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Vol. 47 Issue No. 5

Anpetu Iyamni, Feb. 3, 2016

Inside this Edition –

Highlights of last week's Intertribal Meth Summit at SWC

Report to Akicita; Including information on State/Tribal Day in Pierre and SWO Tribal Veterans Court

NADL event Thursday at Dakota Connection; Home ownership opportunities for veterans

ESDS earns 5-year accreditation award

Part V: SWO Winter 2015 General Council reports

Annual Ice Fishing Derby this Saturday

Next week: Highlights of Dakota Oyate Challenge

Deadline for receipt of copy is Friday noon

Held last week on Lake Traverse Reservation –

Highlights of Intertribal Meth Summit

By CD Floro

Sota Editor

DCI agents cancel due to meth bust in Long Hollow Wednesday

The third in a series of intertribal meth summit events was held over two days, Thursday and Friday, January 28 and 29, 2016, on the Lake Traverse Reservation. The first took place in Rapid City, the second at Pierre. The summit is a brainchild primarily of SWO Tribal Secretary Crystal Owen and Rosebud Meth Program Coordinator Lori Walking Eagle. Each is deeply involved in finding solutions to meth addiction and its related problems on their reservations. For Crystal Owen, it's been a long battle; before being elected to her Tribal Executive office she served as the SWO Meth Prevention Coordinator for seven years.

Both tell how meth has grown to epidemic proportions. Methamphetamines are not new in Indian country, or anywhere across the land, but their use has cycled up and down. Today, it is on the rise.

According to Lori, "it's going to get worse better getting better."

"It (meth) will bring our nations to their knees before it's done."

An alarming prediction, considering how many of our Oyate struggle with meth, as well as heroin and cocaine, today. And how their illness impacts their families and communities: people are afraid for their property and their lives, as the addict will go to any length to get another fix – another "high" – when the progression of this disease makes it increasingly more difficult to gain the highs experienced in the beginning.

SWO Tribal Chairman David Flute welcomed a large crowd to the Sisseton Wahpeton College omniciye tipi Thursday morning. Somewhat ironic that the stated goal of this summit was "finding solutions." When Chairman Flute was still Lake Traverse District Councilman last fall, he moderated the most recent in a series of meth solutions meetings held by the SWO Elderly Board. Also at the omniciye tipi. So often, then, he would say, "We are not here to (continue to) spend time on the problem … we know the problem … we are here to find solutions."

Some of the elders want to know where those solutions are, what has happened.

Well, as then-Councilman now Chairman Flute has said, "We are here to find solutions."

And after attending all day Thursday and Friday, until leaving after lunch – had to stay for that good soup, frybread, and wojapi – I believe we are seeing those solutions. They are coming more sharply into focus.

And more than coming about through government funding and agencies, they involve each and every one who lives in our communities. Anyone willing to take responsibility for "being the solution."

Following the Chairman's welcome, SWC President Harvey DuMarce spoke about education being key to winning this war on drugs.

"We are all here because we want to find solutions," he said.

His voice was filled with passion as he spoke about "change … we can do it. With hope, we can do something about this (meth epidemic)."

"It will take us working together."

SWO Law Enforcement Captain Gary Gaikowski was present, along with several officers.

They maintained a table in back of the gym to exhibit meth and other drugs and paraphernalia throughout the day Thursday.

Some of the officers were out, assisting in the ongoing meth bust.

Tim Maher, Supervisory Assistant US Attorney, is no stranger to the Lake Traverse Reservation. Nor is Troy Morley, Tribal Liaison to the US Attorney's office.

The duo gave a slide presentation and talked about problems associated with meth and other drugs being abused in Indian country.

Oyate may remember them from last fall, when they spoke at a meeting at the Elderly Nutrition. They were accompanied then by FBI agents.

That event was called to address federal indictments and investigations into alleged corruption by SWO officials, and the suspension and then-pending removal of SWO Tribal Chairman Bruce Renville from office.

Trials are pending, and the investigations remain on-going.

On Thursday, they were supposed to have been joined by other law enforcement officials, including agents of the SD Department of Criminal Investigation.

DCI had to cancel coming to the summit due to a meth bust in Long Hollow District the day before – last Wednesday, Jan. 27.

And Jennifer Mammenga, drug prosecutor for the US Attorney's office, who was also scheduled, could not attend.

Jennifer was being honored the same day in Sioux Falls with an award for prosecuting drug cases here in northeast South Dakota.

First and foremost, Tim Maher wanted the Oyate to understand that the US Attorney's office, the federal government, supports treatment for users of meth and other illegal drugs.

"We want to provide them treatment," he said.

He said that it's the "drug dealers" his office targets.

There was a discussion about how "simple possession" is handled by the courts.

The state of South Dakota, he explained, treats possession and ingestion as a felony.

The federal attorney explained the difference between possession and distributing.

"If you possess illegal drugs, use them yourself … that is possession."

"If, however," he went on, "you sell or even give away drugs for free … that is distribution and is a felony."

There is no distinction, he explained, between giving away drugs for free, and selling them. Either way, it is distribution and is a felony in all the courts.

He repeated that it is the intent of his office to see that addicts/users are given the option of treatment.

That gave rise to a common refrain throughout the two days, that there is a vacuum here at home when it comes to treatment options.

One of the presenters later Thursday and also on Friday, Jesse Larson, who heads the SWHA unit in charge of testing for presence of dangerous drugs, offered one answer.

"Forget about borrowing more money for the casinos," he said. "Bring it up in the districts."

"Put money into treatment services here instead," he said, "where they're really needed."

Another topic brought up during the morning presentation Thursday, is how child abuse and neglect relates to drug crime.

From our point of view, there was very little in the US Attorney's presentation that places child abuse/neglect under federal prosecution of drug crimes.

Perhaps this is one area where holes exist in federal criminal codes.

That holes exist in tribal judicial codes is a well-known fact here among our Oyate.

And the deficiencies of current SWO codes was the subject of discussion.

Oyate were told by Secretary Crystal Owen that updates had been stalled.

Lisa RedWing, not a member of the Judicial Committee but a long-time member of Constitution Revision, added that there was a period of time when Judicial was out of business while Tribal Council considered whether or not to make it into a seven-member board (with representatives from each District).

Regardless of the past – and the consensus over these two days was to "not point fingers of blame" – the process of approving judicial codes takes time.

The committee, with the Tribal Attorney, comes up with language to consider. Drafts go to the seven Districts for consideration.

And this back-and-forth takes time.

It was also a consensus that whatever the process, the codes need to be updated. And that there is no time to wait.

While writing this, we have to add that last year's Tribal Council resolution to have the Tribal Attorney draft a proposed banishment code, is not on any list of solutions that the folks here – most of them, anyway – want to see implemented.

Yes, there was a lone voice, an elder who still wants banishment for anyone caught dealing drugs – whether they are a Tribal member or not. And privately, several other elders told me they still want banishment in the codes. Most of the elders, however, told me they believe in including family and relatives, not excluding or banishing members.

Since it was Council that passed the resolution calling for banishment, it would have been appropriate to have them respond when the matter came up. But Council members were not available for the summit.

And to be fair, when Tribal Council enacted the banishment resolution, it was at the vocal insistence of a group of elders tired of being afraid for their property, even their very lives and lives of their family members. The erratic and dangerous actions of addicts demanding money for drugs has been, and remains, a nightmare.

Home invasions, threats and abuse, continue to make people afraid.

"Get a deadbolt (lock on your exterior doors)," was called for.

During the course of the two days, however, a possible solution unfolded. One that would make banishment unnecessary – at least for Tribal members. Outsiders who have moved here with the purpose of setting up shop – drugs and prostitution – deserve a whole different set of consequences. At least, that is what came up in these discussions.

Back to Mr. Maher's presentation (although interruptions throughout the summit often brought out valuable insights and helped underscore what presenters were sharing).

He shared what health experts have to say about the euphoric high that comes with ingestion, smoking, or injecting, of Meth. At least in the beginning – before one becomes a habitual user.

Consider the best feeling imaginable, he said, and "multiply it by ten, or twenty times … that is what a user feels."

When taken by someone who has been abused or neglected, someone without strong family support (or community support – and, as came up repeatedly later – nurturing the Dakota culture), it can lead to an immediate addiction.

No hope?

Well, here is hope multiplied to a high degree.


Feels pretty super to someone who lives in a dull land of depression and thoughts of suicide.

Talk to Teresa White, who spoke later about her passion for helping young Oyate members who live in desperation. She will tell you story after story after story – no names, but all real, all young relatives – of youth with hopelessness. Caught, trapped in addiction, often in prostitution.

It's a way out. Or, seems to be.



Until you sink and never reach that ecstasy again.

You live in gray fog, not spending time on that initial high plateau followed by days of unbelievable energy.

Your body and mind have been robbed.

All that matters is getting another fix, getting money for it any way you can.

Okay, Tim Maher spoke about it, but didn't go as far as we have here.

But it's real.

It is what's happening.

Ask the recovering addicts.

They will tell you.

Many times, their own families, while protecting and enabling them for so long, will eventually turn them away.

Then they are the most dangerous, to themselves and to others.

One example that was cited in Maher's presentation, an addict holding a gun to someone else's head. It has happened. It happens.

Give me what I crave … or else.

Yes, our elders and other family members are afraid.

There were more interruptions during the US Attorney presentation.

Services are lacking, no appropriate rehab services on the Reservation. No half-way houses locally for those discharged from treatment centers.

"What can we do to help?" was asked.

Find funding opportunities, make sure that it is used for those needed resources here, and for adding to the woeful luck of counselors (I keep thinking Teresa needs clones).

Jesse Larson, on Friday, was given a lead on a potential funding source that might provide for his drug testing team to expand and be placed outside of SWHA. To better identify sites needing cleanup on the Lake Traverse Reservation.

And there has already been some federal money set aside for expanding Dakotah Pride to provide more counselors, and add a long-term treatment program for meth addicts.

Of course, there is the comprehensive justice center that keeps coming up from one administration to another. Our SD Congressional delegates have said they are supporting the effort.

Keep calling for it to happen. (That's our editorial comment.)

Specifically, what can individual Oyate do in their own communities?

This question was asked and answered in discussions on the floor.

*Don't give money to addicts, or those you suspect of misusing drugs. "Kunsi, unkanna, if your family member comes to your door asking for grocery money, give them groceries. Not cash. If they come asking for diapers, give them diapers."

*"Don't "enable". Don't protect anyone, no matter if they are in your immediate family or are a relative or neighbor. REPORT THEM. Yes. Report them to law enforcement. Later, hearing from a recovering addict, we were told that lives have been saved because of their going to jail.

Law enforcement doesn't respond?

Report again.

And again.

Lori Walking Eagle, during her report Friday, asked people to take note of the make and model of cars going to and from houses/places you suspect drugs are being dealt. Write down license places. Lori shared a form used by law enforcement on the Rosebud Reservation, to make it easier for people to get this information to their police department.

*Employ "tough love." As we've already said, jail is preferable to losing someone … by suicide or overdose. Get your loved ones into jail or treatment.

*"Talking circles" led by recovering addicts themselves. After all, these are the ones who "have been there." (This is already happening.)

And there are those already mentioned:

*Better laws (judicial codes).

*Better law enforcement, get your law enforcement more resources.

This list of solutions comes from both days, but we will continue here:

*Bring back Dakota language and culture. Colonization, oppression, boarding schools, all damaged the original peoples of this continent, including the Dakota Oyate. But as was said, "We are survivors!"

Parenting has suffered for several generations due to these conditions. Youth have been cut off from what is available in their heritage to make them strong and proud people.

Many spoke up over the two days urging support for bringing back Dakota culture – some, such as language immersion, are already being done in the schools, and this needs to be encouraged by families in the home.

Above all, it was noted by SWO and by relatives visiting from Santee in Nebraska, Standing Rock, Rosebud and Pine Ridge, and Sioux Valley Reserve in Canada, what the Oyate need is reconnection to their spirituality.

Jace Pratt, who told old-time stories he learned from his grandfather, kept calling for "connection."

"Love" and "connection" are solutions.

In his intuitive and entertaining way, Jace left everyone Friday afternoon with a mission.

"You … each one of you … IS the solution."

Teresa White spoke.

She told of providing mental health counseling to children here for the past 12 years. She came here from working on a degree in a Wisconsin university, thinking "I have to help my people."

Over these 12 years, she said she's seen many changes.

"From (abuse of) cough and cold syrup to meth."

Meth, as was shown in the overhead presentation by Maher, is composed of highly toxic chemicals. No one would take them, except in this concoction that causes euphoria in the brain cells. Well, it does until it destroys the brain cells, which happens.

Its use and abuse has dipped and risen.

Now, she said, it has become the number one ongoing problem among the young people who come to her for help.

And its addictive nature leads to related problems.

Dealers get girls as young as 13 hooked, then uses them to peddle the drug. And more.

They become prostitutes for them.

These children are taken to cities across the country.

"Colorado, Texas, and the Twin Cities," said Teresa. Those are common places.

She said, "This is not a movie."

"These are your people."

"Mother, father, ask how do I help my child?"

The child says, "I am lost, I don't know what to do."

That, said Teresa, is what she hears.

Over and over again.

At the last meth solutions meeting last fall, Teresa told participants that a group of women in Watertown had formed a group to help rescue "our children."

"I invited others to come to their meeting (in Watertown)," she said. (The Sota also published an announcement of the meeting.)

"No one came … but me."

"These Wasicu's are trying to get your children back home," she said.

"But," she continued, "once we get them back … we need a place for them to stay."

It's not only the outside dealers that pimp the young girls, she told the group.

"No, mothers and fathers are selling their children for drugs."

What does she recommend to those who are aware that a member, or members of their family are doing drugs?

"I advise you have them committed."

"Even if they hate you for the rest of their life … at least you're not making funeral arrangements."

Others spoke out.

"We are already burying our people, our children … because of drugs … because of meth."



Suicide by car.

Teresa went on.

The consequences of the meth epidemic are getting worse. And will continue because of …

"No detox."

"No place to go."

"Yes, it will get worse if we don't do something."

Others spoke of bringing back the "Dakota heart … the Dakota way of life."

"Dakota spirituality."

Tim LaBatte spoke up, saying what may seem obvious to some … but seeming to be a repeat of the blame game.

He criticized the lack of solutions.

"Nothing is happening.

"Nobody's doing anything."

"We're going to suffer."

"Resources are there … but we are using them."

And, "Why do we keep having these meetings?"

One answer may be:

"Because afterwards you'll be so frustrated you WILL do something."

Gabrielle Tateyuskanskan responded. And not only here, but several times during the summit.

Each time, she focused on going back to the cultural roots to find solutions.

She brought up how through colonization the people has "lost their culture."

Gabrielle talked about the addicted people as "sick, hurt" and especially the young girls needing "healing."

She mentioned Gene Thin Elk and the Red Road, Faith Spotted Eagle and her ceremonies for women and girls.

"We can do something …" by sharing Dakota culture, spirituality.

One of the elders who spoke was Tim Campbell.

"As a former AIM chapter chairman in the 70s," he said, "I don't dance around confrontation."

He called for people to go right into Veblen and stand up to outsiders "who are abusing our young girls and selling drugs."

Some of the elders who spoke did so with broken voices, broken in tears.

"There are lots of emotions … sad … I feel really bad for our people."

When she spoke, with her voice trembling, it seemed as though there was no other sound in the auditorium.

Thank you, Mary.

Harvey DuMarce spoke again, saying there is a need for "respect" and "tough love."

"If we don't (get tough) we will be putting our young people in the ground," he said.

Jesse Larson was on the agenda, as head of the SWHA unit responsible for testing homes (and other places) for presence of drugs.

He said, "We are already burying people."

Just lost "a 30-year-old and 40-year-old to heart attacks."

He added them to those lost to suicide and ODs.

Jesse talked about high numbers of housing units testing positive for dangerous drugs – low rent SWHA units, NAHASDA units, Barker Hill, other housing areas on the Lake Traverse Reservation.

Of 132 Housing units tested over the past years, those tested after one tenant left and before another could come in, 80 percent tested positive for meth and other dangerous drugs.

Those units had to be cleaned before new families could be allowed to move in.

"Each unit can cost between $2,000 to $8,000 to clean," he explained.

"It depends upon how extensive the presence of these harmful chemicals."

"Appliances, cabinets, and flooring can sometimes need to be replaced."

One trend he said he and is team has noticed, is that levels seem to be concentrated in one or two rooms.

"The kitchen is a big spot," he said, "because of the exhaust fan, used to get the fumes out of the house."

But they still find high levels in bedrooms – where little kids sleep.

Consider the poisons in meth.

Breathing difficulty.


Scales on the skin.

Aggressive, or other unusual behavior.

And remember, these symptoms are not from using the drugs, but from second-hand exposure.

Jesse said more resources are needed, and he'd like to see the testing unit removed from Housing and become a stand-alone entity for the Tribe.

Certainly, they are testing more than just rental units.

They have tested where asked in Tribal programs and in schools. (They have been to Tiospa Zina Tribal School and SWO Head Start, but have not yet been asked to ESDS.)

Lynn Halbert, SWO Head Start Program Director, spoke about what Jesse and his team has found there.

Positive tests were found around the "cubbies," individual spaces for belongings, clothing, jackets brought by the pre-schoolers from home each day.

These areas were scrubbed clean by the Head Start staff.

Followup testing showed further contamination, so the clean-up was repeated.

Health of staff working in the classrooms and doing the cleaning, is a concern also.

Lynn mentioned that sometimes a parent, mother, appears to be under the influence when dropping off a youngster.

Confidentiality is required, but there is also a requirement that all workers in government, in school, in community volunteer organizations, health services, report observations that a child may be endangered.

The Housing team will go back any number of times.

And to other programs upon request.

Jace Patt, of Sioux Valley, spoke for a while on Thursday, and more the following day.

The first day, he spent most of his time recalling old Dakota stories and legends handed down by his grandfather, who along with his grandmother, raised him.

But he began by pointing out what's wrong here, what's a root cause for the problems associated with meth.

The "family system is broken," he said.

"We are separated."

People have been pulled apart.

But the solution?

Pretty simple, really.

"Let's connect."

"Even the meth addicts … hold them up in our circle."

The solution is "to show them love."

"Show that each person is important," he said.

"Got out and love someone on meth."

About himself, Jace said "I am not smarter than anyone else … just figured out we all need love … and care for our roots."

"Don't be stuck in the past," he said. "Be in the now."

Rick Thomas, Isanti, who along with his brother Ron came to the summit from Nebraska, spoke out.

He talked about suffering personally from PTSD after serving in Vietnam.

Rick told of his experiences, clinical and through cultural and spiritual healing.

About meth addiction, he said "It takes a unique prayer to deal with meth."

But spirituality, he affirmed, is the only solution.

A theme echoed by many who spoke.

He said that he had not done so today (Thursday) but that "tomorrow we should bury the lance."

As it turned out, Rick had to leave, but his brother remained for Friday's session and provided prayer and healing insights of his own.

Crystal Owen wrapped up the day by saying "Thank you for being so attentive."

And …

"The best way to treat (meth addiction) is not easy … but remembering who we are as Dakota and re-energizing our spirit."

Final thought of the day, provided by Crystal:

"For your assignment, go home and tell your family members you love them."

The "assignment" was part of the overall idea of not excluding those family members who are suffering with addiction.

Friday's session began with music videos playing on the overhead screen, calling attention to the cries especially of young people battling broken family and social/community support systems and the lure of drugs.

A slide on the screen contained this ancient Native American saying:

Everything on earth

Has a purpose

Every disease an

Herb to cure it

This is the Indian

Theory of existence


Lori Walking Eagle gave a presentation on what is happening at Rosebud to battle the tide of meth.

First, she explained that while there is a notion that small meth labs are providing the drugs.

That is not the case, she said.

Yes, there are some.

But most comes from cartels off the reservations.

She gave a list of the toxic potion, the deadly chemicals that do into making meth.

Lori went in depth into the symptoms of meth abuse (some shared the previous day).

She also spoke of paying close attention to vehicles and people going in and out of places or houses where you suspect there is drug dealing or use going on.

"Everyone has a responsibility to report."

Holding back, out of unwillingness to "tell" on family members, relatives or friends, is the wrong thing to do. It only allows meth to get a stronger hold in the communities.

Okay. We have someone stopped now.

We must get them adequate treatment.

This is lacking locally, and sometimes the wait to get into a treatment facility equipped to handle the long-term treatment for meth users is lengthy.

Services are stretched too thin, and are pretty much non-existent on the reservations in South Dakota.

Lori reported that her program has got a recidivism rate of between 80 and 90 percent.

So, even if a meth abuser is taken out of the circumstances of the active addiction, taken away, treated, then returned to his home community … he/she is still most likely to fall back into the addiction.

So, again, the need for creating new resources locally, is underscored at the summit.

Jace Pratt again addressed the summit, this time from the stage. Doing what he is well known for – sharing intuition, knowledge of Dakota history and culture, and his quick wit.

Causes of addiction, he explained, stem from having "lost our relationship with self … makes it difficult to connect with others."

"We need to trust our own intuition," he said, "and connect" with who we are.

If we've had abuse or neglect in our past, he believes "We're afraid of being ourselves … (thinking) we're unworthy of affection, of love."

Especially those of us who are "rejected by society … rejected by family."

Here's a piece of advice he offered:

"If a person makes you feel connected, stay; if a person makes you feel alone, separate from them."

We learn connection at our earliest age, Jace explained.

If we are rejected, we are likely to remain disconnected.

But connection is still possible.

"Embrace life as fully or as much as you can."

"Become the person you wish others would be."

And "learn from happy people."

"How do we change ourselves?" Because "we have to do it first before asking others to change."

"Be serious about our emotions. Open your heart."


*You don't "do" anything to earn respect. You are simply to be respected.

*Bad spirit. If you come to a bad spirit, feed it, offer it food, and it will go away. (This was taught to him by his grandfather.)

Holding onto inner conflict will not change anything. Its tension will only tighten you up: "Relax your sphincter muscles!"

He guided everyone through an exercise in clearing the chakras of the body and allowing first blue healing light, then white light to pulse down through the body and then out through the crown and through the hands and out into the aura – or energy envelope that surrounds all living things.

He talked about meditating to move through pain, to "let her go … let go and to be free…."

Say to Creator, "Use me."

"Allow Creator to work through you … to be a service, not a box."

"Let Creator take over. Put aside ego."

"Each one of us has this in us," he said.

He talked about how he struggled with anger and other issues, how he worked to set aside pain of his past.

He called it "decolonizing myself."

(Jace spoke and gave video demonstration of how people have been forced into a discordant system tuned to 440 hertz from 432 hertz, which is closer to the heartbeat and rhythm of Ina Makoce. The chaos in music is part of what is wrong with society. Anyone interested, do a Google search for 432 hz on the internet. For myself, since becoming more aware about what is wrong with society, I tune all my instruments to 432.)

He spoke about traditional Dakota parenting, where adults would sit on the ground so as to not be overbearing with the little ones.

"It is traditional," he said, "to acknowledge the little ones."

He told a story that had been handed down about Crazy Horse the warrior.

"We honor Crazy Horse," he said. "But we should honor his mother."

"It was his other who created and built him to be a warrior for his people."

When he was a small boy, there was a season when the hunters of his village gathered very little game.

There was pitiful little food for everyone.

Someone brought a small bit of food into his family's tipi and whispered to his mother that this food was only enough to sustain their family, that they must keep quiet about it for it would not be enough to feed others.

But, having learned from his mother, and not hearing the whispering, young Crazy Horse went all through the village, shouting.

"Come, we have food."

"Come, we will share."

And so elders from all through the village gathered around the tipi where Crazy Horse lived.

They sang prayers of thanks for this young man who would feed his people, who would be there always to help them in their times of need.

And so, he was.

Had he not learned from his mother, perhaps he would have allowed the food to be hidden and not become the great warrior he was.

Meth is part of "a war upon ourselves," said Jace.

How we win this war, he explained, is by "being who we are as Dakota people."

"We are a cooperative people, not authoritarian … (we have a) true democracy."

He told of striving to live these seven values:

1. Prayer (connecting to Creator, love, energy, source).

2. Generosity (but be generous with yourself as well as others).

3. Compassion (hold a good image of yourself and of others).

4. Honesty (lying may have become a tool, but root it out).

5. Wisdom (think for yourself, understand who you are, and seek your truth).

6. Humility (teaches us stability, stabilizes our life, ego becomes less in control).

7. Respect (self and others). (Note: Actually, Jace forgot to cite this one, so we're adding it because it fits! And it was implied in much of what he was saying.)

Following these values, he said, and "Addiction will be a thing of the past."

Remember, he added, "It's us … not them."

"Fear can destroy us; its opposite is connection."

And even speaking of "meth" can add to its power. So play it down.

Be mindful. "Listen to self, to my own heart."

And "Be present for self and for others."

To all: "Be the strongest person you can be; become an inspiration as you face the world."

Tell yourself: "I love me."

(Note: Our report doesn't do Jace Pratt justice. Wish we had a video but we don't. He's an amazing young Dakota akicita.)

Someone else who grabbed the attention and hearts of everyone there on Friday was Brandi Eastman.

There were a number of times on both days when what was shared brought tears to lots of eyes. This was one of those times, while Brandi was sharing.

Brandi got together the courage to speak out about her journey from addiction to being the recovering addict of today – with 17 months "clean and sober" and a strong will and heart, and hope she will remain on this road.

She began talking about her faith in the 12-steps of Alcoholic Anonymous.

Just substitute some of the words, she said, for alcohol was not what brought her down.

It was meth.

"You might think of us (addicts) as just looking to get high … but we are suffering … in pain."

We are not what you think we are, she told people.

In Brandi's case, her family, life with her children, slipped away as she fell farther and farther into life with the disease of addiction.

She used meth with a needle.

Finally, it was being made to go to jail that caused her to face up to what she had to deal with.

"If it weren't for jail," she said, "I wouldn't be here."

She went through treatment.

Even now she finds support from a community away from home, away from the Reservation, in Sioux Falls.

There are meetings often, places where she and family can go every day, for support.

Brandi wants to come home, but knows that the support services are not available here.

This, several others commented, has to be changed.

The Lake Traverse Reservation must have programs and places for those who have gone through rehab when they return.

Family is often fractured from the damage caused by the addiction, but the family member/addict under its control.

In Brandi's case, her mother and family are preparing the way for reconnection.

Her mom and others in her family spoke, telling Brandi how proud they are not only for her recovery work but for speaking out.

Telling her of their love for her … that was big.

It's what all of our families torn apart by addiction need to have happen.

How will it happen?

By following the "solutions" that are in each of us. By accepting and loving those who are ill, but not allowing them to take advantage of us. By getting them to places where a start on the road to recovery is possible. Even if that means time in jail.

"From the desk of Geri Opsal, Tribal Veteran Service Officer"

Phone 605-698-3388

*ATTENTION ALL VETERANS: Please see the notice in this week's Sota for the Native American Veteran Homeowner Workshop to be held on Thursday, February 4, 2016 at DCC from 1200-400 PM in the non -smoking conference room at Dakota Connection. We will have Trent Kolden, NADL Minneapolis here as well as our local group that all play a part In paperwork for the NADL loan. If you have any questions please call me at 698-3388. This is a benefit that you earned so let us help you utilize it.

*State and Tribal Relations Day hosted by SD Department of Tribal Relations (Steve Emery, Janet Jessup, Kathy Alpan) was held last week in Pierre. The theme of the event was "Honoring our Veterans." SDDVA Secretary Zimmerman and Department staff played a big role in the State Tribal Relations celebration. Staff and Tribal Veterans Service Officers briefed tribal officials on veteran's healthcare, processing claims, education programs, on-the-job training, home loans, veteran owned business loans, veterans courts and the state veterans home. SWO TVSO office also manned a booth at the Capitol. Thanks to Brice Roberts and Jessie Chanku for guarding our Congressional Medal of Honor & Code Talker Medal. We were the only booth with the honor of being in the Rotunda – all other booths were put in the hallway. The two-day event concluded with ceremonial programs and award presentations. The Department appreciated the outstanding working relationship we have with tribal veterans service officers and the Department of Tribal Affairs. SWO was well represented by being a presenter for the Tribal Veterans Court; 2 Commanders and 1 Vice Commander attended. Delano Renville, Commander American Legion Post #314, Danielle DeCoteau, Commander Desert Era, Jessie Chanku, Vice Commander Desert Era Veterans. FYI: This is my favorite part of the Governors speech! (And for those discussing best practices, there are many models right in our back yard. The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Veterans Office has partnered with courts, treatment providers, and human service organizations to establish the first - and only - Tribal veteran court option in the State of South Dakota. The mission of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Tribal Veterans Court is to promote the wellness of Native American Veterans and provide a coordinated community response that seeks to heal, restore, and reintegrate veterans into their communities. This specialized treatment court recognizes the unique challenges that veterans may face, and equips them to overcome those challenges.) Thanks for this all goes to Judge BJ Jones and Rhonda Fatland who run our Tribal Veterans Court - I want to give them many thanks for all they do for our Veterans. Nina Pidamaya!

*Aaron Tippin, country music star, will perform at the Valentines for Veterans concert February 6, 2016. The concert takes place at 3:00 PM at the Washington Pavilion at 301 S. Main Avenue in Sioux Falls. It is the fourth Valentines for Veterans concert the Sioux Falls VA Health Care System has hosted during National Salute to Veterans Month. Thanks to donated funding, VA is able to provide area veterans up to two complimentary concert tickets with reserved seating, while they last. The Great Hall at the Pavilion is expected to be filled with veterans, their family members, and friends who share their pride in country and military service. Veterans may call 605-333-6806 or 333-6851 to request free tickets.


*WOMEN VETERANS CALL CENTER: 1-855-VA-WOMEN. Crisis Help Line: 1-800-273-8255, available 24/7, and tell them you are a veteran. All calls are confidential.

*INCLEMENT WEATHER: Please call my cell 268-0502 if you need assistance during snow storms. I will do my best to assist you however possible. And younger veterans please check on any older Veterans you may know of … thank you!

*REMEMBER: We are here to serve you our fellow Veteran, widows, dependents. And also you see a Veteran shake their hand---that small gesture means a great deal to them! Call us at 698-3388 or cell 268-0502.

*American Legion Post #314- Delano Renville, Commander Cell: # 268-0354 / Vietnam Veterans Kit Fox Society - Phone: # 698-3901 ask for Doc / Desert Era Veterans - Danielle DeCoteau, Commander Cell#: 268-1765. For GAS ASSISTANCE: Geri Opsal 698-3388.

Have a good week.

Geri Opsal, Tribal VSO.

Note: The Governor gave the address at the Capitol Rotunda and gave much recognition to Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate TVSO Veterans Office for having the first successful Tribal Veterans Court in the state out of all nine tribes. He asked all the tribes to emulate our program.

Talking Points of Speech

By Governor Daugaard

Good afternoon and welcome! I greet each of you all with a good heart and a warm handshake and welcome you to State Tribal Relations Day.

-    Today we are celebrating State-Tribal relationships, but we are also honoring our veterans - an undertaking that can never be limited to one day. We gather to recognize those among our citizens who have made great sacrifices in the name of Duty - Honor - and Country.

-    To begin my remarks, I want to recognize the staff members from the Department of Tribal Relations. Together with Secretary Emery, the leader of the Department, these individuals are the face in a meeting or voice on the phone: Kathy Aplan, Janet Jessup, David Reiss.

Working alongside the Department of Tribal Relations on this year's events is the SD Department of Veterans Affairs. I wish to thank Secretary Zimmerman and his staff for their time and contributions in planning this year's State-Tribal Relations Day events. Please stand and be recognized.

After our program today, we are going to have a lunch of Indian Tacos prepared by McIntosh Culinary Students from Corson County. This meal is made possible because of the gracious donations by Intertribal Bison Council and Lakota Thrifty Mart in Eagle Butte.

State Tribal Relations Day and the events surrounding it, are designed to recognize successes in Indian Country, discuss these best practices, shared concerns, learn about opportunities, and contribute to the ever improving the foundation for partnership between the State, nine tribes, and federal programs. For those who have presented, listened, learned, and tabled, I thank you for your participation and contribution to this incredible important dialogue.

And for those discussing best practices, there are many models right in our back yard. The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Veterans Office has partnered with courts, treatment providers, and human service organizations to establish the first - and only - Tribal veteran court option in the State of South Dakota. The mission of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Tribal Veterans Court is to promote the wellness of Native American Veterans and provide a coordinated community response that seeks to heal, restore, and reintegrate veterans into their communities. This specialized treatment court recognizes the unique challenges that veterans may face, and equips them to overcome those challenges.

The Standing Rock Tribal Veterans Office is another entity that has distinguished itself, and dedicated itself to serving the needs tribal veterans. Tribal Veterans Service Officer Manaja Hill was honored last year as Veteran Service Officer of the Year for his outstanding commitment to veterans, work with homeless veterans, compensated work therapy program, communication with veterans and outreach coordination.

At the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, they recognize the multiple needs of veterans - work, healthcare, housing, cultural identity - and work to address all these aspects collectively.

Our veterans have paid a mighty price for those liberties that preserve our Nation, our State, and our communities. The State of South Dakota recognizes that, and so do the nine tribes that share our borders.

As part of its continued dedication to serving the needs of the veterans, in 2013 the South Dakota Legislature approved funding for the new Michael J. Fitzmaurice State Veterans Home in Hot Springs. The original Veterans Home was built in 1889, and was in desperate need of improvement. With the support of the South Dakota legislature, Secretary Zimmerman and his dedicated staff of the SD Department of Veterans Affairs, and hundreds more unnamed doers - this new resource for South Dakota veterans is a reality. Just a few weeks ago, veterans were able to move into the new facility, and a grand opening is scheduled for later this spring.

Providing for the needs of our veterans is one important way to honor them.

Another way to accomplish this worthy goal, is to remember them once they are no longer with us. During World War I and World War II, over two hundred tribal members from South Dakota served in the United States Military, using their language to send covert messages. These codes were never broken and their use saved untold lives. It was a secret kept under guard by the military after fighting ended - and more impressively - guarded by those whose words had changes the course of history. Tribal Code Talkers, who Lakota, Nakota, and Dakota words had saved lives and preserved freedom for the United States and her allies, making an undeniable mark on the history of our nation and State.

Veteran Service Officers have worked with the Departments of Tribal Relations and Veterans Affairs to design a Code Talker Memorial to accompany those monuments already in place around Capitol Lake. Sioux Falls artist Darwin Wolfe has been secured to aid the creation of this vision, and the South Dakota Community Foundation has become a partner to assist in raising funds for this worthy endeavor.

This history was highlighted this this last year by the South Dakota National Guard which hosted a state-wide tour. The Guard hosted a series of public events at which the Gold Medals of Honor received by seven tribal nations were on display and the sacrifice of Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota veterans were recognized. This tour ended with a special ceremony at Crazy Horse Memorial on Veterans Day with over 600 attendees, all celebrating the contribution of Native American Veterans to American success in foreign conflicts.

Remembering the history of the Code Talkers and the contribution of Native American veterans echoes the sentiment that we will never forget the sacrifices that all veterans have made for our country.

Before we end, I would like to ask those veterans that are among us - Army, Navy, Marine, Air Force, Coast Guard, Reserves, and Guardsmen - if you are able, please stand so that we may thank you.

The debt of gratitude we owe you for your sacrifices, and those of your comrades, cannot be paid. In its place, please except our humble appreciation, our heartfelt thanks, and our well earned respect.

Thank you and GOD Bless.

Veterans artwork sought for competition

The Sioux Falls VA Health Care System encourages Veterans who want to share their artistic side to enter visual art, including woodworking, painting, leatherwork, needlework, paper crafts, and more for the local competition for the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival.

Veterans who receive care from the Sioux Falls VA Medical Center or one of the five VA community based outpatient clinics are eligible to participate and may enter up to two pieces. The pieces must have been created within the last year and submitted no later than February 22, 2016.

Entries will be displayed March 3, 2016 for the public's viewing from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM in the fourth floor auditorium of the Sioux Falls VA Medical Center. A reception and awards ceremony will take place at 2:00 PM. Veteran artists will have the opportunity to enter the National Veterans Creative Arts competition, which will take place in Jackson, Mississippi in October 2016.

Employees will also display their arts and crafts during this show but will not compete with Veterans.

For more information about submitting artwork, contact Shirley Redmond at 605-333-6889 or Diane Larsen at 605-336-3230, Ext. 6248 or 6418.

Sioux Falls VA to host annual variety show

The Sioux Falls Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System invites Sioux Falls area residents to the 26th annual VA Variety Show Saturday, March 12, 2016. Veterans of all ages and branches of the service, volunteers and VA staff will share their talents in comedy, vocal music, skits, magic, and more. This annual event was created by Recreation Therapy staff in 1990 to demonstrate that creativity and talent have no boundaries.

Veterans interested in an audition may contact Diane Larsen at 605-373-4143 or 605-336-3230, Ext. 6418. Volunteers are also needed behind the scenes.

The show takes place at 2:00 PM in the fourth floor auditorium. It is one of the activities to honor Veterans during the National Salute to Veteran Patients. There is no admission cost. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend.

Refreshments will be served.

Partners in Policymaking at Pierre

South Dakota Partners in Policymaking Class of 2016 are pictured meeting with Governor Daugaard at the state capitol. Picture shared by Sierra Wolcott, SWO member and member of the Policymaking Class.

What is Partners in Policymaking?

Partners in Policymaking is an innovative leadership and advocacy training opportunity designed to involve and empower people with developmental disabilities, parents of children with disabilities and other family members. It requires a serious commitment by each participant during the course of the training, as well as after graduation. The expectation is that each Partner will commit to actively use the skills learned to encourage positive changes in the areas of community awareness, sensitivity, accessibility, and inclusion for people with disabilities.


Provide state-of-the-art information on disability issues and services to participants; Build competencies so participants may become advocates who effectively influence public officials and other policymakers; Develop understanding of policymaking and legislative processes at the local, state and federal levels; Foster productive partnerships between policymakers and people needing and using services.

Human Trafficking and Slavery are very real

By Vi Waln

Sicangu Scribe

January is National Stalking Awareness Month. President Barack Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation stating: "Every person deserves to live freely and without the fear of being followed or harassed. Stalking is a violation of our fundamental freedoms, and it insults our most basic values as a Nation. Often perpetrated by those we know — and sometimes by strangers — stalking is a serious offense that occurs too frequently and goes unreported in too many cases."

President Obama also proclaimed January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. He states "One hundred and fifty years ago, our Nation codified the fundamental truth that slavery is an affront to human dignity. Still, the bitter fact remains that millions of men, women, and children around the globe, including here at home, are subject to modern-day slavery: the cruel, inhumane practice of human trafficking. This month, we rededicate ourselves to assisting victims of human trafficking and to combating it in all its forms."

Lakota people living on the homelands are in denial about the prevalence of both stalking and human trafficking. Despite the denial you might have about stalking or human slavery and trafficking, they are very prevalent in our area. Stalking, slavery and trafficking could even be affecting your relatives.

Stalking is not limited to a man following a woman around. Men will stalk men and women will stalk women. This crime is committed blatantly every day here on our homelands. Law enforcement needs to take reports of stalking on our homelands more seriously.

Also, with the growing number of people addicted to various kinds of drugs on our homelands, we will likely see even more instances of human trafficking. Human trafficking is slavery. People are basically kidnapped and then sold to others for sex. There is no discrimination in human trafficking. Men, women, teenagers and children are at risk of being exploited.

In October 2014, I attended a Department of Justice Consultation on the Violence Against Women Act. Tribal leaders from several tribes were in attendance at this meeting. Brendan Johnson was our US Attorney at that time. He was instrumental in prosecuting several offenders involved in human trafficking. Here is an excerpt of his remarks from that consultation:

"Some of the women who have disappeared have been a part of commercial sex trafficking. Here in South Dakota there have been about 20 different individuals who have received federal life sentences for commercial sex trafficking, there were 3 of them in the last 4 years. We have had close to a 100 victims of commercial sex trafficking here, 40-50% of those victims have been Native American females."

"Two of those victims were from the Rosebud Reservation. They had just arrived in Sioux Falls and didn't have a penny in their pocket. The trafficker picked them up on Minnesota Avenue just by the Wendy's restaurant and during their time there he would give them alcohol and drugs. Then he would bring men over from the meat packing plant to have sex with these women and they would pay him to have sex with them. If they refused he would rape them. This is something we need to work on together, we all have a role to play in stopping the sex trafficking of Native American women."

Many of our women leave the homelands to find work in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Pierre and other metropolitan areas. Their migration to these places is not without risk. Like Johnson stated, many arrive in these cities broke and without a place to live. They are vulnerable to active pimps, who will stalk them to take advantage of their homelessness, as well as their alcohol or drug additions, to immediately force them into sex slavery.

Our people are the most valuable resource we have. There are so many instances occurring where Lakota people are going missing. Some of them may have been kidnapped and sold as human slaves. Children are missing from countless communities in this country. Unfortunately, many of these missing children, teens and adults are likely being trafficked for profit as human slaves.

Our women and children are sacred. They do not deserve to be stalked or trafficked. I encourage you to help your relatives as much as you can. If they move to the city, be sure to check on their well-being with a phone call or a visit. Contact the authorities if you believe a relative or someone else is being held against their will.

Human trafficking and slavery are very real here in South Dakota. Educate yourself and your family members about stalking, human trafficking and slavery. The continued denial of these crimes has to end.

The political monster of corruption

By Vi Waln

Sicangu Scribe

I am a tribal employee. Before I was hired in my present position, I served on the tribal grievance committee. I've also served on many other tribal boards, committees and commissions. As a journalist, I sat in on many tribal council and committee meetings. Thus, I've studied how tribal personnel issues are handled from many angles. Unfortunately, I've witnessed countless instances of excellent employees losing their jobs over petty politics.

When you are employed at a job on your own reservation, you often find you have a difficult time. That is, things can get political really fast when you are a tribal employee. In many instances, good workers are treated unfairly due to corruption and the destructive nature of tribal politics. Oftentimes, employees are fired when they attempt to do the right thing by reporting the wrongdoing of a supervisor or co-worker.

There are also many times when tribal employees have had their rights blatantly violated on Rosebud. Yet, nothing seems to be done about the wrongs committed by people in power. When employees are treated unfairly, perhaps even wrongfully terminated from a job, they are often completely ignored by the people charged with the responsibility to make the situation right.

It's no fun when you're frustrated over a situation beyond your control. People who are wronged by tribal directors, or elected officials, sometimes just give up seeking justice for their situation. I don't blame them. It takes a lot of energy to stand up against the reservation monsters of corruption and tribal politics.

For example, the story I did on how the Chief of Police's employment was handled has been read by many people. I applaud Kevin Swalley for his courage in continuing to fight for the job he was hired for over a year ago. It isn't easy standing up for yourself against an entire tribal administration. He is not alone.

Last summer, I had a conversation with a former tribal employee who resigned because he grew weary of the corruption and politics he witnessed for many years at his workplace. He told me some very interesting things about how federal property and money was being misused. He did post some information on social media. The result of his social media post prompted a discussion on cyberbullying at a tribal council meeting.

I didn't see any evidence of cyberbullying in his social media post. I admired his courage in putting the information out there for us to read. We deserve to be kept informed about what is happening in our tribal programs. So, when directors and elected officials fail to tell their people what's really going on, it's generally up to you and I to provide information for everyone to read. We are the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. We all have a right to know what happens in our tribal programs and government.

Last week I got an email from an employee who was terminated from his job when he tried to file a complaint about his supervisor. His email stated in part "I applaud you for having the courage to tell the Oyate of the tribe the truth of what is going on. I would like to meet with you about another story which involves a corrupt director and a corrupt tribal president. I have all documentation to prove the entire story."

I also spoke with a tribal director who was recently terminated from his position. Apparently, he fired an employee for reasons he didn't divulge to me. He told me the terminated employee went straight to the tribal president. Soon, the fired employee was reinstated in another position and the tribal director was terminated. The director was also told by a tribal official in the personnel department that he could not file a grievance against the tribal president.

However, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Personnel Policies and Procedures does state in part: "The decision of the Tribal President to suspend or terminate may be appealed to either the Tribal Council (as scheduled by the Tribal Secretary) or to the Grievance Committee." (p. 40)

There are also employee rights being violated every day in tribally chartered organizations. Some of the things that go on in our tribal programs and chartered entities would make you sick if you knew about them. I grow weary listening to wronged people tell me their stories.

Unfortunately, there are many people sitting in positions of power on Rosebud who lack personal integrity. Many of their actions are unethical. There are elected officials and tribal directors who condone wrongdoing.

The tribe tends to treat their own people very badly. This isn't right. We must do right by our people. We could be encouraging our people to be honest and ethical in their jobs. But instead our excellent workers are terminated, in many cases for attempting to report wrongdoing in the program they work for. It doesn't have to be this way.

We are responsible for showing our children how to do the right thing. But many of us are not acting very responsibly. It's up to each one of us to ensure our tribe moves forward with integrity. Our children deserve adults who act ethically in all they do. It's time to stop disappointing them.

If you believe you have been unjustly fired from your tribal job, I strongly encourage you to file a grievance. Don't give up. Keep fighting for your rights, no matter how long it takes. Justice is often slow on the reservation, but if you don't give up, things will work out in your favor.

The star players on the corruption and tribal politics teams are counting on you to drop the ball. They want you to give up your pursuit of justice. Don't let them win. Karma always sees to it that people get exactly what they deserve.

Part V –

Winter 2015 General Council reports

By CD Floro

Sota Editor

Coverage of the Winter 2015 general council kicked off with a narrative report by Sierra Wolcott, Assistant Sota Editor. Summaries of the written reports submitted by programs have followed. This week's summaries begin with SWO ET Demo.


Dawn A. Eagle, Program Manager.

Heminger, Chris - Data Entry Specialst

Janisch, Elizabeth - Case/Office Manager

Wright, Amy - Case Mgr/Intake Spec

Quinn Jr., Darrell - Child Care Specialist

Rosso, Bev - GED Tutor

Kranhold, Denise - Career Dev Coordinator

Program summary:

To provide employment training services which will positively impact the social, economic, and educational well-being of tribal members and other Native Americans who reside on the Lake Traverse Reservation.

2015 Goas and Objectives:

1.  Improve the effectiveness of the program and services through integration of various Federal programs.

2.  Reduce joblessness within the Lake Traverse Reservation.

3.  Serve tribally determined social-economic goals consistent with policies of self-determination.

4.  Promote individual family responsibility and self-sufficiency while preserving and strengthening the family structure.

5.  Reduce administrative costs by consolidating administrative functions that would be required by various federal agencies.

2015 Measurable Results:

56 families received child care assistance

84 children received child care services

Program provided services for 7 child care providers Program provided services to 315 individuals

227 were adult participants

88 participated in Youth Work experience

535 individuals received some type of support services which helped them obtain or retain employment

or participate in training. The Program served 220 TANF cases

131 single parent cases

89 child only cases

Unresolved problems and needs:

In 2014, the GED went totally computerized which has been a detriment to our non-traditional students. This is a trend across Indian Country but it also has affected the State of SD numbers as well.


1.  Work with other tribal GED sites and/or State of South Dakota Department of Education officials to have the state recognize other test protocols such as the HiSET and NCRC, etc.

2.  Work on implementation of electronic TANF disbursements

3.  Work with Child Support Enforcement office to implement 100% pass through for collections

Elderly Nutrition Program

 Betty Jo Kirk, Program Manager

Wanna, Angel - Data Entry Clerk

Finley, Rita - Head Cook

Kohl, Bernadette - Assistant Cook

DeMarrias, Jacob - Head Van Driver

Renville, Darrell - Van Driver/Maint

Crawford, Joyce - Van Driver/Maint

Eastman, Eunice - Adult Day Care

Hinze, Tamara, - Cook - ES Center

Keeble, Mary - Ass't Cook – ES

Keeble, Gabriel - Driver/Maint. ES

Program summary:

1)  Provides congregate and home-delivered meals to elders, Monday through Friday of each week.

2)  Data collection on the number of congregate and home-delivered meals each day.

3)  Record keeping of the number of miles driven each day, re: home deliveries, and other transportation provided to elders.

4)  Keeps accurate record of monthly fuel purchases for the tax office

5)  Provide applications for home-delivered meals and in-take form for other services.

6)  Provide activities for our elders in the center and at the elder complexes.

7)  Complete monthly reports for the office of the Tribal Secretary and to the state of South Dakota Title III, C office of the number of meals served.

2015 Goals and objectives:

1)  To research for funding opportunities to purchase new vehicles and to replace our bus so the program can transported elders in wheel chairs; and

2)  To provide more services to our homebound elders and to provide a falls prevention program.

2015 Measurable results:

The elderly nutrition program served 11,587 congregate meals (both centers) and home-delivered 33,130 meals to our handicapped and fragile elders. In addition, transportation was provided to 686 elders and 610 elders received some type of services in their home and 602 elders received health assessments through the Indian Health Service. The program received 13,560 telephone calls that provided elders with a direct service or were referral to other community programs.

2015 unresolved problems and needs:

1) The elderly nutrition program is still in need of a new bus and 3 other vehicles to provide transportation to our elders and to deliver home meals.

Recommendations for 2016 program:

1.) Develop a falls prevention program to ensure as much as possible the safety of an elder in their home.

Food Distribution

Mark Thompson Sr., Program Manager

Renville, Linda - Asst. Mgr.

Thompson, Gerald Jr. – Foreman

German, Heidi - Cert/Secretary

Johnson, Kingsmill – Warehouseman

Bernard, Harold – Warehouseman

Lincoln, John - Warehouseman

Program summary:

The Food Distribution on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) is administrated at the Federal Level to provide food for low income families.


To provide assistant to low income families on our reservation and surrounding counties.

2015 Measurable results:

The FDP food package provides healthy food choices to promote a healthier lifestyle.


Zelma Flute, Program Manager/Enrollment Officer

Jennifer Adams, Enrollment Clerk

Program Summary:

The SWO Enrollment Office has been proactive in assisting our Tribal members in applying for their Social Security cards, assisting in finding addresses for the Whereabouts Unknown for the Cobell Settlement for a Law Firm out of Washington D.C. The Council had requested to check into the Dual Enrollments with other Tribes. The few that were have been contacted and the individuals have relinquished their memberships. Awaiting several more to complete their relinquishments in other tribes.

The staff of two are busy with email, phone calls, correspondence with individuals on a daily basis. People coming in for their Tribal ID's are done on a daily basis. Processing applications and correspondence to individuals were necessary as there were many applications submitted unaware that the 1/8th degree of Indian blood amendment was not approved.

Goals and Objectives of the Program:

The Enrollment Ordinance/Code Chapter Two needs to be updated and directed by Council to review the draft submitted previously be reviewed for changes; for which, the Code still needs to be worked on. There are eight new Parts to this fourteen page draft Code. We are still completing reports for the deceased for probate purposes. The people, programs, other Tribes, and entities have responded to the quick service we provide. The SWO has enrolled for the FY2015 three-hundred and twenty-seven new enrollees, relinquished seven members, and there have been sixty-eight deceased reports both on and off-reservation. Monthly generated specific reports such age ranges, birthdays, addresses are given to the SWO Programs for their specific programs and/or grant applications.

Unresolved problems and needs:

The Enrollment Office needs an additional staffing as the workload is huge. A receptionist is needed as we have other duties not pertaining to enrollment. Our equipment is adequate but our Tribal Progeny is updated at least twice a year and a lot of wear on our ID works.

The recommendations for the Enrollment Office is to get a receptionist to assist in filing, taking messages, handing or mailing out applications and assisting our many members coming to our office for copies. These are provided daily and pertain to our members when they are applying for services in other programs.

SWO Tribal Education

Dr. Sherry Johnson, Tribal Education Coordinator/Program Manager

Cadotte, Amber – Office Manager

Haines, Bonnie – Education Specialist

Larsen, Heather – Research Specialist

Program summary:

*In January 2015, the Education Codes were updated and approved, adding in the required full background checks for all education boards and an education drug amendment. " The Research Codes for the newly formed Research Office was drafted and passed after adhering to the full judicial process.

*The Tribal Education Department in collaboration with Tiospa Zina Tribal School developed the first ever Driver's Education class for all tribal students. Sisseton Wahpeton school board approved the program and will sustain it here after. The funding came through a Transportation/Safety grant for education.

*The Education Department in collaboration with Construction Management was awarded a Transportation/Safety grant that implemented the initiatives: driver's education program, bike safety, seat belt safety, impaired driving training, mock crash emergency exercise, parent car seat training and school bus safety.

*Bike Safety component has been completed at all seven (7) districts and the youth health fair. All students participating received bike safety training and a helmet.

*The Tribal Education Department collaborated with Health Education in submitting for a grant, that was approved, for our first ever tribal initiated research project - PRAMS (Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System). Especially notable is that this the first survey that includes the fathers data.

*In collaboration with other educational entities organized the annual Career Day for local public and tribal school students.

*The Education Department assisted in the organizing of the annual Jeopardy Dakota Oyate Challenge in Huron, South Dakota.

*In supporting Tiospa Zina Tribal School the education department joined the homecoming parade. "   Refer to State of Education Report for Additional Information.

2015 Goals and objectives:

*To ensure education is effective, appropriate and relevant to provide a means to prepare tribal members for life.

*To work collaboratively with all education providers for the attainment of academic excellence and high, but realistic expectations for all students.

*To review the condition of education and develop programs and policies to meet specific goals and objectives.

*To promote competence in Dakota Language and knowledge of Dakota culture, government, economics and environment.

2015 Program concerns and needs:

*Achievement of native students

*Appropriate education for all

*Local community and healthy relationship building

*Networks for native student information

*Dakota Language loss

Recommendations for 2016 program year:

*Education Strategic Plan

*Transportation Strategic Plan

*Accreditation process in place

2015 Measurable results: 2015 State of Education Report (published separately from the General Council book).

Higher Education Program

Janell Williams, Program Manager

Program Summary:

The Higher Education Program has distributed program funds to tribal members attending a post-secondary institution both on and off reservation.

20154 Goals and objectives:

*Promote Cultural Awareness.

*Provide post-secondary benefits to pay or reimburse in whole or in part tuition costs and living expenses (both on and off-campus) to eligible enrolled members of the Tribe at the undergraduate and graduate level.

*Networking with Tribal education entities.

*Increase tribal member attendance in post-secondary education and degree completion.

*Comply with all applicable policies and procedures.

*Identify and recommend scholarship opportunities.

Graduation rates among SWO members have increased slightly each year and about 36% of students who graduate with an undergraduate degree continue into a graduate degree plan within two years of graduating from a four year.

For each budgeting fiscal year there are three (3) semesters included as indicated on Table B. there were 333 SWO members who received program funding, 293 students were at the undergraduate level and 40 were at the graduate level. Students enrolled in the graduate programs averaged a total of 12 credit hours per student for one semester. The undergraduate level students averaged 12 credit hours per student for one semester. This is based on the fall and spring semesters only. There were 57 students who completed and received the Certificate/Diploma Incentive, 9 students earned a degree at the graduate level. 48 students earned a degree at the undergraduate level.


22-2 year degree

20-4 year degree

8- Master's level


There were 26 students working toward their degree using an online school, 20 were at the undergraduate level and 6 at the graduate level. 73 students were enrolled at the local college and 260 students live and attend school off reservation.

During FY2010 to FY2014 the program averaged between 366-414 SWO members who attended college. During 2015 the student participation has reached the projected goal for the year. The program averages about 10-15 new students each year and is based from the number of students who earn their degree from the previous year.

For FY2016 the program is projecting 360 SWO members will participate in the program funding and 330 students will complete two semesters. Two students will earn a degree at the graduate level and 25 students will earn a degree at the undergraduate level. The numbers are based on the increase of tribal members who enroll at a post-secondary school and apply for the program funding.

The program policy and procedure manual is reviewed annually.

2015 Unresolved Problems and Needs:

Funding increase that will include student honors such as dean's list or presidential honors and the diploma incentive award amount increase.

Recommendations for 2016 Program year:

The program will continue to collaborate with educational entities to find solution that will increase rates for attendance.

Leo A Daly Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Architecture/Engineering Scholarship:

This scholarship is established for the further educational advancement of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate students with priority to its enrolled members that are committed to enroll in a major area of study related to the architecture or engineering disciplines. Students must be a junior or senior undergraduate at an accredited post-secondary college or university with a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 out of a 4.0 grading scale and be enrolled full-time each semester. This scholarship does not fund summer semesters.

SWO Head Start

Lynn Halbert, Program Manager.

Head Start programs has three site locations with 47: 1) Early Head Start (0-3 year olds) Old Agency 10 teachers and 5 support staff; 2) Head Start (3-5 year olds) Old Agency 14 teachers 14 teacher aides 11 support staff; 3) Enemy Swim Head Start (3-4 year olds) Enemy Swim 1 teacher 1 teacher aide 3 support staff; Program admin. staff – 2.

Marks-LaFromboise, Sheri – Admin Assistant

White, Tim – Health/Nutrition Manager

Pratt, Kim – Family Service Manager

Ardizzone, Danielle – Family Service Worker

LaFromboise, Landon – Transportation/Maint. Manager

Rouillard, Angel – Education Manager

Mendenhall, Sheila – Disabilities/Special Needs Manager

Hopkins, Jennifer – Health Assistant

Beaudreau, Tiffany – Cook I

Heminger, Marsha – Cook II

Waybenias, Clarinda – Teacher I

Wiggins, Autumn – Teacher III

Rockwood, Kristin – Teacher IV

Cloud, Rhealauria – Teacher V

Robertson, Lynelle – Teacher VI

Smith, Lois – Teacher VII

Spider, Lydia – Dakota Language Spec.

Adams, Jayde – Teacher Aide II

White, Theresa – Teacher Aide III

Haug, LaDonna – Teacher Aide IV

Wanna, Vanessa – Teacher Aide V

Wilson, Phedora – Teacher Aide VI

Feather, Camille – Teacher Aide

Keoke, Erin – Teacher Aide XI/Bus Monitor

Kirk, Derek – Bus Driver I/Custodian II

Carrington, Ivor – Bus Driver II/Custodial

Wilson, Glenn – Custodian I

Seaboy, Lolita – Family Services/Center Coordinator ES

Iyarpeya, Barb – ES Cook

Shepherd, Jennifer – ES Teacher

HisLaw, Duane – ES Bus Driver/Maint.

Seaboy, Debbi – Family Service Advocate

Haynes, Heidi – Health Assistant

Anderson, Murreta – Teacher 1

Joihnson, Alexis – Teacher 2

DuMarce, Cynthia – Teacher 5

Fuentes, Mariah – Teacher 6

Laughter, Kristen – Teacher 7

DuMarce, Mariah – Teacher 8

O'Jeda, Fancy – Teacher 9

Crawford, Alexandria – Teacher 10

Adams, June – Cook

Head Start has several boards who oversee different aspects of the organization:

1)  Head Start Policy Council-is the name of the advisory board to the Head Start Programs. They review and approve purposed policies, and screen applications for new employees. On difficult HR matter they also may be convened.

2)  Parent Committee- is made up of any interested parent. This board meets one time a month to discuss family activities, graduation and fundraising for such activities.

3)  Health Advisory Board- meets twice a year, parents, nurses, CHN, IHS Mental Health, Dental, and educators.

Program summary:

The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Head Start is situated in the heart of the Lake Traverse Reservation of northeastern South Dakota and is a preschool with a homogeneous target population of SWO Dakota Children. In Dakota culture we practice our lives with some very strong values in place. Our philosophy at Head Start is based in those values, especially when it comes to the children. Children are sacred. Their sacredness originates from the fact that they are most recently come from the Creator, and carry that strong energy. They are valued and respected and are viewed as strong, competent and capable.

Children are sacred. Their sacredness originates from the fact that they are most recently come from the Creator, and carry that strong energy. They are valued and respected and are viewed as strong, competent and capable.

Goals and objectives:

The formulation of the following Long Range Goals is in response to the following documents or events which provided necessary data for goal creation:

Compliance with the Head Start Act of 2007 Head Start Act Public Law 110-134 "Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007"

SWO Tribal Resolution, Declaration of the Dakotah Language on the Lake Traverse Reservation to be "in a State of Emergency," during the Selvage Administration (2008-2011)

The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribal Chairman, Bruce Renville, has approved an executive proclamation declaring August 27, 2015, "Dakotah Language Revitalization and Appreciation Day." Further, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard has also proclaimed August 27, 2015 as "Dakotah Language Revitalization and Appreciation Day" throughout the entire state of South Dakota. We have the first Dakotah Language Dictionary published and printed at the Sisseton-Wahpeton Tribal Offices, Dakotah Language Institute.

First and foremost, School Readiness for the SWO children 0-5 is the goal for the HS Programs. School Readiness Plan will include tracking through the on-going creation of a culture of data driven decision making at SWOHS. The SWOHS has been using the evidence base curriculum "Creative Curriculum with Teaching Strategies Gold." The Creative Curriculum of the foundation of five researched based volumes that provide knowledge base curriculum. The daily resources is a step by step guidance for teachers to use as daily teaching tools, which is fully aligned with the Head Start Child development and State early learning standards. The structure of the curriculum presents knowledge building volumes and daily resources that work together helping the teacher with "what," "why," and "how" of early learning. It offers daily opportunities to individualize instruction, which helps the teachers, meet the needs of the student. It addresses all the areas of learning; social-emotional, math, arts, language, literacy, science and incorporates them throughout the day. It offers daily building-in opportunities for observation to differentiate the relations between curriculum and assessment. It also supports dual language learners, including guidance that helps to build teachers' knowledge about best practices. The program helps with assessments, evaluation and with the use of the Child Plus program for data tracking and reports.

Second, the Tribal Resolution about the urgent state of the loss of our Native language is not only representative of the SW Oyate's (People's) desire to preserve our endangered Dakotah language, but it is also the common goal of the constituents of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Association who represent 17 Tribes of the Northern Plains with the same concern for their languages. These Chairmen demonstrated their consistent concern for this urgent state of linguistic affairs by their individual resolutions across the Northern Plains declaring states of linguistic emergency. This action prompted language goal setting for the SWOHS. SWO Head Start will employ a tri-fold approach to step up the language preservation efforts: one in regard to child learning and the other in regard to adult learning for all staff and parents.

We plan to use more technology in the classroom. We have support and approval from tribal council to purchase tablets and install wireless network throughout our head start programs.

Tribe has lost two more of our Dakotah speaking elders this past year who were directly working with our SWO Dakotah Language Institute. These Treasured Elders are our resources and at a rate that we are now down to roughly 58 left. The former goal of HS was to create an immersion program and it is unfeasible at this point, at least in the traditional sense of immersion classes. At that time the Community Assessment with the 2005 census information, there were 144 fluent speakers left. Currently there are younger elders or language resource people, but these may not be able to stay in the target language for the immersion class period. We continue to search for answers.

Dakotah Language Institute of the SWO has published the first Dakotah Language Dictionary and they have developed an online application with called, "BYKI" as of July 2015. It is a computer application called Transparent Language that our teachers, parents and students can use if they have internet accessibility.

The Tribe is concentrating its efforts in creating fluent speakers who are dedicated to preserving the Dakotah language. The SWOHS will be joining that push as we turn to technology in the Early Childhood Education arena.

SWO Johnson O'Malley Program

Robin Robertson, Program Manager

Roberts, Darlene Jo - Waubay Coordinator

Thompson, Loren - BV Van Transport

Wilson, Alexis - Sisseton Tutor

Black, Ivy - Admin. Assistant

Program Summary:

The purpose of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Johnson O'Malley program is to meet the specialized and unique educational needs of eligible Native American students within Aberdeen, Browns Valley, Sisseton, Waubay and Wilmot Public School Systems. The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Johnson O'Malley Program provides learning experiences for eligible Native American students by implementing educational programs designed to promote academic success through improved self-esteem and the development of the student's native culture and language. Enacted in 1934, the Johnson-O'Malley (JOM) program was the first attempt by the Federal government to fund programs for the education of Indian students (and other social programs) on an institutional basis. Beginning at that time, and continuing through the 1960s, the JOM program authorized and funded both the basic costs associated with academic programs and additional, supplemental program for Indian students in public schools. Through this program, a range of academic/remedial services, cultural programs and services providing basic needs (eyeglasses, clothing, etc.) were made available. Under changes made in the regulations in the 1970s, such programs became contractible by Indian tribes and nations, and today all of the funds are contracted through tribes or tribal organizations.

2015 goals and objectives:

The JOM Program by regulations allows for full participation of parents in the design and implementation of their JOM Program to best meet the needs of their children. To build a supportive educational program for eligible Indian students, periodic Needs Assessments are used to gather information about specialized and unique educational needs of eligible Indian students. Parent and community responses provide essential direction for the development of programs to meet specific needs. The results for the survey will be used to develop the goals and objectives for the review and official approval action of the SWOJOM Committee.

Goal 1 - Awareness of the SWOJOM program. To have the community be aware of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Johnson O'Malley program through parent letter, email, newspaper and radio.

Goal 2 - Assist students in their academic endeavors through acknowledging various encounters that surface in all grades (preschool-12th). To assist JOM eligible students with after school programs, tutoring, transportation, parental fees and reimbursement for specialized needs of students.

Goal 3- Develop and enrich SWOJOM students with their Dakota culture and language. Several education research studies have established connection between positive self-esteem and quality academic performance by students. Indian community cultural activities contribute to the positive interactions between tribal elders and the student learners. An Indian child with a positive attitude and involved with ongoing cultural activities is likely to have enhanced scholastic performance.

2015 Measurable Results:

Dakota Oyate Challenge-January 29, 2015

1st place: Ashlynn Strutz, Taytum Bissonette, Lexus Redthunder

Dakota Language Bowl, St. Paul, MN.-April 18, 2015

3rd place: Ashlynn Strutz, Maria Gallardo Lexus Redthunder, Trevor German SWOJOM Middle school team competed against 14 high school teams and took 3rd at this 1st annual event.

Tiospa Zina Dakota Language Bowl-May 20, 2015

High School 1st place: Benjamin Thompson, Taytum Bissonette, Dominic White

Tiospa Zina Dakota Language Bowl-May 20, 2015 Middle School 2nd place: Micah Little Bird, Lexus Redthunder, Giahna Webster September 26, 2015

SWOJOM Language Camp -Sisseton Wahpeton College Auditorium In partnership with Dakhota Iapi Okhodakichiye, SWC Dakota Language Program and SWOJOM Program put on the first Dakota Language Camp at Sisseton Wahpeton College Auditorium. Neil McKay, Cante Maza and his fellow teachers provided a Dakota workbook and CD for each participant. Families participated in 4 sessions of Dakota instruction, Lacrosse and Moccasin game.

Unresolved problems and needs:

The National Johnson O'Malley Program Association is currently pushing a bill through congress which will open enrollment to all Native American students, and not just those with enrollment verification. Effort continue to re-open enrollment numbers through the Bureau of Indian Education. In 1994 the B.I.A. froze enrollment numbers of the Johnson O'Malley Program. As enrollment of Native American children increase each year, funding has been frozen at 1994 numbers.

Recommendations for 2016 Program Year:

The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Johnson O'Malley Program is requesting new suburban's to replace obsolete 15 passenger van's used for transport in Sisseton and Browns Valley JOM programs.     "The State Directors Association believes that it is appropriate to require higher levels of safety in vehicles that transport children to and from school and school-related activities. Accordingly, the State Directors Association supports the position that school children should be transported in school buses which provide the highest levels of safety, not in 12- and 15-passenger vans which do not meet the stringent school bus safety standards issued by the Federal government and recommended by the National Conference on School Transportation, an organization of state school transportation officials." Both Minnesota and South Dakota do not allow the use of 15 passenger vans during school hours, nor the use of them for after school activities.

SWO Youth Department

Derrick McCauley, Program Manager.

Samuel Crawford – Activities

Everett Blackthunder – Cultural

Charlotte Almanza – Youth Outreach

Elise Johnson, Office

Jerrad Max, Youth Worker

Kinew Desrosiers – Youth Worker

Rena Johnson – Youth Worker

Program summary:

The SWO Youth Department was established in December 2014. The Start of the New Year didn't begin until this past summer when we hired our Activities and Cultural Coordinator. During our development of the department we have hosted over 30 events for the community and youth of the Sisseton Wahpeton reservation boundaries. We are working towards providing a variety of activity options for our youth, from cultural, sports, home economics, incentive trips, reading, language, we are doing our best to meet the needs of all the children. It has been a pleasure and an honor to service the youth of the Lake Traverse Indian Reservation, and this New Year will bring more events and more ideas for the community and youth to attend. Stop on by our renovated building at Veterans Memorial Youth Center and see what we have done with the place.

Goals and objectives:

Goal 1: Collaboration and Coordination/Objective: is to work with local programs (Alive, Dakota Pride, SWO College, Tiospa Zina and other local schools) to help our youth with prevention in areas of suicidal tendencies, alcohol, drugs, family, etc.

Goal 2: Future Big Brother & Big Sister program/Objective: Finding available funds, sponsorship, adult and peer mentors for our youth to help develop positive life skills and leadership opportunities.

Goal 3: to enhance the self-esteem of the youth as to strengthen our youth and community/Objective: Hosting events that will have family and community involvement.

Measurable results:

Movie Night- Big Hero 6, Fast/Furious 7, Strange Magic, Cinderella, Avengers Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy, the Boxtrolls, and Planes Fire and Rescue. We averaged about 200 people at each of these showings.

Sports Activities: Dodge ball league, Karate Classes, Fishing Derby, Walking Club, Enemy Swim Wacipi 3 on 3, Warwick workouts, SWO Elite Basketball Camp, and Youth Baseball/Softball league Incentive Trips: Skyforce Game(s), Skyzone Trip.

Cultural Activities: SWO Youth Powwow, Cultural Lock-In, Ohoda Walk, Waunsida Walk, Tehinda Walk, Youth Social/Round dance, Kahomni event, Hand drum making, and drumstick making Prevention- Bully Prevention seminar, and Prevention Night.

Collaborations- Shoni Schimmel Event (Vice Chair Office), Fall Festival (SWO Natural Resource department), Youth Health Fair (IHS), Laura Grizzly Paws (TZ High School), Career Day (Education department), Young Ambassadors Camp (Aliive Roberts County), Fundraising Carnival (Enemy Swim Day School), and Mid-Summer Kid Events (Early Childhood Development).

Problems and needs:

We are almost full circle on what we have to offer our youth in the community, when we can develop and create a position for a prevention specialist with that fulfillment we will be complete. Our youth thrive throughout all phases of their development, including early and middle childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood, we would like to provide the help our youth need to succeed in every way possible.

Recommendations for 2016 program year:

Establishing and developing a position for a prevention specialist or someone similar to help our youth with positive coping skills, to develop healthy life skills and leadership opportunities.

Importance of staying connected with you

By Sen. John Thune

Representing the state of South Dakota in the U.S. Senate is one of the greatest honors of my life, but it wouldn't mean anything without you: the dedicated and hard-working people who call South Dakota home. Those of you whom I've been lucky to meet and get to know over the years know that I try to escape the out-of-touch world of Washington, D.C., as often as possible. I take my responsibility of being your senator seriously and work hard for you every day I spend in Washington, bringing the common sense you expect and deserve to the capital city. But when the votes have closed, the committee hearings have ended, and the lights on the Senate floor start to dim, I head home to South Dakota for a fresh dose of reality.

The work doesn't end when I leave Washington, though. As you probably know, I have busy offices throughout the state that are constantly hard at work for you. My offices in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Aberdeen are strategically located across South Dakota to make it easier for you to contact my staff who are always willing and able to help you with questions, problems, or concerns you might have with the federal government.

If you're not able to travel to one of our physical Senate offices, we're always open online at It's a great resource for all South Dakotans. I understand how quickly the Internet changes, so in order to remain at the forefront when it comes to the digital service we provide to you, we recently made some important updates to my website that will make it easier to navigate. Also, the website now has a responsive design, which means whether you're viewing it on your desktop, mobile phone, or tablet, you'll receive the same high-quality experience.

I'm also keenly aware that the way we communicate with one another has evolved, which is why I stay connected with you on social media. With just a few quick clicks or the opening of an app, you can send me a tweet or post a comment on some of my behind-the-scenes photos and videos. I try to share as much information as possible with you about bills we're voting on or I have introduced, events I'm attending throughout the state, or my thoughts on the important issues of our time. I truly value your input, so please continue to send your thoughts my way on Twitter and Instagram at @SenJohnThune.

I look forward to seeing or hearing from you soon – maybe at a public meeting, local basketball game, or even in one of the aisles at the grocery store or hardware store. As we cross paths, please know that I will continue to listen, learn, and take our South Dakota values with me to Washington on your behalf. And if you're visiting Washington for vacation or a conference, please stop in to say hello. It's always nice to see some friendly faces in the marble halls of Congress!

Long-term budget forecast: Debt crisis is here

By Senator Mike Rounds

January 29, 2016

While Washington, D.C., was digging out of nearly two feet of snow from winter storm Jonas last week, another kind of storm was unveiled to the American public: the federal budget outlook for the next ten years. The report, issued by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), forecasts a grim future for our country if we don't begin to act now to rein in spending and address our country's $18 trillion debt.

The report painted a picture of our economic outlook that is even worse than previously predicted. Deficits are projected to be more than 20 percent greater than the CBO previously calculated due to slower-than-expected economic growth. Additionally, the report confirmed that the federal government is headed toward record-breaking deficits in the next ten years, largely due to entitlement spending on programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare.

Even more alarming: in 10 years, the cost of entitlement programs and interest on our debt will amount to 99 percent of all revenue coming into the federal government. That will leave little room to adequately fund other important programs such as education, national defense, transportation and medical research. This should be a wake-up call to all of us.

What happens if we fail to act? According to analysis done by the Joint Economic Committee, over time, our rising debt will prevent capital formation. Without savings, we lack the ability to invest in new technologies, which hinders productivity and bogs down the entire economy. The sooner we begin to address these issues, the easier it will be to fix them.

While it will take time to get out of this mess, there are tangible steps we can take to begin to reduce our debt. We must first and foremost address entitlement spending. We have to save Medicare, reform Social Security so it is sustainable, make systematic changes to the Medicaid program and repeal the Affordable Care Act before it crumbles under its own weight. This is confirmed by the CBO report, which found that next year alone, spending on Medicare, Medicaid, subsidies for health insurance purchased through Obamacare and the Children's Health Insurance Program will be 11 percent greater than they were just last year – an unsustainable path.

In addition to reforming entitlements, we must also adopt pro-growth policies that will allow the economy to expand. This will lead to increased job opportunities, higher wages and greater profits that can be reinvested, which will result in more revenue to help reduce our debt. This can be achieved by reducing burdensome regulations and reforming the tax code so families and business owners can adequately plan for the future. This is why I continue to work on a number of measures to reform the regulatory process.

In order to turn our fiscal house around, it will require everyone in Washington to make tough decisions that aren't always popular. But as the latest CBO report confirms – doing nothing is not an option.

Beyond the game

By Rep. Kristi Noem

January 29, 2016

For potentially thousands of young women, the Super Bowl is anything but a game. Instead, it's another opening for exploitation.

In recent years, there has been a lot of conversation about the possible connection between the Super Bowl and human trafficking. To be clear, there is no hard evidence showing that trafficking spikes surrounding the big game. What we do know is that the laws of supply and demand apply to trafficking too. In other words, traffickers are likely to transport victims to areas where there is increased demand – such as the Super Bowl host city. Nonetheless, the sad reality is that human trafficking happens in the U.S. every single day. While we should use opportunities like the Super Bowl to build awareness, we can't allow ourselves to put the issue aside once the final whistle is blown.

Here are some numbers to consider. As many as 300,000 children are at risk of becoming victims of sex trafficking in the U.S. every single year. Most of the victims are young girls and, on average, they are just 12-14 years old when they are first trafficked. If the victim is a young boy, they are only 11-13 years old, on average. The most heart-wrenching statistic out there, to me, is that these young kids can be forced to have sex as many as 25 to 50 times a day.

Most of the transactions – about 76 percent by some estimates – are conducted online. Some of those online transactions have happened in South Dakota. As an example, South Dakota law enforcement placed undercover online ads in February 2013. The ads targeted folks in the Watertown area and offered underage girls for sex. There were no significant events surrounding the timing of the ad. Over the course of two days, more than 100 individuals responded. This isn't just a problem happening overseas or in big U.S. cities. It's happening around the corner from us.

The girls in our area being trafficked can be recruited at local schools, area malls, or online. Sometimes they are transported to other states, but in many – if not most – cases, they are being sold in South Dakota. It has to stop.

In 2015, Congress passed and the President signed a sweeping anti-trafficking package. It included resources for law enforcement officers, protection for victims, more enforceable laws against websites that allow for the sale of kids, and a provision I wrote allowing more resources to support shelters that house survivors. We're hopeful these provisions will help.

Still, one of the most important things I or anyone can do is build awareness around the fact that human trafficking is happening – and it's happening in our backyard. We all have a responsibility to keep an eye out for it in our community and speak up if we see anything suspicious.

One of the resources I like to share is the National Human Trafficking Hotline. If you believe you have information about a potential trafficking situation, I encourage you to call 1-888-373-7888. You can also text "HELP" or "INFO" to 233733. The hotline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Don't be afraid to use this resource. It may save someone's life.

Introduce tribal school construction legislation

Washington, DC – Jan. 27, 2016 – Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) announced today they have introduced legislation to address the failing infrastructure needs of Native American students.

Tester and Cantwell's SAFETY Act will increase educational opportunities in Indian Country by building and upgrading classrooms, teacher housing, college dormitories, STEM labs, and vocational facilities for Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools, Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU), and state-run K-12 schools with large American Indian and Alaska Native student populations.

"We can't prepare students for the 21st century economy in deteriorating 20th century classrooms," said Tester, Vice Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. "Indian Country is home to bright and inspiring students and teachers who are often held back by outdated and crumbling facilities. This bill gives tribes necessary tools so we can work together to build infrastructure, create jobs, and ensure that every student has a quality education."

"The future of Indian Country depends on the education and development of native youth. These children and young adults already face significant challenges – crumbling schools, classrooms and lack of educational resources should not be another roadblock to success for them. The SAFETY Act is an important step toward improving schools across Indian Country and ensuring students and teachers have the resources they need to succeed. In addition to K-12 schools, the SAFETY Act will also help Tribal Colleges and Universities build the facilities they need to provide a world class education, promote job training, and build dynamic 21st century economies," said Cantwell, senior member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

"The SAFETY Act will help to address one of the most basic needs for any education institution and in so doing, will enable TCUs to provide more American Indians and Alaska Natives the opportunity to access and complete a degree program in a field that will help our tribes grow their Native workforce and advance the economies of Indian Country," said Carrie Billy, the President and CEO of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium.

The SAFETY Act will:

· Authorize an additional $5 million for school construction at TCUs and remove the funding cap that prohibits the federal government from contributing more than 80 percent of the construction cost.

· Allow tribes to contribute additional funds for construction at BIE educational facilities.

· Provide teacher housing assistance to Native American communities with BIE schools or public schools with a large number of Native American students.

· Require the BIE and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to develop a 10 year plan to bring all BIE schools into good condition, similar to OMB's Defense Department school construction plan.

· Authorize a study on the infrastructure and facilities needs of local public schools on or near on Indian Reservations.

Of the 183 BIE schools, 58 are listed in poor condition, and funding for school facility replacement and repairs has fallen by 76 percent over the past decade.

In an October 2014 survey of Tribal Colleges and Universities, The American Indian College Fund found that 83 percent of TCU's were in high need of student housing facilities, 74 percent were in high need of additional classrooms, and 70 percent were in high need of vocational technical facilities.

A 2014 White House Report noted that one of the greatest barriers to attracting educators in Indian Country was a lack of quality, affordable housing.

Marsy's Law first ballot question

Marsy's Law for South Dakota, an organization composed of citizens and victim rights advocates, has announced that it is the first ballot question to pass the challenge period with no challenges. As a result, it is the first initiated ballot question to officially make the ballot for the General Election on November 8, 2016. The Secretary of State has classified the ballot question as "Constitutional Amendment S."

Last November, Marsy's Law for South Dakota filed nearly 53,000 signatures with the Secretary of State, well in excess of the 27,741 required by South Dakota law for an initiated constitutional amendment to be placed on the ballot.

"This is another great day for crime victims in South Dakota," said Jason Glodt, former prosecutor and State Director for Marsy's Law for South Dakota, "South Dakota has some of the weakest crime victim rights in the nation and we are now one step closer to giving victims equal rights that would actually be enforceable by a court of law."

"We are also ramping up our grassroots campaign effort," said Glodt. "We are excited to announce that Tami Haug-Davis and Jordan Callaghan have joined our team and will be helping to make our grassroots organization even stronger."

"Tami and Jordan have decades of experience fighting for crime victims and they will be a strong asset to our team," said Glodt.

Tami Haug-Davis will be the Outreach Director for Marsy's Law for South Dakota. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor from Sioux Falls who has over 25 years of experience working in child abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault. Tami has experience working with the South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault. She also has experience in child protection and 24 hour crisis intervention for domestic violence and sexual assault victims. Tami has been a trainer for the SD Network Training Team, has taught workshops and seminars in family violence, has done treatment work with batterers and offenders. Tami also works with Child's Voice through The Compass Center.

Jordan Callaghan from Vermillion will be a Field Director for Marsy's Law for South Dakota. Jordan graduated from the University of South Dakota with a Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology and Psychology, and is currently obtaining her Masters of Social Work from the University of South Dakota. She has experience working with the South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault and advocating for marginalized and vulnerable populations in South Dakota.

Marsy's Law for South Dakota also has a new website located at with a state-specific page link at . The website is a comprehensive source for information about Marsy's Law and includes regular updates from states where Marsy's Law campaigns are currently underway.

Editorials –

Sota guest editorial –

Let's not forget where we came from

By Chief Arvol Looking Horse

Indian Country Today – August 9, 2015 – At the age of 12, it seemed that I had no choice in the decision of being the next bundle keeper. At that time I went through the coming of age ceremony. I was told that the spirit chose me. When I was taken through the ceremony, the many Elders that used to come and pray with the bundle were there to witness. I was very sad that my Grandmother left me, it was kind of confusing for me to carry all those lonely feelings while we were going through the ceremony. They explained that I was the youngest to ever carry the bundle, suddenly I felt like my life was not my own. I did not understand what this all meant yet or the challenges that I would face in the future and somehow inside, I knew, I could never turn back. When the Elders placed the headdress on me, they said that I would never have to Sundance or vision quest, unless I have a hard time and a dream would come to me. During that time many of those Elders that I saw that came to Green Grass stayed near the C'anupa for four days and sometimes longer, because our protocol said four days. I witnessed the love and compassion for the Sacred C'anupa. I remember Elders praying from their heart with tears, because it was natural. In those beautiful four days of their visit, I remember the laughter of innocent jokes that didn't hurt one another and the sharing of stories of the beauty of our people. They camped around our place and participated in ceremonies.

I remember the Elders when I was young were very respectful and humble, I learned so much by watching them. When you sang ceremonial songs or shared anything very important about our traditional way, people would stand up with respect and listen patiently. Later on I realized that asking about ceremonies was very serious. When Elders would talk in formal meetings discussing spirituality or decisions concerning the people, if someone came late, they would lead him clockwise and set him on the far end, then somebody would stand up and pray, because it was about respecting that energy and maintaining it together, as life was meaningful. Those that came to listen, sat on the outside quietly.

Today we need to address the Lakota ways, because a lot of people think that our way means taking on names and not having to earn that name later on in life. Today people use their names given in ceremony on business cards and even have it stated if they have participated in a ceremony. The only time it was used was in ceremony was for the Grandfathers to recognize you or share with your relatives, because it was so sacred. If you dared to state your ceremonial name openly to your relatives, then the people knew you had something important to share. If you were given a name at a young age, as a child, then it was ok, but when the Grandfathers name you, it was kept sacred.

Long ago everyone had to make their own C'anupa and many people had one. The only ones that were forbidden to touch the C'anupa were the ones that had blood on their hands, meaning to take someone's life on his own free will. We were called the "C'anupa Oyate", People of the Pipe. Today a lot of people have not made their own C'anupa, but I still feel it is important that we bring this understanding back to our own children one day. When a person takes that time in their life to mold their own C'anupa, they will truly understand the responsibility of what energy they put into it. As during the time of creating this C'anupa, we are also communicating to the Creator of how life is important to us. They will understand that they do not carry this for ego, but rather on behalf of the people and seven generations to come. They will have compassion and a true understanding in listening to the wisdom of truly protecting our ceremonies and the Sacred C'anupa.

There are four stages that we all go through:

1. A child being born, which is the ceremony of recognizing the mind, body and spirit, the "Wakan Ye-s'a," sacred child.

2. At the age of twelve, we start the coming of age ceremony, so the young man and young woman understand the importance of life as mind, body and spirit.

3. We begin to earn a name and some would make a vow to Sundance, which is to sacrifice yourself to the tree of life. A cottonwood tree is chosen to give its life for the people, the cottonwood tree holds a lot of water, the blood of Mother Earth, similar to how we are. The Tree Nation has its sacred path; extending from the ground of Mother Earth and reaching to the Universe, a teaching for us all.

4. Becoming an elderly person, by this time each person should have gone through the seven sacred rights and they are ready to go into the spirit world. After a person passes on, the Spiritual Leader talks to their mind, body and spirit. The spirit rests in the hair. After one year the people do the "Wiping of the Tears ceremony". The family, during this mourning period, cannot go to big pow wows or gatherings, singers can't sing, and dancers can't dance, the family should spend time together to support one another. If a person had unfinished work to do for the people, then someone would step forward and do the "Wiping of Tears ceremony" so they could finish their commitment, but this commitment had to be really important. Long ago people used to cut their hair. After the year of spending time with the relative's spirit, the Tiospaye (family) would then release that energy to the spirit world where other passed relatives are waiting. We have a give-away for the people to remember this momentous time. The relatives are forbidden to shed anymore tears, they allow that spirit to go on into the spirit world, if they continue to cry, it will bring "Wakuza" (to bring bad energy) to the family.

I have witnessed a lot of terrible changes. Today I see a lot of these ceremonies that are advertised for obtaining money. Especially for some Sundances, they are not performed in a humble respectful way. The only time that we talked about ceremonies was when there was a tobacco offering. The White Buffalo Calf Woman said that if you abuse these ways you will suffer, mind, body and spirit. We have to go through these ceremonies together seriously, letting go of what is out there holding us back, this is why we have "ini kaga" (breath of life ... to make), to purify. This is when the "I-yan" (stone people) and the "Mini Wiconi" (water of life) come together in inipi (sweat); this was the first creation upon Mother Earth.

Before I was twelve, I thought this bundle was just a bundle that my grandmother, Lucy Bad Warrior Looking Horse, kept. As the bundle's importance was explained to me, I was in awe and overwhelmed. I kept looking at that bundle and realized it was the same bundle that the White Buffalo Calf Woman brought to the people nineteen generations ago, that is long time. I was told that the first Keeper lived four times his life span and I knew our people used to live well over a hundred years old, so this really began to make me realize just how ancient it was. I realized just how powerful this bundle is, to survive all the terrible things we have gone through as a people. I can't have bad thoughts, speak in foul language or take a gun and hunt animals, because I would always have to keep in mind the respect for the bundle. I was told that the people would provide for me, that the bundle was the core of the Nation. I thought I would never leave this place or have to travel. Back when I was young, I would daydream about this and thought that this would be nice, but as time went on, I never saw it happen. Every now and then the Elders would come back, but as time passed they died and more new elders would show up and after a while, I realized that a lot of things now were becoming seriously lost.

It's kind of sad the way things are. My grandmother once had a lot of land in Green Grass and she gave half the land to the church, because at the time, that was the only way to pray freely. After my Grandmother and Grandfather died a few years later, my father would ask us go to church now and then, as my Grandfather respected both ways. In the earlier 70¹s they called us devil worshippers. One day, while we sat in church, the preacher said that the people that lived a couple miles west of the church, us, are devil worshippers and that we drum at night. My father said, "Let's go home, because I don't feel good about this," so we left that church. I think the people chose to forget where they got the land from to pray, my Grandmother. Because we were struggling to be left alone as we did not have the freedom of religion yet, we stayed quiet and did not make waves.

When my Grandmother died she left 40 acres to me, as the Keeper of the bundle. She told me that it would stay with the bundle, if the spirit allows it. My Father has gone and the land that was left for the bundle is now 6 acres, but it makes me remember that my Grandmother told me before she passed on, that I was the last Keeper. Even though she shared this with me, she also said that the power of prayer brings miracles. So I work and pray that her prophecy can be changed and we will deserve the sacred bundles, the spiritual energy to stay with the people, so we can have good health; mind, body and spirit. The reason why the bundle came to the people was our Ancestors at one time began abusing the sacredness of life and forgot the connection to Mother Earth, along with the teachings of the buffalo. We depended on the buffalo back then, not only for food and shelter, but what they taught. When one of the buffalo would fall, the rest would circle around them to give their energy so the fallen one could stand and together they would move forward, always facing the wind. They used their energy to heal, as we do in ceremony. This taught leadership, responsibility and respect toward one another. When our Ancestors forgot these teachings, the buffalo disappeared, so they prayed for deliverance. This is why the White Buffalo Calf Woman brought the Sacred C'anupa, nineteen generations ago. The red stone represents the blood of our people and the stem represents the connection to Mother Earth and the Universe, therefore representing the responsibility to be the caretaker and protector of our Mother Earth.

I think our families should put aside some of their time to pay respects to our sacred way of life that can teach our children respect and honor. The real meaning behind the name of the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota People means the protection and responsibility in respecting the gifts the Creator gave to us, this includes our identity with our language. It means so much more than an enrollment number.

In the earlier 70's, I believe was one of the hardest time that we had. We were going to move to North Dakota, because the Standing Rock Reservation offered us a better living. Back then my father and mother left to move north, because my father said, "I can't take this life any more here in Green Grass." I think back at that time, I remember the Chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe promised to give me a stipend, build me a home and take care of me if I would stay. He saw some of the problems that we had as a family trying to survive without the people¹s support. Since then I have been waiting, but I have never seen this happen.

My father wanted to move, because years before we had 60 to 80 head of cattle and about 50 head of horses, but the tribe came down one day and asked my Dad, Stanley, if he had receipts for all our tractors and equipment needed to maintain a ranch, everything we owned. He said "No! we bought and paid for everything, but we don't keep the receipts." My mother had received a settlement and purchased most of the equipment. I remember the tribe coming down taking it all, it was very sad, because it was the first time I saw my father cry. One day after a time of feeling sorry for myself, I remember crying on top of my Grandmothers grave and nothing to live for. All I had was the shirt on my back and the sacred bundle, what could I do? I remembered that the four Black Angus cows and some horses that my Grandfather gave to me were gone, from the Tribe stealing them. My Grandfather said, "You take care of these and they will take care of you", but now they were gone. I remember my father talked with me and told me that I should go to Rosebud, SD and get away from here for a while, so I went. My father said, "When you feel better come back", because at that time I was not spiritually strong and I needed to be when I was around the bundle. I came back later on and I have always since worked to create a home in Green Grass and be able to survive on my own, even it meant leaving for time to work do it, but I have always returned home. I came to realize that the spirit always stays with me.

The church put us through a lot of pain and some of the Elders have talked to me about boarding school and shared their horrible experiences. The boarding school was no place for a Lakota, Dakota, Nakota People, especially the man; it took their responsibilities away from the importance of family and affected their minds from the abuse that was done on them. For years I have always shared with the people that we should do a class action suit as Canada did, to get some compensation for the massacre of our culture, "Relief Programs" as it is called today. We could create programs to bring back our traditional teachings, especially our language, so we can bring back the true meaning of who we are as the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota People. We are not the devil worshippers as we were once told we were. This created a dependency on alcohol to forget, it became a disease since. My Grandmother said, "Now that the alcohol has been allowed to take our people, we will begin to see the abuse of our sacred ways even more." First it was alcohol, next it became other ways to forget with drugs, even to the point that people claim it is medicine. The C'anupa always stood alone, the White Buffalo Calf Woman stated this, when approaching the Creator we need a clean spirit. We have to help each other stand, to learn from the buffalo teachings.

It is a heavy responsibility of being the Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf pipe, but at the same time there is also the responsibility for all the other Spiritual Leaders and Medicine people out there to assist and work with me, because we are in a very strong position to bring understanding and maintain the importance of bringing back the sacredness in our way of life to our people. We need to work together with all Indigenous people in the world in bringing recognition to the importance of protecting all the Sacred Sites on behalf of our Mother Earth and our future generations.

In the last hundred years the two-legged is the only species that is destroying our Mother Earth and all its inhabitants along with it. The knowledge that has been passed down is the key to change this path of dysfunction we are now on, to keep the "ho-c'o-ka" (our spiritual center) strong. I would like to see our sacred way of life return, along with all the other Indigenous People's bundles and ceremonies, so the future of our generations to come have a chance to witness the beauty of what our Mother Earth has to offer. May we live in Peace and Harmony!

AHO, Mitakuye Oyasin!


Chief Arvol Looking Horse is the author of White Buffalo Teachings. A tireless advocate of maintaining traditional spiritual practices, Chief Looking Horse is a member of Big Foot Riders, which memorializes the massacre of Big Foot's band at Wounded Knee.

Brief editorial comments from the editor's desk –

On and Off the Lake Traverse Reservation

Nina wopida! All who turned out for last week's two-day intertribal meth summit at the College omniciye tipi.

The official attendance count for Thursday was 159.

And that number doesn't include those who came but did not put their names on the signup sheet.

It was a good crowd on both days, and people came with hearts and minds made up to get something done.

There's been enough talk, there have been lots of meetings, and finally we are getting somewhere … we are getting to "solutions."

And, surprisingly, those solutions while they certainly include funding more local resources to help our Oyate who are addicts – money is not the main thing at all.

It is each one taking responsibility.

These are family members, relatives, and neighbors suffering from addiction.

Instead of fearing them, shunning them, or banishing them, the consensus is they are to be included … but not enabled.

From those who are recovering, even jail can be a path from death to life.

"Tough love."

If someone asks for money … say, for groceries for the "little ones," the takojas, or diapers, for whatever … give them what it is they are asking for … not cash.

Report suspicious activity. Write down times, make and model of vehicles, license plate numbers.

And "stop blaming" … how many times we heard that over the two days.

Be the solution.

Please read our article on the summit elsewhere in this issue of your Sota.


In our article, we refer to a meth bust that took place in Long Hollow Wednesday, January 27.

But we have no information yet to pass along to the public.

There should be a release before next week.


All of our veterans, but not only you … all readers … please take time to read our VSO Geri Opsal's report this week.

Not only does Geri give a good summary of last week's State and Tribal Relations Day (actually days, the event was spread over two days) in Pierre, she also reports on how our Tribe's Veterans Tribal Court operates. It is another first for the SWO, and offers greater support for our akicita.

She also calls for veterans to attend the NADL event at Dakota Connection this Thursday. Come and learn about home ownership opportunities!

Pidamiya for sharing.


Congratulations to Enemy Swim Day School!

The Tribal school has been granted another five-year accreditation award.

Please see the announcement in this edition.

As SWC President Harvey DuMarce said Thursday morning at the intertribal summit, "Education is the key."

It is fundamental, from the earliest years through earning a college degree.


Elder's Meditation:

"In sharing, in loving all and everything, one people naturally found a due portion of the thing they sought, while in fearing, the other found need of conquest." -- Chief Luther Standing Bear, SIOUX

There are two systems of thought that are available for us to choose from. One is the love-thought system and the other is the fear- thought system. If we choose love, we will see the laws, principles and values of the Creator. If we choose fear, the results will be so paralyzing that it will cause us to take over and not rely on the Great Spirit. The fear-thought system will automatically cause attack, conflict, need to control over others. The love-thought system seeks peace of mind, unity and causes us to be love seekers.

Great Spirit, today let me see only love.


Words to consider (or, perhaps not!):

Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith (1908 - 2006)

Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had. Michael Crichton (1942 - 2008), Caltech Michelin Lecture, January 17, 2003

Ahhh. A man with a sharp wit. Someone ought to take it away from him before he cuts himself. Peter da Silva

Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition. Timothy Leary (1920 - 1996)

Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable. Sidney J. Harris

Perpetual devotion to what a man calls his business, is only to be sustained by perpetual neglect of many other things. Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894)


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 –

Note –

There are no obituaries reported in this week's Sota.

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.

Lake Traverse Animal Rezcue report

Mark your calendars!

The Lake Traverse Animal Rezcue's next Spay and Neuter Clinic is scheduled for April 7th-9th, 2016.

Location still to be determined.

Baker hired as SD Arts Council Director

Pierre, SD – Department of Tourism Secretary James Hagen announced today the selection of Patrick Baker as the next executive director of the South Dakota Arts Council (SDAC).

Baker has served as communications officer for the Department of Human Services (DHS) since 2012 and has an extensive professional background in communications and journalism. He holds an undergraduate degree from South Dakota State University and is a recent graduate of the Governor's Leadership Development Program.

"We are very excited to welcome Patrick to the Arts Council and the Department of Tourism team," said Secretary Hagen. "The arts play such a vital role in attracting visitors to the state and contributing to a quality of life for South Dakotans that is second to none. Patrick understands that relationship and has a commitment to the arts that uniquely qualifies him for the position."

A Pierre native, Baker and his family returned to his hometown four years ago after several years in Minneapolis, where he was employed by Jacobs Management Corporation as senior editor of FLW Outdoors. His current duties at DHS include information management, strategic planning and website management.

Baker has a life-long interest in the arts, is an enthusiastic arts patron and continues to be an active musician. He and wife Jen are part of a core group of musicians in the local band, Houdek.

Baker replaces out-going SDAC Director Michael Pangburn, who will retire Feb. 8, 2016, after 18 years with the agency, the last seven as its executive director. Baker's first official day with the Arts Council will be Feb. 9.

An office of the South Dakota Department of Tourism, the South Dakota Arts Council's mission is to provide grants and services to artists, arts organizations and schools across the state, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the state of South Dakota.

The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism and the Arts Council. The Department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen.

Legislative news from Pierre

Senator Frerichs –

Week 3 Legislative Column

We should be cautious of the approach taken by the Governor to try to limit the number of teachers in our State. This is a sketchy road to go down because it smells like forced consolidation of our local school districts. Not to mention the severe issue of including other school fund revenues from wind and transmission facilities to be equalized as "state" money. Many of you may have seen the article in the Argus Leader featuring the Governor and his education plan, where he said that under his formula and the proposed change in the student to teacher ratio, the state has 400 too many teachers. There is much discussion that needs to take place on how people feel about changing the ratio in classrooms, especially among teachers themselves. The governor plans to raise the student teacher ratio to 14.5 statewide, which may cause some schools in our district to have to adjust the sizes we have had in our classrooms.

I take issue with my colleagues who suggest there is only a need for the state to pay more when schools have opted out. That's not sound policy for anyone and we all know property taxes are stressed enough with the current funding situation. Rewriting the entire school funding formula is a big task and I don't think we should embark on that with the halfway point of Session approaching fast.

Let's not make it complicated. We all have a similar goal to pay teachers more and equally give them more respect for the important work they do to help our kids succeed.. I appreciate hearing from many of you who want to see teacher pay increased. There is strong community support so let's make it happen this legislative session! Today we saw a victory for Native American issues in South Dakota. A package of bills (Senate Bill 9, 81 & 82) recommended by the Department of Education to create a Native American grant program and tuition assistance scholarship for paraprofessionals seeking to gain their full certification to teach in Native American schools. While there are immediate steps we need to take in healthcare, these are important long term programs to help provide the experts needed on reservation communities. The Senate Committee on Education not only gave unanimous support on the bills, but they sent Senate Bill 9 (the bill for the funding request) to the Appropriations Committee with a "Do Pass" recommendation. I am excited for this victory for South Dakota Native American Education, and I am hopeful that the bill will successfully pass on the Senate floor and in Appropriations.

Additionally, I have been in contact with the South Dakota Local Transportation Assistance Program, the County and Township Association, and the County Commission about the dangers our rural areas in South Dakota are facing with regards to culverts and small structures. Last year my agreement to support Senate Bill 1 was based on the promise that it would bring money back to local governments for much-needed repairs in rural areas. What we have discovered is that a high percentage of these structures are in fair to poor condition and not currently covered by any big programs. Last year I was a huge proponent for improving bridges and roads, but the work cannot stop there. We have to make sure that all of the structures on country roads are safe. I continue to be involved in this process and am prepared to drop legislation on this issue if needed. Please keep in touch on the issues that are important to you. I can be reached at 949-2204 and

Rep. Dennis Feickert –

Week 3 Legislative Column

We've just wrapped up the third week of the 91st Legislative Session. We ended this week on the 12th Legislative Day out of 38 total, so that means 26 more days to get it all done. There are many issues which directly affect District 1 counties which include Brown, Marshall, Roberts, and Day.

As I've mentioned before, I have previously served as a Brown County Commissioner, so I believe I understand better than most the financial challenges facing county government. Each of the eight Legislative Sessions in which I've served, county governments have come to Pierre to approach legislators on funding needs.

Counties have justifiable concerns over the escalating costs of providing law enforcements and judicial services. Counties however are often limited in revenue options, especially compared to municipalities. Last year's attempt to raise revenues for roads and bridges still put counties in the difficult position of having to pass a local wheel tax in order to get more money for county roads and bridges.

A proposal to redistribute state tax collections on alcohol sales, and cut counties in for 25 percent, is an attempt to reverse that trend. It would shift about $3.8 million from state government to be shared among South Dakota's 66 counties. The bill overwhelmingly passed the state Senate with a 28-5 vote and will now head to the House. The quarter on every dollar of alcohol tax collected, distributed on basis of county population would amount to a new revenue stream for our counties. Here's approximately how much would be distributed to District 1 counties: Brown County ($150, 200); Marshall ($31,600); Roberts ($51,600); and Day ($34,800). It won't fix all the problems, but it's a start.

Another topic which certainly affects our local communities is providing ambulance services. This is most often the first line of defense for our small towns without a local health care clinic. Local ambulance services are essential to our state, and most are run through volunteers. This is not a small commitment, as even the basic EMT training requires 160 hours of training in addition to continuing education hours. Some changes in the system of certification for ambulance services were recommended by an EMT Stakeholder's Workgroup which met over the summer. I served on this group and will be closely following several pieces of legislation which came out of this group. Current law requires two techs on both emergency runs and transfer runs. If an ambulance service doesn't have two EMTs available 24-7, they must apply for a hardship exemption which allows one EMT and a non-EMT driver. Following a public hearing, these exemptions may be granted for one year. (SD has 123 licensed ambulance services with 31 on a hardship exemption). All these communities are struggling to provide EMTs, especially in rural areas. The rule change would eliminate the "hardship exemption" status, and instead allow new standards which would require one EMT and one driver who must now meet a minimum standard of training including CPR certification. It's one those changes in state law which could literally save someone's life by making it easier for those vital ambulance serves to continue to exist in SD. 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.

Rep. Steven D. McCleerey –

Week 3 Legislative Column

The third week of the 91st Legislative Session of the South Dakota Legislature has brought more bills to the legislative committees and some heated debates, especially on the House floor.

One such controversial issue was HB 1076 which was heard today (Jan. 28) before the House Health & Human Services Committee on which I serve. It would have required drug testing for food assistance. Fortunately it was sent to the 41st day on a 9-4 vote by that committee. For those of you who might need a reminder in how this works, there are only 38 days scheduled into the legislative session. Thus the non-existent 41st day effectively means killing the bill. While the bill is gone (at least for now) I still find its premise challenging and deserves some remarks.

Expert testimony was provided against the legislation by Lynne Valenti, Sec. of the Department of Social Services as well as Terrance Dosch from the SD Council of Mental Health Centers. I would especially like to thank Sister Kathleen Bierne from the Presentation Sisters for her moving testimony. Sister Kathleen has been a powerful advocate for Medicaid Expansion as well. Thanks to her and the other Presentation Sisters for their work as health care advocates.

The fixation on drug testing-as opposed to the important work in this Session on teacher pay, government ethics, or Medicaid Expansion-is a misplaced answer in search of a problem. HB 1076 would have require welfare recipients submit to drug tests in order to receive SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Enhancement Program) benefits.

The attitude that 'these people are poor, so they must be on drugs' is flat out wrong. All but one state with active welfare testing programs found violation rates less than 1% positive in 2015. For example, Tennessee had 16,017 eligible applicants that could be tested under their state program- only 37 tested positive for drug use. In Missouri, 38,970 were eligible to be tested- only 48 tested positive. Perhaps the most important point to consider is that 89% of those receiving SNAP in SD are children. Even if a parent does test positive for drugs, does that mean the child should not eat?

We are also concerned with the universal nature of the testing program which would leave the state open to Constitutional challenges. This legislation is yet another example of the Republican controlled Legislature proposing policies that may be challenged in court on Constitutional grounds- costing taxpayers even more money than would already be expended to administer the policy.

Another important point: The proponents of these measures are nowhere when we seek investigation into scandals that have cost South Dakota taxpayers millions of dollars and several lives. Thank goodness HB 1076 was sent to the mythical 41st day where it belongs.

Tribal Education

Three bills (Senate Bill 9, 81 & 82) were recommended by the Department of Education and sponsored by Democratic Legislators to create a Native American grant program and tuition assistance scholarship for paraprofessionals seeking to become certified teachers in Native American schools. While there are immediate steps we need to take in healthcare, these are important long term programs to help provide the experts needed on reservation communities.

All three bills passed unanimously in Senate Education today. This success is historic in nature because similar legislation has not progressed in previous years. Thanks to all of the visionaries who are helping this issue to progress including the SD Department of Education, Indian Education Committee, the Governor's office and certainly the Democratic legislators who have been working on these exact issues in previous Sessions.

Medicaid Expansion and Tribal Health

If South Dakota chooses to participate in Medicaid Expansion, the state will be able to provide health care coverage for tens of thousands of South Dakotans, including a large number of American Indians, whose needs are not being adequately addressed in the current system. Medicaid Expansion creates an opportunity for South Dakota to take a step toward preventing what has been the result of generations of extreme health disparities affecting American Indian populations. I am pleased to mention that of the nine tribal governments in South Dakota, the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe and the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate were the first to issue formal letters of support.

According to SD Budget & Policy Project, here are some important facts regarding Medicaid Expansion and health care for Tribal members.

*Up to 14,231 American Indians would be newly enrolled in the program, improving access to care and health outcomes throughout Indian Country.

*Under the proposal, any services billed by Indian Health Service to Medicaid for care of American Indians will continue to be reimbursed 100% by the federal government, eliminating any fiscal obligation by the state

*Of 33 states with significant Native populations, South Dakota is the lowest in number of American Indians with private insurance (22%). SD ranks fourth highest in uninsured American Indians (38%). Among American Indians ages 18-64 (the population affected by Medicaid Expansion), 51% are currently uninsured.

*In contrast, South Dakota has the second highest number of American Indians who report having access to underfunded IHS clinics (77%)

*IHS service units serve eligible American Indians regardless of insurance status. However, IHS has been severely underfunded historically, with current funding only covering 60% of the need. IHS expenditures per capita are roughly one-third the amount spent per capita for the general public and one-half the amount spent on federal prisoners.

*As a result of the severe funding shortages in Indian Health Service, American Indians continue to suffer serious health disparities, often because of lack of access to preventative health care and early treatment. In fact, the underfunding of IHS contributes to health disparities for American Indians in cancer, diabetes, infant mortality and other preventable diseases

The rest of the Session promises to be an exciting opportunity to move South Dakota forward. Please contact me with questions or concerns at or 605-742-3112

National Wear Red Day on Friday

Submitted by Liz Anderson

Tobacco Prevention Specialist

Community Health Education

The first Friday of February has been designated by the awareness campaign, Heart Truth, as National Wear Red Day in the United States. On this day, men and women are encouraged to wear red as a symbol of their support of women's heart health.

SWO Community Health Education would like to invite everyone to wear RED this Friday.

We will be out in the rotunda from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. with helpful information and a tasty treat. Please stop by and pick up some information for a healthy heart and a sweet snack.

Public Health Nursing point of care will also be there to give you your numbers.

Observe National Wear Red Day

People wear red as a way to bring attention to the problem of heart disease in women. Many women wear red dresses, the identifying symbol for the day. Health organizations hold seminars and public outreach events to educate people about prevention and screening of heart disease.

January 2016 Community Health Education monthly report

By Gypsy Wanna

Wellness Coordinator

The early part of the month we spent planning our year and selected dates for several events. I promoted the mammogram dates for January and provided information on mammograms. I provided information on the CHE Facebook page and promoted the First 1000 Days Pregnancy Survey. On Tuesday January 12, had a booth about HIV/AIDS at the Tiospa Zina basketball game. PHN was with us to provide HIV screenings. There were four people who got screened.

Trainings I attended:

January 21 Increasing Colorectal Cancer Screening.

Meetings I attended:

01/05/16   Employee Morale

01/07/16   TAC-with Sierra Wolcott

01/11/15   SWO Health Plan

01/13/16   Diabetes Team Meeting

01/15/16   Injury Prevention Team Meeting

01/28/16   Meth Summit

01/29/15   Meth Summit

Meningitis on the prairie

By Richard P. Holm MD

It was in the early '70s, and the end of our second year at USD medical school. All sophomores left the classroom to spend the last month with a practicing doctor out on the South Dakota Prairie, and I was assigned to Madison, SD. There I heard of a case of meningitis that had happened a few months earlier.

The teenage girl came to the emergency room with severe headache, spotty rash, stiff neck, high fever, and confusion. Recognized as possibly meningitis, the wise doctor and emergency room team quickly performed a lumbar puncture, also called a spinal tap. In addition, blood cultures, IV fluids, and broad-spectrum antibiotics were started within minutes of the patient arriving to the hospital.

The shocking nature of the story was that over the ensuing hour, despite all the correct actions taken, the girl died. A day later, cultures of blood and spinal fluid came back positive for Neisseria meningitides, a type of bacteria that can spread in an indiscriminate and epidemic-way through communities of healthy young people such as high school classes, army barracks, and college dormitories. Prior to antibiotics, epidemics of spinal meningitis were merciless.

But in 1973, everyone from the girl's family and in the ER who came in contact with her were given miraculous antibiotics for a period of time as a preventative measure and only one more case of meningitis happened in that community that spring.

The word meningitis is from the Greek "membrane" and "itis" for "inflammation," indicating an irritation of the tough protective membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal canal like a raincoat. Meningitis means an infection has spread involving that membrane and, more important, the spinal fluid within, and generally starts from a nose, lung, or blood infection. There are many different kinds of meningitis infections, from bacteria, viruses, fungi, and more, but the diagnosis always requires a lumbar puncture and blood cultures.

Historically the most common bacterial causes for meningitis were from three very aggressive bacterial groups with fancy names: Haemophilus influenza, Neisseria meningitides, and Streptococcus pneumoniae. But things have changed since 1973. Now in developed countries like ours, another miracle of science called vaccination has greatly reduced, although not completely eradicated, spinal meningitis infections from these deadly bacteria. A recent South Dakota death in a young man from meningitis who had been vaccinated emphasizes the words, "reduced, not eradicated."

Our story of meningitis clarifies how infections can be so dangerous, how antibiotics and vaccinations have been very effective, and yet how life is still so very fragile.


To hear more from Dr. Holm, visit his website, On Call with the Prairie Doc is produced by the Healing Words Foundation in association with the South Dakota State University journalism department and airs Thursdays on South Dakota Public Broadcasting Television at 7 p.m. CT, 6 p.m. MT, and streams live at

Falling lesson

By Richard P. Holm MD

The runner was facing traffic, coming down a steep, switchback, asphalt road after a recent rain. As he came around a tight corner he slipped, just as an approaching car was turning into him. He caught himself with the palm of his hand and in that split-second-that-counts cranked down hard on the wrist in order to avoid slipping under the car. After the car passed, happy to be alive, the runner went on while the wrist slowly began to declare its irritation for being treated with such disrespect.

There are eight carpal bones in the human wrist along with ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and fibrous tissue. These all connect the hand to the forearm allowing for the muscles of the forearm to work the hand. The hand, wrist, and forearm can make powerful hold and release movements like throwing long and accurate spears or footballs, pounding or hammering corn meal or nails, and pulling and hauling lines, sheets, or wheelbarrows. Those same hands can make tiny intricate movements like forming small stitches for a garment or a laceration, making subtle hand movements for turning the perfect clay jar, painting a masterpiece art work, and playing the emotional strains of a Beethoven or Beatles piano or guitar rhapsody.

The doctor noted the runner's wrist was not deformed like a dinner fork. The dinner-fork shape is typical after breaking the radius-forearm bone an inch back from the wrist after a fall forward. This type of fracture is the second most common for the elderly next to a collapsed vertebrae. Often balance fails and bones get softer as people get older, making this type of fracture too common. Balance and bone strength are lost in those who are inactive, and preserved in those who regularly stress muscles and bones with movement and lifting.

For the runner, X-rays confirmed no fracture of the wrist, hand, or forearm, meaning it was a soft tissue sprain and a wrist splint and Ibuprofen were prescribed.

Take home messages: Don't run on wet asphalt on steep hills with oncoming traffic, or, more importantly don't walk on dangerous spots such as icy walkways or slippery wooden floors with socks or rugs that can slide; Keep bones strong with adequate vitamin D, enough calcium rich foods, and regular weight bearing exercises; and Enhance balance by strengthening your legs, arms, and core (back and abdominal) muscles with daily weight-bearing activities that you enjoy.


To hear more from Dr. Holm, visit his website, On Call with the Prairie Doc is produced by the Healing Words Foundation in association with the South Dakota State University journalism department and airs Thursdays on South Dakota Public Broadcasting Television at 7 p.m. CT, 6 p.m. MT, and streams live at

SWO winter storm closings policy

(Editor's note: The policy has been updated, actually reverting to standing policy that was changed in January 2013.)

SWO Tribal members are asked to please contact Tribal Law Enforcement at 698-7661 in the event of an emergency, and to be as specific as possible concerning the nature of the problem.

Tribal officials ask that anyone away from home during a storm, if you find shelter, please notify Tribal Law Enforcement that you are safe. That could prevent rescue workers from endangering themselves out looking for you.

The public is asked to plan ahead when the forecast calls for a possible winter storm. This includes checking to make sure there is ample heating fuel, food, and drinking water. For those with serious medical conditions, be certain there is ample medication on hand.

In some cases, dialysis patients and others with acute health problems should contact their health provider about staying in a "swing bed" or with family or friends close to the health care center. Telephone number is 698-7606.

Tribal office business hours

on winter storm days

The Tribal offices will be closed due to winter weather in conjunction with the closing of either Tiospa Zina Tribal School or Sisseton Public Schools. If it is announced in the news, either on the radio or television, that the Sisseton Public Schools or Tiospa Zina Tribal School will be starting one hour late due to winter weather then the Tribal offices will open one hour late. If the school is closed because of a major winter storm for an entire day then so shall the Tribe.

If, however, the school is closed because of a non-storm related problem, such as broken waterlines, then the Tribe shall be open during normal business hours.

Above all, employees are asked to please use their best judgment when traveling in winter storms except in emergencies. (And then, please let other sin your family, or friends, and Tribal Law Enforcement, know your plans.)

If possible, everyone is asked to please check on your elderly family members and friends during such times.

SWO Head Start

closing policy

All delays/cancellations are posted on KELO and KSFY TV stations. You may also access the KELO Closeline website at

They are also announced on Tribal Radio Station KXSW.

SWO Head Start follows weather-related delays/cancellations made by Tiospa Zina, Sisseton Public Schools, and Tribal administration. Head start closes in accordance with SWO Personnel Policies.

Delays: A one-hour delay means Head Start employees shall begin arriving at 9:00 a.m. Please check with your child's teacher for earliest arrival time to allow adequate preparation.

For safety reasons, buses do not transport children if the temperature is -20 degrees or colder, with or without wind chill. In these conditions, parents/guardians must transport their children to and from school. Children will be excused if parents cannot provide transportation.

Youth, school activities highlights –

Education watch on the Lake Traverse Reservation

Scholarship opportunity

Leo A Daly Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Architecture/Engineering Scholarship:

*Applicants must be provide Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Enrollment Verification.

*Must be Third or Fourth year undergraduate students with a declared major in Architecture or Engineering.

*Must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5.

Application Deadline for the spring semester: February 12.

For more information and the application please contact Janell Williams, SWO Higher Education Program at 605-742-0150 or via email

Outdoors Column

Just a quick reminder that on February 1, 2016 sportsmen and women will need their new licenses. The 2016 licenses are good through January 31, 2017. Licenses can be purchased through the SD Game, Fish and Parks website at:, or from license agents across the state. A list of the agent locations is available on the website.

It seems like we were just able to turn our focus to ice fishing instead of hunting, but a hunting season is just about to start. The light goose conservation order begins February 15 and runs through May 3. This conservation order is a continued effort to reduce the overabundant population of light geese. Hunters will be able to harvest snow geese, blue geese and Ross' geese with the same requirements and restrictions as during the regular season, except that electronic calls and shotguns capable of holding more than three shells are allowed during this order. A person is still required to use approved non-toxic shot. In addition, hunters have an extra half-hour for hunting in the evening, as shooting hours begin one-half hour before sunrise and continue to one-half hour after sunset. There is no daily limit or no possession limit during the conservation order. All state refuges will be open to hunting, except Wall Lake State Game Bird Refuge in Hand County, Silver Lake Waterfowl Refuge in Hutchinson County and Oahe Dam, Big Bend Dam and Fort Randall Dam State Waterfowl Refuges on the Missouri River. Some of the refuges being opened encompass privately owned land, so hunters will need permission from the landowner to hunt those areas. Resident license requirements include a combination or small game license, plus a state migratory bird stamp. Nonresidents need a nonresident snow goose license, which will be available from license agents around the state. Hunters can also purchase a license online by visiting the SD Game, Fish and parks website at The Federal Waterfowl Stamp is not required to hunt snow geese in the spring, since this is a conservation order and not a regular waterfowl season. The handbook for this season is available at license agents, convenience stores and online.

With the spring turkey season is just around the corner, our first big game deadline is fast approaching. The applications are out and you will have until February 13, 2016 to get your paper application in and you will have until 8 a.m. the following Tuesday to get the internet application in. Also the Lake Francis Case paddlefish application deadline is also February 13, 2016.

An informational item for everyone is that most Conservation Officers in the sate has had their office phone lines disconnected. Due to the advancements in technology and mobility of the Conservation Officers positions and duties we all have switched to cell phones. The new fishing handbooks have our cell numbers listed in them.

If you have any questions about the information in this article or any other topic please feel free to give me a call at 605-881-3773.

Good luck on your next outdoor adventure.

Dean E. Shultz Jr., Roberts County Conservation Officer.

Garden Corner

Submitted by Eric Hanssen

Browns Valley, Minnesota

A terrarium is a transparent glass or plastic container with soil. It has an open or closed top and is used for displaying growing plants as a miniature landscape. Many kinds of containers can be adapted for terrariums. These clear-sided containers have no drain holes and usually have a clear top. When a terrarium is properly planted and located, it can be a source of enjoyment for years, providing an interesting way to grow and display many plants with relatively little care.


Almost any type of clear glass or plastic container can be used for a terrarium: fish bowl, fish tank, glass jar, jug or bottle. There are containers made especially for terrariums. The container must be clear, however, as tinted or cloudy glass reduces light and interferes with plant growth. Containers can be closed or open. Plants in closed containers must be tolerant of high humidity. Containers with large openings without covers may be used but will require more frequent watering to maintain humidity. An open container with plants that do not require high humidity works well with less frequent watering. Open terrariums are drier and less subject to diseases.


Many plants are suitable for growing in terrariums. Low-growing, dense plants are best. Large plants can be used and kept small by pruning. Choose plants for variations in size, texture and color, as well as their adaptability. Determine the location for the terrarium. Note the light conditions and temperature of this area. Select plants that suit the location and have similar requirements. Do not combine a plant that prefers low light with one that needs high light. At least one of the plants will perform poorly because its basic needs are not being met. Most plants require light near a window or supplemental artificial light. The terrarium should be located within several feet of a bright window but not in direct sun.


Soil must be high in organic matter, clean and well-drained. Most potting soils sold at nurseries and garden centers have been sterilized. Since plants are not meant to grow rapidly, adding fertilizer is not necessary. It is possible to make your own mix by combining by volume one part peat and one part soil conditioning grade of pine bark with one part rich garden soil. The soil in the mix must be sterilized by heating it to an internal temperature of 200 ° F. This causes an unpleasant odor.

Planting the Terrarium:

Sterilize the container before planting. Wash in hot, soapy water and rinse thoroughly, run it through the dishwasher, or wash with a 1:15 bleach/water solution then rinse with water. If you use a commercial glass cleaner, allow the open container to air for several days before planting.

If your container does not have an obvious front or back, select one to use as the "back" side. Determine the arrangement of the plants by either moving them around inside the container (if it has a large opening) or in an open area about the size of the container. Plants should be arranged so that taller plants are toward the back. A low, coarse-textured plant makes a dominant focal point near the front. Use sand, rocks, shells, wood and other natural materials for visual interest. If the terrarium is to be viewed from all directions, the display should have a hill in the middle. In general, about a quarter of the container will be used for drainage material and soil. Place a layer of pea gravel or aquarium gravel in the bottom of the container for drainage. Next, place a ½-inch layer of horticultural charcoal above the pebbles to keep the soil from developing a sour smell. Sphagnum moss may be placed over the charcoal to prevent soil from sifting into the drainage area. Add relatively dry soil to the container (it should not be so wet that it sticks to the side). For most containers, a minimum thickness of 1½ inches is needed. To add interest you may choose to arrange the soil so that it slopes from the back of the container towards the front. A large kitchen spoon is helpful in placing drainage material and soil in the container. If the container has a very small opening, a paper or aluminum foil funnel will help, as will an iced tea spoon taped to a bamboo stick. It is very important when planting a terrarium that all plants be insect- and disease-free. Remove any leaves that are yellowed, damaged or show any sign of disease or insect damage. Trim the roots of any plants that have a circling root ball. Rocks and wood should be added to the container after the soil. Then place the plants in the container. When planting in a container with a wide opening, use a spoon to scoop out the potting holes. Place each plant so the top of the root ball is level with the top of the soil. It should sit in the soil in the container no lower and no higher than it did in the pot. When placing plants in a deep container, or one with a small opening, use long, slender tongs or a stick with a wire loop on the end. Dig holes with a pointed stick before inserting the plants. After the plant has been placed in the hole, fill in with soil and firm gently. A good tool for firming the soil is a long stick with a cork fixed on the end.

Add moss and other accessories lastly to give a finished appearance. After planting, mist to clean soil sticking to the leaves or the sides of the container. The water from the mist should be sufficient to settle the soil and provide moisture. No heavy watering is necessary at this time. Mist again the next day, observing the water level at the bottom, which should not exceed a quarter inch. Keep the container uncovered until the leaves are completely dry. If the terrarium is the closed type, apply the cover at this time. Remove any plant that begins to rot. Rot is often associated with too much moisture. If this occurs in a closed container, remove the cover to allow more drying. Generally, after a few weeks, the terrarium is established and the threat of disease is reduced. Continue to watch for falling leaves or any plant parts that begin to decay.

Care After Planting:

The closed terrarium probably will not need to be watered for four to six months. Do not replace the cover until the leaves have dried somewhat. Open terrariums need occasional watering, but not as often as other houseplants. Watering should always be light. Heavy watering result in too much standing water. It is better to be a little too dry than too wet. Many plants outgrow their neighbors or the terrarium. With a little trimming these plants can be brought into bounds. Frequently pinching out tips before a plant becomes too tall will result in more balanced growth than infrequent, more severe cutbacks. Do not plan to fertilize for at least a year after planting. If the plants are yellowish and lack vigor without any apparent reason, fertilize very lightly with a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer at about one-tenth the rate recommended for normal houseplants. Occasionally it may be necessary to replace plants. Follow the same directions and precautions for adding new plants to the terrarium. Some foliage plants that do well in a small-mouthed terrarium include Creeping fig, Ti plant, Ribbon plant, Earth star, Prayer plants and Parlor palm. Do not use ferns - they will take over a terrarium.

This article prepared by Debbie Shaughnessy, HGIC Horticulture Specialist, Al Pertuit, Extension Floriculture Specialist, Clemson University, available online at


Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate

Lake Traverse Reservation

State of South Dakota

In Tribal Court

Case No. D-16-135-009

In the matter of the change of name of Brayden Rodney Olson, minor child

And concerning Charla Ward, Petitioner



NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Petitioner's request for a change of name from Brayden Rodney Olson to Brayden Rodney Ward shall be heard before the Honorable BJ Jones, Judge of the Tribal Court, in the Courtroom of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Tribal Court at Agency Village, SD at 2:30 P.M. on the 8th day of February 2016.

Dated this 14th day of January 2016.

By the Court:

BJ Jones, Chief Judge.

Attest: Lois Kohl, Clerk of Court


Trading Post ads

Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate

Job Openings

The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate is seeking to fill the following positions(s)

Adult Daycare Provider, Tribal Elderly Nutrition

Cultural Resource Protection Ranger, THPO

Wildlife Biologist, Fish & Wildlife

CD Technician, Dakotah Pride

Closing Date: Fedruary 12th, 2016 @04:30 PM

EAP Counselor, Human Resources

Open Until Filled

All interested applicants may obtain application and job description information at the Human Resource Department, of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate or contact Arnold Williams at (605) 698-8238 or Denise Hill at (605) 698-8362. (Tribal preference will apply)


Sisseton Wahpeton College

Sisseton Wahpeton College has the following vacancies:


There is an opening for a full-time Custodian in our Facilities Department at SWC. Requirements are: High School Diploma or GED. Previous janitorial experience required. Physically able to perform moderate to heavy manual labor under various conditions, as necessary. Position closes at 430 p.m. on February 10, 2016. Visit our website for a complete job description and application or contact the HR office at 605-698-3966, ext. 1118.

Sponsored Programs Assistant/Purchasing & Inventory:

The Office of Institutional Research & Programs at SWC has an opening for a Sponsored Programs Assistant/Purchasing & Inventory. Requirements for this position are: Associates Degree, course work or at least 2 years of work experience with basic accounting, record management, and the Microsoft Office Professional Suite. Position closes at 4:30 p.m. February 10, 2016. Visit our website for a complete job description and application or contact the HR office at 605-698-3966, ext. 1118.

Student Accounts Receivable:

The SWC Business Office has a position open in Student Accounts Receivable. This position secures revenue by verifying and posting receipts and resolving discrepancies. Requirements for this position are: AA Degree in Accounting or Business Administration, and 3 years' experience in accounts receivable. Position closes at 4:30 p.m. February 10, 2016. For a complete job description and application, visit our website or contact the HR office at 605-698-3966, ext. 1118.

Prep Cook:

The SWC College Café has opening for a part-time Prep Cook. Requirements are: High School Diploma or GED. ServSafe Certification preferred. Position closes at 4:30 p.m. on February 10, 2016. Visit our website for a complete job description and application or contact the HR office at 605-698-3966, ext. 1118.


Dakota Magic Casino

Job Openings

Marketing Department: VIP Ambassador (Full-Time or Part-Time) Swing

Slots Department: Technician (Full-Time or Part-Time) Swing

Closing Date: February 5, 2016 at 4:00 p.m.

Starting Wage: D.O.E.

High School Diploma or GED required for most positions

Two identifications documents required upon hire

If interested please submit application to Human Resources Department, 16849 102nd Street SE, Hankinson ND 58041.For complete Job Description contact James Neconish 701-634-3000 ext. 2582 Indian Preference will apply / EEO. (Please Provide Tribal Enrollment). Must be licensable by the SWO Gaming Commission.


Dakota Sioux Casino & Hotel

Job Openings

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

FOOD SERVICE: DELI COOK (1 FULL- TIME) GENERAL FUNCTION: To prepare individual meals using grill, fryers, and broilers according to customers request. REQUIREMENTS: High school diploma or GED equivalent. Must have one year cooking experience. Able to stand for long periods of time. Ability to lift at least 35 lbs. Must be able to work even shifts and weekend morning shifts. Cooking and food handling experience is required. Must obtain a Non-Gaming License upon hire.

This position will close on February 3, 2016 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 Sioux Casino & Hotel

Job Openings

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

SECURITY: SECURITY OFFICER (2 FULL-TIME) ROTATING SHIFTS GENERAL FUNCTION: The security officer protects company assets and provides a safe             environment for customers and employees. Exhibit a friendly, helpful and courteous manner when dealing with the customers and employees. Maintains security activities and performs credit transactions adhering to company, Tribal, State and Federal guidelines. Work closely with Casino & Hotel Management. REQUIREMENTS: High School Diploma or GED equivalent. Must have basic computer skills. Ongoing training through Dakota Nation Gaming Enterprise and respective security department policy and procedures. Medical aid training in CPR and First Aid. Complete departmental training program including CPR, first aid, and TAM. Must complete a 90 day probation period. Must be licensable by SWO Gaming Commission. Must be able to work irregular hours. Must be dependable, punctual, some knowledge in handheld radios, and writing reports. Law Enforcement or Security background prefer. Must not have a felony on your record. Must be physically fit and able to lift 40+ lbs. Must complete all security certifications within a year of hire in accordance with the Gaming Commissions rules and regulations.

This position will close on February 3, 2016 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.



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