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Pine Ridge to try to help reservation's malnourished kids

PINE RIDGE (AP) -- Tribal officials and residents are forming a committee to combat child abuse after two malnourished toddlers were found last month on the Pine Ridge reservation.

PINE RIDGE (AP) - Tribal officials and residents are forming a committee to combat child abuse after two malnourished toddlers were found last month on the Pine Ridge reservation.

Around 50 people participated in a discussion held by businesswoman Patty Pourier on how citizens can create a safer place for Native American children, the Rapid City Journal reported. At the meeting, eight people were appointed to a committee that will meet regularly and advise authorities.

"I decided, enough is enough." Pourier said.

Pourier was motivated to take action by the growing incidence of child abuse among families she knew, and also after witnessing the suffering of the malnourished toddlers.

"The worse thing is, I know that's not an isolated incident," she said.

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Participants spoke out on the need for emergency children's shelters, the need for Native people to reconnect with traditional culture and for better collaboration among tribal programs.

On Nov. 11, two girls, ages 2 and 3 were found neglected by authorities in a home in Pine Ridge's Medicine Root District. Seven people, including the girls' grandmother and aunt, face federal charges.

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