through these meetings, we are working toward an Inter Agency agreement to fund the permanent solution to the ICWA violations in South Dakota (Watch the Video).
  • October, 2013:

    October, 2013:

    Our team and allies launched a social media campaign to educate the public about the untruths in the NPR Ombudsman's Report on the Peabody Award winning Lakota children series. A scathing letter from a 30 year Ombudsman criticized the Report and said it violated every principle of Ombudsmanship.  (Read the Report)
  • August, 2013:

    August, 2013:

    LPLP organized Lakota families to testify at the United Nations Human Rights hearings on the Pine Ridge reservation. We were met by Award winning filmmaker Kalyanee Mam, who interviewed the families for her film on the impact of unfair social service policies on Lakota family members. (Watch the Video)
  • July, 2013:

    July, 2013:

    LPLP worked with Standing Rock on the Oceti Sakowin meeting for all the tribes.  There we presented the Mette sexual abuse case involving five Lakota children in white foster care.  (Read the report)
    We also presented the solution to the
    ICWA violations:  Tribes running their own
    Child and Family Service Programs.
    (Read the report)
  • May, 2013:

    May, 2013:

    In May, LPLP worked with SRST to organize the Great Plains ICWA Summit in Rapid City.  Officials from the Bureau of the Interior, the Department of Justice, and Congress listened to the heartbreaking stories of native families' struggles with the Department of Social Services.  Solutions were presented.  However, chairs for South Dakota state officials were empty. (Watch the Recap)


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Lakota mother wearing a red sweater and holding and kissing her babyEvery year in South Dakota the state department of social services removes over 740 American Indian children from their homes, tearing them away from their families, their tribes and their traditions. Since 2006 the Lakota People's Law Project has been waging a comprehensive campaign to stop the state's actions and win the return of these children.

Petition with MoveOn to "Free Lakota Children from State Kidnapping" Attracts Record Signatures From Across the Country, Keeps Pressure on South Dakota - More than 15,000 Sign in First Week!

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Our legal team is led by one of the most celebrated public advocates of the last 40 years, and our South Dakota staff includes one of the founding members of the American Indian Movement and a number of emerging Lakota leaders. Most importantly, we're all united by our goal of winning justice and renewal for the Oceti Sakowin—the People of the Seven Council Fires.