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Sota Volume 45 Issue No. 35

Anpetu Iyamni, September 3, 2014

Inside this Edition –

Part Two: “Grassroots Solutions for a Better Community” forum; Next meeting is Sept. 10th

SWO Reservation Election Board to hold public forums on Machine Ballot-Counting: Two dates Sept. 4 or 16

Please observe BIA 700 detour routes

Free business training for Native American artists at SWC

SWC to host traditional pottery workshop

Deadline for receipt of copy for consideration is 12:00 noon Fridays

Part Two –

“Grassroots Solutions for a Better Community”

“We need to find a recovery system that works.” (Statement by Rhonda Flatland)

By CD Floro

Sota Editor

SWO Meth Prevention Coordinator Crystal Owen organized the first in a series of community meetings on Wednesday, August 20th to address out-of-control increase in substance abuse and addiction. While principally focused on the spike in meth use, there are other illegal as well as prescription drugs being abused. And still, as for decades, the number one substance abused on the Lake Traverse Reservation is alcohol.

On behalf of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate the Tribe’s Meth Prevention Coordinator Crystal Owen welcomed everyone who came to the August 20th grassroots solution meeting. She took the microphone about 10:15 a.m., with the Tribal Council chambers not quite filled.

As Crystal spoke, followed by traditional prayer in Dakotah by Jesse Larsen with his nephew Everett Blackthunder Jr. on the hand drum, more people entered the chambers.

Everett gave a passionate account of how devastating abuse can be on an individual, on a family … and about recovering.

Then more people came.

The chambers were not overflowing, but the turnout – not looking good at the top of the hour – was good. It was a pretty strong showing.

There were about 55 people in attendance. Representatives came from Tribal Housing, Tiospa Zina Tribal School, Tribal Law Enforcement, Dakotah Pride Treatment Center, Tribal Human Services, Tribal Education, Tribal Court, Enemy Swim Homeless Shelter, E.T. Demo, Aliive Roberts Co., Dakota Magic Casino, Tribal Attorneys, Tribal Council members, Tribal Higher Education, treasured elders, members of the clergy, state-tribal law enforcement liaison, concerned community members, and US Attorney Brendan Johnson.

Noticeably absent, who had been sent invitations, were probation officers, public defenders of surrounding counties, county prosecutors, circuit court judges, county sheriffs, and local school superintendents.

Purpose of the meeting: Here is an excerpt from the public letter published in the Sota by Crystal Owen: “As we all know, drug abuse does not discriminate. We are all affected, the user, the family and the community. This Grassroots effort was created by recovering drug addicts, family members and community members. We know we all must do our part of finding the solutions. It is not hopeless and we are not a hopeless community.”

Everyone seemed to share both the pessimism and hope we are facing at what seems a critical moment in our problems of addiction.

Rather than pointing fingers, why isn’t more being done by “you,” there seemed respect and willingness to work cooperatively – the only way substantive headway can be made against the monster of addiction.

Crystal echoed what Chairman Shepherd had said in his August report, that more and more pregnant women on the Lake Traverse Reservation are using meth and/or other drugs during pregnancy, resulting in a spike of infants born with addiction and birth defects.

This epidemic is not so different from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Effects (FAS/FAE) which brought about public awareness campaigns in past decades by Tribal health programs and the IHS.

Focus, Crystal believes (as do others at the meeting) needs to be on greater treatment options and help for the addict.

She said it is the responsibility of families to identify and help the addicts and point to sources of the meth (and other drugs).

“I Am A Meth Addict” signup is one way. The Meth Prevention Program, which she coordinates, and other resources, are available to help. And it good, she says, “to get them (addicts) to tell their stories.”

“How do you deal with your own family?” she asked.

“If you have information,” she said, “send it to our police or others who can help.”

“Tough love.”

“Don’t allow them to come into your home and steal, use … no.”

“Do not allow (yourselves) to continue enabling,” she said. While that enabling can be a hard chain to break, it must be broken.

Nobody is saying “fixing” the problem will be easy.

Meth, Crystal explained, “is a great high ... and down, depression with addicts no longer being themselves at all, but at times suicidal, at times homicidal.”

Confrontation can be dangerous.

US Attorney Brendan Johnson took the microphone next, saying “I am here to listen.”

“I want to work with you . . . (get) your input.” he said.

He spoke of federal resources available (through the Department of Justice) but “I am not going to tell you the way things are going to be.”

He repeated, “I want your folks’ thoughts.”

The US Attorney said he will come to the next meeting, and if the Tribe wants, he will bring representatives of the DOJ from Washington, DC and from the FBI.

Brendan Johnson said this show of community support was “inspiring” to him. “I am inspired by all of you.”

Vivian Gill voiced personal “frustration” to Johnson.

“We don’t have funding for mental health … addressing undiagnosed depression ... psychologists and other mental health workers.”

“We lack resources to protect our borders ... for drug busts.”

Vivian challenged the community to get involved, get a group together and start knocking on the doors of the suspected drug dealers and ask them to stop selling in our community.

Jeannie (Faber) Hovland spoke on behalf of Senator John Thune.

She told how the Senator wants to be kept informed and wants to know “How can I (Senator Thune) help?”

Later during the meeting, Jeannie asked Brendan Johnson about specific help available to the SWO through the Department of Justice.

In that exchange, Captain Gaikowski was asked how many more officers does his department need to manage the increased work load due to the level of drug use.

He answered, “Six more officers.”

Right now, Tribal Law Enforcement lacks capability to respond to all calls, including anonymous tips from the Meth hotline (605-742-0088).

When it was Gary Gaikowski’s turn to come to the microphone, he began by saying “It’s been a struggle this year.”

“Crime is up . . . twenty-four/seven.”

“We’ve made over 2,000 arrests over the past year.”

 “We are coping with meth, heroin and alcohol.”

“Family talks about the problem … we get calls … but for a search warrant we need a signature.”

That doesn’t often come, even with family members, relatives and neighbors alerting Tribal Law Enforcement about “drug activity … suspicious coming and going … drug houses.”

One question we have is, how can the anonymous tip line be effective? We publish this notice weekly in your Sota newspaper, and know that people call the number.

But without people’s willingness to step up and sign a warrant, the law enforcement officers can’t go into a home where drug activity is going on.

It’s a big frustration, and after the meeting one of the officers told me “What are we going to do if we have a (known) disturbance going on someplace and we get an anonymous tip to go somewhere else because of (alleged) drug dealing?”

He answered his own question, saying they are going to go where there is a known situation where they are needed and allowed to do their job.

Back to Gary’s talk.

He would like to see more involvement by families and the community.

“Everybody benefits,” he said, “with voluntary treatment.”

With the current crisis, he told the Oyate and guests, “The Tribe is at a crossroads.”

He was asked about the connection to Mexican meth suppliers and how they have developed inroads here on the Lake Traverse Reservation (as well as on other reservations).

Some families and their housing units are believed by people in the community to be places where drugs from these cartels are dealt and used.

This problem is related, but not directly, to the many units where meth labs are in use.

When asked about these places, Captain Gaikowski said that officers still need a warrant to search and make an arrest in any case.

The most depressing thing to Gary, and to everyone who spoke, is the impact on the children of families where drugs are abused.

Children are exposed to the harmful effects directly of the toxic materials, and to the abuse and neglect that come by having their primary caregivers putting their need to get high above these young people in their care.

And, in the case of the unborn, their future is placed below their addicted mother’s needs.

Tribal Court Judge BJ Jones commented that is not enough to use an anonymous tip to get a warrant.

He talked about what the Tribe’s Drug Court is doing, and how it can help those willing to seek treatment for alcohol or other drug addiction.

Martha Renville commented there ought to be stricter laws and enforcement.

Crystal Owen spoke about drug testing. And “We don’t want our victims to go to prison … prefer treatment.”

There was a discussion of more cooperation among agencies and programs such as Child Protection and Tribal Court.

“Staff needs help … especially when it comes to little kids,” said Crystal.

“Without a conviction, a family is able to return to their housing unit.”

A suggestion was made to have the Sisseton-Wahpeton Housing Authority Board review and possibly change its policies. That subject was one of several addressed by Patrick Deutsch, who also took the floor at the meeting.

Rhonda Flatland, who works in the trenches – DNGE Day Care, Dakotah Pride Center – asked to speak and came up with some of the most profound statements of anyone there.

Recovering addicts, she said, “face going to prison … or are in and out of prison.”

“What’s wrong here?” she asked.

The twelve-step programs work, she said.

“NA and AA (Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous) … need more support here.”

“We need to find a recovery system that works.”

Intervention, recovery and aftercare must be allotted more resources seemed to be her message.

There was a discussion of how the Oyate ought to balance crime and punishment and recovery … and justice.

Susan Peters commented how lenient are laws that allow the person who killed so many of her family members a decade ago while driving intoxicated to be free so soon.

She wanted to know what the schools were doing to address the drug problem.

In response to questions about what the Tribal schools are doing, Education Coordinator Dr. Johnson said that everyone in education on the Reservation is “mandated to notify authorities whenever abuse is suspected.”

She said the schools are part of the Tribe’s “strategic plan.”

“If meth is in the home it is likely that (educators) can pick up on it from the kids.”

Patrick Duetsch from SWO Housing talked about what they are seeing, damage to homes, high cost of repairs.

He answered questions about what happens when drugs are detected in a housing unit.

He said it would up to the Housing Board to change policy.

Megan LaFromboise, Tribal Attorney, gave an update on the Tribal Meth Codes that are in the final process of being approved. She also talking about pending applications for grants.

Tim LaBatte came to the meeting and asked about “units destroyed by meth.”

He asked Brendan Johnson if there is aid available to help with compensation.

Tim also asked about federal, state and local response.

Bonnie Bellonger talked about better treatment and aftercare programs for Oyate young people.

Sara McGregor Oakroi talked about the services Alive Roberts County can offer.

US Attorney Johnson interjected that his priority is to “get the snake at the head” … not to come down hard on the users/victims but to get them to lead law enforcement to those who bring drugs into the community – the big dealers.

Algin Young from the BIA Division of Drug Enforcement out of Rapid City. He said was impressed with the meeting and expressed an interest to participate and assist in future meetings.

Kateri Bird spoke passionately about the importance of using our culture as a base for healing, saying that the Oyate are all affected by historical trauma and how that effects who we are as Dakota people.

She works closely with youth programs and as an advocate for suicide prevention and meth prevention.

Kateri is one of our heroes.

One comment very worth including in this report: “We know who is selling drugs, who is out on the streets. We have a serious problem and need money, need help, need leadership.”

Watch for a notice of the next in this series of meetings, set for Wednesday, September 10th from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 noon at TiWakan Tio Tipi, Agency Village, SD. “We will be talking about solutions at the next meeting and what we can do as a community to create change,” said Crystal Owen.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Crystal Owen at 698-3070.

“Ehanna Dakota Woyakapi”

Dakotah stories feature column

By Vine T. Marks


Tohanyaked de wowapi wakage sni. Wiyohiyanpatakiya makobaspe wan ska oyate New York, cazeyatapi, he heciya sakemaza oskata nina tanka wan yuhapi. Wica, ka winyan, ka siceca koya, kiktopawinge isamyaya skad ipi. Ho, miza heciya ibdabda ka owape, ska oyate ope giyena inawaji. Nonpa, yamni ekse tehiya makuwapi, tka omang owas yutanyanked wakaceyep, ka 4th place mazaska iwekcu ka wahdiyaku.

Tka ekse wiyohiyanpata Dakota oyate oge tip henan isa opapi, nakun otapi. Oge haskapi tka pahin hanska yuhap ka hdasonpi. Tka ekse tokted Dakota wan wadake kinhan, wanna aoahanhanyaked wohdakapce, henan isa hececapi. Hehan sakemaza okiyustanp isto otonwan "Salamanca" heciya unkipi.. Hed Seneca oyate waci wan tanka yuhapi, ka Dakota ob unskanp ka wastehce scece, hed wahanpi ka agoyapi ceguguyapi un ipimiciye, iyoki I sdayena wawanyag make. "Smoke Dance Championship" yuhapi, ka attaya yupiya skanpi, maka akan siha apapayaked make.. Iyomakpi,, owakihi kinhan ake heciya bdawacami kte.

Hetanhan makobaspe wan Ohio eceyapi hed unkinanjipi.. Hed maka kagapi nina tanka wan yake, "Serpent Mounds" icazepi. Maka attaya zuzueca se pahaya ehnakapi. Nina hanske, siha iyutap kiktopawinge isamyaya nacece. Ehanna Dakota obe wanji ska oyate "mound builders" caze kupi, henan oyate maka kagapce, keyapi…Ska oyate he heyapi.. Ska wicasta taku eye kinhan, wanna tuweg owas wicadapce, heceyena taku stodye se kuwapce. Ehanna oyate unkitawap okpaza ca kun wanji wakeya tawa imahed owas kiwitayap ka hehan ehanna woyakapi ka wicohan unkitawap oyakayakece . HENAN, " history" unkitawapi, wasicu wowapi kagayakap henan ekse wasicu history heca. Dena inawajinkte.

Ite wowapi akan taku wan "Dakota ia challenge" wabdake. Winuhca wan Dakod wohdake, yupiya ecun, nakun koska nom minisota hetanhan wohdakapi, henan isa tanyan wohdakapi. Tanyan unspeiciciyapi. Takpe wacinsni, ecin taku epe kinhan, ake , "he's making fun of us." Eyapte wacinsni.. Tka, taku wanji ecamunkte, Radio program unyuhap hed takomni miza ospayaked Dakod wowahdakekte iyecece, toksta hecamunkte. Miza, amahapsni…Nakun wanna waniyetu ikiyena u, hecen wanna hotunkaka oge owabdakekte.

Hau, de ekse ocistinyaked taku owawakte, ka henanh ni waun stoyayapte. Tanyan awanyaniciyapo, ka anpetu waste yuhapo.

Hau mitakuyapi, Vine T. Marks, Sr.

Free business training offered to Native artists

Sisseton-area groups band together to host workshop led by national non-profit organization

Agency Village, SD - Native artists in Eastern South Dakota will have the opportunity to learn how to expand their arts business during a free professional development training in September.

In partnership with the First Peoples Fund, a national Native organization based in South Dakota committed to supporting and honoring Native American artists, Sisseton Wahpeton College will host a free two-day training for artists looking to develop their skills, connections and business models.

The training will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, September 11, and Friday, September 12, 2014, at The Log Cabin at Sisseton Wahpeton College. The training is free to artists, and advanced registration is encouraged at

At the training, artists will learn how to market their art, set budgets and pricing structures, develop a business plan, and more. The training will equip Native artist entrepreneurs of all ages with the tools to enhance their skills, said Logan Anderson, program manager for non-profit partnerships at First Peoples Fund.

"We hope they walk away with a better understanding of how their art plays an important role in their community. The training will offer advice on how to break in to new markets, organize and expand," Anderson said. "We offer an instructive step-by-step guide that includes resources, valuable lessons and tips. The information we teach on organizational methods, accounting, keeping track of records, and more is critical to helping artists make a living from their work."

The First Peoples Fund curriculum views the business of art as a way of cultural leadership in communities as well as a viable economic engine for individuals and families.

Mary White-Country, from the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribe in South Dakota, is a former recipient of First Peoples Fund's Artist in Business Leadership Fellowship who has taken part in previous professional development opportunities led by First Peoples Fund. An artist who does intricate beadwork, she said the trainings she took part in through her fellowship program were instrumental in helping her to professionalize her business, and presentation at the art markets she attends.

"There is not anything like this training offered in our community," White-Country said. "It is a unique opportunity that doesn't come along often. I have been telling the artists I know around the area how critical it is for them to attend, and have been encouraging students at the tribal college to also attend. In fact, even though I have been through the training before, I am going to take it again. There is always something new to learn."

Jane Rasmussen, who serves on the South Dakota Arts Council, said that she has seen the impact trainings like this can have on other Native artists. She pointed to people like Donald Montileaux, who serves on the council with her and has had a long, respected career because he has been able to master the art of his art, and the art of running a business.

"Don is someone who is revered across the state," she said. "If other artists have the opportunity to work with people like him, and see what he has done for himself, his family and his culture, I think others can have similar success too."

Presenters –


Dyani White Hawk currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is Sicangu Lakota, an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Dyani earned her MFA in studio arts in 2011 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her BFA in 2 dimensional arts in 2008 from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is currently the Gallery Director and Curator for the All My Relations Gallery in Minneapolis, Minnesota. White Hawk has been widely exhibited throughout the Midwest and New Mexico and was on view in 2013 at the University of Venice, Italy. She is a recipient of the 2013/14 McKnight Visual Artist Fellowship and the 2012 Southwestern Association of Indian Arts Discovery Fellowship. White Hawk is an award-winning artist earning Best of Division and first place prizes at the 2012 Santa Fe Indian Art Market and Best of Classification (Painting, Drawing, Graphics and Photography) at the Santa Fe Indian Art Market in 2011. She is a featured artist in the 2012 book Contemporary Native American Artists published by Gibbs Smith, and the 2010 book Art in Our Lives: Native Women Artists in Dialogue published by the School for Advanced Research Press. White Hawk's art is accessioned with the Tweed Museum, Akta Lakota Museum, the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Wisconsin Union Art Collection and the Robert Penn Collection of Contemporary Northern Plains Indian Art of the University of South Dakota. She is represented by Shiprock Santa Fe and the Bockley Gallery in Minneapolis,

Dyani became a certified trainer for First Peoples Fund in early 2014 and has participated in trainings in 2013.


Jeremy Staab of Lawrence, KS received his Bachelor's in Business Administration from Haskell Indian Nations University, Lawrence, KS. He is currently in pursuit of his Master's in Business Administration through Baker University, Baldwin, KS with a completion date of December 2014. Mr. Staab is the owner of Red Owl Screen Printing and consults for First Peoples Fund. Mr. Staab is a certified business success coach of First People's Fund's Native Artist Professional Development Training program and has successfully administered eight trainings.

Mr. Staab is a capable of providing project planning, support and follow-through to completion of a variety of administrative responsibilities. For nearly five years, he had serviced with Ho-Chunk Community Development Corporation (HCCDC) as Commercial Manager. Mr. Staab offered comprehensive operational standards centered on small business and entrepreneurial development with emphasis on technical assistance, business development, and capitalization to his clients. Secondary administrative functions consist of management of commercial properties, construction oversight, grant writing, and management of HCCDC's micro-enterprise loan portfolio, as well as offering financial literacy workshops. Mr. Staab managed financial budget by monitoring and reporting expenditures; identifying variances; implementing corrective actions, and reporting budget information. Mr. Staab also provided consultation to consigned artists of HCCDC's subsidiary, Woodland Trails, through reviewing contracts, reporting market trends, pricing items, networking, marketing, and provided assistance to artists in maintaining a business plan.


Grow South Dakota, Roberts County National Bank, Sisseton Arts Council, Sisseton Economic Development Corporation, and Sisseton Wahpeton College are sponsoring the training.

For more information on the Native Artist Professional Development Training, call Whitney Renville, director of student support services at Sisseton Wahpeton College, at (605) 698-3966 ext. 1130 or visit


First Peoples Fund Native Artist Professional Development Training

Thursday, September 11 and Friday, September 12, 2014

9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Sisseton Wahpeton College Log Cabin

BIA Road 700

Agency Village, South Dakota 57262

Motorists asked to use BIA 700 detour routes

Submitted by David A Spider

SWO Construction Management Office

This is just a reminder of the closure of BIA Route 700 and the use of Roberts Co. 34 (Old 81), Roberts Co. 5 and South BIA 700 as the access to and from Agency Village. We see that many cars during the day are still using BIA Route 706 before Barker Hill to cut across and we ask that you please pass the word to all local members and visitors to use the specified detour route. We have many unnecessary issues arising along BIA 706 such as:

1. Existing poor condition of the road itself with potholes, large rocks and simply the design of the gravel road even if up to design standards and adequate thickness of gravel is not made to handle 3,000 cars and heavy trucks per day

2. Excessive use will only deteriorate the life of this road even faster and as I stated before all entities in the area have limited funds to maintain, let alone reconstruct these roads

3. Excessive vehicle traffic means many more drivers are driving too fast through the housing areas of the roadway and also higher traffic is creating an excessive amount of dust and poses a safety concern with drivers being able to see each other when approaching head on

Construction should last only until around the end of October and should have an asphalt surfaced north section of BIA 700 to use over the winter before the road being closed again in the Spring of 2015 to construct the remaining 2.5 miles.

If you happen to be curious the construction will consist of widening the roadway, just as you see at the south end section near the Pow Wow Grounds with each lane being 12’ wide and having 8’ shoulders. New box culverts will be installed, some of the sags and hills along the stretch will be filled or flattened out for better sight distance and more trees, shrubs and material will be cleared within the Right of Way.

Once again please pass the word to as many people as you can and please use the detour as much as possible.

Interagency group on Environmental Justice part of Tribal Summit at Bismarck

Denver, CO – August 27, 2014 – The Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice will hold a public meeting for Tribes and Indigenous Communities on September 4, 2014 from 8:30 am – 11:45 am at the Bismarck North Dakota Civic Center. There is no cost to attend. The purpose of the meeting is to enhance tribes’ and indigenous communities’ access to federal agencies and federal programs and in turn to increase federal agencies’ understanding of tribal and indigenous communities’ environmental justice concerns.

Discussions could include environmental and health issues; energy development on or near Tribal Lands; housing issues and other concerns. There will also be an opportunity to learn about environmental career options, environmental justice, and other public health and quality of life issues in an afternoon session from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

The meeting will be hosted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8 and EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice and is intended for tribal leaders, tribal environmental program personnel, students, indigenous community groups, and the general public.

We encourage you to register online at (although registration is not required to attend).

This meeting is being held in conjunction with the United Tribes Tribal Leaders Summit Meeting.

(Editor’s note: See the UTN agenda inside this Sota.)

Funding for Law Enforcement on Standing Rock, Turtle Mountain, MHA reservations

Bismarck, ND – August 11, 2014 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced more than $50,000 in federal funds to support local law enforcement on the Standing Rock, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, and Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Indian Reservations.

The tribes will be able to use these funds to prevent and control crime in ways to meet the needs and conditions of the community. Some examples include using the funds to support local initiatives, provide technical assistance, train officers, and purchase needed equipment.

“Since I was Attorney General, improving the lives of Native families has been one of my top priorities,” said Heitkamp. “I’ve been working on everything from making sure the children have access to a quality education to finding ways to make housing affordable and safe. Supporting local law enforcement and making sure it has resources, training, and the personnel needed to protect Native families, like these funds will do, is another important piece to that puzzle. While these funds will help, there is still plenty to be done to make sure our Native communities are safe. I will continue to do my part to hold up our trust and treaty obligation and moral responsibility to our Native brothers and sisters.”

The grants are distributed as follows:

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe –$18,920

Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara - $17,006

Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa –$14,719

These funds are part of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants program (Byrne-JAG) and are authorized through the U.S. Department of Justice.

Strategy to fight drug crimes in Bakken and at Northern Border

Continues White House Drug Czar’s Pledge to Reduce Drug Crime in ND following visit to ND

Minot, MD – August 19, 2014 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today joined the Administration’s Drug Czar to release a new national strategy to combat drug crime and trafficking across the country, with a particular focus on addressing the growing drug problems in North Dakota and reducing the cross-border flow of drugs between the U.S. and Canada.

Heitkamp and White House Office of National Drug Control Policy’s (ONDCP) Acting Director Michael Botticelli, joined by state officials, local law enforcement, and tribal leaders, announced that the Administration’s 2014 National Northern Border Counternarcotics Strategy specifically provides an update on drug trafficking at the northern U.S. border, and makes recommendations to improve international coordination between the United States and Canada. The release follows the July 9 release of the White House National Drug Control Strategy, which for the first time specifically mentioned emerging threats and needs in the Bakken region.

The release of the new national agenda to combat drug crime in North Dakota continues a strong commitment made by former ONDCP Director R. Gil Kerlikowske – when Heitkamp brought him to North Dakota in July 2013 – to combat drug crime and abuse in North Dakota, particularly in the Bakken. During that visit, Heitkamp and Kerlikowske spoke with local law enforcement and tribal officials about the major increase in drug crimes in the oil patch which is spreading to other areas. Just four months after that visit, ONDCP announced a series of steps to help reduce drug crime and abuse in the Bakken, including naming Williams County as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, making it eligible for more federal funds. The designation and today’s announcement are a direct result of the former ONDCP director’s visit to the state.

“As North Dakota’s former Attorney General, I understand the law enforcement challenges facing our state, and making sure North Dakota’s families and communities are safe is a must,” said Heitkamp. “With North Dakota’s unprecedented population and economic growth, especially in the Bakken, drug-related crimes have become emerging challenges that we must stop. The Administration has taken our concerns seriously since I brought the former Drug Czar to our state last summer, and pledged to dedicate resources to combat drug crime in North Dakota. Since then, the Administration has followed up with real action and support, and today’s announcement is another step in continuing that pledge. Today’s new national drug control strategy aims to provide stronger coordination between the U.S. and Canada so we can prevent the flow of drugs and criminals between our borders. Only by coming together can we stem the tide of drug trafficking and abuse and truly make sure our state remains a safe place for families to live and work.”

The 2014 National Northern Border Counternarcotics Strategy has several provisions to help combat drug crime and improve the safety of North Dakota communities, including:

· Using federal resources more efficiently to increase and optimize prosecutorial support on the Northern Border, fighting drug trafficking, criminal gangs, and their financial infrastructures;

· Improving coordination between federal and tribal law enforcement to help identify concerns in Indian Country (notably the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation, given its proximity to the border), and provide appropriate resources and training opportunities to tribal law enforcement tailored to specific needs; and

· Working more closely with border communities on strategies to develop more effective prevention, treatment, and law enforcement partnerships.

Since serving as North Dakota’s Attorney General, Heitkamp has played a leading role in supporting and protecting North Dakota communities. In January, Heitkamp welcomed news that a special prosecutor will be placed in western North Dakota to help fight drug-related crimes in the state’s oil patch. And in June, Heitkamp brought Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) – Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs – to North Dakota to meet with Border Patrol agents, local sheriffs, tribal law enforcement and other officials and hear firsthand about the security and law enforcement challenges facing North Dakota as the state’s population has boomed.

To help address the unique law enforcement challenges in Indian Country, Heitkamp also recently brought together leaders from the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa in March, focusing specifically on drug abuse and trafficking on the reservation.

Secretarial Order on American Indian Trust Responsibilities

Underscores Administration’s commitment to Trust Reform in meetings with leaders of Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes

Pablo, Mont. – August 20, 2014 – As part of President Obama’s commitment to strengthen the government-to-government relationship with tribal nations and fulfill federal trust obligations, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today issued a Secretarial Order reaffirming the Department of the Interior’s trust responsibilities to federally-recognized Indian tribes and individual Indian beneficiaries and providing guidance for Interior agencies in carrying out their obligations to them.

“This Order reaffirms the Department’s obligations and demonstrates our continuing commitment to upholding the important federal trust responsibility for Indian Country,” said Secretary Jewell, who chairs the White House Council on Native American Affairs. “The landmark Cobell Settlement and resolution of nearly 80 other tribal trust management lawsuits under President Obama launched a new chapter in federal trust relations with tribes and individual Indian beneficiaries and reflects our dedication to strengthen the government-to-government relationship with tribal leaders.”

The Secretarial Order provides seven principles that apply to all Interior agencies, not just the Bureau of Indian Affairs, including supporting tribal sovereignty and self-determination; protecting tribal lands and resources; building partnerships; practicing responsiveness and timeliness; and seeking legal advice to ensure compliance with the trust responsibility. As federal agencies that make policy affecting Indian tribes and individual Indian beneficiaries, all of the Department’s bureaus and offices share the same general federal trust responsibility.

“This Order speaks not only to American Indian tribes, but also to federal employees across the Department, reminding each of them of their important role in fulfilling the trust responsibility,” said Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn. “It acknowledges that each of us working in the federal government has an important responsibility to Indian country and it ultimately takes all of us, working together, to meet our important obligations as a trustee.”

The federal trust responsibility, which originates from the unique, historical relationship between the United States and Indian tribes, consists of the highest moral and legal obligations that the federal government must meet to ensure the protection of tribal and individual Indian lands, assets and resources as well as treaty and similarly recognized rights. Among their responsibilities, Interior agencies oversee $4.7 billion in trust funds derived from managing 55 million surface acres and 57 million acres of subsurface mineral estate held in trust for individual Indians, Indian tribes and Alaska Natives. Eleven million acres belong to individual Indians and 44 million acres to tribes. Interior administers more than 119,000 leases for the use of these lands, including oil, gas and mineral extraction, water and energy development, timber harvesting and grazing.

Today’s Secretarial Order responds to recommendations of the Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform, which was established in 2009 as part of the $3.4 billion Cobell Settlement, one of the largest class-action lawsuits in U.S. history. The Commission evaluated the Department’s trust administration system and identified potential improvements, urging a renewed emphasis on U. S. obligations so that all federal agencies understand their obligations to abide by and enforce trust duties. The Interior Department has taken a number of steps to address issues raised in the Commission’s report, as well as identified actions that the Department will take to improve the trust administration. A new document outlining those reforms is available here.

The Secretary made her announcement during a visit with leaders of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Indian Reservation in northwest Montana, where she was joined by U.S. Senator Jon Tester; Vincent G. Logan, Special Trustee for American Indians; and Mike Black, Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

“The achievements of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes demonstrate that the federal trust responsibility often can be best achieved by empowering the tribes – by contracting with them so that they can provide the federal services owed under the trust responsibility,” Jewell noted. “The Salish & Kootenai Tribes were among the first to receive full self-governance rights in 1993, assuming key functions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians and strengthening the economy of their community and the State of Montana.”

Interior’s Office of the Special Trustee, led by Vincent G. Logan, oversees reforms that have improved the accountability and management of Indian funds held in trust by the federal government. OST provides oversight and coordination of the policies, procedures, systems and practices used by various agencies to manage Indian trust assets. The Obama Administration also has helped to rebuild the federal trust relationship by resolving nearly 80 separate tribal trust management cases, providing $2.6 billion in settlements; and issuing a new federal policy in 2009 on consulting with Indian tribes, setting standards for engaging on a government-to-government basis to ensure agency decisions consider the impacts on affected tribes and their members.

With an enrolled membership of about 8,000, the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribal Government is the largest employer in Lake County, Mont., with 1,200 employees. The Tribal Government infuses $80 million a year into the area economy through a $35 million payroll, $45 million in purchases and contributes about $317 million annually to Montana’s economy. The Secretary’s discussions with tribal leaders dealt with several current initiatives, including a cooperative agreement on a Land Buy Back Program to purchase and consolidate fractionated land ownership interests from willing sellers, as well as climate change impacts on tribal natural resources.

Bill recommends creation of Commission on Native Children

Senator’s push to address challenges facing Native American Children and improve their Lives

Washington, DC – August 26, 2014 – Building on the growing bipartisan support for her bill that would create a Commission on Native Children, U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced that the U.S. Senate’s 2015 Interior Appropriations bill specifically recommends the federal government create the Commission to help improve the lives of Native American children.

At Heitkamp’s request, the bill specifically recommends the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to form a Commission on Native children to improve coordination between federal agencies and better use existing resources to support Native kids. The goal of the Commission is to better help Native kids get access to education, health care, social services, and juvenile justice programs and support to help reduce high rates of poverty, suicide, and abuse. The appropriations bill for the U.S. Departments of the Interior, Environment, and related agencies provides funding for BIA.

“Native American families and children are far too often overlooked and the conversation needs to change,” said Heitkamp. “For decades, I’ve been pushing to make a substantial difference in the lives of Native children and creating a Commission on Native Children, as my bill would do, would be another meaningful step toward recognizing the challenges they face and finding ways to help Native kids overcome them. We need to give all of our children every chance to succeed, including Native children. I will never stop fighting to stand up for Native families and children and I will keep working with those in our state and in Congress who are committed to doing the same.”

Heitkamp’s bill to create a Commission on Native Children, which she introduced with Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, currently has 34 bipartisan cosponsors and unanimously passed the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in May – the final step before the bill goes to the full Senate. In June, Republican Congressman Tom Cole from Oklahoma introduced Heitkamp’s bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Since serving as North Dakota’s Attorney General in the 1990s, Heitkamp has fought to stand up for Native children and families. When she introduced her Commission on Native Children bill in October 2013, Heitkamp spoke on the Senate floor about the importance of this legislation to address some of the most pressing challenges for Native children. The bill has the strong support of all five tribes in North Dakota and many national Native American organizations.

During a Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing on the bill in April, former U.S. Senator Byron L. Dorgan testified at the request of Heitkamp to discuss how her bill would make real changes to help improve the lives of Native American children. Dorgan is the former Chairman of the Committee, and the Founder and Chairman of the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute.

Heitkamp’s bill, the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children, would conduct a comprehensive study on the programs, grants, and supports available for Native children, both at government agencies and on the ground in Native communities, with the goal of developing a sustainable system that delivers wrap-around services to Native children. Then, the 11 member Commission would issue a report to address a series of challenges currently facing Native children. A Native Children Subcommittee would also provide advice to the Commission. The Commission’s report would address how to achieve better use of existing resources, increased coordination, measurable outcomes, stronger data, stronger private sector partnerships, and implementation of best practices.

DOJ 2nd report to Congress on Indian country investigations, prosecutions

Required under the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010

Washington, DC – August 26, 2014 – The Department of Justice released today its second report to Congress entitled Indian Country Investigations and Prosecutions, which provides a range of enforcement statistics required under the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010, as well as information about the progress of the Attorney General’s initiatives to reduce violent crime and strengthen tribal justice systems.

The report, based on data compiled from the case management system used by U.S. Attorney’s Offices (USAO), shows prosecutors in 2013 continued to bring substantial numbers of cases to federal court (a 34 percent increase over FY 2009 numbers) and prosecute a substantial majority of all cases referred to them. Of the cases that were declined for federal prosecution, most were declined for insufficient evidence or because they were referred to another prosecuting authority, such as the tribe, for potential prosecution.

“As detailed in this report, the Department of Justice is making good on our commitment to strengthen cooperation with sovereign tribes, reduce violent crime, and ensure justice for every individual,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “From our work to empower Indian women under the landmark Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, to the task force we established to safeguard children in Indian country from violence and abuse, we have made significant strides – in close partnership with tribal nations – to bolster the safety and security of all American Indian and Alaska Native communities. As we move forward, we will continue to expand on this critical work; to deepen our ongoing efforts; and to reaffirm our dedication to the promise of equal rights, equal protection, and equal justice for all.”

Although declination rates are an imperfect means of evaluating the effectiveness of criminal justice in Indian country or elsewhere, the report shows that with few exceptions, areas where the largest populations of American Indian people live and suffer from the most serious crime rates, such as the Southwest and the northern plains states (which together handled approximately 70 percent of the 2,542 cases resolved in 2013), federal declination rates were the lowest in the nation. For instance, South Dakota had the second to highest number of cases resolved in the country last year, 470 cases, and one of the lowest declination rates of 26 percent. Arizona resolved the highest number of cases, 733 cases, and had a declination rate of 28 percent.

Associate Attorney General Tony West announced the findings in remarks to the Four Corners Indian Country Conference today on the Navajo Nation in Flagstaff, and met separately with the Attorney General’s advisory subcommittee on Native American issues to discuss the report, among other matters.

“We are witnessing an unprecedented era of collaboration among U.S. Attorneys’ offices and tribal law enforcement and prosecutors across the country,” said Associate Attorney General West. “This report shows the fruits of this continuing partnership between the federal government and American Indian tribes, including enhancing training and capacity building for tribal court systems and improving responses to victims in Indian country.”

“Over the past five years, the Justice Department and our tribal partners have taken important steps forward on our journey toward a safer Indian Country,” said Timothy Purdon, U.S. Attorney for the District of North Dakota and chair of the Attorney General’s advisory subcommittee on Native American issues. “Vigorous enforcement of federal laws is vitally important to strengthening public safety on American Indian reservations. We are pleased to see in this report that U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country continue to work hard to remove the most dangerous offenders and work closely with tribal law enforcement and prosecutors. These promising numbers are the direct result of this enhanced communication and collaboration.”

“The FBI continues to be committed to public safety in Indian Country,” said FBI Assistant Director Joseph S. Campbell. “Our partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal agencies remains strong as we continue to aggressively address violent crime and victimization in tribal communities.”

The information contained in the report shows the following:

The Justice Department’s prioritization of Indian country crime has continued to result in substantial numbers of prosecutions, despite resource constraints that impacted the U.S. Attorney community in 2013. Between FY 2009 and FY 2012, the number of cases the department filed against defendants in Indian country increased nearly 54 percent. In FY 2013, due to fiscal challenges, overall case filings in Indian country declined somewhat compared to FY 2012, but still remained 34 percent above the number of cases filed when the department first began its department-wide tribal justice initiative in 2009. Notwithstanding the fiscal impact of the sequester, reduced budgets, and a hiring freeze, federal agents and prosecutors continued to focus their efforts on improving public safety in Indian country.

A substantial majority of Indian country criminal investigations opened by the FBI were referred for prosecution.

A substantial majority of Indian country criminal cases opened by the United States Attorneys’ Offices were prosecuted.

USAO data for CY 2013 show that 34 percent (853) of all Indian country submissions for prosecution (2,542) were declined for prosecution. In CY 2012, USAOs declined approximately 31 percent (965) of all (3145) Indian country submissions for prosecution. USAO data for CY 2011 indicate that just under 37 percent (1,041) of all Indian country submissions for prosecution (2,840) were declined.

The most common reason for declination by USAOs was insufficient evidence (56 percent in CY 2013, 52 percent in CY 2012, and 61 percent in CY 2011).

The next most common reason for declination by USAOs was referral to another prosecuting authority (21 percent in CY 2013, 24 percent in CY 2012, and 19 percent in CY 2011).

The most common reason FBI Indian country investigations were closed administratively without referral for prosecution was that the investigation concluded that no federal crime had occurred.

For instance, all but 30 of the 164 death investigations the FBI closed administratively in CY 2013 were closed because the FBI established that the death was due to causes other than homicide – i.e., accidents, suicide, or death from natural causes.

Other important developments in FY 2013:

VAWA Pilot Projects

The fight against domestic violence in Indian country has been an especially important priority for the Department of Justice, and in 2013, Congress and this administration took an historic step forward with the passage of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013), which the President signed into law on March 7, 2013.

Congress, in VAWA 2013, provided new tools to fight domestic violence in Indian country, and the department spared no time utilizing them. From the date the act took effect, March 7, 2013, through the end of fiscal year 2013, U.S. Attorneys with prosecutorial responsibilities in Indian country have charged defendants with the amended provisions of the federal assault statutes that strengthened penalties for domestic assault offenses, such as strangulation and stalking. And, while the new law’s tribal criminal jurisdiction provision takes effect generally on March 7, 2015, under VAWA 2013’s “Pilot Project” provisions, the department recently approved three tribes’ applications voluntary “Pilot Project” to begin exercising special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction sooner. These tribes – the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, the Umatilla Tribes of Oregon, and the Tulalip Tribes of Washington – will be the first tribes in the nation to exercise special criminal jurisdiction over crimes of domestic and dating violence, regardless of the defendant’s Indian or non-Indian status, under VAWA 2013.

Strengthening Partnerships and Support for Tribal Self-Governance

Strengthening partnerships and tribal self-governance was a major theme of the Attorney General’s message to tribal leaders on Nov.13, 2013, at the White House Tribal Nations Conference, where he announced a proposed statement of principles to guide the department’s work with federally recognized tribes. As the Attorney General said, “As a result of these partnerships – and the efforts of everyone here – our nation is poised to open a new era in our government-to-government relationships with sovereign tribes.”

U.S. Attorneys’ offices around the country are engaged in an unprecedented level of collaboration with tribal law enforcement, consulting regularly with them on crime-fighting strategies in each district. One important example of this is the department’s enhanced Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (SAUSA) program. Tribal SAUSAs are cross-deputized tribal prosecutors who are able to prosecute crimes in both tribal court and federal court as appropriate. These Tribal SAUSAs serve to strengthen a tribal government’s ability to fight crime and to increase the USAO’s coordination with tribal law enforcement personnel. The work of Tribal SAUSAs can also help to accelerate a tribal criminal justice system’s implementation of TLOA and VAWA 2013.

Read the entire report at

Read about the Justice Department’s efforts to increase public safety in Indian County at










$3 million in grants to address violence against women in rural and tribal communities in Bakken region

Washington, DC – Associate Attorney General Tony West today announced $3 million dollars in grants from the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) to increase local and tribal capacity to prosecute crimes of violence against women and provide services to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking in the Bakken Region of North Dakota and Montana.

Associate Attorney General West made the announcement at the Four Corners Indian Country Conference today taking place on the Navajo Nation near Flagstaff, Arizona. The grants are part of the Justice Department’s ongoing commitment to protecting women from violence and strengthening the capacity of communities to respond to domestic and sexual violence.

OVW’s Bakken Region special initiative launched in April 2014 and is the first large scale project targeting resources to support the expansion of services to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking as well as aid the local criminal justice system in responding to these crimes in the Bakken region.

“Victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking living in a vast rural region like the Bakken face unique challenges in accessing critical, life-saving services,” said Associate Attorney General Tony West. “With this new, targeted funding, tribes and local communities will be better equipped to respond to the increased need for mental health services, legal assistance, housing, and training.”

The five grantees supported by OVW’s Bakken Region Initiative are: Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, Poplar, Montana; First Nations Women’s Alliance, Devils Lake, North Dakota; Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Helena, Montana; North Dakota Council on Abused Women’s Services, Bismarck, North Dakota; and Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation, New Town, North Dakota.

With Justice Department funding these grantees will be able to enhance responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, and expand mental health counseling, advocacy, legal assistance, prevention education, sexual assault forensic examiner programs, Sexual Assault Response Teams, and law enforcement training.

In addition, the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana and the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota are each receiving a three-year $450,000 grant to support the salary, travel, and training costs of a tribal prosecutor, who will be cross-designated to serve as a tribal Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA) in the local U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“OVW grant funds have made a marked difference in the lives of countless victims and survivors, and we are eager to provide dedicated funding that will support desperately needed services,” said Bea Hanson, OVW’s Principal Deputy Director. “These grants represent the Department’s recognition that to combat violence against women, especially in Indian country, we must be responsive to emerging issues.”

For more information on OVW and its programs, please visit:

Venture to hold annual meeting

Highmore, S.D.; Venture Communications Cooperative, a Highmore based communications company, will hold its 57th annual meeting of the membership on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 6:45 PM at the Hyde County Memorial Auditorium in Highmore, SD.

A complimentary meal will be served beginning at 5:30 PM. The meeting will follow at 6:45 PM.

Items on the agenda for the business meeting include comments from the board president and the general manager of the cooperative. Door prizes will be handed out during registration and prize drawings including the grand prize drawing for a flat screen TV will be held after the business meeting.

Venture Communications Cooperative members are encouraged to attend.

Venture Communications provides telecommunications services, digital video TV services, Internet services and wireless cellular service in Central and Northeast South Dakota.

High Country News webside is redesigned

High Country News, source for environmental news, analysis and commentary about the American West, launched a redesigned website last week, offering more frequent news and in-depth features.

“We really wanted to focus on the readers' experience, especially their ability to navigate across topics of interest and into our deep archives,” said Tay Wiles, High Country News online editor. “Our website may look different, but our strong commitment to covering important issues of the American West hasn’t changed a bit.”

The website had not been fully upgraded for seven years, and this new design emphasizes a more visual display, with larger and better photography. Web-exclusive news is now integrated with stories from the twice-monthly print magazine, and the site has more depth than ever before. The archives are now digitized and go back as far as the news organization’s start in 1970.

The redesigned site and more than 40 years worth of stories on the American West can be found online at

About High Country News Through in-depth reporting, High Country News covers the American West's public lands, water, natural resources, grazing, wilderness, wildlife, logging, politics, communities, growth and other issues now changing the face of the West. From Alaska and the Northern Rockies to the desert Southwest, from the Great Plains to the West Coast, High Country News’ coverage spans 12 Western states. The nonprofit news organization has won many awards over its years, including the Utne Media Award, the George Polk award, the Science in Society Award, the Native American Journalists Association Best Environmental Story, the Society of Environmental Journalists Award, and others.

Those interested in reading more High Country News stories can sign up to receive a free weekly newsletter via email at

Offers nearly $100 Million to landowners at Gila River, Northern Cheyenne to reduce Fractionation

Offers valid 45 Days as part of $1.9 billion Land Buy-Back program

Washington, DC – August 28, 2014 – The Department of the Interior today announced that purchase offers have been sent to more than 4,000 individual landowners with fractional interests at the Gila River Indian Reservation in Arizona and the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Montana. These offers, totaling nearly $100 million, will give eligible landowners with interests in tribal priority tracts the opportunity to voluntarily sell their land to be held in trust for each tribe.

With these offers, Interior’s Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program) has sent more than 37,000 purchase offers to owners of fractionated interests. The Program has successfully concluded transactions worth nearly $97 million and has restored the equivalent of almost 265,000 acres of land to tribal governments.

“I continue to be encouraged by the progress we see with the Buy-Back Program, and welcome the ongoing collaboration we have had with many Tribal Nations as we implement this Program across Indian Country,” said Deputy Secretary Michael Connor. “The success of the Buy-Back Program is vitally important. We are working vigorously with tribal staff to make sure that individuals are aware of this historic opportunity to strengthen tribal sovereignty by supporting the consolidation of Indian lands.”

The Buy-Back Program implements the land consolidation component of the Cobell Settlement, which provided $1.9 billion to purchase fractional interests in trust or restricted land from willing sellers at fair market value within a 10-year period. Individuals who choose to sell their interests will receive payments directly into their IIM accounts. Consolidated interests are immediately restored to tribal trust ownership for uses benefiting the reservation community and tribal members.

There are almost 245,000 owners of nearly 3 million fractional interests, spanning 150 Indian reservations, who are eligible to participate in the Program. Many see little or no economic benefit from what are often very small undivided interests in lands that cannot be utilized due to their highly fractionated state.

In addition to receiving fair market value for their land based on objective appraisals, sellers also receive a base payment of $75 per offer, regardless of the value of the land.

Sales of land interests will also result in up to $60 million in contributions to the Cobell Education Scholarship Fund. This contribution by Interior is in addition to the amounts paid to individual sellers, so it will not reduce the amount landowners receive for their interests.

Gila River landowners will have until October 10, 2014, to return accepted offers.

Northern Cheyenne landowners will have until October 17, 2014, to return accepted offers.

Landowners can contact the Trust Beneficiary Call Center at 888-678-6836 with questions about their purchase offers. Individuals can also visit their local Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians (OST) or Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) office, or find more information at in order to make informed decisions about their land.

Individual participation is voluntary. A decision to sell land for restoration to tribes does not impact a landowner’s eligibility to receive individual settlement payments from the Cobell Settlement, which are being handled by the Garden City Group.

Encourages eligible ND counties, Indian Reservation to apply for Disaster loans

Washington, DC – August 28, 2014 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today encouraged eligible North Dakota counties, and Indian Reservation to apply for federal disaster loans to repair or replace property damaged by severe storms and flooding that occurred from June 25 to July 1, 2014

The eligible North Dakota counties include Benson, Bottineau, Divide, Eddy, McHenry, Mountrail, Pierce, Renville, Ward and the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Private, nonprofit organizations that are deemed to provide essential governmental services – for example, educational and medical facilities, utilities, libraries and community centers – in the eligible areas are able to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The funds can be used to repair or replace destroyed or damaged machinery, equipment or inventory. Additional funds may also be given to assist with improvements that protect, prevent or minimize future damage from the same type of disaster.

“It is often said that too much of a good thing can become a bad thing, and the folks in the northern part of the state experienced that this past summer,” said Heitkamp. “The torrential downpour closed roads, filled ditches and created a concern of flooding in the region. With floods, there is often unforeseen damage that is costly and time consuming to fix. These loans will give area schools, libraries and medical centers the ability to fix any damage that occurred and make improvements to prevent future damage, and I hope eligible North Dakota organizations will apply.”

Interested organizations should contact the Public Information Officer at North Dakota Emergency Services, Cecily Fong, at (701) 328-8100 or via email at All applications for property damage must be filed by October 20, 2014 and the deadline to return economic injury applications is May 19, 2015.

Funding For Minot Law Enforcement and Victims of Crime across the State

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced a total of more than $250,000 in federal funds to support the local law enforcement in the City of Minot and to provide financial assistance to crime victims and survivors throughout the state.

“If victims of a crime face the unfortunate circumstance of being physically or emotionally injured, they shouldn’t also have to face a mountain of medical bills or push themselves to go to work because they can’t afford not to,” said Heitkamp. “These funds will help make sure North Dakotans who become victims of crimes aren’t constantly reminded of what happened every time they receive a bill for months or years afterward. In addition, the funds for the local law enforcement in Minot help make sure they have the resources, training and equipment needed to keep our communities and families safe.”

The North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will receive nearly $240,000 in federal funds to help provide financial assistance to crime victims and survivors. The four categories of expenses the funds will help provide include medical expenses, mental health counseling and care, loss of wages and funeral expenses.

The City of Minot will receive nearly $20,000 to prevent and combat crime in the city. The funds can be used to meet various needs of law enforcement in the area. For example, the funds may be used to support state and local initiatives, provide technical assistance, train officers and purchase needed equipment.

These federal funds are authorized through the U.S. Department of Justice. The funds given to the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation are awarded through the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Crime Victims Fund. The City of Minot will receive its funds through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (Byrne-JAG) program. This month, three North Dakota Indian Reservations received a total of more than $50,000, Cass County and the City of Bismarck received a total of more than $95,000 and the North Dakota Office of the Attorney General received nearly $500,000 in Byrne-JAG federal funds.

Former Oglala Sioux Tribe Police Officer indicted for excessive force


Washington, DC – August 26, 2014 – A former Oglala Sioux Tribe police officer has been indicted by a federal grand jury for violating the constitutional rights of a man in her custody by repeatedly using her Taser on him without justification, announced U.S. Attorney Brenden V. Johnson.

Rebecca M. Sotherland, aka Becky Sotherland and Becki Sotherland, age 32, was indicted on Aug. 26, 2014, for Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is 10 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and a $100 assessment to the federal crime victims fund. Restitution may also be ordered.

The indictment alleges that on Aug. 15, 2014, Sotherland, while acting under color of law, repeatedly deployed a Taser on the victim causing bodily injury to the victim. The alleged offense took place in Manderson, South Dakota.

The charges are merely accusations and Sotherland is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services, and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah Collins and Kevin Koliner are prosecuting the case, with assistance from Jared Fishman, with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

More than $195 Million awarded to organizations serving Low-Income and Native Communities

Washington, DC – August 26, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) awarded 185 organizations more than $195.4 million today through the fiscal year (FY) 2014 rounds of the Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program) and the Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program). These awards will enable Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Native CDFIs across the country to increase their lending and investments in low-income and economically distressed communities, including Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities (Native Communities).

“CDFIs and Native CDFIs are important community partners providing critically needed financing that not only allows families to buy their first home, or entrepreneurs to start or expand a business, but that generates economic growth and revitalizes America’s low-income and economically-distressed communities,” said Jessica Milano, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Small Business, Community Development, and Housing Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. “The awards we announce today will help these CDFIs and Native CDFIs build their capacity in order to better meet the investment and lending needs of the communities they serve.”

Specifically, the CDFI Fund will announce more than $160.8 million in Financial Assistance (FA) and Technical Assistance (TA) awards to 152 organizations through the FY 2014 round of the CDFI Program, and more than $12.2 million in FA and TA awards to 33 organizations through the FY 2014 round of the NACA Program. Twelve of these awardees also received $22.4 million in Healthy Food Financing Initiative awards.

Through the CDFI Program, the CDFI Fund invests in and builds the capacity of existing private, for-profit, and nonprofit CDFIs serving rural and urban low-income people and communities across the nation that lack adequate access to affordable financial products and services. For the FY 2014 round, a total of 427 applications were received requesting more than $474.4 million.

The NACA Program is designed to encourage the creation and strengthening of Native CDFIs. Organizations funded through the NACA Program serve a wide range of Native Communities, and reflect a diversity of institutions in various stages of development – from organizations in the early planning stages of creating a CDFI, to tribal entities working to certify an existing lending program, to established CDFIs in need of further capacity building assistance. A total of 49 applications were received requesting nearly $20.9 million.

Additional information about the FY 2014 rounds of the CDFI Program and NACA Program, including the full award list and key highlights, can be found through the Award Book links below and on the CDFI Fund’s website at or at

2014 CDFI Program and NACA Program Award Resources:

CDFI Program Award Book: Learn key facts and statistics about the full group of awardees. CDFI Program Application Evaluation Process: Learn how the awards were determined. NACA Program Award Book: Learn key facts and statistics about the full group of awardees. NACA Program Application Evaluation Process: Learn how the awards were determined. Searchable Award Database: View the profiles of individual awardees from both programs. yellow divider

About the CDFI Fund

Since its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $1.9 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations, and financial institutions through the CDFI Program, the Bank Enterprise Award Program, the Capital Magnet Fund, the Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program, and the Native American CDFI Assistance Program. In addition, the CDFI Fund has allocated $40 billion in tax credit allocation authority to Community Development Entities through the New Markets Tax Credit Program, and $325 million has been guaranteed in bonds through the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program. To learn more about the CDFI Fund and its programs, please view the Fact Sheet or visit the CDFI Fund’s website at

About the CDFI Program

Through the Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program), the CDFI Fund invests in and builds the capacity of CDFIs, empowering them to grow, achieve organizational sustainability, and contribute to the revitalization of their communities. By providing financial and technical assistance awards, the CDFI Program helps CDFIs expand their services and build their technical capacity. Although investment decisions are made at the local level by CDFIs, the CDFI Program creates opportunity in America’s underserved communities by providing access to affordable financial products and services. Since the program was started in 1994, organizations have received more than $1.4 billion in assistance. For more information about the CDFI Program, please view the Fact Sheet or visit the CDFI Fund’s website at

About the NACA Program

Through the Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program), the CDFI Fund works to promote economic opportunity in Native Communities across the country that lack adequate access to affordable financial products and services. As a part of the Native Initiative, the NACA Program provides financial and technical assistance awards to CDFIs serving Native American, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian communities to sustain and expand economic growth. Since it was launched in 2001, the NACA Program has awarded more than $93 million to Native CDFIs that have helped Native Communities grow and participate in the mainstream economy. For more information about the NACA Program, please view the Fact Sheet or visit the CDFI Fund’s website at

Editorials –

Sota guest editorial –

Changes good and bad

By Richard P. Holm MD

In over 32 years of practicing medicine on the prairie, I have seen a lot of changes in health care, some not so good, and some good.

Not so good begins with the electronic medical record or the EMR, which has such potential, but has so far been a disappointment. The EMR seems developed mostly to satisfy billers and defense lawyers, and at this point provides too little help with actually caring for the patient. The myriad versions out there do not interact well with each other, and because of user-not-so-friendly EMRs, it just about takes twice the time to see a patient now. Hope springs eternal, however, and a much faster, easier to use, and more communicative version should evolve in a couple years.

With all the modern advancement in technology, I believe there has been reduced emphasis by clinicians on taking time listening to the patient's story, laying on of the hands, listening with the stethoscope, and actually examining the patient. I know our med schools are trying to fix that and I personally think just maybe we do that better out here in rural places.

Also not so good, I have watched how obesity, weakness, and diabetes is on the rise, possibly due to appliances, vehicles, and labor saving devices that have been making life too easy. And to boot, I believe we in the medical profession have too readily moved to emphasize pharmaceutical treatments while not encouraging our patients to exercise enough.

Some are critical of the move to Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners, but I believe that individually, any one of them may be a superb and intuitive healer. After all, when any clinician is greater than 5 years away from medical school or training, one is only as good as how much she or he reads, questions, thinks, and most important, collaborates.

Changes that have been good include all the same advancing technology I discussed earlier: the tremendous improvement in diagnostics with CT and MRI scans, rapid laboratory testing, and revealing genetic analysis; or in advancing pharmaceutical therapy for cancer, depression, esophagitis, hepatitis C, and hypertension; or in surgical therapy with vascular stents, endoscopes and robotics. The list goes on, but we are light-years ahead of where we were 32 years ago. And these advances are almost as readily available to us in rural America as in the big city.

The biggest challenge in the years to come, will have to do with financing all of this, and I predict will result in even more changes. Let's hope they are good.

Sota guest editorial –

Caught on Tape: What Mitch McConnell complained about to a roomful of Billionaires

At a secret meeting of elite donors convened by the Koch brothers, McConnell laid out his plan for shrinking the federal government and whined about having to vote on minimum wage bills.

By Lauren Windsor

The Nation – August 26, 2014 – Last week, in an interview with Politico, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) outlined his plan to shut down President Obama’s legislative agenda by placing riders on appropriations bills. Should Republicans take control of the Senate in the 2014 elections, McConnell intends to pass spending bills that “have a lot of restrictions on the activities of the bureaucracy.”

What McConnell didn’t tell Politico was that two months ago, he made the same promise to a secret strategy conference of conservative millionaire and billionaire donors hosted by the Koch brothers. The Nation and The Undercurrent obtained an audio recording of McConnell’s remarks to the gathering, called “American Courage: Our Commitment to a Free Society.” In the question-and-answer period following his June 15 session titled “Free Speech: Defending First Amendment Rights,” McConnell says:

“So in the House and Senate, we own the budget. So what does that mean? That means that we can pass the spending bill. And I assure you that in the spending bill, we will be pushing back against this bureaucracy by doing what’s called placing riders in the bill. No money can be spent to do this or to do that. We’re going to go after them on healthcare, on financial services, on the Environmental Protection Agency, across the board [inaudible]. All across the federal government, we’re going to go after it.”

McConnell’s pledge to “go after” Democrats on financial services—a reference to declawing Dodd-Frank regulation—is a key omission from his Politico interview. He has been a vocal opponent of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in particular, and presumably under his Senate leadership funding for the CFPB would be high on the list of riders for the appropriations chopping block. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Wall Street was the number-one contributor to McConnell’s campaign committee from 2009 to 2014.

McConnell is running against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in a close contest that could determine which party controls the Senate. Total spending in the race is expected to exceed $100 million, which would make it the most expensive Senate election in history. As of July 21, PACs and individuals affiliated with Koch Industries have given at least $41,800 to McConnell’s campaign committee in this election cycle—a figure that does not include any funding to outside groups that could spend heavily in the race’s closing weeks.

Recently, Grimes has begun airing ads that criticize McConnell for “voting seventeen times against raising the minimum wage” and “twelve times against extending unemployment benefits for laid-off workers.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, McConnell himself seems quite proud of this legislative record, at least in front of an audience comprised of wealthy donors. After he lays out his agenda to shrink the federal government “across the board,” McConnell says:

“And we’re not going to be debating all these gosh darn proposals. That’s all we do in the Senate is vote on things like raising the minimum wage [inaudible]—cost the country 500,000 new jobs; extending unemployment—that’s a great message for retirees; uh, the student loan package the other day, that’s just going to make things worse, uh. These people believe in all the wrong things.”

In late April, Senate Republicans, led by McConnell, successfully filibustered a bill to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, a widely popular measure that would increase wages for at least 16.5 million Americans. Earlier in the year, McConnell also led a filibuster of a three-month extension of unemployment insurance to some 1.7 million Americans. At one point in the negotiations, he offered a deal to extend unemployment only if Democrats agreed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, even though the ACA does not add to the federal deficit.

Just days before he addressed the Koch brothers’ billionaire donor summit, McConnell was instrumental in blocking Senator Elizabeth Warren’s proposal to help Americans refinance their growing student loan debt. Warren’s plan would have been funded by a new minimum tax on America’s wealthiest. After McConnell’s filibuster, Warren began campaigning for Grimes in Kentucky saying, “Mitch McConnell is there for millionaires and billionaires. He is not there for people who are working hard playing by the rules and trying to build a future for themselves.” On the campaign stump, McConnell has said that “not everybody needs to go to Yale” and that cash-strapped students should look into for-profit colleges.

The main thrust of McConnell’s remarks to the Koch conference were about his pet issue, campaign finance, which he regards as a matter of free speech. (A full transcript of McConnell’s remarks is available here). The senator recounted the history of campaign finance reform in America from the twentieth century through today, sharing opinions and personal anecdotes along the way.

On Democrats: “They, they are frightened of, of their critics. They don’t want to join the tradition in open discourse. They want to use the power of the government to quiet the voices of their critics.” (According to a 2013 report from Public Campaign Action Fund, McConnell led sixty-seven filibusters in 2012, more than the total number of filibusters (fifty-eight) in the fifty-four years between 1917 and 1970).

On Citizens United and money in politics: “So all Citizens United did was to level the playing field for corporate speech…. We now have, I think, the most free and open system we’ve had in modern times. The Supreme Court allowed all of you to participate in the process in a variety of different ways. You can give to the candidate of your choice. You can give to Americans for Prosperity, or something else, a variety of different ways to push back against the party of government.”

On McCain-Feingold: “The worst day of my political life was when President George W. Bush signed McCain-Feingold into law in the early part of his first administration.”

To put that in perspective, Mitch McConnell’s thirty-five-year career in the Senate saw the 9/11 terrorist attacks that killed thousands of Americans, the 2008 housing meltdown that threatened the entire economy and Barack Obama’s election, to cite a conservative bête noire. But it was McCain-Feingold, the bill that banned soft money and unlimited donations to party committees, that constitutes the worst day of his political life.

Brief editorial comments from the editor’s desk –

On and Off the Lake Traverse Reservation

Pidamiya Crystal Owen for organizing the recent “solutions” meeting.

Please read our article, and if possible, please attend the followup sessions.

Help be part of the solutions to rid our community and oyate of the poison of meth and other (alcohol is still number one) addictions and their consequences especially on the children.

I hope that our article carried the “gist” of what happened. It is not a complete record of all that was said, or of everyone who voiced an opinion or asked a question.

We tape recorded the proceedings but the audio quality is not very good.

These “solutions” meetings should be at the very top of what the Oyate need now.

Hope to see an even better turnout at the next meeting on September 10.


This week we break from tradition by moving a health news article to our editorial page. Normally, we would have a political or environmental justice feature.

Please read Dr. Richard Holm’s article “Changes good and bad,” a Sota guest editorial.

Someplace we all seem to have lost focus on what should be common sense. We can blame it on sedentary jobs, unhealthy trends, marketing of unhealthy fast menus and fast food restaurants. But it is about personal responsibility.

All of us with health issues, not just health care providers, need to take a look at our own behavior and make new health and wellness goals for ourselves.


We want to pass along that another spay/neuter has been scheduled.

The next Lake Traverse Animal Rezcue Spay Neuter clinic will be Sept. 15-17 at the SWO Housing Maintenance garage in Sisseton.

See the notice elsewhere in this issue.


Our 147th annual SWO Wacipi photo gallery is online.

Check it out on our website:


Please read our Legal notices section.

The Reservation Election Board has posted important information about the process for the primary and general elections.

You will also find information about how to make proposed amendment changes.

This week there is a link to election forms available online on the Tribe’s website:

Please note that for the first time, there will be automated balloting for the Tribe’s elections.

Watch for more information in coming weeks!



Also note that the Sota is returning to a former policy of ONLY PUBLISHING PAID IN ADVANCE POLITICAL ADVERTISEMENTS.

This policy must be followed because of not being able to collect on outstanding invoices.

Because we do not accept credit cards, checks must be made at the time of ordering a political ad.

Our political ad rate is discounted at $2.50 per column inch in order to make it less painful on candidates’ pocketbooks.

Please specify size desired when ordering:

Examples –

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Submit payment to the Sota, P.O. Box 5, Wilmot, SD 57279

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We urge you to plan accordingly so that you are not telephoning or messaging at the last minute to have an ad placed without pre-payment.



Elder's Meditation:

"I started drinking more seriously, seeking refuge, seeking death actually, from a world that was feeling more and more unnatural to me. Following a painful accident related to drinking, I finally realized that I must decide whether I want to follow my grandparents or truly take up this life. Circumstances that followed led me to choose life." -- Barney Bush, SHAWNEE

My life is run by choices and decisions. Every choice I make today will carry with it the consequences of that choice. Every decision I make today will carry with it the consequences of that decision. The question I will ask myself today is, "Do I want to be happy or do I want to be right?" Which ever one I choose will have a lot to do with the consequences I will experience today. If today was the last day of my life, what choices and what decisions would I make? Oh Great Spirit, guide my path today and help me see the value of choosing the Red Road.


Words to consider (or, perhaps not!):

It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information. Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)

It's so much easier to suggest solutions when you don't know too much about the problem. Malcolm Forbes (1919 - 1990)

They wouldn't call it falling in love if you didn't get hurt sometimes, but you just pick yourself up and move on. Gregory Thomas Garcia, Elijah Aron, Jordan Young, Raising Hope, Cheaters, April 2011

Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger. Franklin P. Jones

Democracy is the name we give the people whenever we need them. Marquis de Flers Robert and Arman de Caillavet

I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up - they have no holidays. Henny Youngman (1906 - 1998)

There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher. Victor Hugo (1802 - 1885), Les Miserables, 1862

Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning. Marlo Thomas

The visionary lies to himself, the liar only to others. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900)

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. James Madison (1751 - 1836)


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 –

Services for Tina Renville

Funeral service for Tina J. Renville, 84 of Agency Village, SD will be held on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 10:30 AM at. St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Agency Village, SD with the Rev. Charles Chan officiating.

Pianist will be Kay Bursheim with special music by Rodney Renville and Frank Benson.

Pallbearers will be Creighton Renville Sr., Cecil Renville Jr., Paul Keeble, Romeo Renville, Curt Snow, Brian Rodlund Jr., Brian Rodlund Sr., Justin Chanku, Gabe Rodlund, Rodney Renville Sr., Lonnie Rodlund Sr., Darrell Renville, Moses Rodlund, Scott Rodlund, Brendon Rodlund, Jerwyn Rodlund, Evan Rodlund, Adam Renville, Creighton Renville Jr., Lonnie Rodlund Jr. and Dusty Snow.

Honorary Pallbearers all of Tina’s Friends and Relatives, Elderly and Community Health Representatives.

Interment will be in the St Mary’s Episcopal Cemetery, Agency Village, SD.

An all-night wake services was held Monday night at St. Mary’s Guild Hall.

Cahill Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Tina was born on January 2, 1930 at Sisseton, South Dakota to Mason and Rose (Barker) Renville Sr.

She attended Old Agency Day School through the 8th grade. She received her GED in 1974.

She was a homemaker raising her family. She was also a teacher at Tekakwitha.

She worked at I.H.S. for 15 years as a CHR retiring in the early 1990.

She liked crossword puzzles, flowers, drying corn, canning, taking rides and cruising, thrift stores, birds, baking and making fry bread, and cooking for her family.

Tina passed away at her home on August 28, 2014.

Tina is survived by eight sons Creighton Renville Sr. of Sisseton, SD, Brian Rodlund Sr. of Hankinson, ND, Curt Snow of Sisseton, SD, Lonnie Rodlund Sr. of Sisseton, SD, Rodney Renville Sr. of Selfridge, ND, Romeo Renville of Sisseton, SD, Cecil Renville Sr. of Hankinson, ND, and Darrell Renville of Browns Valley, MN; and numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

Tina was preceded in death by her parents, two daughters Lacquetta Goodbird and Connie Rodlund; three brothers Mason Renville Jr., Cyril Renville and Cecil Renville Sr.; three sisters Loretta Renville, Gladys Renville, and Lacquetta Renville; three grandsons Dimitri Miller, Tyson Renville and Dimitri West; and one great-grandson Remey Snow.

For Tina’s obituary and on-line registry please visit

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.

Open letter to the Oyate

Well here it is election time again. I see there are a lot of individuals running for various offices. Some of the current administration has their name on the upcoming ballot and also some individuals challenging the incumbents. Do the incumbents and the individuals who are running for office know what Sovereignty is or means? It seems there are always challenges to our sovereignty; in the U.S. Supreme Courts, circuit courts and now our Tribal Council wants to make it easier for the challenges against us to exist as a Tribe by passing a motion to do a (MOA) Memorandum of Agreement with the surrounding governments to develop procedures to discuss our law enforcement jurisdiction. This motion is basically saying "hey you know what state and local governments, we need your help to assist us in enforcing our Tribal Penal Code, and our law enforcement can't do it on their own. We will give you the authority to come on our jurisdiction to assist us". The state and local police have already made their presence on our jurisdiction and Tribal Government is allowing it. They have been seen in our housing areas, on our BIA roads and at the Tribal offices and law enforcement building. On a daily basis the city police harass our members by stopping them when they walk around town, stop the casino workers when they drive through town at 2 in the morning just getting off work, or sit at the Sisseton cemetery road waiting for cars that turn toward the housing. But; Tribal Government thinks this is okay because they do not take any action. We have Tribal Members on the City Council and County Commission, I have not read in any of their minutes addressing any of this harassment. How many times has our Tribal Police stopped members on State highways and turned them over for State prosecution.

The current administration passed motion 21 on August 5, 2014 which reads: made by Dawn Eagle, second by Virginia Max question by Robin Quinn to authorize the Tribal Chairman to develop a draft Memorandum of Agreement with the surrounding city, county, and state governments; pertaining to law enforcement jurisdictions and cooperation procedures, for review by Tribal Council. Weighted Vote: 14 for: Dawn Eagle (3); Lynn Halbert (2); Marc Beaudreau (3); Virginia Max (2); Jerome Renville (2); Tribal Vice-Chairman (1); Tribal Secretary (1); 3 opposed: Francis Crawford (2); Louis Johnson (1); 0 absent from vote 1 Not voting Tribal Chairman. Motion Passed.

Why did Tribal Council pass this motion? If I remember the districts expressed their views on Cross Deputization with the local governments, they didn't want it. Now this motion sure looks and smells like a form of Cross Deputization. Does our Tribal Government know what sovereignty is? The doctrine of Tribal Sovereignty "Perhaps the most basic principle of all Indian law, supported by a host of decisions... is the principle that those powers lawfully vested in an Indian Tribe are not, in general; delegated powers granted by express acts of Congress, but rather inherent powers of limited sovereignty which has never been extinguished. Each Tribe begins its relationship with the federal government as a sovereign power, recognized as such in treaty and legislation" ----Felix S. Cohen (1942) Sovereignty is the power to establish a form of government, determine membership; to establish our own criminal code and administer justice through our own Tribal Court, to charter business organizations, the right not to be sued, the right to exist as a Tribe. Indian Tribes like other sovereigns cannot be sued without an "unequivocally expressed" waiver of sovereign immunity. Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma v. Manufacturing Technologies, INC (1998) Suing a Tribe requires either congressional authorization of the suit, or a Tribal waiver of sovereign immunity. Tribal Sovereign Immunity does not extend to Tribal Officials acting outside of their office capacity.

I think as Tribal Members we need to vote for individuals who know what Sovereignty means and we need to take a look at the past, current and incoming individuals who are self-servers. Which ones are going to be there for their families and themselves and which ones are going to serve the Tribe as a whole.

Charles James.

(Editor’s note: Charles James is not the only Tribal member who has shared with us their dissatisfaction at any memorandum that provides for cross-deputization of Tribal law enforcement officers and other, county/state officers. Mainly it is a concern for sovereign rights, and considering recent history. Here, used by permission for the sake perhaps of clarification, is a statement by Robin Quinn, Tribal Secretary, concerning actions taken by Council: “I need to clarify a motion that was made in council regarding the MOU/MOA with other police/law enforcement departments. The MOTION in question was only in cases of the times of emergency situations where other law enforcement departments or emergency crews come out to the tribe to assist. Law enforcement officers throughout all areas respond in such situations when there is an accident or when there is a gunman but only in situations like that. Tribal police also respond to situations like this in town and local areas such as on the interstate or throughout the county. The MOTION was only made to look at what the MOA/MOU would look like, to clarify with other law enforcement what their role was in these situations and to clarify that they have no jurisdiction over our members. At this point, there are no MOU/MOA's in effect.” Robin’s statement is only provided to help Oyate form their opinions about law enforcement on the Lake Traverse Reservation.)

Open letter to the Oyate

When is our tribe going to seriously address the water in the gas problems in our gas stations?

It’s nice to get the discount but paying the service station to get the gas out is too much $.

All the time I see and hear about vehicles broken down a few miles away from the stations after gassing up. My brother’s truck just got hit with water in his gas after gassing up at the station. The station won’t take responsibility for this and fix the vehicle, or at least pay to get the gas removed from the truck before it damages it beyond repair.

They need to hire a gas expert and not use station people who have no idea the amount of water in the tanks.

Ellie Hauser.

Open Letter to the Oyate

There's an old saying, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make em drink." With regard to the current impasse with the Sisseton Public School Board, I would like to share a few observations.

Why aren't there more tribal members on the public school board? That should be the top priority for our tribal members if they expect to make any significant changes to the present school board policies affecting the education of both Indian and non-Indian students. This should be the top priority of our parents and community members who send their children to the Sisseton Public School. In my opinion, they must have some outstanding teachers, otherwise I don't think our parents would be sending them to the public school. We have many community members who are well qualified and would serve with honor and distinction on the Sisseton School Board. We need to get to the ballot box on election day.

There are some other important points for our tribal members to know as well. It is a well known fact that school attendance is a vital key to academic growth. Research tells us that for every day a student misses school, he/she misses 2 days of instruction. Additionally, students who have been taught to listen to the teacher while instruction is being offered do very well in the standardized tests. If our parents would make sure that our students get to school everyday and listen to the teachers they are going to be very successful regardless if they attend a public school, BIA school or tribal school. If we can get our children to read at or near grade level by the time they get to the 8th grade, then they should have no trouble graduating from high school. In other words, they would be reading at the adult level before they enter high school.

During my tenure as the Indian Education and Homeless Coordinator for the Sioux Falls School District (SFSD) we expanded the Native American Connection Program to include both the middle schools and high schools in the district. We used the Title I monies to focus on disadvantaged students at the elementary level. As a result of these changes, more Indian students are graduating from the Sioux Falls public schools than ever before. Please contact the SFSD Indian Education office for more information.

In closing, I would like to encourage our parents, tribe, and community members to take the necessary time to make sure that our children have good attendance, help them to overcome any of their shortcomings, and take pride in their heritage.

Sincerely, John Derby, Ed.D Retired educator.

South Dakota Goes Global

By Rep. Kristi Noem

Standing on my ranch in northeastern South Dakota, we’re about 6,700 miles from China; 7,900 miles from India; 4,900 miles from Brazil; and 9,100 miles from South Africa. Needless to say, we’re a long ways away from everyone else, but we are far from disconnected. Like hundreds of South Dakota farms, the food and cattle we’ve raised here has likely been consumed on nearly every continent. Meanwhile, the products manufactured in Rapid City, Brookings, Sioux Falls and elsewhere have been used to improve the lives of millions across the globe. When you think about it, it’s a small world.

All in all, South Dakota exports nearly $5 billion worth of goods and services to customers in 169 countries annually – and our relationship with the international community is only growing.

Earlier this year, I met with leaders in South Korea, China, and Japan to discuss our relationship with the region as it related to both trade and national security. Of note, China is the largest purchaser of U.S. soybeans, representing about 50 percent of total U.S. soybean exports, and Japan is the largest importer of feed grains and U.S. corn. They both – along with South Korea – also play key roles in keeping the regional peace, and alongside it economic stability, in an area that is also home to an unpredictable North Korea.

The sheer economic heft of Asia – combined with the fact that more than half the world’s population lives there – makes it all the more important that Asian consumers can easily purchase American goods, services, and agricultural products. During many of my conversations in Asia, it was made clear that the Asia-Pacific region not only needed our products to feed their quickly growing populations, but also had a specific demand for American-grown and American-made products because of their superior quality. As an experienced farmer and rancher, I was pretty proud to hear that the work we put into our family’s operation was reflected when those products were consumed.

Understanding the opportunity for South Dakota producers and manufacturers, I have been supportive of a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), or a new trade agreement with the region, that would expand our access to the Asia-Pacific market. Currently, nearly half of South Dakota’s exports are bound for the 11 other countries that would be involved in the TPP and a further elimination of trade barriers would only expand our opportunities.

We’re still actively negotiating TPP, and before we sign on the dotted line, changes need to be made that secure the U.S. ag industry’s access to all involved markets. For instance, I have serious concerns that Japan’s current position would restrict market access by keeping trade barriers up on key agricultural products. I’ve shared these concerns with the U.S. Trade Representative negotiating the deal as well as with the leaders I met while in Japan. I’m hopeful we’ll find a resolve soon that is mutually beneficial.

Additionally, we are several rounds of negotiations into creating a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) with the European Union. I was glad that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack traveled to Europe earlier this summer to discuss agriculture’s role in T-TIP and I’ve personally reached out to our U.S. Trade Representative about making dairy a priority and ensuring trade barriers are removed for other ag products as well.

I believe there are tremendous opportunities for our state if we can expand our access to global markets. South Dakota relies on consumers across the world, just as communities thousands of miles away rely on the crops sitting out on our fields now. South Dakota has gone global – and that’s a very good thing for producers, manufacturers, and our communities.

Social “helper” column dedicated to young generation Oyate –


By Sherielle “Shay” DuMarce

Dear Shay,

Hey, how are you?

Well, before I get to my question i want to say I read your column and love the advice.

It’s good someone has a voice and isn’t scared to say what they feel so more power to you!

Now for my question… I read in one of your articles that you were married. What was the hardest thing about doing a wedding? How did you decide certain things etc.?

I am so nervous that sometimes I can’t make up my mind. (I’m doing my own.)

Any advice would be great. Thank you.

Signed, bride to be!

Dear Bride to be,

Well, thank you! I always love to hear a compliment. First, I'd like to say congratulations to you on your engagement and wedding (lol). I bet the butterflies are flying like crazy in your stomach. To answer your question. Yes, I was married but at that time I was young and all I did was pick out my colors, cake, location and songs. It was a small outdoor wedding, my colors were lavender and white, I don’t know why I chose lavender I guess I had an obsession with that color at the time (haha). The hardest part, at first, was picking my songs for the wedding which included the song I walked down the aisle to, the first dance song, the father/daughter and mother/son dance. Oh my lord that was nerve wracking but fun still because I had friends to help me and my mother too.

Also like you, I also had a hard time deciding things and somedays I didn’t even want to get up and deal with the wedding, rehearsal dinner or relatives coming in from out of state. But it was fun at the time, meeting in laws, being bridezilla about my cake. Aww now my cake was the best part of my wedding! It was a four-tier cake with staircases leading down to two more tiers on each side. I loved it!

Anyway, I guess the only advice I can give is just make sure you’re happy and in love, that’s when the excitement kicks in. Also, make sure your Maid of Honor isn’t lazy and does what she is asked. Just remember to not get overwhelmed and frustrated because the wedding is the first day of the rest of your life so enjoy every minute of it, laugh at mishaps and let the small things go because that’s what makes weddings memorable. God bless you and your upcoming marriage! I know yuou will do just fine if you have friends and family to help out.

Love, Shay.

Prairie Doc Perspective

Bipolar Disorder

By Richard P. Holm MD

Years ago I lost a friend to suicide who had bipolar disorder.  He was a middle aged, highly capable, caring, and sharing man who truly suffered from the psychological pain caused by this condition.  He had lived his whole adult life with the low and high rollercoaster emotions of his disease.

Bipolar disorder or manic depression is different than the more common one pole depression problem.   This is brain chemical imbalance when emotions swing not only down into a morass of sad and blue thinking, but also turn up onto the opposite pole from depression, of excessive and inappropriate exhilaration and almost ecstasy, defined as mania.  And here's the kicker: then it turns to depression again.

I imagine that for my friend the fact that he had these incredible highs, made it worse for him when he knew he was dropping into the awful lows.  It was the perspective of the high time that made the low time so bad and hard to take.

The family and some of his close friends knew he was at risk of suicide for he spoke frankly and honestly about his plans.  Yet with medicines and psychiatrists as well as medical doctors, with all the right tools available, and a family desperate to come to his aid... he elected not to take the help, and we couldn't save him.  It breaks my heart to think of it. 

The treatment for bipolar disorder has to do with stabilizing the mood with an older drug called lithium, or with anti-seizure drugs that work for this as well.  These can help bring patients with this condition out of the jagged mountains and valleys of highs and lows out onto the flatland, or at least maybe just the foothills. 

These mood stabilizers, along with counseling, and sometimes antidepressants, given some time to work, will greatly help people struggling with bipolar disorder. 

There is wonderful help available; you just have to take it.

Take home message:

1.  Bipolar disorder is a brain chemical imbalance illness that causes a rollercoaster of emotional lows and highs.

2.  It is particularly devastating due to the contrast of the emotions.

3.  There is wonderful help available; you just have to consistently take it, and give it time.


Dr. Rick Holm wrote this Prairie Doc Perspective for "On Call®," a weekly program where medical professionals discuss health concerns for the general public. "On Call®" is produced by the Healing Words Foundation in association with the South Dakota State University Journalism Department. "On Call®" airs Thursdays on South Dakota Public Broadcasting-Television at 7 p.m. Central, 6 p.m. Mountain. Visit us at

Prairie Doc Perspective

Lucy's Knees

By Richard P. Holm MD

In 1974 in Ethiopia's Awash Valley, a 3.2 million year-old skeleton of an ape was discovered that was different than other ape skeletons. The knee bone shape, along with pelvic architecture, indicated that this ape walked upright. As the Beatles music "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" was playing in the background, archeologists speculated that this could be the long sought link between apes and humans, and the upright walking individual was famously nicknamed "Lucy." Her brain was small and ape-like but she walked upright.

This was evidence that the upright position might have come first. They speculated that standing tall allowed for the evolutionary advantage of having a better view of approaching enemy or mate and all the rest followed. Could it be that the special design of an upright knee allowed for the first big step toward the evolution of humanity? And what is so special about this design?

The knee is a hinge joint mostly held together with four ligaments. The two "collateral" ligaments run along the inner and outer sides of the knee keeping our legs from bending inward (knock-kneed) or outward (bowlegged).

The more noteworthy structures however are the two tough fibrous ribbon ligaments, which cross each other, front to back, on the inside of the knee forming an "X." This explains why they are called the cruciate or cross-like ligaments.

The anterior cruciate ligament or ACL starts at the back of the thighbone or femur above, crosses to connect at the front of the shinbone or tibia below, and keeps the lower leg from sliding forward. The posterior cruciate ligament or PCL starts at the front of the thighbone, crosses to the back of the shinbone, and keeps the lower leg from sliding backward.

What is so ingenious is how these crossing ribbons provide for such stability, and yet at the same time, allow for the bending of the knee. So it is as Gerard Manley Hopkins the Priest poet said: "The world is charged with the grandeur of God."


Dr. Rick Holm wrote this Prairie Doc Perspective for "On Call®," a weekly program where medical professionals discuss health concerns for the general public. "On Call®" is produced by the Healing Words Foundation in association with the South Dakota State University Journalism Department. "On Call®" airs Thursdays on South Dakota Public Broadcasting-Television at 7 p.m. Central, 6 p.m. Mountain. Visit us at

A microscopic mystery

By Richard P. Holm MD

Look at blood smeared across a slide under a microscope, and you see a mystery revealed.

The ruby-colored, vital, fluid of life we call blood is made of lots of stuff. There is the liquid plasma that moves cells and protein; the rosy red cell that brings oxygen around the body; the platelets that stop bleeding; and the different kinds of white cells that fight infection in a wide variety of ways. More about all that at another time.

Today we're talking about one specific type of white cell called the plasma cell, which destroys invading bacteria and other infections by making antibody. This is a protein egg-white-like poison, which surrounds and kills unrecognized foreign intruders. Our story begins with this antibody-making plasma white cell.

Mr. M was in his 70s, and having back pain, not too unusual in his age group. But Mr. M's pain was intense and seemed to involve his ribs, and he had been feeling extremely tired lately. X-rays showed punched out areas in the bone of ribs and spine, and the blood test found elevated levels of protein and calcium, and with evidence for kidney problems and anemia. These findings suggested the possible diagnosis of multiple myeloma, a plasma cell type of white cell malignancy or leukemia.

To confirm this diagnosis, we analyzed the blood specifically looking at the protein antibodies within, and we found large amounts of one single type of so-called "monoclonal" protein rather than the broad variety we usually see. With multiple myeloma, large quantities of this single type of dysfunctional antibody protein are made by plasma cells gone wild. In this case, too much protein was starting to plug up and destroy Mr. M's kidneys.

Also we were concerned about his elevated calcium level, a result of bone invasion by these sick plasma cells. The high calcium was causing him to be so tired and weak. In addition, we found too few red cells, or anemia, because the malignant cells were pushing out the red cell -making system from his bone marrow resulting in even more weakness.

Multiple myeloma is the second most common blood-born malignancy behind non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, making up one percent of all cancers. It is good to know that medical tools to treat this leukemia-type illness are greatly improving because of scientific research. Mr. M's treatment brought relief.

Look at blood smeared across a slide under a microscope, and you see a mystery revealed.

New Devils Lake VA Clinic to provide care to Native, rural Rural ND Vets

Devils Lake, ND – August 18, 2014 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today spoke at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Devils Lake where she highlighted the importance of the new facility for rural and Native American veterans in the Devils Lake area.

For nearly a decade, area veterans have been awaiting the opening of this clinic so they don’t have to drive to Fargo to receive the quality health care. The new CBOC will provide quality and accessible care at a more convenient location. Veterans will have access to full-time telehealth services, a part-time physician, and on-site nurses who will care for veterans five days a week. Through the telehealth services, veterans will have direct access to specialists at the Fargo VA Health Care System.

“So many of North Dakota’s veterans live in rural communities, like Devils Lake, and they deserve access to top-notch health care, just like veterans living in larger towns or cities,” said Heitkamp. “All across the state, I’ve listened to stories about the challenges veterans face in getting the care they were promised. No veteran should have to drive for hours upon hours for care, or have unreasonably long wait times before they are able to be treated. That’s why we need to make sure all veterans – including those living in rural communities – get the care they deserve. The opening of this CBOC in Devils Lake will help support that goal by providing hundreds of eligible veterans with access to quality rural health care.”

Heitkamp pushed for the completion of the Devils Lake facility and put pressure on the VA to live up to its promise to open a CBOC in Devils Lake. In January, she met with the President of Mercy Hospital, Jim Marshall, to discuss the progress of the CBOC and see the construction of the facility firsthand.

Heitkamp has specifically been pushing to make sure veterans living in rural areas, including Native American veterans, get the services they earned, as far too many have expressed that they don’t know where to turn. Last month, Heitkamp hosted her first Native American Veterans Summit in Bismarck, which brought together about 140 Native veterans, officials from the VA and Indian Health Service, and other advocates to help Native veterans learn more about ongoing initiatives to connect them with services and benefits. Based on the discussions at the Native American Veterans Summit, Heitkamp launched a new one-stop-shop webpage for Native American veterans to easily connect them with information about benefits and services available to them.

Earlier this month, Heitkamp unveiled her Connect with Veterans Act that would better connect new veterans with services, resources, and benefits that are available in their communities by creating a database of contact information. Her bill aims to ease the transition back to civilian life for many new veterans by helping them connect with job opportunities in their new communities, other veterans, and additional resources and benefits.

On August 1, Heitkamp voted for bipartisan legislation passed in the Senate to better support our veterans. The new bill works to restore trust in the VA and launches a nationwide Veterans Choice Card – an initiative Heitkamp has called for since before joining the Senate -- to improve access to care for rural veterans.

Ripple Effect –


Recently, a study was released that shows that chemicals from common household products, legal prescription medications, and illegal drugs are common in Minnesota lakes. Currently, there are no state or federal regulations regarding what levels of pharmaceutical drugs are acceptable in drinking water, so it is rare that water suppliers test for them. But, even if they were tested for, most septic systems and wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to filter out these chemicals and so they are left in our water supplies.

Many of our medicines enter our local bodies of water when they are excreted, or rinsed off our skin. However, they also end up in the water when disposed of through the toilet, sink, or trash. While we might not be able to stop trace amounts of these drugs from entering the water after they have been taken, we can make sure that unused drugs stay out of our water systems.

The unintended consequences of improper prescription medication disposal have become an issue of emerging concern. Improper disposal has been linked to adverse public health and environmental issues such as a decrease in water quality, drug overdoses, and biological deformities in wildlife. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.

Public health agencies, the police and groups such as River Keepers encourage the public to clean out their medicine cabinets and remove outdated or no longer needed medications. Bring them immediately to an approved disposal site such as a pharmacy or Law Enforcement Center.

Once commonly recommended, flushing medications down the toilet is now recognized as an improper method of disposal as it may allow medications into our rivers and lakes. Also, over time, landfills can leak allowing medications disposed of there to also enter our waters so throwing medication away is also not recommended.

For more information, go to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency website:

Help keep our water and community safe by properly disposing of your medications at your local pharmacy or police station!

Until the next Ripple Effect, The Red River Basin Commission (RRBC).


The RRBC is a grassroots organization that is chartered not-for-profit corporation under the provisions of Manitoba, North Dakota, Minnesota, and South Dakota law. Our offices in Fargo, ND and Winnipeg, MB can be reached at 218-291-0422 and 204-982-7254, or you can check out our website at

Youth, school activities highlights –

Education watch on the Lake Traverse Reservation

SWC to offer traditional pottery workshop

Sisseton Wahpeton College, in collaboration with the American Indian College Fund, proudly announces the Traditional Dakota Pottery I Workshop.

Gabrielle Tateyuskanskan will teach workshop participants the history of traditional Dakota pottery, how to harvest and prepare clay, and some introductory techniques for creating traditional Dakota pottery.

Space is limited in this workshop, so sign up today.

Registration is free and participants will receive one (1) credit.

The workshop will be held Saturday, September 27 and Sunday, September 28, 2014, from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm at Sisseton Wahpeton College, Vocational Building, room 13.

This is the first in a series of traditional Dakota arts workshops aimed at reinvigorating traditional art forms.

Please watch for more traditional arts workshops in the future.

For more information, please contact Erin Griffin at 605-698-3966 ext. 1293 or

(Editor’s note: We hope we’re not stealing thunder from Erin, but those of our oyate interested in making their own bow . . . well, watch for what’s coming this fall!)

Enemy Swim Day School FACE program underway for new year

Submitted by Nita Rae Jones and Brenda Butler

Face has been in session for two weeks. We are looking forward to a GREAT year with AWESOME parent participation!

Parents are a child's first teacher and we have wonderful parents!

FACE Center base still has openings for children, for more information call Enemy Swim Day School Family and Child Education at 605-947-4605.

Parent involvement is a key component in FACE. Pidamaya to our parents for being so committed to our program. We enjoy every moment we get to spend with you and your children.

ESDS Learning Center hours

The Adult Learning Center at Enemy Swim Day School is now operating on regular school hours. The hours are 8:00 – 3:00 Monday – Friday.

Serving the area for 15 years the Adult Learning Center serves as the only GED preparation center in Day County. It is open to anyone who wants to complete adult education goals.

This service is offered at no charge to students. Arrangements can be made to ride the Enemy Swim Day School if it runs in the area the student’s lives in.

Last year the ALC helped 9 people receive their GED.

Renee Kwasniewski, a 10 year employee of ESDS will be the instructor this year. She has worked as the ESDS Community Education Coordinator along with Afterschool program duties during that time. Working in the Afterschool program she earned the SD OST Credential from the South Dakota Department of Social Services.

No preregistration is required to work in the adult learning center. We will arrange your learning time around your schedule to find the best time for studies.

Information is available from Renee at 947-4605 ext. 3080.

Information provided by Sisseton Public Schools for parents/guardians –

State/Local Assessment Data Update

The 2014 Report Card looks different from previous years' Report Cards. In the spring of 2014, the majority of schools in the state participated in field testing of new assessments and, as a result, student achievement data is not available for the 2013-14 school year. All other data has been updated and is reflected in the 2014 Report Cards.

School classifications under South Dakota's accountability system are holding steady for the 2014-15 school year and are based on the data in the 2013 Report Card. The system is based on a 100-point School Performance Index, or SPI. The SPI consists of multiple indicators to measure a school's performance. Two distinct indexes are used: 1) one for elementary/middle school accountability, and 2) one for high school accountability.

The 2014 Sisseton School District Assessment Data is available online. If parent(s)/family members do not have access to the internet please visit the public library, district office or school office for viewing of the report card. Please contact Dr. April Moen, Title I Director/Assessment Coordinator for further assistance if needed. (605) 698-7613 ext. 221 or

South Dakota Report Card Link

Sisseton School District Report Card

New Effington Elementary School

Westside Elementary School

Sisseton Middle School

Sisseton High School

The Battle for Good Health: Youth Health Fair

Submitted by Gypsy Wanna

(Editor’s note: Photos were published last week and are included in a graphic with this followup news article.)

Superheroes: The Battle for Good Health was the theme of this year's youth health fair which was held on August 15th from 2pm-6pm at the SWO Community Memorial Park. Over 200 parents and youth participated in the event.

The kids made their own super hero masks and had a chance to earn their capes by completing an obstacle course. Each child had a mission to complete by visiting each booth to collect a puzzle piece. Their mission was complete when they completed the puzzle. At the end each child was given a backpack with a reflective stripe.

Families had fun learning about healthy sleep habits, why they should brush their teeth for 2 minutes, the differences between whole milk, 2% milk and skim milk, the difference in stomach sizes of adults and kids, the proper weight of backpacks, and about all the sugar in pop, as well as many other topics.

The tribal programs/departments that provided education included Head Start, the Office of Environmental Protection, Circle of Smiles, CHE Tobacco Prevention, JOM program, Crystal Owen for the SWO Police, and the Early Childhood Intervention program. The Indian Health Service departments included Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Nutrition, and Public Health Nursing. United Blood Services was here to explain about blood types and why donating blood is so important, Mike Durkin provided information on bike safety and Sara DeCoteau provided information on ACE's for the First 1000 Days Initiative.

The SWO Health & Fitness Center provided a very delicious meal of buffalo dogs, baked beans and watermelon.

We asked the parents to fill out a survey at the end of the fair. Here are some of the results:

*72% of the people rated the health fair in general Excellent, 28% Fair and 0% Poor

*51% of the people came to the health fair because they were curious about health, while 79% said they thought it would be fun (which it was)

*64% of the people said they would make changes in the way they normally do things as a result of the health fair

*85% of the people said if something showed up in their child's screening they would schedule a follow-up examination

*What does this all mean? It means that people like to and want to learn about health through fun and interaction.

Thank you to all who made this event possible and to all the families that participated!

Entries invited for Parade of Champions

Bismarck, ND – UTN – United Tribes invites all groups and organizations to submit entries for the “Parade of Champions,” set for Saturday, September 6 in Bismarck.

The “Parade of Champions” is part of the annual United Tribes International Powwow and features a moving display of American Indian culture. All groups or organizations are welcome to participate. Cash awards are offered for winning entries. The parade theme is: “We Are All Related,” a reference to an inclusive Lakota belief and invocation.

Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills (Oglala Tribe) will appear in the parade.

Parade of Champions staging begins at 8 a.m. in the west parking lot of the State Capitol building. The parade begins at 10 a.m.

The route is from Boulevard Avenue south on Sixth Street to Avenue C, west one block to Fifth Street, and south on Fifth Street through downtown to Kirkwood Mall.

For more info or to register contact Jessica Stewart 701-255-3285 x 1104,

The 45th Annual United Tribes International Powwow begins September 4 on the campus of United Tribes Technical College. People from all backgrounds are welcomed to attend and share the traditions of one of North Dakota’s premier cultural events.

Powwow Youth Day is Friday, September 5

Bismarck, ND – UTN – School classes and youth groups are invited to Youth Day at the United Tribes International Powwow, which begins at 9 a.m. on Friday, September 5 on the United Tribes campus.

Billy Mills, an admired role model and the only American to win an Olympic Gold Medal in the 10,000 Meter Run, is the featured guest.

All school groups are invited to attend as part of organized outings. There is no admission fee for students, teachers or escorts.

Mills is famous for his come-from-behind win in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. His thrilling gold medal victory is widely considered one of the greatest moments in Olympic sports history. His story inspired the 1983 Hollywood movie “Running Brave.”

Now age 76, he lives near Sacramento, CA. In 2012 Barack Obama awarded Mills a Presidential Citizens Medal for his work with young people.

The Youth Day experience includes tribal music, cultural entertainment and audience participation. It takes place east of the college administration building on Sisseton Road. Young people are also invited to participate in the 1 p.m. grand entry in the powwow arena. Groups may bring their own lunches or purchase lunch from a variety of vendors in the food court.

Teachers are encouraged to register in advance by contacting coordinator Shiela Ross 701-255-3285 x 1546,

NSF funds pilot project to increase American Indian faculty members

Innovative pilot project will encourage American Indian and Alaskan Native students studying STEM disciplines to qualify for tenured faculty positions

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is funding a new pilot project designed to increase the representation of American Indian and Alaska Natives in tenure track positions.

This pilot project will provide varied types of supportive resources to a select group of American Indian and Alaska Native students who are studying science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) at U.S. colleges and universities. These resources will provide participating students with motivating encouragement, practical skills and intellectual experiences that will help compel them to stay in their chosen STEM field--so that they will earn the necessary academic credentials to land tenure track positions at U.S. colleges and universities.

NSF is awarding $1.5 million over five years to the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) to implement the pilot program, which is called "Lighting the Pathway to Faculty Careers for Natives in STEM."

A trailblazing program

"'Lighting the Pathway' is innovative because it will be comprehensive and national in scale and will provide many and varied types of support to American Indian and Alaska Native students," said NSF Director France A. Córdova.

Throughout the five year duration of "Lighting the Pathway," this pilot project will be rigorously evaluated in order to help identify its most effective interventions. Because the results of such evaluations may help guide future decisions about investments in this and/or other projects, "Lighting the Pathway" may serve as a valuable model for programs preparing students of varied ethnic and cultural backgrounds for academic careers.

The need for the program

Evidence of the national need for "Lighting the Pathway" includes data from NSF's Science and Engineering Indicators 2014, which indicates that American Indians and Alaska Natives accounted for less than .1 percent of science, engineering and health doctorates employed in science and engineering occupations in U.S. universities and four-year colleges as of 2010--the most recent year for which data is available.

Program participants

Applicants to "Lighting the Pathway" must be studying a STEM discipline--such as biology, computer science, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, geology or astronomy--at any academic level from the undergraduate level to the post-doc level. AISES will use its nationwide network to target American Indians and Alaska Natives for consideration for the project, but no one will be excluded from consideration based on their ethnic background. Thirty students representing all STEM disciplines will be selected by an AISES committee for the first year of "Lighting the Pathway."

As a pilot project, "Lighting the Pathway" is slated to last five years. During this period, at least 72 students are expected to be directly supported by the project.

Program benefits

Each Pathway student will receive face-to-face mentoring from a role model who: 1) is either an American Indian or Alaska Native or is familiar with issues relevant to these underrepresented groups; and 2) has earned a PhD--and preferably also holds a tenured faculty position. In addition, Pathway students will be offered research experiences and opportunities to present their research results at appropriate scientific conferences.

Also, Pathway students will attend monthly virtual seminars covering: 1) relevant scientific topics; 2) academic topics, such as maintaining a good academic record and applying to graduate school; 3) cultural topics, such as integrating indigenous cultures with Western ways; and 4) career topics such as balancing career and life and writing resumes. Further, they will be trained in leadership and communication skills, and attend the National AISES Conference to network with Native faculty and participate in other career-boosting activities.

Pathway students will receive the most intensive training and support during their first two years in the project, and then receive continued mentoring for remaining years of the project.

The varied types of training and culturally sensitive support offered by "Lighting the Pathway" and the project's use of the broad-based community provided by AISES, a well-established and engaged organization, will encircle each Pathway student with resources-both geographically and intellectually.

Funding from multiple directorates

Because of the multidisciplinary nature of "Lighting the Pathway," the project will be funded by multiple NSF directorates. These directorates are Biological Sciences, Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Education and Human Resources, Engineering, Geosciences and Mathematical and Physical Sciences.


The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

Funding to encourage Native American students to pursue Degrees in Psychology

Washington, DC – August 28, 2015 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced a continuation of nearly $250,000 in federal funds to encourage Native American students to pursue careers in psychology at the University of North Dakota (UND).

The University of North Dakota’s Quentin N. Burdick Indians into Psychology Doctoral Education (INPSYDE) Program will use the funds to assist the program as it aims to recruit more Native American students into higher education psychology programs. The INPSYDE Program was created in 1992 in response to there being too few mental health professionals in Indian Country, too few Native American mental health professionals, need for improved quality mental health services in Native American communities in the region, and insufficient cross-cultural understanding and training in psychology.

“As I’ve often said, investing in North Dakota’s children and students is the most important step we can take to make sure our state has a successful future,” said Heitkamp. “UND’s INPSYDE program promotes a deeper understanding between our Native and non-Native communities in our state and many of its students will go on to become future leaders of their tribes who will work to improve outcomes for coming generations. The funds will help those students learn the skills they need to provide high quality care for their communities that is often missing today.”

In June, Heitkamp visited the INPSYDE Programs Summer Institute to meet with the Native American junior and senior high school students taking part in the two week program. During the Summer Institute, students develop a strong background in psychology and science. They also live on the UND campus to experience campus life firsthand.

Social Security to resume mailed Benefit statements

By Jason Alderman

Call it a paperless experiment that didn't quite pan out. In 2011, a budget-strapped Social Security Administration (SSA) stopped mailing annual benefit statements to workers over 25 in order to save $70 million on annual printing and mailing costs.

In return, the agency launched the "my Social Security" online tool that allows 24/7 access to your statement, as well as other helpful information. (Your statement shows a complete record of your taxable earnings as well as estimated retirement, disability and survivor benefits.)

Although more than 13 million people have opened accounts, that's only about 6 percent of the American workforce. With millions of Baby Boomers at or approaching retirement age, Congress was justifiably concerned that not enough people were accessing this critical retirement-planning tool.

That's why this month SSA will resume mailing paper statements every five years to workers from ages 25 to 60, provided they haven't already signed up for online statements. The expectation is that more people will migrate to electronic services over time, as Social Security continues to close field offices and reduce in-office paperwork services – thanks to years of funding cutbacks.

The paper statements are a good first step, but creating an online account allows you to log in anytime and:

Estimate retirement, disability and survivor benefits available to you under different work, earnings and retirement-age scenarios. Estimate benefits for which your family would be eligible when you receive Social Security or die. View a list of your lifetime earnings to date, according to the agency's records. See the estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you've paid over your working career. Find information about qualifying and signing up for Medicare. Review topics to consider if you're 55 or older and thinking about retiring. Read general information about Social Security. Access calculators to estimate your projected benefits under different scenarios. Apply online for retirement and disability benefits. Access a printable version of your Social Security statement. To create an online account, go to the "my Social Security" website ( You must have a valid email address, Social Security number, U.S. mailing address and be at least age 18.

You'll need to verify your identity by providing personal information and answering questions whose answers only you should know. Social Security contracts with Experian to design these questions based on the credit bureau's records.

(Note: If you've got a security freeze or fraud alert on your Experian credit report, you'll either have to temporarily remove it or visit your local Social Security office – with proof of identity – to open an online account.)

Once your identity has been verified, you can create a password-protected account. Social Security emphasizes that you may sign into or create an account to access only your own information. Unauthorized use could subject you to criminal and/or civil penalties.

Review your statement at least annually to ensure the information on file for you is correct – for example, your yearly taxable earnings. Otherwise, when Social Security calculates your benefits at retirement, disability or death, you could be shortchanged; or, if your earnings were over-reported, you could end up owing the government money.

If you do find errors, call 800-772-1213, or visit your local office. You'll need copies of your W-2 form or tax return for any impacted years.

Bottom line: Even if retirement is a long way off, it's important to review your Social Security statement now to know what benefits you can expect – and to correct any mistakes well before you need to sign up.


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




P.O. Box 689

Agency Village, SD 57262

PH: (605) 742-1108

FAX: (605) 742-0394

Sisseton Wahpeton College is requesting proposals to audit the financials statements of Sisseton Wahpeton College for the period of July 1, 2013 to June 30th, 2014.  The proposal should be sent to Tanya Keeble, CFO at the above address. Proposals must be received by 4:30 P.M.  September 18th, 2014.

The audit must be conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards and the standards applicable to financial audits contained in the "Government Auditing Standards" issued by the Comptroller General of the United States. Also, the audit must include compliance auditing described in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-133 "Audits of State, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations". Questions and/or requests for additional information related to this proposal should be directed to Tanya Keeble at (605) 742-1108.

In order to facilitate comparisons of proposals received, the proposal should include:

1.  A letter of transmittal stating your understanding for the necessary audit procedures.

2.  Profile of your firm and audit team that will be assigned to the College's audit.

3.  Employee and staff qualifications.

4.  A statement that your firm meets the mandatory criteria as to independence and license to practice.

5.  A copy of your more recent quality review report and a letter of comments (including any findings identified by your quality review).

6.  A summary of your firm's experience within the last three years preparing tribal audits.

7.  A breakdown of the all-inclusive set fee.

8.  Any data as to minority preference.

9.  Additional services to be provided as part of the audit.



Tiospa Zina Tribal School


Tiospa Zina School Board is accepting bids for Catering services. Catering will be once a month for the Regular School Board Meetings, which are the second Tuesday of every month. Please note that regular meetings are subject to change. Please provide a menu with your bid. Bid shall be for approximately 20 people. Deadline is September 5, 2014.

For more information please feel free to contact Louella Cloud at 698-3953, ext. 205, or email her at



Request for Bids

Enemy Swim Day School is requesting bids for the following site work:

Project: Removal, replacement and installation of 500 square feet of concrete located in 4 areas on ESDS campus.


1.  Contractor shall have in possession and available for inspection all required licenses', permits, insurance, bonding and authority to perform all work as specified at the designated location.

2.  Concrete to be 4" minimum, rebar reinforced slabs with all industry established minimum site work requirements for the area conditions.

3.  Contractor to supply all supplies, equipment, disposal and cleanup methods to complete project.

4.  Contractor will be responsible for all damages and repairs to work areas.

5.  Contractor will guarantee work - as negotiated and documented.

6.  Project must be completed by September 30, 2014.

To be considered, all bids must be received at Enemy Swim Day School business office no later than September 10, 2014 at 4:00 PM.

For more information please contact:   Ed J. Johnson - #605-947-4605 Ext. 3030


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Psychic Spiritual Reader

Are you worried, confused, don’t know where to turn, need help. I give advice on all matters of life past, present and future . . . call today for a better tomorrow. I also offer past life readings. For appointments call (605) 271-7277. 5201 West 41st. St. Suite 1, Sioux Falls, SD 57106.









Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate

Job Openings

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

Adult Daycare Provider, Tribal Elderly

Closing Date: September 12, 2014 @ 04:30PM

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)


Dakota Western Corporation

Accounting Assistant

Dakota Western Corporation has an immediate opening for an experienced Accounting Assistant. Duties will include but are not limited to payroll, accounts receivable and inventory. Minimum of 3 years of recent experience and college level accounting courses. Must have experience with MS Word, Excel and accounting software. Bring a resume and submit application in person at Dakota Western Corporation, 45679 Veterans Memorial Drive, Agency Village, SD 57262. Applications that do not meet the minimum qualifications will not be considered. Closing date: August 29, 2014.



Regular full time Nursing Instructor needed for fall semester. Must possess valid SD Nursing License. BSN is required. Position is open until filled.

Visit our website at for a full job description and application. Contact the HR office at (605) 742-1105.



Tiospa Zina Tribal School

Employment Opportunities

2014-2015 School Year Vacancies:

Vacancy: Bus Monitor Qualifications: High School Diploma/GED, willing to obtain First Aid and CPR certification. Opening Date: August 21, 2014 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: Special Education Teacher (High School) Sign-on Bonus Qualifications: Current South Dakota Certification meeting the Highly Qualified status for a Special Education Teacher Opening Date: March 7, 2014 Closing Date: Open until filled

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

Vacancy: Alternative Learning Center Teacher Qualifications: Current South Dakota Certification meeting the Highly Qualified status for a Secondary Teacher Opening Date: July 1, 2014 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: School Counselor Qualifications: Current South Dakota Certification meeting the Highly Qualified status for a School Service Specialist School Counselor Opening Date: May 23, 2014 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: Head of Transportation/Bus Driver Qualifications: High School Diploma/GED, Current Commercial Drivers License with air brakes and passenger endorsements, current commercial drivers license medical examiner's certificate, 1+ years of directly related experience, 1+ years of supervisory experience. Opening Date: August 21, 2014 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: Administrative Assistant (Elementary) Qualifications: Associates degree in related field, ability to multitask, 1+ years of directly related experience. Opening Date: August 29, 2014 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: Reading Coach Qualifications: Meets the South Dakota Department of Education qualifications for a Highly Qualified Reading Coach. Opening Date: August 21, 2014 Closing Date: Open until filled

2014-2015 Extra Curricular Vacancies:

Vacancy: 7th/8th Grade Girls Basketball Coach Qualifications: GED/High School Diploma. If interested please submit an application and coaching applicant questionnaire to the Human Resources Department at Tiospa Zina Tribal School. Opening Date: April 8, 2014 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: 7th/8th Grade Volleyball Coach Qualifications: GED/High School Diploma. If interested please submit an application and coaching applicant questionnaire to the Human Resources Department at Tiospa Zina Tribal School. Opening Date: August 25, 2014 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: (2) 8th Grade Class Advisor Qualifications: GED/High School Diploma. If interested please submit an application and Advisor Questionnaire to the Human Resources Department at Tiospa Zina Tribal School. Opening Date: April 11, 2014 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: AISES Advisor (American Indian Science and Engineering Society) Qualifications: GED/High School Diploma. If interested please submit an application and Advisor Questionnaire to the Human Resources Department at Tiospa Zina Tribal School. Opening Date: April 11, 2014 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: Destination Imagination Advisor Qualifications: GED/High School Diploma. If interested please submit an application and Advisor Questionnaire to the Human Resources Department at Tiospa Zina Tribal School. Opening Date: April 11, 2014 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: (2) Junior Class Advisor Qualifications: GED/High School Diploma. If interested please submit an application and Advisor Questionnaire to the Human Resources Department at Tiospa Zina Tribal School. Opening Date: April 11, 2014 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: (3) Senior Class Advisor Qualifications: GED/High School Diploma. If interested please submit an application and Advisor Questionnaire to the Human Resources Department at Tiospa Zina Tribal School. Opening Date: April 11, 2014 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: Rodeo & Riding Club Advisor Qualifications: GED/High School Diploma. If interested please submit an application and Advisor Questionnaire to the Human Resources Department at Tiospa Zina Tribal School. Opening Date: May 8, 2014 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: Web Master Qualifications: GED/High School Diploma, familiar with and can assist staff in administration of their Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 web page software, able to keep school web pages updated and efficient. Opening Date: August 25, 2014 Closing Date: Open until filled

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


Enemy Swim Day School


Enemy Swim Day School has an immediate opening for a FACE Parent Educator for the 2014-2015 school year. Parent Educator for FACE Home-Based conducts personal visits with families of prenatal to 5-year old children on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to provide research-based information on how children grow and develop and how parents can foster learning and nurture development. Hours are 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, with some evening hours for scheduled events. Please visit our web site at for a detailed position description and application. This position includes benefits. Indian Preference policies apply. If interested please call (605) 947-4605 or (888) 825-7738 for more information, ask for Virginia. Open until filled.


Enemy Swim Day School has an immediate opening for a cook’s assistant for the 2014-2015 school year. Must be physically capable of standing for long periods of time and lifting up to 30 lbs. Hours are 6:30 am – 2:30 pm. This position includes benefits. If interested please pick up an application from the business office or visit our website: Call (605) 947-4605 or (888) 825-7738 for more information, ask for Deb or Nadine. Indian preference policies apply. Open until filled.



Dakota Magic Casino

Job Openings

Cage Department Cashier (3 Full-Time) 1 swing, 2 Graveyard

Count Department Team Member (Full-Time) 3am to Finish

Hotel Department Night Audit Clerk (Full-Time) 12:00am to 8:00 am Room Attendant (Full-Time) 8am to finish

Slots Department Slot Technician (2 Full-Time) 1 Graveyard, 1 swing

Smoke/Gift Shop Department Clerk (Full-Time) Rotating

Table Games Department Dealer (Full-Time) Rotating

Closing Date: September 5, 2014 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):

M.I.S. (Management Information Systems): COMPUTER SPECIALIST/PROGRAMMER (1 Full-Time) GENERAL FUNCTION: Your level of responsibility will assist end-users with computer issues. You are also responsible for computer maintenance. You will design and write code for programs as needed. You will also write custom reports for end-users when needed. You will be responsible for assisting end-users with computer issues, computer maintenance, and other IT tasks as designated by M.I.S. Manager or Supervisor. REQUIREMENTS: Excellent interpersonal and written communication skills. Flexibility and ability to work in a team environment. Associates degree in computer science, information systems, 2+ years experience in computer science, computer programming, information systems, or a related field or 6+ years experience in a related position; A+ Certification in beneficial. Extensive knowledge of Windows XP, Windows 7, 2000, 2003, 2008, MSSql Databases, Active Directory, VMWare, Crystal Reports, Visual Studio, Java and other programming languages. Ability to lift equipment in excess of 30lbs. Proficiency in Linux, IIS, POS systems, RAID technology, computer hardware, AS/400, networking and anti-virus methods is beneficial. Knowledge of servers if beneficial. Must obtain Key Gaming License upon hire.

This position will be advertised until it is filled.

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.