By The Associated Press
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Another member of the Navajo Nation is suing the Mormon church, saying he was abused in a now-defunct program that sent children into foster care for the school year.
Unlike similar lawsuits, the complaint filed Tuesday in tribal court doesn’t seek changes to the policies of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It seeks unspecified monetary damages for decades of alleged emotional harm, including attempted suicide.
“This poor guy. He was devastated by what happened, just devastated,” said David Jordan, an attorney for the man identified as LB in court documents. “He has not escaped it his entire life.”
LB was baptized into the Mormon church before he started the fifth grade in 1984 and placed with a Mormon foster family in Utah. He was one of thousands of Native Americans who participated in the church’s Indian Student Placement Program that aimed to give children educational opportunities they didn’t have on the reservation. The voluntary program started in the late 1940s and ended around 2000.