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  Obituaries Editorials Editor's column Education
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Volume 46 Issue No. 8

Anpetu Iyamni, February 25, 2015

Inside this Edition –

SWO Tribal Council meets on 2014 SWO Tribal Secretary Election; REB certification of Tribal Secretary candidates underway – list of candidates will be available Friday, Feb. 27th

Damakota Youth Group, NCARSM co-host conference, community forum on Sisseton “Redmen” mascot, mock Indian ceremonies

Code Red: Active Shooter Drill conducted at SWO Tribal headquarters last week

SWO Dakotah Language Institute seeking photographs

2015 SWO Career Day April 13th at Administration Building/Rotunda

Deadline for receipt of copy is Friday noon

Damakota Youth group hosts conference, community forum in Sisseton

Damakota Youth Group hosts press conference and community forum to discuss racist, dehumanizing Sisseton “Redmen” mascot and mocking of Indian ceremonies

Report by Sota Assistant Editor Sierra Wolcott

Photos by Sota Reporter/Photographer DaVonna Keeble

A press conference followed by a community forum was held at the old Dakota Art & Gift in Sisseton. The issue was the Sisseton School mascot, the Redmen.

Damakota Youth Group hosted these activities to raise awareness, create a dialogue, and help to educate the community on the use of Indian mascots.

Guest panelists included:

*Norma Renville, National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media, American Indian Movement.

*Brian Howard, Legislative Associate, National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).

*Kevin Killer, State Representative.

* Simon Moya-Smith, Reporter, CNN, Indian Country Today.

*Fidelity Eastman, Damakota Youth Group.

*Sarah Manning, Educator, Tiospa Zina Tribal School.

*Bethany Robertson ; Damakota Youth Group.

The press conference began with an introduction by facilitator Robert Shepherd, former SWO Tribal Chairman.

Kevin Killer was the first panelist to speak.

He likened the situation in Sisseton to one that occurred in the 1990s in Martin, SD. The Warriors was the mascot and they too had a controversial coronation ceremony.

As is happening here, the youth began to speak out on these issues. It took four years but the name and ceremony were changed.

"It's inspiring," he said, "to see young people taking the lead. It’s the 21st century and we need to be having these dialogues."

Brian Howard spoke of the position NCAI has taken on the mascot issue on a national level.

NCAI, made up of delegates of all federally recognized Tribes, has passed resolutions since the 1960s in support of changing Indian mascots. He pointed out that all of the resolutions have passed unanimously.

While the mascot issue has been around for decades, it has been gaining national attention in recent years.

Howard believes this is due, in part, to Native youth taking to social media.

National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media Representative, Norma Renville, spoke next.

Norma is an enrolled member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate.

She conveyed apologies from Clyde Bellecourt, who was expected to be in attendance, as he is caring for his wife who is ill.

The Coalition ..."is here for the long haul and committed … to do whatever is necessary to support (Damakota Youth Group)."

Norma explained, "(Indian) mascots harm how we (Native Americans) are perceived."

Next, Felicity Eastman thanked everyone for coming.

She couldn't "believe how far this (movement) has gotten."

Panelist Sarah Manning read a letter of support from the Tiospa Zina Tribal School Board:

Letter from the Tiospa Zina Tribal School Board

As an educational institution committed to fostering the healthy development of our students, the Tiospa Zina Tribal School Board believes that the community discussion of Indian mascots requires continued thoughtful examination.

At the beckoning of three national mental health organizations, we have taken a closer look at the impact of Indian mascots on the psychological development of the youth we serve.

Also in response to an internal Tiospa Zina survey on the impact of stereotypical Indian imagery, we have found that our own students are directly impacted by the negative stereotypes associated with Indian mascots and/or school nicknames. Therefore we are compelled out of responsibility to take an official position supporting the retirement of surrounding Indian mascots.

Leading psychology researcher of Stanford University, Dr. Stephanie Fryberg, conducted four studies on the effects of Indian mascots, which revealed that the representations from Indian mascots have a direct negative impact on the self-esteem of American Indian youth, “not only because they are often negative, but because they remind American Indians of the limited ways in which others see them. This, in return, restricts the number of ways in which they see themselves.”

Reported in 2004, Fryberg’s studies revealed that exposure to such mascots resulted in lower self-esteem, a lower sense of community worth, and decreased views of students’ own potential.

In 2005, the American Psychological Association (APA) called for the “immediate retirement of all American Indian mascots, symbols, images, and personalities by schools, colleges, universities, athletic teams, and organizations.”

Two years later the American Sociological Association (ASA) also called for the elimination of American Indian names, mascots and logos, and in 2011, the American Counseling Association (ACA) passed a resolution calling upon their members to advocate for the elimination of all stereotypes associated with Indian mascots.

Tiospa Zina conducted a survey in the high school which confirmed the findings of the APA, ASA, ACA, and Fryberg studies.

The vast majority of Tiospa Zina students surveyed indicate that the images of Indian mascots bring forth several negative emotions ranging from discomfort, humiliation, frustration, anger, and confusion.

Thus, it is evident that the stereotypical representations of Indian mascots in fact have a direct impact on the mental wellbeing of the youth in our own community, and we have a responsibility to act.

We believe that all students deserve a positive learning environment, and that they should be able to focus on their future with a clear mind and a healthy spirit.

We would like to encourage members of the community to go about resolving and discussing the issue in a productive and positive way, keeping in mind that the words and actions we use can either drive us apart, or bring us closer together in solidarity to do what is best for all of our children, and the greater Sisseton and Lake Traverse Reservation communities moreover.

The Tiospa Zina Strategic Plan has outlined school parameters with the language, “we will not tolerate racism,” and thus we encourage discussion to take place in the larger context of unity and friendship.

We all share in the same community, and we all contribute to our community prosperity both socially and economically.

It is our hope that this very important issue come to a peaceful and swift resolution for the betterment of us all.

Tiospa Zina Tribal School Board.

Signed: Crystal Owen, Donovan White, Gerald German, Sylvana Flute, Linda Renville, Marie Renville, June Renville.


The final panelist, Reporter Simon Moya-Smith, reiterated that the focus should be on the impact of Indian mascots on the "mental health and stability of Native kids."

Native kids are two times more likely to commit suicide, he shared.

"This is not just a race problem, it is a human problem."

The floor was then opened to questions from the press.

When asked what was next, Sarah Manning replied the TZTS School Board plans to reach out to Sisseton School Board with the intention of collaborative efforts.

Also, TZTS Student Council representatives have been in contact with SHS Student Council representatives, who have shown interest in changing the coronation.

Moya-Smith fielded a question in regard to the importance of taking the mascot issue national.

"Media mobilization is imperative," he said." Bringing people to a wisdom that has been silenced … (due to) ... geographic isolation." He explained that social media cannot be" thrown away" as a letter to the editor, etc. might have been years ago.

Robert Shepherd reminded supporters to contact the School Board, County Commissioners, City Council, and State representatives as a call to action on this matter.

The Former SWO Chairman reiterated also that there is an SWO Tribal Council resolution in place supporting the change of Indian mascots in general. Chairman Shepherd and former Aide Dustina Gill assisted with the organization of the press conference and forum.

It was asked if there has been any response from the school since this started. Fidelity said she received a response from Dr. Stephen Schulte, Sisseton School District Superintendent, suggesting that Damakota was not making the right approach and that they should come to a School Board meeting to address their concerns.

Norma Renville offered that a letter was sent to Dr. Schulte and School Board members (by way of the school) to invite them to the forum. No response was received.

In closing remarks of the press conference, Simon Moya-Smith reiterated that "There are going to be a lot of people in the community that say they don't mean any offense," but to remember that "Intent does not change the impact."

To begin the forum portion of the event, Sarah Manning presented a Powerpoint presentation outlining the scientific research that supports name change.

"The children are speaking," she said. "And when the children speak we have to listen." The power point presentation will be available online soon.

While at least 60 people attended the forum it was noted that there was no representation from Sisseton School District.

A teacher at Sisseton of over 30 years was in attendance, however, and gave his opinion on changing the name. He spoke of his heritage, he is full blooded Irish, and the harsh conditions Irish immigrants met when they came to America. He explained the history of the Redmen nickname.

Originally Sisseton did not have a nickname and fans began calling them the Reds because of their school colors.

When communism came around they decided to add "man" to the end so as not to be accidentally affiliated.

The Redman nickname turned into the Redmen from there.

He said he does not recall Sisseton ever having a "mascot."

This teacher said he does not remember there ever being racial tension; that he had broken up many fights but never between a Native and non-Native, but that "changing the name is not a big deal."

He also mentioned working at a college in Sioux Falls that used to be the Braves and now they are the Cougars. He said prejudice goes both ways.

One community member asked how we can protect the kids that don't think the name is offensive from back lash. Sarah Manning said this was a good opportunity for adults to show the youth how this dialogue can go. That the issue can be discussed and not argued.

She explained that no one needs to be blaming the children, on either side of the issue. “We all inherited this issue,” she said.

Several community members stood and expressed their opinion. Native and non-Native were expressing support for the name change.

Pat Gill, co-founder of TZTS told a story of the early days of TZTS, and why she took her son out of Sisseton School.

Sarah Manning reiterated several times that the issue is not whether you want the mascot or not. It is a mental health issue. “For the welfare of the children the mascot should be changed,” she said.


Tamara St. John commented:

Awesome discussion … American Indian movement efforts to abolish stereotypes and mascots in sports and media.! Meaningful dialog and education.”

From Crystal Owen:

“I attended the community forum about rethinking mascots. It was very educational. I'm always inspired when I see young people using their voices to speak out, to see adults in our community supporting their voices. I understand that there are two sides to every story but when one of those sides damages the psychological development of children and youth then it's time to make a change. I think Sarah Sunshine Manning gave an excellent presentation. The young man in this first picture is Eric Dumarce and every time I hear him speak I'm moved by his good words.. Im proud of our community for supporting the idea of alternatives to Indian mascots and as Sarah said there is so much more that can be done to honor Native Americans. My hope is that community will keep an open mind on this and continue to encourage conversation in a safe and healthy way.”

Council holds special meeting on 2014 SWO Tribal Secretary Election

SWO Tribal Council held a special session last Tuesday morning, February 17th, to accept a legal review of last year’s Tribal Secretary Election process contracted with former SWO Tribal Attorney Steven Sandven, who currently practices law in Sioux Falls, SD.

Here is the review as presented to Tribal Council:

February 15, 2015

Tribal Council

Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate P.O. Box 509

Agency Village SD 57262

Re: Introductory Memorandum to 2014 Election Cycle Issues Dear Tribal Leaders:

This introductory memorandum is provided pro bono in response to the February 3, 2015 Tribal Council action directing an investigation of the 2014 Election Process:

MOTION NO. 3: made by David Gill; second by Kenneth Johnson, question by Edmund Johnson, Jr., to conduct an investigation into the 2014 Election process.

WEIGHTED VOTE ON MOTION NO. 3: 17 For: David Gill (3); Marc Beaudreau (3); Virginia Max (2); Jerry Eastman (2); Edmund Johnson Jr. (2); David Flute (2); Kenneth Johnson (I); Tribal Vice-Chairman (1); Tribal Secretary (1). 0 Opposed. 0 Abstained. 0 Absent From Vote. 1 Not Voting: Tribal Chairman. MOTION PASSED.

The attached CD includes both Tribal Court hearing recordings, REB hearing recording and the Tribal Court file in the Owen/REB matter.

I. The challenge filed by the losing candidates for the office of Tribal Secretary was barred by the statute of limitations under SWO Ch. 3 Election Code

Chapter 3, Section 03-05-06 sets forth the requirements for a challenge to a candidate's qualifications based on an alleged debt to the Oyate. Such debt challenges must be in writing and must be signed by the individual making the allegation and must be filed with the Reservation Election Board no later than the second Friday in July. The debt challenge by the losing candidates in the Owen case was filed in a complaint with the Tribal Court on November 14, 2014 and heard by the court on December 1, 2014. Based on a plain reading of Ch. 3, Section 03-05-06, it appears the debt challenge was barred by the statute of limitations. After the Tribal Court heard the matter on December I, 2014 and issued an order on December 2, 2014 instructing REB to conduct debt challenge proceedings within one week, REB filed a motion for clarification "since the challenge of the losing candidate's was time-barred." (J. Scheffier Order of 2/2115, pg. 2). It appears that REB knew the debt challenge proceedings were barred by the statute of limitations.

II. Judge Jones' initial order dated December 2, 2014 allowed the time-barred debt challenges to proceed and ordered the REB to hold the debt challenge proceedings within one week.

Since debt challenges are required to be resolved by the second Friday in July pursuant to Ch. 3, Section 03-05-06, it appears that the court's order dated December 2, 2014 was not in compliance with tribal law as a review of the record demonstrates that the losing candidates did not submit signed and written debt challenges to the REB within the statutory deadline set forth in Ch. 3, Section 03-05-06. The lack of a signed written debt challenge filed with REB by the second Friday in July appears to have deprived the tribal court of jurisdiction to address that specific issue. The tribal court's order instructing REB to hold debt challenge proceedings in December 2014 appears to be in direct conflict with the election code's debt challenge deadline of the second Friday in July.

III. REB conducted debt challenge proceedings that were time-barred and failed to provide the candidate with the due process rights set forth in the Ch. 3 Election Code.

After holding debt challenge proceedings on December 8, 2014, REB issued a ruling decertifying Owen based on an alleged debt to the Oyate. Judge Scheffler, who presided over the appeal of REB's decertification ruling, reversed the REB and found that REB committed clear error of law by failing to provide Owen with the due process requirements contained in Ch, 3, Election Code. (J. Scheffler Order of 2/2/15, pg. 3)

IV. REB did not fully inform Owen of her right to appeal REB's decertification ruling.


*The alleged debt complained of by the losing candidates was a claim that Owen owed a debt to housing. A review of the testimony of Housing in these proceedings indicates that housing records are confidential. A review of the REB hearing on this issue contains some information and argument that a Housing employ leaked Owen's confidential information to the losing candidates which led the losing candidates to file suit. The REB record appears to contain allegations that the Housing employee alleged to have leaked the confidential information was also an employee of one of the losing candidates.

The record of the December 1, 2014 hearing indicates that REB did not act on the debt challenge because it was submitted after the deadline under tribal law and because it was submitted anonymously. A review of the record of the appeal before Judge Schefiler demonstrates that REB submitted the written debt challenge as an exhibit to its brief and the exhibit contains a written challenge that was signed by one of the losing candidates.


*MOTION NO. 59: made by David Gill, second by David Flute, question by Virginia Max, to authorize Tribal Chairman Bruce Renville to enter into an Agreement for Services with Steven Sandven, Esq., to conduct an investigation into the 2014 SWO Election process, and to authorize a retainer of $5,000.00 for the investigation, and that any expense over this amount must be presented to Tribal Council for review and approval.


Following acceptance of the requested legal review Council went into Executive session.

After coming back into the open meeting a motion was made to seat Crystal Owen as SWO Tribal Secretary.

The motion failed.

Deadline for persons filing a notice of intent to run in the SWO Tribal Secretary Election was last Friday, February 20th.

The candidates will be certified by this Friday, February 27, 2015. Watch for names of certified candidates and notice of election from REB.

Code Red: Active Shooter Drill held to prepare for potential threat

Donovan White, SWO Tribal headquarters building manager, has reported on a “Code Red: Active Shooter/Armed Intruder Drill” on Friday, February 20th.

Donovan said “The active shooter drill went very well.”

“We had 99% of all the employees and guests locked into our red tipi rooms within 2 minutes,” he reported.

“The couple employees who didn’t get locked into a room, did not hear the page and were not notified by their fellow employees in their suite. This is an issue we also had with our tornado drill. IT Manager Dawn Burley is working on getting every phone in the building to page. (Only 50 phones throughout the building page now.)This could and would saves lives in an actual shooting, tornado or bomb threat.”

“Great job everyone!”

He said the next drill to be conducted will be a “Code Pink.”

Code Pink refers to a missing child/abducted child.

Watch for news of this and other training exercises.

Donovan encourages other entities and enterprises of the Tribe to conduct tests for similar potential natural and manmade disasters.

Moccasins On The Ground: Activist training

Sota photos by Reporter/Photographer John Heminger

Resistance is growing across the Great Plains to private corporate greed and compromised federal lawmakers that threatens the sacred waters of Native homelands here.

A civil disobedience, direct-action training session was held on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, at Dupree, SD last weekend.

Sota Reporter/Photographer John Heminger attended and notes that he was the only SWO member present.

The activist training was organized as a result of a letter by the US EPA which clearly shows the environmental risks of the proposed Keystone KL tar-sands crude-oil pipelined.

Even with the dangers clear and present, Congressional delegates continue to press colleagues to reach a majority to override a veto by President Obama.

The President has said he will veto the legislation, which has passed by this wholly compromised House and Senate. He seems to be the last line of defense against this abomination.

But there is another line of defense, of resistance.

And it is the determination of Tribal resisters willing to put their lives on the line if necessary to halt construction and destruction of their sacred water.

Here’s what Debra White Plume, founder of the Manderson-based non-profit Owe Aku (Bring Back the Way), had to say in advance of the training:

“As the process of public comment, hearings, and other aspects of an international application continue, each door is closing to protecting sacred water and our human right to water,” White Plume said. “Soon the only door left open will be the door to direct action,” she warned.

“Of course, we are hopeful that [Obama] will truly be revolutionary in the green sense, and say no to the permit, and lead the world in moving away from destruction and toward a sustainable energy future,” she said.

Moccasins on the Ground was the latest in a series by Owe Aku's Sacred Water Protection Project.

Training is provided on skills, tactics, and techniques of nonviolent direct action in three-day sessions around 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty territory.

It covers blockading heavy equipment, strategic media, street medic training, legal rights with respect to civil disobedience, building solidarity and alliances, international human rights protections, the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and Lakota sacred teachings on water.

John asks, “Where are our Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate?”

SWO Dakotah Language Institute seeking photographs

The SWO Dakotah Language Institute is looking for approximately 150 photographs for illustrations to be used in its Dakotah Language dictionary, which has been created with the help of elders of the Tribe.

Some example pictures may be: ant, church, evergreen, hat, lighter, sage, cookie, sweet corn, tiller, tractor, watch, and steak.

Deadline to submit photographs is May 1st, 2015.

Printed photographs (on photo paper) may be submitted, but digital images are preferred. Images must not show brand names on any items.

Rights to these pictures will go to the Tribe and may be used in future projects.

For more information, please see the notice elsewhere in this issue or contact: Tammy DeCoteau or Eric DuMarce, SWO Dakotah Language Institute, 605-698-8302 or in person at the SWO Dakotah Language Institute Office in the Tribal Administration Building, Agency Village, SD.

Danielle DeCoteau represents SWO with Lakota Women Warriors

Report from Danielle DeCoteau

Wagon Tu Ya Wicahpi Skan Skan Win

SWO Desert Era Commander

I traveled to Seminole Country on February 12th as a representative of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate with the Lakota Women Warriors as guests of the Brighton Seminole Tribe.

We were one of many groups from all over the Nation that performed in their Brighton Field Day Festival and PRCA Rodeo.

We performed by bringing in the colors for the daily sessions, a parade and on Sunday the Lakota Women Warriors brought in the colors on live television for the Xtreme Bull Riding event which can be viewed on – Xtreme Bullriding Brighton Days (we are 10 minutes into the video).

It was such a great time and we would like to send out a special thank you to Lucy Bowers who coordinated with us and Mr. Andrew Bowers Jr. who is the Brighton Representative for the warm welcome.

Also thank you to Amos Tiger and the US Cowboy Team for the PRCA Xtreme Bulls Tour for such an awesome welcome.

As guests we were treated so great by all and one lovely couple Mr. and Mrs. Charles Cypress took all of us out to an awesome steak and lobster dinner at the Cowboy Steakhouse and also welcomed us with gifts. We met so many very talented and professional people and they were all very good to us.

We look forward to our next event on February 28, 2015 in Bismarck, ND. We will be bringing in the colors for Virgil Hill’s final fight which will be aired on live television, with special guest Evander Holyfield.

Accompanying photos

(Editor’s note: Expenses for Danielle and the other Lakota Women Warriors were paid by the Seminole Nation.)

Departure of Brendan Johnson as US Attorney of SD

Washington, DC – February 18, 2015 – Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement on the departure of U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson:

“During Brendan Johnson's tenure as United States Attorney for South Dakota, he has distinguished himself as an exemplary leader, a passionate advocate for his fellow citizens, and an extraordinarily dedicated public servant," said Attorney General Holder.

"As a lawyer and as a leader, Brendan has set a standard of excellence that will not soon be surpassed. Particularly with regard to public safety challenges on tribal lands, he has served as a key advisor to senior Justice Department officials - including me.”

“As past Chair of the Native American Issues Subcommittee, he is not only a respected champion for tribal justice in his own right, but a critical national leader - offering sound guidance, wise counsel, and candid advice on a host of pressing issues. In standing against violent crime, fraud, drug trafficking, violence against women, and countless other threats, Brendan's fierce and determined service, on behalf of the people of South Dakota, has been without equal.”

“Although he will be greatly missed, his many contributions will endure. I thank him for his outstanding service - to South Dakota, and to our nation - and wish him all the best as he takes on new challenges and opportunities.”

(Editor’s note: It is with regret we see Brendan Johnson leave the post of US Attorney for the state of South Dakota. He came here last year for the formation of our grassroots solutions effort on the Lake Traverse Reservation. He pledged to return with support from other federal agencies for what we are calling “restorative justice.” [A term coined by Kateri Bird.] It is disappointing not to have the follow-through we had so hoped for here.)

SD Democratic Chair statement on Breendan Johnson

Sioux Falls – February 18, 2015 – South Dakota Democratic Party Chair Ann Tornberg released the following statement after US Attorney Brendan Johnson announced his resignation:

"US Attorney Brendan Johnson has been a national leader in the fight against human trafficking and violence against women while building stronger ties with Indian Country. South Dakotans are better off today as a result of his work. We thank Brendan for his exemplary public service and know he'll find success no matter what he pursues in the future."

We are very sad to see Brendan Johnson resign from the South Dakota US Attorney post.

He had come to our first SWO grassroots solutions meeting last year and had pledged to return with support from other federal agencies.

(Editor’s note: We wish him well and hope that his replacement will fill his shoes and help our Oyate meet our challenges for cleaning up our community and implementing “restorative justice.”)

DOI releases $8 million for Tribal climate change adaptation, planning projects

Washington, DC – February 17, 2015 – As part of the Obama Administration’s effort to prepare communities nationwide for the impacts of a changing climate, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced that the Interior Department will make available $8 million to fund projects that promote tribal climate change adaptation and ocean and coastal management planning through its Tribal Climate Resilience Program.

“Sea level rise, coastal erosion, drought and more frequent and severe weather events are impacting Alaska Native villages and American Indian tribal communities across the nation,” said Secretary Jewell. “As governments at all levels work on these challenges, we are committed to partnering with American Indians and Alaska Natives to build more resilient and sustainable communities and economies. This funding can help tribes prepare and plan for climate-related events and build capacity to address these evolving challenges.”

“No one is impacted by climate change more than Native communities in Alaska, but we have also seen serious problems developing for tribal communities across the West and on both coasts. We must act to help protect these communities,” said Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn. “The cultural and economic needs of tribes are tied to the land and protecting that land is a critical component of advancing tribal sovereignty and self-determination.”

Of the $8 million, $4 million will be available for Climate Adaptation Planning and another $4 million for Ocean/Coastal Management Planning. Funding will support tribal climate adaptation planning, training, and participation in technical workshops and forums. In addition, funding will support coastal tribes in addressing the challenges of coastal erosion and development, rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and emergency management.

The $8 million in tribal climate resilience funds will build on the nearly $2.3 million previously awarded last December to more than 40 federally recognized tribes and tribally chartered organizations to support tribal climate preparedness and resilience activities. The awards included more than $100,000 to benefit 22 Alaska Native villages, tribes and cooperative associations. The full list of awardees is available here.

As part of Executive Order 13653 of November 1, 2013, all federal departments and agencies are expanding efforts to help tribes, states, cities and localities prepare for the impacts of climate change. To comply with this Executive Order, the Secretary of the Interior’s Tribal Climate Resilience Program responds to the Recommendations and Supplemental Recommendations of the President’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience and helps to implement President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. A key part of the Climate Action Plan is to build more resilient communities, and strengthen defenses for community’s already on the front lines of a changing climate.

Furthermore, the President’s proposed budget for FY 2016 includes $137 million to prepare communities and ecosystems for the challenges of a changing climate. Included in this request is $50 million to support competitive resilience projects in coastal areas. The budget also proposes to expand the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Tribal Climate Resilience Program to specifically address the changing Arctic landscape and offer support to Alaska Native Villages and other critically vulnerable communities in evaluating options for the long-term resilience of their communities. Additional funding is requested in the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to increase understanding of the Changing Arctic and the linkages between climate, glaciers and impacts to the people who live there.

A Request for Proposal (RFP) will be available in the coming days and requests for the application can be sent to or to the attention of Helen Riggs, Deputy Bureau Director, Office of Trust Services, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1849 C St., N.W., MS-4620-MIB, and Washington, D.C. 20240.

The Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs oversees the BIA, which is headed by a director who is responsible for managing day-to-day operations through four offices – Indian Services, Justice Services, Trust Services and Field Operations. These offices directly administer or funds tribally based infrastructure, law enforcement, social services, tribal governance, natural and energy resources, and trust lands and resources management programs for the nation’s federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and villages through 12 regional offices and 81 agencies.

(Editor’s note: This article is the subject of a brief comment in the editor’s column.)

Attorney General statement on resignation of Tim Purdon as ND US Attorney

Washington, DC – February 10, 2015 – Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement on the resignation of U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon:

“Tim Purdon has been an outstanding United States Attorney, a fierce advocate for the people of North Dakota and a strong national leader whose efforts to improve public safety in Indian Country have made a profound difference – and touched countless lives,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “Throughout his tenure, Tim has distinguished himself as a skilled attorney and a consummate public servant, rising to challenges as diverse as human trafficking, violent crime, drug trafficking and fraud. His work to forge close partnerships with tribal leaders – and to develop and implement an Anti-Violence Strategy for Indian Country – have provided a model for success, increased federal prosecutions on North Dakota’s reservations and laid a strong foundation on which future efforts can be built. His exceptional leadership and wise counsel at the national level – advising me and other Justice Department officials as Chair of the Native American Issues Subcommittee – have had an important and enduring impact. And although we are all sorry to see him go, I am proud to join Tim’s dedicated colleagues in thanking him for his exemplary service as United States Attorney, and wishing him all the best as he begins a new chapter in his career.”

Statement on Tim Purdon stepping down

Washington, DC – February 10, 2015 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today issued the following statement after North Dakota U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon announced that he will step down from the position and join a private law practice.

“Tim has been an outstanding advocate for North Dakota while serving as our state’s U.S. Attorney. As a staunch advocate for Indian Country, Tim and I have worked together to bring renewed attention to the White House and U.S. Department of Justice about the striking economic, education, health, and other challenges facing Native American communities – and also find solutions. Tim has been a leader in this charge, and we’re seeing results with strong attention at the federal level to Indian Country. Tim was also one of the first leaders to take a hard line in combating drug crime and human trafficking which have unfortunately been increasing in the state. While there is still much work to do, because of Tim’s persistence and due diligence, many leaders of drug and human trafficking rings in North Dakota have been put behind bars, and Tim has helped make our communities safer. Tim has been a strong partner for North Dakota and a great friend, and I wish him luck as he leaves this position for private practice.”

Federal funding to prevent Child Abuse in ND

Washington, DC – February 19, 2015 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced $1 million in federal funding for Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota (PCAND) to support its work to make sure all North Dakota children grow up in healthy and safe homes.

Specifically, these funds will be used to strengthen and improve current home visitation programs and other services for expectant parents, new parents, or the primary caregiver of a young child from birth to kindergarten in at-risk communities.

“North Dakota’s greatest resource is the potential and talent of our children,” said Heitkamp. “That is why it is critical that we make sure all of North Dakota’s children grow up in a safe and healthy home, and have a fair shot to succeed. Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota already does great work to address child abuse in North Dakota, and these funds will help the organization continue to reach at-risk children and families through home visits and make sure some of North Dakota’s most vulnerable citizens are on the right path from day one.”

These funds are authorized through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

More than $650 million available in Indian housing block grants

Washington, DC – February 18, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced more than $651 million to 636 Native American tribes in 34 states (see list below). Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) allocations are distributed each year to eligible Indian tribes or their tribally designated housing entities for a range of affordable housing activities.

IHBG funds primarily benefit low-income families living on Indian reservations or in other American Indian and Alaska Native communities. The amount of each grant is based on a formula that considers local needs and housing units under management by the tribe or designated entity.

“Our nation is at its best when everyone has a fair chance to thrive,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “These funds will support the innovative work Native American tribes and families are doing to build a more prosperous future. Our partnership with these local leaders today will create better housing opportunities, more robust economic development and stronger communities tomorrow”

Eligible activities for the funds include housing development, assistance to housing developed under the Indian Housing Program of the 1937 Housing Act, housing services to eligible families and individuals, housing management services, crime prevention and safety, and model activities that provide creative approaches to solving affordable housing problems. The block grant approach to housing was enabled by the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA).

HUD’s proposed Fiscal Year 2016 Budget seeks $748 million to address critical housing and community development needs in Native American communities, including $660 million for IHBG allocations.

In announcing the block grants going to North Dakota reservations, U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp made the following statement:

These funds can be used to address the unique needs of each tribe, and include the development, modernization or rehabilitation of affordable housing; housing services or management for low-income housing; and crime prevention safety. Nationally, nearly 46 percent of Native households are overcrowded, a rate almost three times higher than that of the rest of the country. “At the Spirit Lake Reservation, I heard of a family of 15 people, including children, living in a one bedroom home. They put mattresses down on the floor at night and propped them up during the day. Sadly, there are heartbreaking stories like this throughout Indian Country in North Dakota and around the country,” said Heitkamp. “Last fall, I brought the top Administration official who oversees housing to Turtle Mountain to see firsthand the housing struggles of tribal members because we cannot continue to let Native families live in dilapidated and overcrowded homes. These funds are an important step toward making sure our Native brothers and sisters have a safe and affordable place to call home, but we need to continue to find practical solutions that address the range of housing needs in Indian Country.”

South Dakota

Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe of the Lake Traverse Reservation $3,393,025

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe $5,319,741

Crow Creek Sioux Tribe $1,702,252

Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe $335,124

Lower Brule Sioux Tribe $1,665,915

Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe $12,112,147

Rosebud Sioux Tribe $8,819,197

Yankton Sioux Tribe $2,133,785

North Dakota

Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe $3,545,243

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe $5,095,283

Three Affiliated Tribes of Fort Berthold $4,956,317

Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa $9,663,880

Funding for Early Head Start, Head Start in Standing Rock, Spirit Lake

Washington, DC – February 18, 2015 –U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced a total of nearly $3 million in federal funding for Early Head Start and Head Start programs in Standing Rock and Spirit Lake Indian Reservations, as well as funds for North Dakota State University to support research for lung cancer treatments.

“Improving the conditions for Native American children is one of my top priorities in the Senate,” said Heitkamp. “Through bipartisan legislation, committee hearings, and more resources, I’ve been working to make sure we stop leaving Native American youth behind and give them the support they were promised. These funds play an important part in accomplishing those goals because they give hundreds of Native American children the opportunity for quality early education that will put them on a path to succeed starting at a young age. While these funds are a good step forward, there is still much to do. That is why I’ll continue to push for my bipartisan bill to stand up for Native American youth and do all I can to make sure we give Native American children the chance they deserve. In addition, the funds for NDSU are an investment in the abilities of its students and professors, and provide the opportunity to treat a cancer that has touched far too many lives.”

These funds are distributed as follows: · Standing Rock Sioux Tribe - $1,645,122. These funds will be used to support the 257 children ages three to five years old who attend Early Head Start or Head Start at one of Standing Rock’s eight centers across the reservation. In addition to providing affordable childcare and developmental learning experiences, this program also incorporates the Lakota/Dakota heritage of the tribe to advance growth and development.

· Cankdeska Cikana Community College - $1,090,298. These funds will be used over a five-year project period and will support the Early Head Start and Head Start programs as it continues to provide affordable childcare in a safe and developmentally enriching environment for up to 70 students and community members.

· North Dakota State University - $211,568. These federal funds will support research for lung cancer treatments.

These funds are authorized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

SD Legislative updates

Week 6 Report from Sen. Jason Frerichs

Committee work on proposed legislation is democracy at its finest. Serving on the education, agriculture, and taxation committees, I have been involved in the process of amending legislation. Open enrollment school district disputes, personal service tax exemptions, and saving a farm link transition program are just a few examples of where individual legislators can impact the result of codified laws. Not only are those small gains in committee rewarding for legislators but also gaining support among the fellow lawmakers give confidence to all of us as students of the process.

I am honored to share that SB 154 the requirement that our state veteran service officers be veterans received unanimous support in the Senate Judiciary Committee and on the Senate floor. I sponsored SB 154 on behalf of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and appreciate the support from the American Legion as well. Veteran issues are prominent throughout this legislative session some dealing with veteran's preference to guarantee an interview for employment with schools, funding for honor guards and the definition of a veteran. HB 1179 is the legislation which changes the definition of a veteran in an effort to include those who honorably served in the South Dakota National Guard perhaps during non-combat eras. I appreciate those who have expressed concerns about the potential for weakening the importance of being considered a veteran. However, I also have great respect for those who took an oath to give service to the armed forces knowing that at any point they could have been deployed.

SB2 the river basin natural resource district legislation received favorable support in the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. I am proud of the work we have put into this legislation to create the nine natural resource districts covering the entire state which will have the boundaries created by the oversight legislative taskforce and we will look at a pilot project example on the Vermillion River Basin. Managing water throughout the watershed is paramount in dealing with the problems we face with hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland covered in water. I will keep fighting for respect of the problem we are faced with when we have years of increased snowpack and rainfall that impact our rural communities. The ability to do projects and authorize projects is a key benefit to creating these river basin natural resource districts. Each of the last few years in the legislature we have given support to efforts that will manage the natural problem of pine bark beetles in the Black Hills National Forest. I support these strategic plans because we shouldn't let the problem of trees dying define our beautiful state. Much like in water management we shouldn't let the problem of acres of flooded farmland limit the abilities of our rural communities.

This last general election, voters in South Dakota gave 55% approval to the minimum wage increase to $8.50/hour. Now just a few months after that election we are dealing with legislation in the form of SB177 that would lower the youth minimum wage to $7.50/hour. This is bad timing to revert the will of the voters throughout our state. I can understand the need for a separate minimum wage for our youth, but I do not think we should lower their minimum wage after the voters have given their approval.

Please keep in touch on the issues important to you. I enjoy the opportunity to represent northeast South Dakota in our beautiful state capitol. You can reach me at or 949-2204.

Week 6 Report from Rep. Dennis Feickert

Six weeks are over of the 90th Legislative Session of the South Dakota Legislature. The committees on which I serve (House Agriculture and House Transportation) are wrapping up all of the House bills. These must be completed and moved through the House side by next Wednesday for what's known as "Cross-over day." That's the day, which this year hits on Feb. 25, when all the bills must move through their house of origin and be sent over to the other body to consider. The floor Sessions often run late into the night before this important cross-over deadline.

First a few words concerning the change to the Minimum Wage for youth. Looking at the big picture, I realize that this is one more indication of how certain legislators in Pierre are trying to change the will of the people. SB 177 would allow employers to pay a lower minimum wage to 17-year-olds than they pay older adults. Current law already allows a 90 day training wage which is less than the minimum wage. After that, if they are doing the job, they deserve the same wage as the 18 year old working next to them.

SB 177 is a betrayal of the public's vote to improve the minimum wage. The voters didn't say they wanted one minimum wage for 17 year olds and another one for 18 year olds. The sub-minimum wage has passed in the Senate along straight party lines. Only the Democrats opposed the change and spoke against it on the Senate floor. It will now be up to the House to protect the will of the voters on the Minimum Wage issue. If adopted, it would decrease the wage for those under 18 on July 1, 2015. Could the unintended consequence mean that the 17 year old will always get the job if the other applicant is 18 or older? Let's hope that's not the result.

The last jobs report came out for South Dakota. Our unemployment rate is stable again this cycle. Those predictions that hundreds of South Dakota workers would be laid-off if the Minimum Wage passed have simply been false. Even those Senators who voted for the teenage minimum wage could provide no data to support their claims that workers were fired after the wage increase. Don't let the politics of this argument fool you. Equal pay, equal work: It's as simple as that.

On Thursday, Feb. 19 we heard HB 1206 on the House floor. This bill would have allowed any college students, instructors, or employees 21 years or older to carry concealed weapons in classrooms or at activities on any of our six public universities. Thankfully, the bill was defeated on the House floor on a 20-48 vote with two Representatives excused. I don't always get involved in these purely political debates on the floor, but this time I just had to speak up. I encouraged all Representatives to focus on the real issues before the legislature like school funding, health care, or infrastructure needs. A gun on campus was political grandstanding at its worst.

I want to thank those college students who were in the Capitol to help legislators understand why they opposed this bill. We also received emails from many college students who opposed this bill. It's good to know that their voice was heard. Our youth deserve a safe learning environment, and they shouldn't be pawns in a political fight over guns.

Finally, some comments on roads and bridges. Both on the House side (HB 1131) and the Senate side (SB 1) legislators are working hard on the infrastructure bill. Both the Summer Task Force on Roads and Bridges and the Governor are in support of major spending this Session on infrastructure. There have been many amendments on both bills and they are likely to come down to final adjustments in a conference committee on the last few days of the Session. One Amendment I did support would limit the number of years the 2 cent per year fuel tax could increase. It could increase for 8 years for a total 16 cents increase. Prior to the amended limitation, it could have gone up 2 cents per year until 2030. This important bill will likely continue to be amended and discussed. Like so many of these big ideas which I have seen during my time in the legislature, the final bill will emerge in conference committee on the final week of the Session in March. Six weeks have been completed. Thank you so much for the opportunity to serve you, the residents of District 1. Please feel free to contact me at or call me at 605-216-3451 with any questions, concerns or comments. If you plan to travel to Pierre during the legislative session, please let me know as I would be honored to meet with everyone from back home in District 1.

Week 6 Report from Representative Steve McCleerey

The bills are pouring through committee as crossover day approaches next Wednesday. That's the date that all bills must be acted on by the House of Origin: all House bills need to be acted on by the House, and all Senate bills need to be acted on by the Senate. My frustration continues to increase as more political games are played as more and more controversial bills are heard.

A perfect example is HB 1223, which would end the state's involvement with Common Core standards and prohibit the adoption of certain multistate educational standards. On Wednesday morning, the Education Committee spent two hours debating the topic. Games were played in committee so sending the bill to the 41st day was not possible and it was tabled instead. The bill was "smoked out" on the House floor. (That means that even though it failed in committee, one third of the total House may vote to force the committee to deliver the bill to the floor). Claims were made that the bill did not get a fair hearing in committee. Our Education Committee had a quick impromptu committee meeting and now the bill will head to the floor with a Do Not Pass Recommendation. Let's hope that bill finally fails on the House floor once and for all.

One controversial bill that passed the House was HB 1195. In June 2014, the SD High School Activities Association adopted a policy to allow transgender students to participate in activities that align with their gender identity, after consultation with the coaches, parents, principals, and a physician. The policy was adopted after a year of study and research. This bill voids that policy. The legislature should not be telling the South Dakota High School Activities Association how to do their job. Legal issues dealing with gender discrimination will now have to be dealt with if this bill is signed into law.

House Health and Human Services heard numerous bills this week. HB 1229 revises provisions related to the release of medical waste. This bill is the second part of passed legislation from two years ago; the original legislation was directed at requiring companies to dispose of medical waste properly. This bill would also require an individual to dispose of their medical waste properly, too. Overall, it is to prevent dangers when a person is hand sorting recyclables and the risk of being stuck by a medical needle. It's a good bill and was passed thru the House; on to the Senate.

SB 60 is another good bill with great intentions and unnecessary hesitation from some on the committee. This bill would allow the Department of Health to screen newborns for inherited and genetic disorders like SCID. This bill allows for babies to be tested and if they receive a positive on one of the disorders, the parents can receive information that will give babies/infants a better chance at life.

Another make sense bill the Health and Human Service committee heard is SB 63. This bill would allow the state to adopt the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. What a brilliant ray of light for rural health! It does not change how the state grants licenses in a traditional way; instead it grants a new expedited pathway that allows someone to have a multi-state license, and at the end of the licensing process everyone is on the same path. An estimated 80 percent of physicians nationwide will meet the eligibility requirements. New physicians are allowed to get all licenses more quickly. This bill would positively affect rural hospitals by allowing doctors to practice remotely or over state lines with much ease yet be fully licensed. This bill encourages the rapidly-expanding practice of telemedicine, especially by out-of-state physicians who must have a South Dakota medical license to treat patients via telemedicine in South Dakota. This is huge for rural community hospitals!

Finally, another bill that I thought was a make sense bill was HB 1166 which prohibited the use of tanning devices by minors. Originally, this bill prohibited the use of tanning devices by minors with no exceptions. After being deferred for a week at committee, we brought the bill back up for action. An amendment was added that would allow minors to use tanning devices with informed consent from a parent/guardian. The bill passed the committee and is headed to the House floor along with the other two bills I previously discussed.

One victory for the Democrats this week was when Representative Feickert's HB 1217 passed House Agriculture and Natural Resources unanimously. This revises certain provisions regarding the portion of Marshall County located in the James River Water Development District. This bill sets a new definition for the portion of Marshall County located in the James River Water Development District. This bill removes the entire county from the definition and adds "and that portion of Marshall County located in the James River watershed." It also clears up how certain areas are defined and any possible ambiguities. It will save a bit of taxpayer dollars for those living in that area. Bills that I voted for and passed the House are HB 1215 which provides for an optional enhanced permit to carry a concealed pistol and HJR 1005 which designates Oglala Lakota County as the new name of Shannon County.

On a lighter side, assessing South Dakota's revenues is always being done at the Legislature to determine a budget. The lottery has been a great source of revenue for South Dakota. South Dakota Lottery provided $106.2 million to the funds that improved the quality of life in South Dakota. $7.5 million was added to the Capital Construction Fund which is used to pay for rural water systems, community drinking water, and wastewater improvement projects, and recycling and waste disposal programs. $91.7 million was provided to help lower local property taxes on owner-occupied and agricultural lands by 30%, while $6.8 million was added on the General Fund which funds local K-12 schools and state universities and technical institutes. In total, the South Dakota Lottery has distributed an impressive $2.35 billion to our beneficiaries since the start of the lottery.

Thank you for electing me and for all of your support. I appreciate being your Representative from District I. Have a great week and feel free to contact me at Thank you.

Editorials –

Sota guest editorial –

Open Letter to the Young People of the American Horse School in Pine Ridge, SD

By Dr. Bernice King

Huffington Post – February 20, 2015 – I was deeply disturbed by reports that a group of about fifty children, young people and their chaperones in your community were subjected to physical and verbal abuse during a minor league hockey game in Rapid City, South Dakota. I understand that the children, as young as 8 years old, were participating in a field trip as a reward for academic excellence and exemplary behavior and were excited to attend the game.

According to reports, some white men in a skybox above the youth poured beer on the children and subjected them to vicious racial insults and invective. Lacking protection for the children, the chaperones took the children and left the game early in the interest of the children's safety.

To the children who experienced this abuse, my heart goes out to you and I commend you for the courageous dignity and restraint you demonstrated during this incident by refusing to retaliate in kind. There are many powerful, nonviolent ways to respond to this injustice, including dignified, disciplined nonviolent protests and demonstrations and voter registration drives in your communities. I encourage you to use your creativity and the great wisdom and traditions of your culture in responding nonviolently.

Most importantly of all, continue to pursue your education and service to your community. Refuse to be disheartened, discouraged, distracted from your goals in life. You will encounter misguided people from time to time. That's part of life. The challenge is to educate them when you can, but always to keep your dignity and self-respect and persevere in your personal growth and development. As my grandfather, Martin Luther King, Sr. used to say, "Let no man bring you so low as to hate him."

Continue to rise and lift up your sisters and brothers who are also experiencing discrimination and abuse. Continue to strive for excellence in all of your endeavors, undaunted by the bad behavior of others. Continue to speak out against all forms of injustice to yourselves and others, and you will set a mighty example for your children and for future generations.

Millions of Americans of all races have long been inspired by the tremendous dignity, wisdom and beauty of your vibrant culture and heritage and the wonderful leaders who have graced your history. Our country urgently needs the wisdom and guidance of the native nations of the plains, as we struggle to create a society which can live in harmony with nature and with each other. Continue to walk with pride and reverence on your ancestral lands, knowing that your unbreakable determination to rise above the bullying behavior toward your community will serve as a source of inspiration for generations yet unborn.

Seek out your brothers and sisters of other cultures and join together in building alliances to put an end to all forms of racial discrimination, bigotry and prejudice. There are people of good will of all races, religions and nations who will join you in common quest for the betterment of society.

It is encouraging that leaders of the Rapid City community have begun to engage in dialogue with tribal leaders about the incident, as a first step toward healing and reconciliation. There are good people of all races in Rapid City and across the state of South Dakota, and their voices are needed to help rectify this regrettable injustice.

My hope is that those who were responsible for the bullying in this incident will come forward, offer a heartfelt apology and take steps to make amends to the children. There are paths to redemption for everyone, when we take responsibility for our behavior and do the right thing for those who have experienced injustice. This would be a meaningful step toward healing and reconciliation.

As my father, Martin Luther King, Jr., said in a 1956 speech, hailing a favorable Supreme Court decision during the Montgomery Bus Boycott:

The end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the Beloved Community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opponents into friends. It is this type of understanding goodwill that will transform the deep gloom of the old age into the exuberant gladness of the new age. It is this love which will bring about miracles in the hearts of men.


Dr. Bernice A. King is Chief Executive Officer of The King Center.

Sota guest editorial –

Inside the fight to save the Salish Sea; Stopping the little-known, big-impact tar sands pipeline

Earthjustice-org – A proposed tar sands pipeline through Western Canada threatens the Salish Sea—rich, abundant border waters shared by the U.S. and Canada—and the very existence and way of life of Native tribes located in the United States.

The pipeline would end near Vancouver, but from there, massive oil tankers carrying toxic tar sands bitumen must thread their way through the waters of the Salish Sea along the U.S-Canada border, where an oil spill would destroy one of our nation's most valuable ecosystems.

Four of these tribes, along with scores of First Nations and thousands of Canadians, are rising up to stop this pipeline.

This is one pipeline fight you haven't heard about:

The name Salish Sea recognizes the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Haro Strait, the Strait of Georgia, and Puget Sound as a single marine ecosystem. Coast Salish tribes have sustained rich cultures from the bounty of the Salish Sea since time immemorial.

If Kinder Morgan's proposed tar sands oil pipeline is built, a catastrophic oil spill could decimate the salmon and shellfish that feed and support Coast Salish tribes.

Coast Salish peoples are a group of ethnically and linguistically related indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest. Coast Salish tribes on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border, including the Tulalip, Lummi, Swinomish, and Suquamish nations, have been fishing in these waters for countless generations.

Today, their treaty-protected fishing areas are threatened by a Kinder Morgan tar sands oil pipeline. When it comes to oil pipelines and oil tanker ships, the question is not if, but when, they will spill. An oil spill in the Salish Sea would have a devastating effect on fish and shellfish, which form the basis of the Coast Salish way of life, and it would destroy the economies of Native tribes on both sides of the border.

"I'm a commercial fisherman. I've been a commercial fisherman all my life. It's all I've ever done," said Dana Wilson, member of the Lummi Nation. "My father was a fisherman; his father was a fisherman; and his father was fisherman. My son is in the industry; he's fishing now on his own. My grandkids fish with me. I have 11 grandkids—the way of life that we teach our children is the water and the way to fish. In our language, it's called a Schelangen—the way of life, the way of the water.

"So much we're losing, losing, losing every generation. And what are we going to have left for our future generations if we don't start managing and watching where we're at and the direction we're going in? Today, it's like trying to fish on a freeway. It gets pretty overwhelming having a 200-tonne ship bearing down on you. You don't know which end of your net to run to."

One of humankind's largest and dirtiest energy extraction projects, the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, is at the heart of this pipeline fight. The tar sands cover nearly 55,000 square miles—an area larger than the state of New York.

Tar sands generate three to four times more climate change pollution than conventional oil. The massive project exposes communities downstream and along its shipping path to carcinogens, including benzene, toluene, mercury, and lead.

Kinder Morgan's TransMountain Pipeline system would add yet more pipeline to a system that already links the Alberta tar sands project to the British Columbia Coast, the Greater Vancouver area, and the Salish Sea. If the project is approved, the additional pipeline would bring large volumes of tar sands oil to the coastal region, where the toxic tar sands oil would be loaded onto ships and sent through the Salish Sea, which the Tribes use for commerce, food, jobs, recreation, and ceremony.

The number of tanker loadings at that site would increase by nearly 600 percent over current levels. The dramatic increase in oil tanker traffic will put at risk some of the most productive salmon and shellfish habitat in the Salish Sea. Constant traffic of massive ships would put tribal fishers in harm's way and destroy their gear. Further, tankers arriving for oil loading will need to discharge ballast water, leading to the introduction of invasive species that could devastate salmon and shellfish ecosystems.

In 2003, the Point Wells oil spill occurred miles away and only 5,000 gallons of spilled, yet the oil coated the Suquamish's area of coastline, deeply upsetting the fishing, and tribal way of life, for years. The spill was small in relation to the potential that could come from the size of an oil tanker, which carry up to one million gallons.

"Tribal members have used the estuary and its beach as a place of healing and worship, as well as for subsistence harvests, since time immemorial," explained Suquamish Tribal Chairman Leonard Forsman.

Historian Jay Miller wrote, “Salmon were at the center of life for Native peoples living along the Asian and American shores of the north Pacific Ocean. Like a miracle, these five different kinds of fish return to the same streams where they first spawned … For Natives, salmon are a gift that comes to them every year to keep them alive.”

Native tribes lost precious much in their treaties with the United States, but that gift, was meant to be protected. "Within the Treaty of 1855, there's a provision that was never given up, it was never negotiated away; it was retained by the tribes in exchange for many things, for housing, education, health care," said Tulalip Tribe member Glen Gobin. "The tribes ceded over millions of acres of lands from the tip of Vashon Island to the Canadian border. But they never ceded over their right to continue hunt, fish, and gather in all of their usual and custom fishing places."

Since the beginning, salmon and shellfish have been the mainstays of the Coast Salish economy, diet, and way of life. Native nations fished wild Pacific Salmon with reef nets for centuries. This ancient fishing method was invented to nourish the Lhaq’temish (LOCK-tuh-mish), or “People of the Sea,” while protecting and preserving healthy salmon populations for many generations into the future.

Today, a number of industrial activities and pollution sources severely threaten salmon populations. In addition to standing up against the threat of this TransMountain Pipeline, the Lummi Nation have joined with their Native neighbors in the region to implement numerous projects to safeguard the salmon and repair their habitat.

The Canadian federal government, through a recommendation from its National Energy Board (NEB), will decide on whether to permit the pipeline project. In October 2014, as a part of its information gathering and review process, the NEB heard testimony from the U.S. tribal and First Nation members.

In advance of their testimony against the expansion of Kinder Morgan's TransMountain Pipeline, Swinomish and other tribal members gathered on the banks of the Fraser River for a ceremony to bring tribal members together in solidarity.

"The Lummi, Tulalip, Swinomish, other tribes, and the First Nations of Canada depend on the Fraser River. Our ancestors grew up on the nearby San Juan Islands catching the sockeye that were going to the Fraser River. They had summer camps out there. My dad was born out there," Dana Wilson of the Lummi Nation explained later. "That's just a little bit of the history on how important this little neck of the woods is to the tribes. And it's all we have left. You cannot rebuild this."

All of the attending tribes brought water from their home waters and poured it on the banks of the Fraser River, signifying the unity of the water and the fact that water knows no boundaries.

"My generation is facing the future consequences of this project. It offers nothing but the possibility of a devastating oil spill that could lead to the end of our culture, our reserved Treaty rights that my ancestors fought so hard for. Suquamish culture is not only a thing of the past, it's the present day, and it's my future. It's my children's future," high school junior Shaylene Jefferson later testified.

"We don't put the water right into the river," explained a participant at the ceremony. "Even just a foot away, two feet away, a yard away, as long as its flowing toward the river, that's where you pour it—because you're asking Mother Earth to continue to cleanse the water, as she has done since the beginning of time."

"Over the last 100 years, our most sacred site, the Salish Sea, has been deeply impacted by our pollution-based economy," said Swinomish Tribal Chair and National Congress of American Indians President Brian Cladoosby. "Every kind of pollution ends up in the Salish Sea. We have decided no more, and we are stepping forward. It is up to this generation and future generations to restore and protect the precious waters of the Salish Sea."

Chair Cladoosby is effectively the chief executive of the sovereign Swinomish nation and the current President of the National Congress of American Indians, which advocates for 566 tribal nations in the United States. "The place that we're living now, we've been there since time immemorial. Our roots go very deep. We are a place-based society. All of us in the Coast Salish territory are. What that means is, we just can't pick up and move to Ottawa or New York or Texas. We are where we are."

Brief editorial comments from the editor’s desk –

On and Off the Lake Traverse Reservation

Whatever your personal opinion of whether or not the “Redmen” name should continue to be used in the Sisseton public schools, how can you not take pride in our Damakota youth for standing up for what they fully believe in!

How can we not be moved by their activism!

It is a challenge to everyone else that we have mountains to move. From health and wellness, housing, economic and criminal justice issues locally … to the wider concerns for Ina Makoce.

Who will stand up!

We all must do whatever possible to change the disastrous road that our nation’s corporate lobby and bought-off politicians with seats in Congress is pulling us down.

Moccasins on the Ground is one of several activist training sessions for people willing to risk their lives in order to protect the treaty territory of the Oceti Sakowin.

From our grassroots solutions and other movements to help heal the hurts here on the Lake Traverse Reservation, to the broader struggles, we need engaged and passionate warriors.


You just got to do the best you can.


That’s old-fashioned, old-time advice.

And it is about the only thing that works. Consistently.

So here we are today, sinking in the sludge of polluted lands, wiping eyes from acid rain, drinking poisons from the faucets, living with consequences of greedy short-sighted wealth- and control-grubbers.

What do we do?


Best we can.

That’s all.

We want to call attention to one of our federal government/tribal nations articles this week.

It has to do with the Department of Interior spending $8 million to encourage tribal involvement in tomorrow’s (today’s?) newest economic development opportunity.

Clean-up of the disastrous consequences of living beyond the resources of Ina Makoce!

Well, we are glad to see someone is looking at the positive in this filthy mess we are living in now.

And until somebody comes up with a way to move people off this planet and onto some far flung new world, we’ve got to find ways to work with what we got.

And do, yes, do the best we can.

Way it is.



Thanks to our Sota staff for helping out with this week’s edition: Sierra Wolcott, Assistant Editor; and Reporter/Photographers DaVonna Keeble and John Heminger.

We don’t want to forget our columnist Shay Dirtseller, who as usual, offers some provocative food for thought in “Wawokiyape.”

And we are grateful for so many who always provide us with tips, information, articles and photos.

Without the community support, we could not put out this newspaper for you.


Our 147th annual SWO Wacipi photo gallery is online.

Check it out on our website:

Also online now is a photo gallery of John Heminger’s coverage of the anti-racist mascot rally in Minneapolis.

John’s pictures tell a great story of what happened, and how much our own Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate participated in this major event.

Brand new: Web photo gallery of our 2014 Wokiksuye Ride is now available on our website. This gallery features John’s photos.


Elder's Meditation:

"In the Indian way, we are connected to that flower if we understand its spirit, the essence of its life." -- Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA

Everything on our Earth is alive. Every rock, every plant, every animal, every tree, every bird, every thought is alive. This is true because everything is made by the Great Spirit and the Great Spirit is alive. We need to slow our lives down each day and realize, consciously, that this is true. First we need to realize it, second, we need to acknowledge it, third, we need to appreciate it and, finally, we need to go on. Great Spirit, let me see life through Your eyes. Today let me be alive.


Words to consider (or, perhaps not!):

The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos. Stephen Jay Gould (1941 - 2002)

They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me sad to realize that I'm going to miss mine by just a few days. Garrison Keillor (1942 - )

I'm an idealist. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way. Carl Sandburg (1878 - 1967), Incidentals (1907)

Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad: whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen. John le Carre (1931 - ), "The Chancellor Who Agreed To Play Spy", The New York Times, May 8, 1974

I'm kind of jealous of the life I'm supposedly leading. Zach Braff

One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain't nothin' can beat teamwork. Edward Abbey (1927 - 1989)

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets. Voltaire (1694 - 1778)


The Sota is always looking for news of the Oyate.

If you have information and/or photos of newsworthy happenings in your family or community, please consider sharing with your Sota staff.

For submission deadlines and other information, see below:

Except for holidays copy to be considered for publication – news, advertising, editorial opinion letters, etc. – is to be submitted to: Sota, P.O. Box 5, Wilmot, SD 57279 by 10:00 a.m. on Thursday. FAX and e-mail submissions will be accepted until 12:00 noon on Friday (with the exception of letters to the editor/open letters to the Oyate, or “opinion” letters, which must be received by 10:00 a.m. Thursday).

If you are writing an opinion letter, please note that it must be signed and the author’s name will appear in print. Letters must not contain libel and must be brief, ideally 500 words or less. Letters may be edited for content. Omissions will be identified with periods . . . editor’s explanations will be provided in [brackets]. Readers who want access to unedited versions will need to contact the authors.

Earlier receipt of copy is always appreciated. So, if you are aware of a date or message that needs to be publicized or advertised, please let us know about it in advance of the weekly deadline.

The preferred way to submit typed articles and ads, art and photos, is by e-mail.

The editor can be reached at the following e-mail address:

For more information, leave a message on the Sota production office voicemail (605) 938-4452, or send a fax to the 24-hour dedicated line (605) 938-4676.

-- CDF

Obituaries –

Funeral services for Patricia Kenna Keoke

Patricia Kenna Keoke was born on March 5, 1941, to Stella and K.P. Pearman in Old Agency, S.D. Patty entered the arms of Jesus on Monday, February 09, 2015, at home with the support and love of her family.

Visitation was held Tuesday at St. James Catholic Church in Chamberlain concluding with a prayer service.

Visitation in Fort Thompson was held Wednesday at Joseph’s Catholic Church in Ft. Thompson with a prayer service at and mass.

Visitation in Eagle Butte was Thursday at All Saints Catholic Church concluding with a prayer service.

The following day, Friday, February 13, 2015 was declared Patricia "Patty" Pearson Keoke Day by the CRST.

Mass of Christian Burial was held that morning, at All Saints Catholic Church in Eagle Butte.

Interment followed at Mossman Cemetery in Ridgeview, S.D.

Patty grew up and attended school at the Old Agency, St. Joseph’s Indian School, Chamberlain, S.D., Marty Indian School, Yankton, S.D., and graduated from Immaculate Conception High School, Stephan, S.D. She continued her education and received her bachelor’s degree at Northern State University, Aberdeen, S.D.

Patty moved back to Eagle Butte and worked as a Tribal Council woman for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. She later worked at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Branch of Social Services, as the Director, where she eventually retired.

She received among others, the following special commendations: Habitat Humanitarian of the Year, by the regional Habitat Office and “Patty Keoke Day” by the Governor of South Dakota. Patty was known as a humanitarian for her generous and kind heart and her love of people as demonstrated by her work as a Social Worker, and her volunteer work at the American Cancer Society and Habitat for Humanity.

Patty was diagnosed with lung cancer in the fall of 2000. Patty fought bravely for 14 years and was resilient in her fight against cancer despite many complications and challenges. She remained home in Chamberlain until her death.

She will be missed by all her family. Left to mourn Patty is her husband Bill Keoke, Chamberlain, her 3 daughters; Fredrica (Mark) Rhoades, Summersville, Mont.; Melanie (Ron) Urich- Bau, Pierre, S.D.; and Tracy (Brian) Donner, Chamberlain. She has 5 grandchildren who blessed her with 17 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild. Also surviving her are siblings: Georgia Gunville, White Horse, S.D.; James (Terry) Pearman, Ronald (Nita) Pearman, Susan (Kenny) Traversie, Antoinette Pearman (Wayne), Carson Mound (Charlie), Sally Pearman (Pat) all of Eagle Butte, S.D., and Stephanie (Gerald) Davidson, Rapid City. Lastly, Her beloved pet, Carmel. Patty was preceded in death by her parents, KP and Stella Pearman, and 5 siblings.

Condolences may be conveyed to the family at

From Kiyukanpi Tiwahe: “My brother Mark, my son Francis, sister Inez (Garry) Owen and I attended along with Inez and Garry's daughters Laura Heminger, Mel Mac Connell, Milton & Barbara Owen, and Patty Blacksmith.”

Notice of editorial policy

(Editor’s note: The following comes from the editor’s column and the Sota “deadlines and policies” statement published weekly in the Sota.)

Copy to be considered for publication – news, advertising, editorial opinion letters, etc. – are to be submitted to: Sota, P.O. Box 5, Wilmot, SD 57279 by 10:00 a.m. on Thursday. FAX and e-mail submissions will be accepted until 12:00 noon on Friday (with the exception of letters to the editor/Open letter to the Oyate, or “opinion” letters, which must be received no later than 10:00 a.m. Thursday).

If you are writing an opinion letter, please note that it must be signed and the author’s name will appear in print. Letters must not contain libel or offensive language and must be brief, 500 words or less. Letters may be edited for content. Omissions will be identified with periods . . . editor’s explanations will be provided in [brackets]. Readers who want access to unedited versions will need to contact the authors.

Art, poetry from Inmates in SD prisons to be shown

Submitted by Lawrence Diggs

The United States has the dubious distinction of having more people in prison per capita than any other nation, more than police states and dictatorships. A large part of the problem is that too many of those who serve their terms return to prison. People may be returning to prison because the world they are released to may not be ready to accept them. This is especially true of Native peoples, who make up a large part of the prison population.

Revealing the Inner Inmate: Expressions of Art and Poetry from Inmates in South Dakota Prisons, will be shown at the Aberdeen Recreation and Culture Center, 225 SE Third Ave., Aberdeen, SD, from March 16th- mid April.

Press day will be on March 16th, 9-5 PM, followed by a formal reception on March 19th, 6:30-9PM which will include interactive presentation about how the public might help to lower the recidivism rate in South Dakota.

The exhibit will be up for about month.

For more information, call (605) 486-4536.

Democrats: Pierre sending wrong message to SD youth

Pierre, SD – Democratic leaders believe the state legislature is sending negative messages to youth in South Dakota.

“Young people are asking themselves where they want to live and raise their families,” said Rep. Spence Hawley, minority leader in the House of Representatives. “Too often our policy decisions suggest that we don’t value them and their needs. That has to stop.”

Hawley said the most recent examples include SB 177, which allows employers to pay a lower minimum wage to 17-year-olds than they pay older adults. “Many of us would support a training wage or an apprentice wage, all of which are provided for in federal labor law. But a blanket statement that 16 and 17 year old workers are worth less is the wrong message. Current law already allows a 90 day training wage which is less than the minimum wage. After that, if they are doing the job, they deserve the same wage as the 18 year old working next to them.”

Sen. Billie Sutton, the 30-year-old Democratic leader of the Senate, argued against SB 177 on the Senate floor on Wednesday, pointing out that it overturns a decision made by voters just three months ago. “That vote is a betrayal of the public’s vote to improve the minimum wage. The voters didn’t say they wanted one minimum wage for 17 year olds and another one for 18 year olds.”

Sutton said the vote is symbolic of youth issues in Pierre this year. “I’m hearing from lots of college students who are shocked at the idea of allowing guns on our campuses,” he noted. “We all support gun rights, but attending class or activities at one of our six Regents schools, is probably not the best place to take a stand on the Second Amendment. Our youth deserve a safe learning environment, and they shouldn’t be pawns in a political fight over guns.”

Hawley and Sutton said education issues also send the wrong message to youth. “Our lack of support for education at all levels is causing many teens and twenty-somethings to wonder whether they can afford to stay in South Dakota. And they have a right to wonder whether state government has the fortitude to fix the teacher shortage before they have children in school.”

Controversies of social issues and a lack of progressive reforms related to health care and access to college and technical education have also caused young South Dakotas to “do double takes” when they discover what’s happening in the state legislature, said the Democratic leaders.

“We’re still hopeful that we can chart a better course for our youth and for all South Dakotans,” said Sutton.

With the IRS, it’s guilty until proven innocent

By Rep. Kristi Noem

February 20, 2015

Innocent until proven guilty: It’s the basis for legal proceedings in the U.S. – except when the IRS is involved. Under their rules, the IRS sentences first; asks questions later. It’s an unacceptable practice and something I’m committed to holding them accountable for as a member of the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee.

During an Oversight Subcommittee hearing earlier this month, I heard testimony from a small-business-owning veteran. Andrew Clyde started “Clyde Armory” – a gun and ammunition retailer in Athens, Georgia – in 1991. Over the next 17 years, he grew the business from a “home business” to a storefront shop, sustaining it even through three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

On April 12, 2013, he got a visit that he’ll never forget. Two federal agents stopped by his store, questioned him about his business, and notified him that nearly one million dollars had already been taken from his company’s bank account at the local credit union.

He testified: “I was never so afraid in my life, not even in combat, so much so that I trembled when they left…. I was just depositing my own hard earned and legally earned cash in the bank. How can that be a felony? I pay my taxes, I try to do everything correct.”

No one ever claimed the money was earned through illegal activities. Instead, the IRS argued Mr. Clyde had deposited the money illegally. They cited a law, which was intended to stop terrorists and drug dealers, that requires banks to report any cash transaction over $10,000 and makes it illegal for account holders to split up the deposit in order to avoid having the bank file a report.

Mr. Clyde admitted that he had a number of deposits for just under $10,000, but not because he was trying to skirt the law. Rather, he had a standard insurance policy that would only insure deposits up to $10,000.

Within a matter of days, his annual taxes were due and the next employee payroll had to be made. By the time those bills were paid, he had no more working capital left. He said he immediately had to cancel every product order he could and take out an $80,000 loan to cover regular business expenses.

It took more than three months for his case to get in front of a judge. And when he finally did, the federal government offered to settle – so long as they could keep a half-million dollars of his cash. He didn’t accept their offer. They came back later and offered to settle for just $109,000. Again, he didn’t accept because to his knowledge he did nothing wrong.

In the end, he agreed to forfeit $50,000 to settle the case. This was after he’d already spent nearly $150,000 on his legal defense.

What the IRS did here was absurd. At the hearing, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen offered an apology to any business owner who was wrongly impacted. And while that’s more than they’ve received in the past, it hardly makes up for the business they lost.

It’s hard to know where to start with this IRS. The agency’s targeting of conservative groups has made many question the agency’s political independence and whether one’s use of free speech could be held against them. Its lavish taxpayer-funded conferences have raised even more questions.

Hardworking taxpayers deserve answers. What the IRS is doing – how they are conducting themselves – is ridiculous. It is completely unacceptable. They must be held accountable and I’m committed to doing that.

Social “helper” column dedicated to young generation Oyate –


By Shay Dirtseller

Good morning Oyate! Hope all is well. This week's article will be short and sweet.

I enjoy all the letters that come into me, even the not so great ones, but sometimes I do get some individuals who write just because they feel like they have anonymity and/or want me to 'oust' certain individuals or tribal entities on their behalf so they don't get the backlash.

Now, my column does get controversial at times but that is not what it is about. It is of a social nature, so if you have an open letter that you want to share or feel strongly about don't be afraid to sign it and just send it in.

Some will email asking me to "do articles" for them but I won't because if they feel that strongly about something and want it to be heard they would submit an 'open letter' but when suggested they never want to put their name on it and would rather remain anonymous. Why?

All in all, it’s always good to have a voice and stand up for what you just have to be willing to stand your own ground.

Respectfully, Shay

Report on local blood drive

Coteau des Prairie Hospital has sponsored a great blood drive. The blood drive was held in Sisseton on February 9. According to Fern Elofson, Donor Recruitment Representative at United Blood Services, "Sisseton had a great turnout. Out of 50 people who volunteered to donate, 42 were able to give. Seventeen people gave blood on the automated 2RBC machine which collects two units of red blood cells during the donation, so a total of 58 products were collected."

Coleete Weatherstone coordinated the drive. The Coteau des Prairie Hospital sponsored the drive. Space to hold the drive was provided at City Hall.

The availability of blood is dependent on the success of blood drive held in many communities. The citizens of the Sisseton area can be assured that their community is a good example of a well-run blood program.

On behalf of the patients who benefited, United Blood Services appreciates all the thoughtful people who volunteered to help others by giving of themselves.

Blood is for sharing; you have truly given the "Gift of Life."

Destroy your enemy with hate?

By Richard P. Holm MD

It is a cruel world out there. Consider how some people are so angry they are cutting heads off and burning people alive in front of video recorders likely for the very purpose to bring us to hate. Anger, bigotry, hate crime against those different, and even I dare say polarizing-politics can be found everywhere.

The old adage rings true: "To destroy your enemy, make them hate."

About the destructive power of hate, Buddha said, "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned." Another philosopher said, "While seeking revenge, dig two graves - one for yourself."

But it can go both ways. A research study not only showed when the study director treated the subject poorly he or she would then treat a stranger negatively; it also showed when the study director treated the subject kindly, he or she would then treat a stranger positively. But do we really need a study to prove the simple truth that we all find it easier to be a good person when we are treated well, and be mean when we ourselves are abused?

The rub comes with the difficulty getting into the habit of treating others with kindness. Confucius said, "It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get."

Last week a group of premed students were asking me about how much volunteerism is enough to help get them into medical school? One student stated, "It is hard to be altruistic when I don't really feel the love in my heart. I don't want to be a hypocrite."

It made me remember a sermon given by a favorite minister a while back suggesting that if we don't feel the milk of human kindness, we should go through the motions and act like we do. The more we practice, the more it turns real.

I believe this is true but it's difficult and takes time. My lifetime job in the medical field as a physician has required very active listening, and I have noted that kindness, even if it is not completely heartfelt, is the most powerful and curative medicine, my favorite and most helpful treatment for almost every illness. Over the years with all that practice, the caring has only turned more genuine and thus more rewarding.

I am not suggesting tolerance to injustice, but in this world where there remains hate, cruelty, radicalization, and polarity, we should realize our best weapon might just come with patient kindness.

Youth, school activities highlights –

Education watch on the Lake Traverse Reservation

2015 SWO Career Day April 13th

The Tribal educational entities and Parks & Rec program have set aside April 13, 2015 for this year’s Career Day.

Everyone is welcome to come and learn about careers. Learn about vocational/technical schools, meet military recruiters.

This event is open to students and others of all ages.

There will be door prizes.

Career Day will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the SWO Administration building/rotunda.

Accepting Summer Internship applications

Washington, DC – U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) is currently seeking intelligent, hard-working college students to serve as summer interns in his office in Washington, D.C., as well as in his offices in Aberdeen, Rapid City, and Sioux Falls.

Interns in Thune’s state offices will participate in constituent service and state outreach activities, while students in the Washington, D.C., office will have the opportunity to witness the legislative process, give Capitol building tours, and attend Senate votes and hearings. Both in-state and Washington, D.C., internships will allow students to work closely with constituents, hone their research and writing skills, and learn a multitude of valuable office skills.

“Students have a unique opportunity to experience democracy in action as interns in a Senate office,” said Thune. “Interns gain valuable knowledge about both state and national issues and an understanding of the inner workings of a Senate office. I encourage all students to consider applying for this rewarding experience.”

Thune is chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and a member of the Senate Committees on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and Finance.

College students who are interested in interning in Senator Thune’s Washington, D.C., office should submit a resume and cover letter by March 10, 2015, to:

Senator John Thune Attn: Logan Penfield

511 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

By Fax to: 202-228-5429

Or by E-mail to:

College students who are interested in interning in Senator Thune’s Sioux Falls, Rapid City, or Aberdeen offices should submit a resume and cover letter, by March 10, 2015, to:

Senator John Thune Attn: Robin Long

5015 South Bur Oak

Sioux Falls, SD 57108

Or by E-mail to:

For more information, please call 202-224-2321.

Making sure loved ones are prepared for their retirement years

By Jason Alderman

What if a sudden, debilitating illness, fraud or economic downturn affected your senior family member's retirement, estate or long-term care issues? Would you be prepared to take over?

If the answer is no, you're not alone. According to 2013 research ( from the Pew Research Center, four in 10 U.S. adults are caring for a loved one with significant health issues.

Don't wait for a crisis to initiate this conversation. Starting early can help you plan and even safeguard your own career and retirement planning. Here are some suggestions for starting the conversation:

Identify the missing links. Find information gaps you need to fill to help your senior relative plan for retirement. If key financial information – investment and banking accounts, legal documents or doctors' contact information – is missing, list any and all unknowns to be researched and compiled.

Schedule a family financial meeting. Schedule a specific day and time and create an agenda that meets the needs of your senior relative. It is not always necessary to involve all direct family members in a preliminary discussion, but make sure that relevant individuals are aware of the meeting. After helping your senior relative assess his or her financial situation, make sure to identify next steps and responsibilities.

Locate important financial documents. Ask your senior relative to show you where his or her key documents and accounts are, such as retirement and pension information, checkbooks, investment statements, insurance policies and legal and estate data. Find out where incoming bills are kept in case you have to step in and help manage monthly bills.

Consider seeking financial counseling. Any number of reasons, from illness to fraud, may explain losing control of personal finances. If your relative has been working with a qualified financial or tax advisor, the family team should consider meeting with him or her if a need arises. If outside tax, financial or legal help is needed, the team and your senior relative should discuss who those professionals should be, what their fees are and what you expect them to do.

Make and agree on a plan. After all the information gathering and discussion is complete, make a plan – in writing, if possible – to review the senior's wishes, set an action plan and assign responsibilities as necessary. As mentioned above, you should review this plan every year. And if problems emerge in any topic area from retirement to health issues, you'll find guidance throughout the Practical Money Skills for Life website. (

Bottom line: Asking older relatives about retirement, estate and long-term care preparations can be an uncomfortable conversation. Making a plan and initiating early conversations to involve the right people can ease the financial strain and stress on everyone involved.


Jason Alderman directs Visa's financial education programs. To Follow Jason Alderman on Twitter:

Garden Corner

Submitted by Eric Hanssen

Browns Valley, Minnesota 56219

Bur Oak And Rabbit Damage

Bur oak has a number of pests but one of the more recent, and unusual, problems is a gall wasp. Gall wasps are not unusual on bur oaks, but there is a twist to this one. Callirhytis flavipes spends the winter just beneath the bark. The small, white larvae are found in the branches and twigs of mature oak trees and in the trunks of young trees. The gall wasps emerge from the galls in the spring as adults and move to the newly formed leaves where they insert eggs into the midrib, the central vein of the leaf. Once the eggs hatch the larvae form a gall on the vein and live out their short lives within this structure. Adults emerge later in the season and lay eggs on the twigs and branches. The galls formed by this gall wasp are not particularly harmful to the tree, no more than the many other galls that form on oaks. What makes this gall wasp a problem is the woodpeckers that feed on the larvae during the winter. The woodpeckers can shred most of the bark from young trees, enough that the trees are be killed by this injury. I have seen belts of young oaks experience mortality as great as 50% from the woodpecker activity. The trees that are not killed by the woodpecker activity, often have the tops killed back enough that the trees become misshaped and of little value as a windbreak tree. The injury can be so extensive that many people are looking for another tree to plant in their windbreaks.

I have seen severe rabbit damage on hundreds of mature trees. Apparently the rabbits are feeding on Amur maples, crabapples and even eastern red cedars. This is the most severe report I have received so far this winter on rabbit damage to trees. We experience most of our rabbit damage in late winter when the rabbits have depleted most of their other food sources and the snow is still covering much of the ground. I rarely see this much damage so early in the season. Other than hunting or trapping there is not a lot that can be done to prevent damage in windbreaks. Repellents can be useful but are not always effective. The repellents work either by odor or taste. The odor repellents that contain ammonium soaps of fatty acids are not that effective when dealing with large populations of rabbits and limited food choices. Even the odor repellents that contain putrescent egg solids, which are very effective with deer, may have only limited success with rabbits. The taste repellents can also be ineffective; many of the bitter ones apparently are not detected by the rabbit’s taste buds. The taste repellent that seem to work the best are ones containing capsaicin which is a throat irritant and discourages further feeding.

Information in this article comes from professor John Ball, SDSU Forestry Specialist in his Pest Update publication available online at






CASE: D-15-251-074



And concerning:

MINERVA KEOKE, Petitioner.



NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Petitioner's request for a change of name from GRACELYNE MARY-ROSE BIDDELL to GRACE MARY LEBEAU shall be heard before the Honorable B.J. JONES, Chief Judge of Tribal Court, in the Courtroom of the Sisseton Wahpeton Tribal Court at Agency Village, South Dakota at _11:30 A.M. on the 11th day of MARCH, 2015.

Dated this 11th day of February, 2015.


/s/ B.J. Jones, CHIEF JUDGE









CASE: D-15-254-077



And concerning:




NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Petitioner's request for a change of name from LANAY TSIDORA DAVILA-FAYANT to LANAY TSIDORA DAVILA shall be heard before the Honorable B.J. JONES, Chief Judge of Tribal Court, in the Courtroom of the Sisseton Wahpeton Tribal Court at Agency Village, South Dakota at _11:00 A.M. on the 11th day of MARCH, 2015.

Dated this 11th day of February, 2015.


/s/ B.J. Jones, CHIEF JUDGE









CASE: D-15-254-077




And concerning:




NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Petitioner's request for a change of name from LANAY ISIDORA DAVILA-FAYANT to LANAY ISIDORA DAVILA shall be heard before the Honorable B.J. JONES, Chief Judge of Tribal Court, in  the Courtroom of the Sisseton Wahpeton Tribal Court at Agency Village, South Dakota at _11:00 A.M. on the  11th    day of MARCH, 2015.

Dated this 11th day of February, 2015.











CASE: D-15-251-074




And concerning:

MINERVA KEOKE, Petitioner.



NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Petitioner's request for a change of name from GRACELYNE MARY-ROSE BIDDELL to GRACIE MARY KEOKE shall be heard before the Honorable B.J. JONES, Chief Judge of Tribal Court, in  the Courtroom of the Sisseton Wahpeton Tribal Court at Agency Village, South Dakota at _11:30 A.M. on the  11th    day of MARCH, 2015.

Dated this 11th day of February, 2015.


/s/ B.J. Jones, CHIEF JUDGE





Trading Post ads

Sisseton Wahpeton College

Has the following vacancy:

Sponsored Programs Specialist Full time, BA in Accounting, Business Administration, other relevant field, or a combination of education (an Associate’s Degree in Accounting or Business Administration) and at least 2 years of relevant work experience.

Closing date: March 9, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. Please visit our website at for a complete job description and application.


Sisseton Wahpeton College

TITLE: Prep Cook

REPORTS TO: Café Manager

SALARY: $10.00 / hr.

TOUR OF DUTY: Part-time (25 hours)


Summary: Wait on customers and operate the till. To prepare ingredients for daily specials and menu items. Employee to assist the Café Manager as instructed.


1.  Prepare and cook meals in accordance with menus approved by the Manager.

2.  Grill cook as needed.

3.  Refill all utensils, condiments, and other sauces as needed.

4.  Assures all café menu items are prepared and ready for serving.

5.  Assists in cleaning the grill table as needed.

6.  Assists with stocking shelves and freezer.

7.  Receive, store, handle and preserve all food.

8.  Complies with all College, Tribal, and Federal policies, regulations and laws that govern the College.

9.  May be required to assist with events.

10. Performs other duties as assigned.

Education: High school / GED

Minimum Qualifications: Planning, organizational, and time management skills. Able to lift up to 40 lbs. Reach, stretch, bend, kneel, and stand for extended periods of time. Perform daily tasks in the kitchen area. Must be able to work at a steady pace in crowded area. Must be dependable and able to work well with others. Ability to maintain high levels of confidentiality. Excellent customer service skills.

ServSafe Certification preferred. Indian preference will apply.


Tiospa Zina Tribal School

Employment Opportunities

2014-2015 School Year Vacancies:

Substitutes needed for custodial, kitchen, teaching, and transportation - starting at $10/hr, varies per position Qualifications: GED/High School Diploma (please contact the HR office for more information) Applications are accepted on an on-going basis

Vacancy: Art Teacher Qualifications: Current South Dakota Certification meeting the Highly Qualified status for a K-12 Art Teacher Opening Date: July 1, 2014 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: Elementary Teacher Qualifications: Current South Dakota Certification meeting the Highly Qualified status for an Elementary Teacher Opening Date: January 22, 2015 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: Reading Coach Qualifications: Current South Dakota Certification meeting the Highly Qualified status for a Reading Coach Opening Date: October 30, 2014 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: Bus Monitor ($13/hr) Qualifications: High School Diploma/GED+; currently has/willing to obtain CPR and First Aid certification Opening Date: November 21, 2014 Closing Date: Open until filled

If interested please submit an application and Advisor Questionnaire to the Human Resources Department at Tiospa Zina Tribal School. Opening Date: September 11, 2014 Closing Date: Open until filledIf you would like to apply to be a part of the TZ tiwahe you may pick up an application from the TZTS HR office located at #2 Tiospa Zina Dr. Agency Village, SD 57262. Applications may also be printed off the HR web page by downloading from links under employment forms to the left. Completed applications may be sent to PO Box 719, Agency Village, SD 57262. Faxed to: 605-698-7686. For further information call 605-698-3953 ext. 208. Indian Preference employer. At will employer. All applicants are subject to a Background Check and Pre-Employment Drug Test, pursuant to SWSB policy.


Dakota Sioux Casino & Hotel

Job Openings

Dakota Sioux Casino & Hotel is seeking to fill the following position(s):

ADMINISTRATION: ASSOCIATE MANAGER (1 TIME-TIME) GENERAL FUNCTION: The purpose of this position is to maintain interdepartmental communications to ensure the smooth operation of the property and promote the highest degree of customer satisfaction. REQUIREMENTS: High school diploma or GED equivalency. Minimum of three years experience in gaming, preferably supervisory experience. Able and willing to work any and all shifts. Thorough knowledge of casino operations, policies and procedures. Excellent communication skills, both written and oral. Able to handle diverse situations. Able to stand/walk for long periods of time. Must obtain Key Gaming License upon hire.

This position will close on March 5th, 2015 at 4 pm.

Indian Preference will apply/EEO.

Contact the Human Resources Department for complete job descriptions at 1-800-658-4717 ext. 1652.

If interested please fill out an application and submit to: Dakota Sioux Casino & Hotel, Human Resources Department, 16415 Sioux Conifer Road, Watertown, SD 57201.


Dakota Connection Casino

Job Openings

Position: Surveillance Manager

Qualifications:  High School Diploma or GED. Formal training in law enforcement is preferred, 2 years supervisory experience in Surveillance, 3 years work experience and/or training in security, law enforcement, loss prevention, and/or other related fields. Experience in and documenting the results for criminal proceedings. Ability to maintain strict confidentiality. Mechanical ability and computer experience is required. Knowledge of CCTV, security systems, gaming cheating, concept of operations. Knowledge of Indian gaming. Must be at least 21 years old. Must obtain a Key Gaming License.

Hours: Full-time

Opening Date: Thursday, February 19, 2015

Closing Date: Wednesday, March 4, 2015 @ 4:00 p.m.

All positions will be exposed to noise & tobacco smoke

Indian preference will apply/EEO Employer.

Apply with the Human Resources Department, call or write for job description. Submit application to: Human Resources Department Dakota Connection Casino, 46102 SD Hwy 10, Sisseton, SD 57262.


Dakota Connection Casino

Job Openings

Cage Department:

Main Bank Cashier/Cashier/Drop Team (1) full-time, rotating shifts, day, swing, graveyard, includes weekends & holidays. Excellent customer service skills, excellent communication skills. Appropriate dress code; the ability to work under pressure. Excellent Math Skills, Basic Computer Skills, Knowledge of basic office equipment. At, least 2 years of previous experience in the cage department preferred. Ability to lift 50 lbs. Must be at least 21 years old, must have a High school diploma or GED. Must be able to obtain a Key License.

Opening date: Thursday, February 19, 2015

Closing date: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 @ 4:00 p.m.

All positions will be exposed to noise & tobacco smoke

Indian preference will apply/EEO Employer.

Apply with the Human Resources Department, call or write for job description. Submit application to: Human Resources Department Dakota Connection Casino, 46102 SD Hwy 10, Sisseton, SD 57262.