By Chuck Haga
The PBS news program “Frontline” has produced a two-part documentary titled “Kind Hearted Woman” featuring Robin Charboneau, a 32-year-old divorced single mother who lived on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation.
The documentary follows her over three years, according to PBS, as she “struggles to raise her two children, further her education and heal herself from the wounds of sexual abuse she suffered as a child.”
The programs are to air April 1 and 2.
The tribe’s problems, especially allegations of sexual abuse of children and failure of authorities to investigate and prosecute sexual predators, already have received considerable regional and national attention.
The exposure has been promoted, welcomed or at least tolerated by some at Spirit Lake who have been critical of responses so far by tribal government, the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs and FBI. Other tribal members have lamented the attention, however, arguing that it paints a false picture of conditions and efforts by the tribe to make improvements.