It likely will take at least a couple of years to strengthen the programs.
The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs is likely to manage social service programs for the Spirit Lake tribe in North Dakota for years.
The BIA assumed control of the tribe's social service programs this month after criticism that the tribe has failed to protect vulnerable children. BIA regional director Bruce Loudermilk tells Forum Communications (http://bit.ly/OFgn2G ) that it likely will take at least a couple of years to strengthen the programs.
Loudermilk says it's up to the tribe to decide whether it wants at some point to seek to regain control of the programs. He says the tribe would have to through a process that includes submitting a formal request.
Loudermilk says the transition to federal control has gone well, though it will take time "to get this all running smoothly."