According to a source at Spirit Lake, and a source at NBC News affiliate Valley News Live, a camera crew sent from the Fargo TV station to the Spirit Lake reservation to cover the apparent death of a child was allegedly assaulted.
The crew was going to interview Sister Joann Streifel, a tribal elder and social worker on the reservation, about the story when a group of people from the reservation approached them. A camerman was pushed to the ground, I’m told, and at that point the crew retreated from the reservation.
I’m told a police report has been filed, or is being filed. The cameraman who was pushed to the ground is “not some little tiny guy” according to Chris Berg at Valley News Live who had sent the crew to the reservation.
“It [is] funny because I set them up with sister Joann and she had just finished telling them how bad it is and how much of a risk she is putting herself in by speaking with them,” Spirit Lake whistleblower Betty Krenz told me.
Spirit Lake has been much in the news of late due to unrest in tribal government, and an ugly child abuse scandal. The Bureau of Indian Affairs has taken over the tribe’s child welfare program, and Congressman Kevin Cramer stirred controversy there when vented frustration over tribal leaders being reticent in pursuing cases of child molestation and abuse.
Valley News Live will have more on the story possibly tonight, or tomorrow.