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‘Town Crier’ newsletter – Briefs from the Region (1) – 1/28/20

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PHOTO BY MURRAY FOUBISTER

Blackfoot members file $9M suit against Indian Health Services

On Jan. 22, three Blackfeet Nation members filed a civil lawsuit seeking $9 million in damages for alleged sexual assault in the 90s. The men, now in theirs 30s, named Stanley Patrick Weber, who was previously convicted of sexually assaulting boys while working for the Indian Health Services on the Blackfeet and Pine Ridge Reservations, of Montana and South Dakota, respectively, in the suit against the IHS. Filed in Federal Claims Court, the suit alleges the organization—an operating division within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services responsible for providing direct medical and public health services to members of federally recognized Native American tribes and Alaska Native people—ignored warning signs “… about Weber’s abuse in violation of the plaintiffs’ rights under the U.S. Government’s 1855 treaty with the Blackfeet Tribe,” reports The News Tribune. Attorney Peter Janci said, “They specifically agreed that they would protect Blackfeet National Members from depredations and other unlawful acts committed by white men residing on the reservation. That’s the language in the treaty.”

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