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Vol. 47 Issue No. 6

Anpetu Iyamni, Feb. 10, 2016

Inside this Edition –

Senate Committee hears complaints about Great Plains IHS facilities, services

Report to Akicita; Highlights of NADL home ownership for veterans event

SWC dean's list for fall 2015

Glimpse into SWO Tribal Planning, what's going on

Report on Dakota Oyate Challenge by Sarah Sunshine Manning

February is American Heart Month

Next week: Highlights of last weekend's Ice Fishing Derby

Deadline for receipt of copy is Friday noon

SWO Tribal Chairman Dave Flute takes seat at Council

Dave Flute changed places in the SWO Tribal Council room officially last Tuesday, February 2nd.

He went from one of the seven District Council seats to the Itancan chair and presided over his first session of Council.

Dave Flute's post as Lake Traverse District Councilman has been temporary filled by Council appointee and former Councilman Francis Crawford, who was on duty this week.

That position will be filled by a special election for Lake Traverse District voters on Tuesday, March 8.

Chairman Flute had already taken over duties of his Executive office immediately following the special election on Tuesday, January 12th and his swearing-in ceremony the following day.

During Wednesday's Council session, the Chairman arranged for live television feed in chambers so that all of Council could watch the US Indian Affairs Committee oversight hearing in Washington, DC live.

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

GeriO@SWO-NSN.gov

Phone 605-698-3388

*Native American Direct Loan meeting was full of information. We had 33 attendees sign in with 23 of those VETERANS. We also had RCVSO as well as Marshall County VSO Office as they deal with many native Veterans. Trent Kolden, NADL stayed over and we resumed the meeting at the TVSO office with 8 people stopping by for information. What I will be doing is receiving the application, check list from NADL and I will be putting together packets. Angie Johnson, Tiyamni Program will be getting together with myself and Chairman Flute to go over the process. As he is a Veteran he will be able to help us better navigate the system as you know there are acronym's for every step that we take-t his is all VA language. I will be giving the Chairman a full report and our intention is to make this process easier for all involved. I took pictures of our event and Trenton Kolden, NADL specialist gave a very lengthy report and dialogue with us. The 2 days were well worth it as we did make progress; we met with Dave Spider, Construction Management who agreed to apply for the VA Builder ID that is necessary as the Contractor of projects. Thank everyone who attended as it showed us what we need to work on. Stay tuned for more information. See accompanying photo highlights of the event.

*USS South Dakota. When thinking about South Dakota, naval prowess might not be the first thing to come to mind. Still, our state has a strong and proud naval history - from the men and women who have answered the call to serve to the ships that have borne the name USS South Dakota. In the twentieth century, two naval battleships were named after our great state: the USS South Dakota (ACR-9) commissioned in 1908 and the USS South Dakota (BB-57) commissioned in 1942. The BB-57 was one of the most decorated war-ships of World War II. Now, our state is being honored a third time. The U.S. Navy has commissioned a new USS South Dakota, the SSN-790. This Virginia-class submarine is already under construction and is expected to be completed in August of 2018. It will be the first submarine to bear the name USS South Dakota. The SSN 790 represents more than just a submarine. It offers an opportunity to continue the USS South Dakota's history of protecting our nation. This namesake will be more than a fleeting, ceremonial connection between the new submarine and our state. A commissioning committee has been brought aboard to support events surrounding the submarine's keel laying, christening and commissioning. Perhaps more importantly, the committee will work to forge a relationship between the state and the submarine for the duration of its service.

*Congratulations to KOBE CARLSON, SWO who followed in his father's footsteps and joined the USAF. Kobe is the son of Vanessa & Mike Carlson. We are proud of you Kobe!

*VETERANS: PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE IF YOU NEED ASSITANCE; WE ARE HERE TO SERVE!

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

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

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

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

Have a good week.

Geri Opsal, Tribal VSO.

Sisseton Wahpeton College Dean's List for Fall 2015

The following students have been named to the Dean's list for academic excellence during the Fall 2015 semester at Sisseton Wahpeton College.

To earn Dean's List distinction students must have completed a minimum of 12 credits and must have earned at least a 3.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. Students with an asterisk received a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

Sisseton Wahpeton College is very proud of these students and their accomplishments.

Shantelle Crandall

Kinew Desrosiers - Buffalo Lake District

Tanya Goodteacher - Long Hollow District

Loren Greeley Jr. - Long Hollow District

Bryan Grimmer*

Erin Keoke - Veblen District

Darrell Quinn - Long Hollow District

ShoShana Saddler -Chippewa

Melanie Seaboy* -Veblen District

Kayla White* - Veblen District

Linda White* - Veblen District

Alexis Wilson - Long Hollow District

Meth bust on Lake Traverse Reservation

During the intertribal meth summit, on Thursday, January 28th, Assistant US Attorney Tim Maher reported that some law enforcement officers scheduled to participate were unable to attend due to a meth bust.

A unit in Long Hollow Housing was the site of the raid, which took place on Wednesday.

A criminal complaint has been drawn up against three individuals.

The complaint, dated February 3, alleges:

*Possession of illicit Drug, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Ingestion and Child Neglect – Mniyata Hill.

*Possession of illicit Drug, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Ingestion – Nicolette Robertson.

*Possession of illicit Drug, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Ingestion and Interfering with Police – Garrett DuMarce.

They will be arraigned in SWO Tribal Court.

No further information is available, because the investigation is ongoing.

Several law enforcement agencies are involved, including the FBI and SWO Tribal Law Enforcement.

Note that the charges are allegations, and these individuals are innocent until proven guilty.

Man accused of having several gallons of "liquid meth" in vehicle

Dilworth, MN – Valley News – Feb. 5, 2016 – A man is facing several drug related charges after police say the man tried to ditch meth and hide drug paraphernalia during a traffic stop.

A Dilworth police officer stopped a vehicle on the 500 block of 2nd Avenue SE in Dilworth on Sunday, January 31st.

The officer says the driver was identified as Coltt West Decoteau. Officers say Decoteau initially tried to give the name of a family member and attempted to hide drug paraphernalia before being ordered out of the vehicle.

The officer says Decoteau threw two small bindles of suspected methamphetamine into the roadway when he got out of the vehicle.

Decoteau was arrested and his vehicle was taken to the Dilworth police department pending a search warrant.

A search warrant was executed on February 4th where officers found two aluminum style water containers that appeared to be full of water.

Officers looked in the containers and could see several pill shaped items on the bottom. The substance in both containers was tested and gave a positive reaction for methamphetamine.

A continued search of the vehicle turned up a quart size plastic oil bottle and 2 gallon size plastic containers of antifreeze. Police say all three containers appeared to have clear water like liquid in them, all three containers tested positive for methamphetamines.

Investigators say all of the packages were sealed and transported to the BCA Lab for further testing. They say at this time all containers are suspected to be containing "liquid methamphetamine". It was approximately three total gallons.

The BCA will determine content and weight at the State lab.

Decoteau was taken to the Clay County Jail and current charges sent over to the Clay County Attorney's office include: 5th Degree Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Obstructing Legal Process, Giving a Peace Officer False Name, No Driving License, No Proof of Valid Insurance and No Seat Belt.

Assistant US Attorney receives award for prosecuting drug crime in northeast SD

Jennifer Mammenga, Assistant U.S. Attorney based in Sioux Falls, had been scheduled to participate in the intertribal meth summit alongside co-workers Tim Maher and Troy Morley. But she did not attend the SWO meth summit.

Reason was that she was presented an award Thursday, January 28, at the US Attorney's office instead.

Mammenga was presented the 2015 HIDTA Outstanding Prosecutor Award by Bob Hartman, HIDTA Midwest Regional Coordinator and Bryan Gortmaker, Director, SD Division of Criminal Investigation.

Jennifer Mammenga earned the award for prosecution of drug-related crime in northeastern South Dakota.

Anti-sex trafficking group meets, touts bills in Legislature

By Aaron Matson

Staff Writer

(Editor's note: In each of the past two SWO meth forums, including the Jan. 28-29 intertribal meth summit, Dakotah Pride Counselor Teresa White has called attention to the work of the Coalition. Despite invitations, no one else from SWO besides Teresa has participated in the Coalition meetings. But, says the Oyate's front line youth mental counselor, the Coalition is working to help "our kids." This is a report in last Friday's Public Opinion about the Coalition.)

Watertown Public Opinion – Feb. 5, 2016 – Members of the Watertown Initiative to Prevent Sex Trafficking Coalition met Wednesday morning at the Community Room of the Watertown Regional Library.

Representatives from many community groups and organizations supporting the Initiative were in attendance, including representatives from law enforcement, congregations, health care providers, area schools, media and several non-profit organizations. A staff member from the local office of U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., also participated in the meeting.

Attendees heard updates on the work done by each standing committees within the Initiative and some ideas for future goals and events. They were also asked to sign on to a document supporting the Initiative's mission statement, "Building a healthy community by educating individuals and the community to prevent sex trafficking," and its vision statement, "Create a healthy, violence free community."

A major topic of discussion was an event planned for the spring to help build awareness of the issue of sex trafficking. Sex trafficking survivor Barbara Amaya will be sharing her story for the public at the Watertown Event Center April 5, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and will also be speaking to students at Lake Area Technical Institute during the day. Jenna Moffatt, outreach specialist for the Initiative, provided attendees regarding upcoming legislation in the South Dakota Legislature. Senate Bill 25, which allows for the forfeiture of assets and profits of sex trafficking passed the Senate unanimously on Feb. 2 and has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee for hearing.

Moffatt said Dist. Sen. Ried Holien, R-Watertown, would also introduce legislation targeting sex traffic during this session. Moffatt said it is important for local citizens to be aware of these bills and she encouraged attendees to contact their legislators to ensure they become law.

Event organizers were pleased with the turnout for the meeting and the progress of the Initiative since its formation.

"Today's Coalition meeting had a strong showing of key people from many different organizations," said Moffatt. "We are honored to collaborate and network with each of our members to protect the health of our community. The level of energy and commitment at our meeting today was inspiring."

Sister Teresa Ann Wolf of the Benedictine Multicultural Center and Mother of God Monastery said: "I'm so pleased at how the comfort level and collaboration has increased since the initial meeting. The Coalition committees have made excellent progress toward implementing the overarching goal of building a healthier Watertown by preventing sex trafficking."

The Initiative asks the public to be on the lookout for possible victims of sex trafficking. Trafficking is a major problem in South Dakota, and is especially prevalent during hunting season, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and other tourist events.

Traffickers also make frequent use of South Dakota's Interstate highways to transport victims across the country. Interstate 90 has even been called the "Midwest Pipeline" due to its frequent use by traffickers.

If someone suspects trafficking, the Initiative asks him or her to call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline: 1-888-373-7888. If any local groups would like to hear more about this issue and how the community can combat it, they can contact the Initiative for more information, or to schedule a presentation at 605-878-2021.

The Initiative is supported by a grant from Catholic Health Initiatives. The coalition supporting the Initiative includes, but is not limited to, the following groups and organizations: Watertown School District, the Human Service Agency, Beacon Center, Family Worship Center, Watertown Police Department, Codington County Sheriff's Department, Benedictine Multicultural Center, Watertown Ministerial Association, Salvation Army, and the Watertown Community Foundation.

What's going on in Tribal Planning?

Submitted by Ella Robertson

SWO Planning Director

Motto: "Achieving the dreams of our ancestors, Planning for future generations."

The Planning & Economic Development Office was established in 1965. It has gone through a lot of changes in structure and leadership since that time. Many of the projects, concerns that were brought from the districts and initiatives are the same today as they were back then.

We are committed to making those dreams a reality. Our purpose is to provide economic development to the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate through the development of projects that answer our social needs, build new businesses that employ our people and bring in new sources of money.

It is only through TEAMWORK that will be successful.

Who is our team? YOU are a member of our team. Through our Reservation Planning Commission we hear the voice of the people from the seven districts. Here are the members of our Planning Commission:

Big Coulee – DelRay German

Buffalo Lake – Lorraine Rousseau

Enemy Swim – Ellen Fisher

Lake Traverse – Beverly Thompson

Long Hollow – Justin Chanku (acting)

Old Agency – Angie Johnson

Veblen/Heipa – Helena LaBatte

Contact your District representative if you have questions and concerns because your input is valuable to us.

The initiatives that are underway through our office currently focus on Food Sovereignty, Renewable Energy, Small Businesses and Tribal Enterprise. We shall provide more information in future issues of the Sota to keep the community apprised of developments. The members of our Planning Team are:

Ella Robertson – Planning Director – ellar@swo-nsn.gov

Jennifer Williams – Community Planner – jenniferw@swo-nsn.gov

Harold Hill – EDA Planner – haroldh@swo-nsn.gov

Hazen LaMere – TEO Specialist – hazenl@swo-nsn.gov

Danielle DeCoteau – Office Manager – danielled@swo-nsn.gov

US Senate Indian Affairs Committee holds hearing on Aberdeen Area IHS facilities

Great Plains Indian healthcare is 'malpractice' says Sen. Barrasso

By David Rogers

POLITICO – Feb. 3, 2016 – Senate testimony Wednesday painted a grim picture of the poor healthcare afforded Great Plains Indians — caught in a federal system plagued by substandard medical facilities and persistent problems in attracting health professionals.

Despite promised reforms, three Indian Health Service hospitals in the four-state region are listed as seriously deficient by inspectors from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — leading to the sudden pre-Christmas closing of a critical emergency room facility in South Dakota.

And the IHS itself told senators that the Great Plains area currently has over 250 vacancies for healthcare professionals and a physician vacancy rate of 37 percent.

Wednesday's hearing before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs followed on a Republican-led staff investigation begun last summer amid new complaints from tribal members. "What we found is simply horrifying and unacceptable," said Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wy.), himself a trained physician and surgeon. "In my view the information provided to this committee and witnessed first-hand can be summed up in one word: malpractice."

But for all of the emotions, the three-hour hearing also had a touch of "Back to the Future" since the same Senate panel had hit hard on the very same issue in 2010, when Democrats controlled the chamber. Republicans themselves spoke of "déjà vu all over again" and as if to underscore this point, Barrasso invited back former Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) — who led the 2010 investigation — as his lead witness.

Dorgan was blunt. He said the Indian health service is seriously underfunded by about half but also suffers from a "split personality" that undercuts its ability to be effective.

"There are some really great people, people who care, who signed up and commit their lives to the Indian health service to deliver good healthcare," Dorgan said. "And then I see something else. I see the weaving of friendships and favors, relatives, incompetence, corruption and yes, even criminal behavior. And it has all too often — and continues to be in my judgment — been overlooked, excused and denied. And that cannot continue."

"You just have to root all of that out," Dorgan added in a short interview. "It needs surgery."

Appearing for the administration, Mary Wakefield, the acting deputy director for the Department of Health and Human Services, said the conditions at the three IHS hospitals are "unacceptable" and the immediate focus is to correct these deficiencies.

"Our department's mission is to improve health," she said. "We must do better for the Native communities that we serve."

Without doubt, the often rural, isolated character of the Great Plains has posed special challenges for the IHS when it comes to recruiting medical professionals. The tribes themselves are among the poorest in the nation and so more vulnerable to health problems. And the situation may be compounded by the fact that the Great Plains Indians accepted blood quantum requirements in defining their tribal membership in the 1970's and 80's.

This has since aggravated divisions within tribes and created something of a downward spiral in competing for federal funds. By comparison, tribes like the Cherokee and Choctaw in Oklahoma have fared better after adopting constitutions that allow all lineal descendants of their original rolls to be members.

"Effectively now over two generations, this has had the effect of the favoring lineal descendent tribes over blood quantum tribes in the funding equations because tribal membership is how the funding equation is informed," said Richard Grellner, an Oklahoma attorney long active in Indian law.

When asked by POLITICO on this point, the IHS said it has not impacted how budget funds are distributed. But even after the 2010 report, the record shows that there has not been a major increase in funding for the Great Plains area.

When the Dorgan report was issued in the fall of 2010, for example, it was estimated that the health service budget for the Great Plains region was $293 million. In fiscal 2015, it had grown was about $362.8. That represents a 14 percent increase over five years when adjusted for inflation but not the large investment that might have been expected after the short comings identified in that report.

Democrats on the Senate committee said that Congress had to share more responsibility since it ultimately determines funding for the health service. Indeed, 2014 statistics cited at the hearing show that the annual funding per Indian patient has been running at a level of about $3600 or less than half that per capita for Americans.

"There are cases where you are not doing your job. You need to clean it up," Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) told the administration witnesses. "We need to clean up our act too."

Related articles about Great Plains IHS –

Tribal leaders question management changes at IHS in Great Plains

(Editor's note: As Indian country focused on the U.S. Senate hearing about complaints, many substantiated, against IHS facilities operating in the Great Plains, Tribal leaders wonder about the removal of the Great Plains IHS Director just ahead of the hearing in DC.)

Thursday, February 4, 2016 – Tribal leaders questioned a management shakeup at the Indian Health Service on Wednesday, arguing that the last-minute changes are preventing Congress and the public from finding out the truth about the substandard quality of care their people receive.

The IHS announced the removal of Ron Cornelius as the director of the Great Plains Area just two days before a major Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill. But even though tribes have criticized Cornelius's performance, they insisted they weren't told in advance about the decision.

"There was no tribal consultation regarding this," William Bear Shield, a council member for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, told lawmakers.

Harold Frazier, the chairman of Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, voiced similar concerns. During an emotional listening session that followed the hearing, he said the reassignment prevented Cornelius from answering questions about his record in the region.

Troubled Indian Health Service office gets interim director

By Regina Garcia Cano

Sioux Falls, SD – AP – Feb. 5, 2016 – A new interim director has been assigned to the regional office responsible for federally administered hospitals that care for Native Americans in the Dakotas, Nebraska and Iowa weeks after inspectors found serious deficiencies at two health centers in the area.

Robert McSwain, the principal deputy director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced the change in leadership Monday for the Indian Health Service's Great Plains Area office, which provides health care services to about 122,000 Native Americans. In addition, a four-member team will focus on medical and quality assurance at the hospital on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where inspectors found deficiencies in November so severe that its emergency department closed.

Rear Adm. Kevin Meeks will begin serving as the acting director on Monday, replacing Ron Cornelius, who had been in charge of the Aberdeen office since at least January 2012.

"(Meeks) consistently achieves outstanding results in carrying out the responsibility for the provision of comprehensive health care services to one of the largest and most diverse IHS service populations," McSwain said in Monday's letter to the tribes, which was first reported by the Argus Leader.

Meeks will inherit a troubled region as detailed in records recently obtained by The Associated Press.

Inspectors with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, commonly referred to as CMS, determined that failures at the Rosebud emergency room constituted an "immediate jeopardy" situation, a term used when a hospital's actions — or lack thereof — have caused or are likely to cause serious injury, harm, impairment or death to a patient.

Those deficiencies included records for a patient with a history of untreated tuberculosis showing no infection control measures put in place while the person was treated; no documentation given about the tuberculosis when the patient was transferred to a different facility; and a patient having a heart attack was not treated until 90 minutes after she arrived.

An inspection at the hospital on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota in October uncovered that staff members "would copy and paste information from old charts in current patient records" resulting in multiple errors in medical records. Also, a machine used to clean and sanitize dishware had been broken for three years.

Earlier in 2015, CMS inspectors also determined that deficiencies at a hospital in Winnebago, Nebraska, put patients in an "immediate jeopardy," including a man who died of kidney failure.

The substandard care offered by some of the facilities that Meeks will oversee will be discussed Wednesday at a U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing. U.S. Sens. John Thune and Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Al Franken of Minnesota requested the hearing.

"We are at a critical stage with Indian Health Service, particularly in the Great Plains Area," Rounds said in a statement. "In many cases, IHS facilities are the only hospitals for miles. Adequate healthcare is a treaty responsibility of the federal government. Clearly, IHS is not meeting that obligation."

Feds outline reforms for hospitals on reservations

By Regina Garcia Cano

Sioux Falls, SD – AP – Feb. 5, 2016 – Federal officials outlined a plan Wednesday to improve care at hospitals that treat Native Americans in four Great Plains states, including creating a multi-agency group to focus on quality and patient safety and developing a single credentialing process for doctors working at Indian Health Service hospitals.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services detailed the steps to The Associated Press hours ahead of a U.S. Senate committee hearing in Washington that discussed the quality of care at IHS hospitals in the region. The hearing and promised reforms came weeks after federal inspections highlighted serious problems on a pair of hospitals on South Dakota reservations and months after inspectors uncovered inadequate care for a man who died of kidney failure two days after seeking care from a hospital in Nebraska.

HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell is establishing a group that will include leaders from IHS - which administers the hospitals that provide free care for Native Americans - the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies. The group will address persistent staffing shortages and develop policy and training proposals to "bolster the safety culture," HHS said, as well as provide immediate assistance to hospitals in need, focusing first on the region comprising the Dakotas, Iowa and Nebraska.

This group of executive-level employees will "augment IHS's efforts to ensure that sustained, quality care is delivered across IHS facilities," HHS acting deputy secretary Mary Wakefield said during the hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. The initiatives given to the AP said that council will be charged with executing "a rapid-response process, including deploying resources from across the Department when a facility needs immediate, systematic improvement."

Federal officials also plan to implement a single, standardized credentialing process within IHS that they said would ensure that facilities can accurately track not only the licenses of medical staff, but also other certifications required based on their specialty.

Lawmakers at the hearing questioned whether the proposed reforms will lead to actual changes, and repeatedly referred to a 2010 Senate report that concluded that the Great Plains Area IHS office was in a "chronic state of crisis."

"What's really frustrating is that it seems like it's déjà vu all over again. We continue to go down the same path," U.S. Sen. John Thune, who attended the hearing, told the AP in an interview. "There's got to be accountability, there's got to be oversight, there's got to be someplace where the buck stops to ensure that these types of conditions are kept out of IHS facilities in South Dakota and other places around the country."

Earlier this week, federal authorities assigned a new acting director to the Great Plains Area office and said they'll deploy a four-member team to address problems at the hospitals in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota and the Winnebago Reservation in Nebraska.

In October, inspectors visiting the hospital in Pine Ridge in western South Dakota cited safety deficiencies including unlocked cupboards with syringes, needles and other equipment; unsecured drugs and medical records; an isolation room without gowns and masks; and doctors without proper credentials.

An inspection of the Rosebud hospital in November found conditions so alarming the emergency room was shut down. A patient having a heart attack wasn't treated until 90 minutes after she arrived. Serious staffing shortages in the emergency room included vacancies for the supervising medical officer, a medical officer, two physician assistants and three clinical nurses.

Months earlier, an inspection report of the hospital in Winnebago cited the case of a patient who told hospital staffers about extreme back pain on Dec. 30, 2014. He was sent home. A hospital staff member then left him a voicemail telling him his kidneys were failing, but the staffer did not attempt to make additional contact. The patient died Jan. 1 at his sister's house.

"It's had a horrible impact on the trust," Victoria Kitcheyan, treasurer of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, during the hearing said of the effects that the inadequate care has had in her community. "Our people don't want to go to the facility … They look at it as a death trap."

IHS provides services to about 130,000 people through seven hospitals, 15 health centers and several smaller satellite clinics in the four-state area. At the emergency room in Rosebud alone, 6,595 patients were seen between May and October.

In response to hearing on IHS mismanagement –

Statements by SD Congressional Delegates

IHS leaders must be held accountable for systemic facility failures

"We need a willing partner at IHS who takes these issues as seriously as I do. As far as I'm concerned, this conversation is far from over." -- Senator Thune.

Washington, DC – Feb. 3, 2016 – U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) issued the following statement on the state of Indian Health Service (IHS) facilities in the Great Plains area and the lack of accountability that currently exists with IHS leaders. Earlier today, Thune, at the request of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, participated in a hearing that examined these issues and heard firsthand from representatives of the Oglala and Rosebud Sioux tribes about some of these IHS facility failures, as detailed in recently released reports by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

"These unacceptable findings speak for themselves," said Thune. "Dirty and unsanitary equipment, patients being prematurely discharged from the hospital, and babies being born on bathroom floors. Each of these would be shocking enough on its own, but taken together, along with the litany of previously known failures, they paint a pretty bleak picture of the care our tribal citizens are receiving and the astonishing lack of commitment by IHS officials to delivering the care they deserve.

"IHS leaders must be held accountable – to the administration, to Congress, and most importantly, to the tribes themselves. We need a willing partner at IHS who takes these issues as seriously as I do. As far as I'm concerned, this conversation is far from over."

Since the 2010 "Dorgan Report" that first outlined many of these problems, Thune and his staff have been consistently engaged with IHS and the tribes in South Dakota on this issue. Thune requested multiple status updates about the 2010 report's findings, and in 2014, created a purchased and referred task force in South Dakota that brought together tribes, IHS leaders, and private industry stakeholders to brainstorm solutions for IHS failures.

Accountability matters

By Sen. John Thune

Washington, DC – Feb. 5, 2016 – My goal as an elected member of Congress is to deliver to you the most efficient, effective, and accountable federal government possible. Accountability is a hallmark of our democracy, and without it, the American people would rightfully lose faith in their elected representatives and our system of government. I have an extremely high standard when it comes to accountability, which is why I take seriously my responsibility of holding the executive branch and its agencies and employees accountable for their actions. While it's often the bad decisions or overreaching regulations that make the headlines, sometimes it's the lack of action or turning a blind eye that can have the most devastating result.

By now, you may have read the shocking reports of conditions at Indian Health Service (IHS) facilities throughout the Great Plains area. Dirty and unsanitary equipment, patients being prematurely discharged from the hospital, and babies being born on bathroom floors. Each of these would be shocking enough on its own, but taken together, along with the litany of previously known failures at IHS facilities, they paint a pretty bleak picture of the care our tribal citizens are receiving and the astonishing lack of commitment by IHS officials to delivering the care these citizens deserve.

While systemic failures at IHS aren't new, the cases described in these recently released reports are unacceptable. As far back as 2010, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs uncovered similar instances of negligence and a breach of trust between IHS leaders and the patients they were supposed to serve. These failures, which were well documented, required attention that IHS bureaucrats unfortunately denied for years.

Last December, when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified me of the new allegations, I immediately took action and demanded answers from IHS and HHS. At the time, we were informed that a majority of these issues had been addressed and resolved, but the rosy explanation didn't match reality. Hours later, we were told that because of the severe problems at the Rosebud Hospital, its emergency department was no longer allowed to accept patients, forcing them to be diverted to nearby facilities.

I recently participated in an important oversight hearing on Capitol Hill that examined these systemic failures. One thing became abundantly clear: a pervasive lack of accountability has seeped into nearly every facet of IHS, and it is past time for us to take meaningful action to correct the root cause of these problems. That doesn't mean we should throw more federal money at the issue or play musical chairs with IHS employees. We need a committed, willing partner at IHS who takes these issues as seriously as I do. One way or another, on behalf of the tribal citizens who depend on IHS, I intend to get to the bottom of this.

Rounds statement from Hearing on Native American Health Care in the Great Plains

Washington, DC – Feb. 3, 2016 – U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today issued a statement in today's Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing, entitled "Reexamining the Substandard Quality of Indian Health Care in the Great Plains." Rounds asked to participate in today's hearing after leading a number of his colleagues in a letter requesting the hearing in light of recent issues at Indian Health Service (IHS) hospitals in the Great Plains Region, including Rosebud and Pine Ridge.

Full text of Rounds' statement as prepared for delivery:

Thank you, Chairman Barrasso, and distinguished members of the committee, for allowing me to speak today.

Nearly 122,000 tribal members rely on the Great Plains Area Office to deliver safe, reliable and efficient health care. For rural tribal members, their IHS facility may be the only hospital for more than one hundred miles.

This is the case for many tribal members in my home state of South Dakota. For too long, the federal government has failed to live up to its promise, its trust responsibility, to provide adequate care for the Native American community.

That is the reason I am here today.

In 2010, this committee released a report citing chronic mismanagement, lack of employee accountability and financial integrity at IHS facilities.

The report also identified five IHS hospitals in the Aberdeen area at risk of losing their accreditation or certification from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Fast forward six years, and we find that the Winnebago, Rosebud and Pine Ridge hospitals are all threatened with similar problems. It feels as if nothing has changed.

The healthcare crisis within Indian Health Service needs to be resolved. There is no excuse for hospitals to not reach basic benchmarks for providing proper care.

Reports and hearings can be very good if we also help to facilitate a plan of action to remedy the current situation, and then insist on proper execution of the plan and follow up to get results.

Thank you.

Indian Affairs Hearing a call to action

By Senator Mike Rounds

February 5, 2016

Lack of adequate and timely health care in Indian Country has been an ongoing issue for many years. The Indian Health Service (IHS) of the Great Plains region, which is responsible for providing health care to all nine tribes in South Dakota, is failing to live up to the federal government's responsibility to deliver quality health care to Native Americans.

Troubling reports from a number of IHS facilities—including Rosebud and Pine Ridge – have found gross mismanagement, dirty medical equipment, broken sanitizers and blatant corruption. This has led to inexcusable suffering by patients and – in some cases –even death. In one outrageous case, a woman gave birth to hear baby on a bathroom floor with no nurses or doctors around to help her.

When the Rosebud IHS facility diverted its emergency room services last year—without notifying the Rosebud tribal leaders ahead of time – patients had nowhere to go for emergency care. My staff was made aware of a patient who had been transported to Winner due to the diversion and was treated there. However, upon release, the patient had no transportation back home to Rosebud and had to spend the night in the Winner jail just to stay warm. This kind of treatment is inexcusable.

These and other stories were highlighted during a recent Senate Indian Affairs Committee haring entitled, "Re-examining the Substandard Quality of Indian Health Care in the Great Plains." Earlier this year, I led my colleagues in a letter requesting this hearing to understand firsthand the problems within IHS so we can begin to address them. Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wy.) also provided me the opportunity to participate in the hearing along with Senator John Thune. During the hearing, we heard more concerning stories of medical neglect and substandard patient care. Chairman Barrasso, a physician himself, called these problems "malpractice."

Even more troubling, Indian Health Service has known about these problems for years. In 2010, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee issued a report citing chronic mismanagement, lack of employee accountability and financial integrity at IHS facilities. The report identified five IHS hospitals in the Great Plains area at risk of losing their accreditation or certification from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Six years later, IHS facilities continue to fail at reaching basic benchmarks for providing proper health care.

Providing health care to members of the Native American community is a trust responsibility of the federal government. Clearly, IHS is failing to uphold this responsibility. The hearing was a step in the right direction toward finding a solution to the problems at IHS, but until we help to facilitate a plan of action to remedy the situation and to properly execute the plan, we won't get the results we want and the results the community should expect.

No South Dakota citizen, whether they are a member of a tribe or not, should be denied access to quality health care from qualified medical professionals because of the incompetence of a federal agency. I think all South Dakotans can agree that this situation must be resolved.

Raising standards, saving lives

By Rep. Kristi Noem

February 5, 2016

It's hard to believe that today there are medical facilities in South Dakota where staff are washing surgical instruments by hand because the sterilization machine has been broken for six months – where no infection control measures were taken for a patient with a history of an untreated, highly infectious disease – where a pregnant young woman was left to give birth unattended on the floor of the hospital bathroom. But these situations have occurred. They've occurred within the last year at an Indian Health Service unit in South Dakota.

The federal government is responsible by treaty for providing health care to tribal members and it does so through the Indian Health Service – or IHS. Sadly, there are deep-rooted problems within IHS that have gone unresolved for a decade or more, leaving tribal health care in the state of emergency we find it in today.

Over the last four years, funding for IHS has increased by more than a half-billion dollars and yet the system as a whole stands in a state of disrepair. What is needed more than anything is reform.

First, IHS priorities must be realigned. Too much money is being spent on administration and anecdotal evidence of waste is extensive. This question of where the money is going is something I've been aggressively working to uncover. I issued a formal request on this to IHS in December and I'm hopeful a response will arrive in the coming weeks.

I would like to see less of a financial emphasis on administration and more on mental health. I was glad IHS shifted another $1.8 million toward suicide prevention efforts recently, but still, questions remain about how they intend to use that money. Currently, much of it is expected to go toward an intensive behavioral program in Rapid City, hundreds of miles from the people it is designed to help. Is this the best way to leverage these dollars? We're still working through the answer to that question.

Second, we need to improve the physical condition of IHS hospitals. The broken equipment and crumbling infrastructure has a significant impact on care. Knowing this, we adjusted the budget breakdown for 2016 to reflect a 12 percent funding increase for maintenance and repairs. More will likely need to be done, but this is a necessary start.

Finally, patients deserve a dedicated and fully trained medical staff. In a 2010 Senate Indian Affairs Committee report, Senator Byron Dorgan described instances in which health care providers were under the influence of drugs or alcohol while on the job. More recent reports have shown physicians practicing with expired licenses and nurse practitioners without the proper certifications. While the problems are known, little has been done to improve the situation. This must change.

I recognize part of the challenge is recruiting the right individuals. We're looking at multiple options in this area. For instance, currently if you work for IHS, the federal government helps pay your student loans. The employee, however, is then taxed on this benefit, diminishing the incentive. Perhaps we could lift that burden and make the student loan repayment benefits tax free, as it is for employees at other agencies.

Fixing the situation at IHS is personal. As many of you reading this know, Bryon and I have three children. When they've gotten sick or hurt, we've been able to take them to a hospital that was clean and safe. The young people I've met in Rosebud and Pine Ridge don't have that option. There are no excuses for the kind of care being delivered. The time to resolve this issue is now, and the faster we turn it around, the more lives we will save.

FBI Director's Community Leadership award presented

FBI Minneapolis Special Agent in Charge, Richard T. Thornton, announces the awarding of the 2015 Director's Community Leadership Award (DCLA) to Krista Heeren-Graber, Executive Director of the South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault (Network), at a ceremony in Sioux Falls last Friday, Feb. 5, 2016.

Krista is being honored for her commitment to reducing the instances of family violence and sexual assault through her collaboration with community and law enforcement partners.

The DCLA is an award presented annually by each of the FBI's 56 field offices across the country. The award was created in 1990 as a means for the FBI to honor individuals and organizations for their efforts in improving the lives of the most vulnerable within their communities.

For nearly three decades, Krista has pursued a vision of a multi-disciplined response to violence against women and children. Her personal resiliency, fund raising efforts, and grant writing abilities have enabled the Network to expand services for Native Americans and rural populations. Krista has inspired sensitivity and compassion in making needed services for victims of family violence and sexual assault readily available across South Dakota.

Special Agent in Charge Thornton made the following observation regarding Krista and the DCLA: "Krista has been a tireless advocate for victims of family violence and sexual assault and has been a leader in this regard in South Dakota for many years. The Director's Community Leadership Award serves as a gesture of appreciation for her work in this area."

On April 15, 2016, FBI Director James B. Comey will personally present the award to Krista at a ceremony in Washington, DC which honors all 56 award recipients from across the country.

Bill supporting paid Family & Medical Leave

Washington, DC – Feb. 3, 2016 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced her support for legislation to help strengthen working families in North Dakota and make sure businesses have the flexibility to provide workers the time they need to care for their loved ones – whether a new child or a sick parent – while continuing to maintain a robust and sustained workforce.

Currently, less than 35 percent of North Dakota's working adults are eligible for and can afford unpaid leave, and almost 46 percent of North Dakota's private-sector workforce cannot earn a single paid sick day – too often forcing workers to choose between their families and their jobs, a choice many cannot afford to make. Across the country, businesses lose money when they need to replace workers, spending an average of one-fifth of an employee's annual salary to replace a worker. But in North Dakota, where 61,100 North Dakotans are currently caregivers to ailing or elderly family members, and 74 percent of North Dakota children live in households where both of their parents work – the need for paid family leave is stark.

By making sure all Americans have access to paid leave – including for child birth and adoption, or care for an elderly or ailing family member – Heitkamp is working to make sure North Dakotans have the support they need to take care of their families without losing their jobs. The bill also levels the playing field for businesses large and small so they have the resources to provide flexibility to retain good, hardworking employees without forcing businesses into the red. The bill would help prevent difficult situations for families and businesses across the country, where men and women will lose $284,000 or $324,000 respectively, over their lifetimes because of the lack of paid leave policies in their workplaces.

"If we're serious about keeping North Dakota a place where our children will want to raise a families, we need to start getting practical," said Heitkamp. "In life, our parents may become sick or need end-of-life care. Our sons and daughters will want to start families. But when almost half of North Dakota's businesses don't provide any paid leave, these life events could cost workers their jobs. No North Dakotan should have to choose between their family and their job. This bill is about investing in our workers and families today and tomorrow – at just the cost of a cup of joe. It would also prevent small businesses from squandering their budgets on rehiring and retraining new employees because they can't afford paid leave for their workers, As North Dakotans, it's about time we started planning ahead – with commonsense policies today, we can invest in healthier, more resilient North Dakota families and businesses of tomorrow."

"Too many working North Dakota families are finding it difficult to make ends meet, and that simply doesn't match up with the generous and neighborly spirit that North Dakotans know and embody every day," said North Dakota Women's Network Executive Director Renee Stromme. "At the North Dakota Women's Network, we see firsthand the immense need of North Dakota families to care for themselves and their families in a way that doesn't hurt them financially – but parents without any sick or paid leave are often stuck between a rock and a hard place when they need to take care of their children when they are sick with the flu, or worse. On behalf of the North Dakota Women's Network, we commend Senator Heitkamp on her tireless work to find practical solutions for working families, and for her support of the FAMILY Act, which aims to promote more workplace flexibility so both our families, and our businesses can thrive."

The Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act – introduced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and supported by 20 other senators – would provide working families with up to 12 weeks of partial income when they take leave for their own serious health condition, including pregnancy and childbirth recovery, the serious health condition of a child, parent, spouse, and the birth or adoption of a child. Funded through small employee and employer earned benefit of less than 0.2 percent of wages each, or about $1.50 per week for a typical worker – about the cost of a weekly cup of coffee. This legislation would create a self-sufficient program that would provide working families the flexibility they need without adding to the federal budget.

Currently, the United States is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave. The other countries that do not offer it are Swaziland, Lesotho, and Papua New Guinea.

Bill to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons technology from North Korea

Washington, DC – Feb. 3, 2016 – U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), and John Cornyn (R-Texas) today introduced the North Korea and Iran Sanctions Act, which would require the immediate reinstatement of sanctions against Iran that were waived or suspended as part of President Obama's flawed nuclear deal if it's determined Iran sought nuclear weapons technology from North Korea.

"Most Americans, myself included, do not trust the Iranian regime to keep its end of the flawed nuclear deal it made with the Obama administration," said Thune. "But now that the ink has dried, we must be sure the Iranians are held accountable. We know that North Korea actively seeks to market its weapons technology to other rogue regimes. If it has been determined that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons technology from North Korea, the sanctions should go back in place, period. Our legislation takes any ambiguity out of the conversation."

"Iran has shown it cannot be trusted," said Rounds. "Soon after signing the nuclear deal it made with President Obama, the Iranians have carried out ballistic missile tests, fired missiles near a U.S. aircraft carrier and captured American sailors. Our legislation will provide an extra layer of accountability if Iran seeks to purchase nuclear technology from North Korea by swiftly reinstating economic sanctions. I thank Senator Thune for his leadership on this issue to make certain Iran understands we will not tolerate this aggressive behavior."

Under the conditions of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that was agreed to last year in Vienna, Iran reaffirmed not to seek, develop, or acquire nuclear weapons. Although any attempt to acquire nuclear weapons technology from North Korea would be a clear violation of the agreement, there are concerns that President Obama would choose not to reinstate sanctions. The North Korea and Iran Sanctions Act would require the president to reinstate sanctions if it was determined by the director of national intelligence that such a violation had occurred.

US District Court to hear arguments for injunction to halt Yellowstone Bison cull

Casper, WY – Feb. 1, 2016 – Journalist Chris Ketcham and media coordinator with Buffalo Field Campaign Stephany Seay will have their first day in court on Friday, February 5, when the United States District Court in Casper, Wyoming hears arguments for a preliminary injunction to halt the planned Yellowstone National Park bison cull. The capture and kill operation is scheduled to start February 15.

Ketcham and Seay are seeking access to the controversial bison trapping operations that lead to the slaughter of hundreds of bison. During the capture and kill operation, the Park Service closes parts of the park to public access. The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday, argues that the First Amendment guarantees citizens and journalists reasonable, non-disruptive access to the publicly funded national park. The court will decide their First Amendment claims separately.

"This court order is necessary to protect Stephany's and Chris's constitutional rights while the case is pending or until full and reasonable access to observe the cull can be granted," said Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) attorney Stefanie Wilson. "Given accounts of brutality during past culls, it is the public's right to know what is happening to the cherished Yellowstone bison."

Ketcham and Seay are represented by the ALDF, University of Denver constitutional law professors, and Jamie M. Woolsey of the private Wyoming law firm Fuller, Sandefer & Associates, L.L.C.

Copies of the Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction and the brief in support are available upon request.

About ALDF:

The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) was founded in 1979 to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. To accomplish this mission, ALDF files high-impact lawsuits to protect animals from harm; provides free legal assistance and training to prosecutors to assure that animal abusers are punished for their crimes; supports tough animal protection legislation and fights harmful legislation; and provides resources and opportunities to law students and professionals to advance the emerging field of animal law. For more information, please visit aldf.org.

WWFS announces program to benefit Native American Veterans

Omaha, Neb., Feb. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire – Wounded Warriors Family Support has launched a new program to support Native American veterans who need transportation and transition assistance on their reservations.

Wounded Warriors Family Support has teamed with the Office of Tribal Government Relations at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on the new Native American Veterans Support, Transition and Resources (NAVSTaR) program. This program will ensure that Native American veterans, especially those who are combat wounded, are helped in a meaningful way.

"As a youngster growing up in New Mexico, I learned first-hand about the Navajo Code Talkers and their contribution to Marines during the brutal island hopping campaign in the South Pacific during World War II," said Col. John Folsom, USMCR (Ret.), founder and president of Wounded Warriors Family Support. "I have had the honor to serve with Native Americans during my 30 years of service. We have a firm commitment to support our Native American veterans, especially tribes that are the most isolated and poor."

So far, Wounded Warriors Family Support has provided Ford vehicles to the Blackfeet Nation, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Fort Belknap Indian Community, Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Oglala Lakota Nation, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Three Affiliated Tribes.

Last November, Wounded Warriors Family Support donated a 2016 Ford Transit Connect to the Oglala Lakota Nation in an effort to provide safe and dependable transportation to VA facilities. The donation was in memory of Lance Cpl. Brett Lundstrom, who was killed Jan. 7, 2006, while serving with the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment in Iraq.

"Brett was returned to Pine Ridge and honored with a warrior's funeral," Folsom said. "I appreciate his life and service, especially given the backdrop of the crushing poverty of the Pine Ridge reservation."

About Wounded Warriors Family Support Wounded Warriors Family Support is an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide support to the families of those who have been wounded, injured or killed during combat operations. This organization is run by combat veterans for combat veterans. Rated a four-star nonprofit by Charity Navigator, Wounded Warriors Family Support aids veterans and their families in healing the wounds that medicine cannot. For more information about Wounded Warriors Family Support, visit www.wwfs.org.

USDA Rural Development invests $268 Million in SD economy in 2015

Huron, SD – February 4, 2016 – USDA Rural Development Acting State Director Bruce Jones announced today that $268 million was invested in rural South Dakota communities from October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015. As outlined in South Dakota's 2015 Progress Report, the program funds assist housing, business and community development, water and waste water, energy, distance learning and telemedicine, electric companies and telecommunications. Water and waste water funds are limited to communities of less than 10,000 population. Community facility funding is available to towns of 20,000 population or less. Businesses and industries in communities with up to 50,000 residents can obtain funding through the business programs.

"USDA Rural Development is pleased to assist rural communities with their infrastructure needs and support efforts to improve the quality of life for rural residents living in South Dakota's rural communities," said Jones. "We look forward to continuing to meet the needs of rural residents in Fiscal Year 2016."

Rural Development's investment include $8.8 million in South Dakota rural businesses, supporting 73 projects; $203 million in loans and grants to build, repair, rehabilitate, and purchase homes – the agency obligated 90 direct loans and 1,355 guaranteed loans; $13.5 million in community facilities loans and grants – the 23 projects included funding for schools, fire and safety equipment to benefit 15,901 rural South Dakota residents; and $31.3 million through 24 infrastructure projects to provide reliable and clean drinking water, waste treatment systems, electric power, and telecommunications services in 18 rural communities in South Dakota.

For example the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation will soon have a new housing development. The "Regenerative Community," will serve the Oglala Lakota people on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, thanks to $1.97 million from USDA Rural Development. USDA is providing a site loan to develop the streets and utilities for 23 lots, a self-help grant to develop 12 new self-help homes, and water and waste disposal loan and grant funds for drinking water, sanitary sewer and storm drainage systems.

Since 2009, $2.6 billion has been invested in South Dakota's economy.

USDA Rural Development has eight offices in the state that assist rural communities. Office locations include a state office in Huron, along with area offices in Aberdeen, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Watertown, and Yankton. Additional information on Rural Development programs can be found at www.rd.usda.gov/sd or contact a USDA Rural Development office nearest you. President Obama's plan for rural America has produced historic investment in rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have strengthened America's small towns and cities and helped improve the nation's economy.

SWO winter storm closings policy

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

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

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

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

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

Tribal office business hours

on winter storm days

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

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

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

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

SWO Head Start

closing policy

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

They are also announced on Tribal Radio Station KXSW.

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

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

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

Editorials –

Sota guest editorial –

12 Quotes from an Oglala Lakota Chief that will make you question everything about our world

By Arjun Walia

Collective-evolution.com – Jan. 11, 2016 – It's 2016, and across the globe we are seeing indigenous elders from various locations on the planet coming forward to share wisdom that is so desperately needed. All of us who live on the planet are feeling the heat as we recognize that the time for change is now, and that this window of opportunity won't be open forever.

Not long ago, Indigenous Elders and Medicine People of North and South America came together in South Dakota to deliver a fundamental message to humanity and the Earth:

We are part of Creation, thus, if we break the laws of Creation we destroy ourselves. We, the Original Caretakers of Mother Earth, have no choice but to follow and uphold the Original Instructions, which sustains the continuity of Life. We recognize our umbilical connection to Mother Earth and understand that she is the source of life, not a resource to be exploited. We speak on behalf of all Creation today, to communicate an urgent message that man has gone too far, placing us in the state of survival. We warned that one day you would not be able to control what you have created. That day is here. Not heeding warnings from both Nature and the People of the Earth keeps us on the path of self destruction. This self destructive path has led to the Fukushima nuclear crisis, Gulf oil spill, tar sands devastation, pipeline failures, impacts of carbon dioxide emissions and the destruction of ground water through hydraulic fracking, just to name a few. In addition, these activities and development continue to cause the deterioration and destruction of sacred places and sacred waters that are vital for Life. – Chief Looking Horse

The world is in great need of this kind of wisdom. Our knowledge of and respect for the natural world have been greatly diminished over time, but the pendulum seems to be, slowly, shifting in the other direction now. Many people are starting to wake up, to pay attention to what is really happening on our planet, and to express their desire for change.

Luther Standing bear was an Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief who lived before and during the arrival of European pioneers, at a time when, arguably, the greatest genocide in human history was taking place. You can read more about that here. He was born as 'Ota Kte' in the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, and was one of the first students to attend the Carlisle Indian School of Pennsylvania. After that, he toured with the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show, entered into the world of acting in California, and spent his life fighting to improve conditions for Indians on American reservations. He wrote several books about Indian life, life and governmental policy.

Praise, flattery, exaggerated manners, and fine, high-sounding words were no part of Lakota politeness. Excessive manners were put down as insincere and the constant talker was considered rude and thoughtless. Conversation was never begun at once, nor in a hurried manner. No one was quick with a question, no matter how important, and no one was pressed for an answer. A pause of giving time for thought was the truly courteous way of beginning and conducting a conversation.

Kinship with all creatures of the earth, sky, and water was a real and active principle. For the animal and bird world there existed a brotherly feeling that kept the Lakota safe among them. And so close did some of the Lakota come to their feathered and furred friends that in true brotherhood they spoke a common tongue.

The old Lakota was wise. He knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to a lack of respect for humans, too. So he kept his children close to nature's softening influence.

We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and winding streams with tangles growth, as 'wild.' Only to the white man was nature a 'wilderness' and only to him was the land 'infested' with 'wild animals' and 'savage' people. To us it was tame. Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery. Not until the hairy man from the east came and with brutal frenzy heaped injustices upon us and the families we loved was it 'wild' for us. When the very animals of the forest began fleeing from his approach, then it was for us that the 'Wild West' began.

Silence was meaningful with the Lakota, and his granting a space of silence to the speech-maker and his own moment of silence before talking was done in the practice of true politeness and regardful of the rule that 'thought comes before speech.' Also in the midst of sorrow, sickness, death, or misfortune of any kind, and in the presence of the notable and great, silence was the mark of respect. More powerful than the words was silence with the Lakota and his strict observance of this tenet of good behavior was the reason, no doubt, for his being given another fallacious characterization by the white man – that of being a stoic. He has been adjudged dumb, stupid, indifferent, and unfeeling. As a matter of truth, he was the most sympathetic of men, but his emotions of depth and sincerity were tempered with control. Silence meant to the Lakota what it meant to Disraeli when he said, 'Silence is the mother of truth,' for the silent man was ever to be trusted, while the man ever ready with speech was never taken seriously.

Children were taught the rules of woyuonihan and that true politeness was to be defined in actions rather than in words. They were never allowed to pass between the fire and an older person or a visitor, to speak while others were speaking, or to make fun of a crippled or disfigured one. If a child thoughtlessly tried to do so, a parent, in a quiet voice, immediately set him right.

The concept of life and its relations was humanizing and gave to the Lakota an abiding love. It filled his being with the joy and mystery of living; it gave him reverence for all life; it made a place for all things in the scheme of existence with equal importance to all.

The Lakota could despise no creature, for all were of one blood, made by the same hand, and filled with the essence of the Great Mystery. In spirit, the Lakota was humble and meek. 'Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth,' was true for the Lakota, and from the earth he inherited secrets long since forgotten.

In talking to children, the old Lakota would place a hand on the ground and explain: 'We sit in the lap of our Mother. From her we, and all other living things, come. We shall soon pass, but the place where we now rest will last forever. So we, too, learned to sit or lie on the ground and become conscious of life about us in its multitude of forms. Sometimes we boys would sit motionless and watch the swallow, the tiny ants, or perhaps some small animal at its work and ponder on its industry and ingenuity; or we lay on our backs and looked long at the sky and when the stars came out made shapes from the various groups.

The contemplative and spiritual side of Lakota life was calm and dignified, undisrupted by religious quarrels and wars that turned man against man and even man against animal. Not until a European faith came was it taught that not life on earth but only life after death was to be glorified; and not until the native man forsook the faith of his forefathers did he learn of Satan and Hell. Furthermore, until that time he had no reason to think otherwise than that the directing and protecting guidance of the Great Mystery was as potent on this side of the world as on the other.

The Lakota . . . loved the earth and all things of the earth, the attachment growing with age. The old people came literally to love the soil and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power. It was good for the skin to touch the earth and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth.

Everything was possessed of personality, only differing with us in form. Knowledge was inherent in all things. The world was a library and its books were the stones, leaves, grass, brooks, and the birds and animals that shared, alike with us, the storms and blessings of earth. We learned to do what only the student of nature ever learns, and that was to feel beauty. We never railed at the storms, the furious winds, and the biting frosts and snows. To do so intensified human futility, so whatever came we adjusted ourselves, by more effort and energy if necessary, but without complaint. Even the lightening did us no harm, for whenever it came too close, mothers and grandmothers in every tipi put cedar leaves on the coals and their magic kept danger away. Bright days and dark days were both expressions of the Great Mystery.

Brief editorial comments from the editor's desk –

On and Off the Lake Traverse Reservation

Eyes all across Indian country, and especially right here in the Great Plains, were on the US Indian Affairs Committee oversight hearing last Wednesday, February 3rd.

Pidamiya Tom Wilson for being there and streaming it live via KXSW-FM.

Tribal Council took a break from their regular meeting so that they could watch the hearing live on TV in their chambers here.

The viewing was called for by SWO Tribal Chairman Dave Flute, who said it was a difficult decision to choose not to attend the hearing. Many of the other regional Tribal Chairmen were there to voice their concern.

Our SD Congressional delegates have said they will be looking further into allegations of mismanagement.

Senator Thune has been gathering complaints and evidence from IHS employees and patients across the state, including here at Sisseton.

What we have seen so far could be the tip of an iceberg.

*****

The SWO have had criticisms, and rightly so, for not moving faster in facing up to the meth epidemic.

The solutions, however, have been stated – pretty clearly – at this recent intertribal meth summit.

The ball, in sports lingo, is in the hands of those who are responsible for moving it down the court.

Who are they?

All of us. Each of us.

You want to help your family member or relative or neighbor who is an addict or becoming one?

Don't enable.

Don't protect him or her.

Those who are in recovery tell us, some of them anyway, being sent to jail saved their life.

Failure to act means that that person you love and protect will sink deeper into the clutches of this life-robbing drug.

As Lori Walking Eagle said, however, this crisis "is going to get worse before it gets better."

You don't stop an out-of-control locomotive on the tracks on a dime. No. There is a powerful negative momentum here, so guess what … we need to do our part.

And yes, greater resources are needed. We have some federal grant money coming to help Dakotah Pride with counseling services. But more is needed.

A local long-term treatment option.

Halfway house placement on the Reservation.

And, yes, the SWO justice center.

We are hoping to be able to announce progress, and perhaps an updated feasibility study, soon.

So … stay tuned.

*****

Pidamiya to VSO Geri Opsal for her report to akicita and highlights of the NADL event last week.

Our veterans were given a look at home ownership opportunities.

Also in her column, Geri reports on the commissioning of a new USS South Dakota. It is a SSN-790, a Virginia-class submarine.

*****

Our thanks also to Sarah Sunshine Manning, who has shared her report on the Dakota Oyate Challenge.

Congratulations to our students and teachers for participation in the sports and cultural events in Huron this year. You have done yourselves and community proud.

*****

We also want to express thanks to Ella Robertson, Tribal Planner.

Ella provides readers a look at what's happening these days in the SWO Tribal Planning office.

Watch for announcements in the very near future about projects that are coming to life after going through the planning stages!

*****

Elder's Meditation:

"Let the person I serve express his thanks according to his own bringing up and his sense of humor." -- Charles A. Eastman (Ohiyesa), SANTEE SIOUX

"It is better to give than receive." But it doesn't really matter if we are giving or receiving. There is an identical feeling associated with both. We get this feeling every time we receive. We can't control when we receive gifts but we can control when we give gifts. Therefore, the more we give, the better we feel. When we are given gifts, or someone does something for us, it is the Indian way to honor this person.

Great Spirit, let me honor and be respectful to those who are good to me today.

*****

Words to consider (or, perhaps not!):

Technology is a way of organizing the universe so that man doesn't have to experience it. Max Frisch

He is indebted to his memory for his jests and to his imagination for his facts. Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751 - 1816)

What you look like on the outside is not what makes you cool at all. I mean, I had a mullet and wore parachute pants for a long, long time, and I'm doin' okay. Ellen DeGeneres, The Ellen Show, 05-17-13

People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news. A. J. Liebling (1904 - 1963)

Reality is nothing but a collective hunch. Jane Wagner, Lily Tomlin in "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe"

I am not in this world to live up to other people's expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine. Fritz Perls

To pretend, I actually do the thing: I have therefore only pretended to pretend. Jacques Derrida (1930 - 2004)

*****

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:

earthskyweb@cs.com

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 Edward Moses St. John Jr.

Edward Moses St. John Jr. age 66, of Sisseton, South Dakota Journeyed to the Spirit World on Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at the Sanford Hospital in Fargo, North Dakota.

He was born on January 27, 1950 in Sisseton, South Dakota the son of Edward Moses St. John Sr. and Celeste (LaBlanc) St. John and was raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He was formerly employed as a painter at America's Painters.

He was a Detroit Lions fan, an active member of A.I.M., Akicita, he played baseball in Minneapolis, enjoyed playing basketball, liked spending time with his family, playing cards and "Whiz."

He always supported his family and was proud of his Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate and was strong in his beliefs.

Edward was honored and respected by his family.

He loved the south side of Minneapolis.

We will always miss you forever brother!

Preceded in death by his parents: Edward St. John Sr. & Celeste, sisters Yvonne, Patricia and Jennifer, brothers Timothy St. John, Sanford St. John and Marlin St. John, nephews Mark Byington, Billy St. John and Terry Lynn St. John and by a niece O. Celeste St. John.

Survived by sons: Miquel Tapio and Wakiyan McAurther; brothers: Robert Edward St. John, Roger St. John, Rodney "Rock" St. John, Theodore "Ted" St. John, Phil St. Johjn; a sister Josephine "Louise" LaBlanc; other relatives and many friends.

Funeral services for Edward Moses St. John Jr. were scheduled for this Monday, February 8th, 2016 at 1:00 P.M. at the Community Center in Old Agency Village, South Dakota. Pastor Vern Donnell will officiate and Spiritual Leader will be Arnold Williams.

Special music will be by The Ridge Runners.

Interment will follow at 3:00 P.M. at St. Matthew's Cemetery.

Wake services were held Friday and Saturday evenings and all-night Sunday at the Community Center.

Honorary Casket Bearers will be Jim St. John, Kelly St. John, O'Dell St. John Jr., Sheldon Brown, Maccos, Charles Rogers, Levi St. John, Ed Larson, John Larson, Juan Casarez-St. John, Tom LaBlanc, Michael LaBlanc Sr., Stacey LaBlanc, and all survivors of the Struggle for Native Recognition, and during early days of The American Indian Movement.

Casket Bearers will be Andrew "Chaske" St. John, Anthony St. John, Dave Williams-Wanna, Carlos Angelo Casarez-St. John, Todd St. John, Cameron Jones Casarez and Jameson Cozad.

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

I read with interest of the Intertribal Meth Summit reported in the Sota dated 2-1-2016. What struck me was this being the third meth summit with no resolutions.

The tribe must find funds; find counselors who are educated in treating the cause, you all know the solutions now find ways to implement them. Find out what occurred in the lives of these abusers that made them turn to drugs and alcohol, this can be achieved thru counseling. Look outside the box, seek drug programs that worked and ask for their advice on how to implement a program on the Sisseton Wahpeton Reservation, don't just have summit after summit and not do anything to alleviate the problem.

Banishment is not the answer; all that will do is to help the drug abusers to find more ways to keep drugs and alcohol in their lives in an environment other than the reservation. The prisons are filled with drug related offenses which demonstrates that prison does not deter one from these offenses and I doubt that banishment will either. Implement a drug and alcohol abuse program in schools and educate our young on the challenges they will face if they abuse these substances.

Our youth desperately need role models from our tribal members who they can look up to and emulate but instead they constantly hear of federal indictments and investigations into alleged corruption by SWO officials as stated by Tim Maher and Troy Morley. It is not just the alcoholics and drug abusers who lie, steal and cheat from family members or society. As a people we need to look at ourselves to see what we are doing wrong and correct it before we can ask our youth to be honest productive members of society. Our culture values respect which is lacking in our society; one hears inappropriate jokes from the announcers at the powwows about women, how is this teaching our youth respect? I agree with SWC president Harvey Dumarce, that education is the key to winning the war on drugs, however I believe education can win more than just the war on drugs, but on poverty, homelessness, elder abuse, hunger and sexual abuse. I am a firm believer in the importance of education and education being the great equalizer. I often hear of the many non-Dakota that had their education paid by the tribe, how about education for our tribal members.

Gabrielle Warhol spoke of the importance of the Dakota language, culture and history. What is needed, are elders who really know our history that won't make up what they don't know. Today there are too many Dakota's playing at being "traditional" and give out inaccurate history of our tribe. The consensus seems to be "we can make up what we don't know." Teach our history and values in the schools from pre-school to secondary education as well as in the home.

And lastly I congratulate Brandi Eastman for her recovery, maybe she can advise the tribe on what works.

Karen Ramirez Savage, MN.

(Editor's note: We only want to provide one correction to Karen's open letter. This intertribal meth summit was not the third meeting on meth … no … more like the sixth or seventh as my memory serves.)

SWO member becomes D.A.R.E. instructor

Deputy Sheriff Cole Heath German, 23-year-old son of Lauren LeBeau and Paul German recently completed D.A.R.E. training as a D.A.R.E. instructor through the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in St. Paul, MN.

Deputy German will be teaching D.A.R.E. in four grade schools in the southeastern part of South Dakota.

Deputy German is a Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate member, graduating High School in 2011 at Joe Foss High School in Sioux Falls, SD. He completed his Associate of Applied Science Degree in Law Enforcement in 2014 at Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls, SD and is currently enrolled at Bellevue University working on his B.A. Degree in Criminal Justice.

At the age of 23 years old, Deputy German holds an admirable career of Deputy Sherriff in Mc Cook County, Police Office in Freeman SD, works in Security/Surveillance at a major department store in the Sioux Falls area and has a 4 year old daughter named Sophie.

His mother Lauren shares, "Cole has always had a love for people and always wanted to work in law enforcement, even when he was a little boy. He had a dream and now he DARES to achieve it, every day! We are so proud of him and his accomplishments."

What lies beyond the grave for you

By Harry O.

During HIS half century of prophetic ministry, Hosea repeatedly echoes his three fold message-

GOD hates the sins of HIS people; Judgement is certain; but GODS' loyal love stands firm.

Then the Lord said to me, "Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and committing adultery, just like the love of the LORD for the children of !sore!, who look to other Gods_._" Hosea 3:1 Romans 15:4

How loving and patient YOU have been with humanity,

Thank you my Father for the gifts YOU have given me;

We who study YOUR WORD know all goodness came from above,

How lost we would all be if not for your enduring love.

You know my every thought and at times how wretched they are,

Yet YOU still love me and thank YOU for helping me thus far;

will never give up though I will stumble now and then,

For I know YOU will always be there to help me up again;

Lord I do confess I've not always come in prayer to thee,

Forgive me FATHER and cleanse me from all iniquity;

For I can't do any good without your guiding the way,

May this poem be worthy in your sight which I write today;

Thank you for the many blessings that we've received from YOU,

For answered prayer, spiritual gifts, and miracles YOU still do;

Thank YOU for YOUR wonders, even those I cannot see,

May l see YOUR twinkling stars before I'm called HOME to THEE;

LORD, you know I am just dust, and know my weaknesses too,

Yet day by day LORD, may I become more like YOU;

And may hearts be opened to receive YOUR Grace and Truth today,

And as always FATHER through the name of JESUS I pray;

To the lost, despised, ignored, or you who just feel alone,

Do you feel you've been left to bear your burdens on your own?

I had to hit bottom before I looked up, my friend,

My help came from up there, bringing my sorrows to an end;

Addictions had me bound and I was heading downhill fast,

Today 1 am so grateful that life is now in the past;

I'm still not happy all the day long as others may say,

But my LORD and Savior is helping me grow day by day;

When Christ strengthens' me, those old addictions I did defeat,

But today l have another weakness, I overeat;

And in my heart I've judged others though knew I should not,

For I know it still is sin, even though it's just a thought;

To you who have not received Christ as your Lord and Savior yet,

I'm truly concerned for you, though we may never have met;

We won't sleep in the grave forever, that is not the End,

For the LORD will call someday, and we'll all awake, my friend;

Now GOD loves us so much, HE'S given us the choice, you see,

To live and reign with HIM or suffer eternally/

Look up my lost friends, HE'S still waiting patiently for you,

Invite HIM in and HE will take your sorrows away too;

I cannot boast but my hope is to be up there some day,

And through GODS gift, I'll seek his lost sheep 'till I'm called away;

Perhaps see his twinkling stars while passing through the air,

And if I'm found worthy, my friends, may I see you up there;

Now my soul can sing a new song, now my heart has found a home, Now YOUR grave is always near and i will never be alone.

Bills aimed at improving Native American education pass SD Senate

Sioux Falls, SD – February 4, 2016 – The South Dakota Democratic Party welcomed the passage of Senate Bills 81 and 82, saying the proposals will help stop the growing achievement gap between Native American and non-Native American students.

Senate Bill 82 establishes the Native American achievement schools grant program to be administered by the Office of Indian Education within the Department of Education. The purpose of the grant program is to fund the establishment of up to three Native American achievement schools aimed at improving academic outcomes for Native American students.

Assistant Minority Leader Senator Troy Heinert (D-26), the prime sponsor of both pieces of legislation and also a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe explained the schools will help preserve a fundamental component of Native American culture— their language.

"When you lose your language, you lose your culture. When you lose your culture, you lose your identity," Heinert said.

Senate Bill 81 creates a program whereby paraprofessionals working within Native American schools could take steps toward becoming fully licensed teachers under the scholarship program.

Both bills aim to increase efforts to heal cultural issues between Native American and non-Native American students.

Mato Standing High, Director of Indian Education, testifying before the Senate Committee on Education explained the importance of raising awareness between Native and non-Native communities. After relating a story about a Rapid City school administrator that had expressed excitement about learning aspects of South Dakota Native American history, Standing High said, "I thought to myself, imagine if you could have learned that when you were 6 instead of 66, how that could have changed your perspective on relationships, on stereotypes. When we have a better understanding of each other, it's better for our children. That's how it's for all of us."

Legislative news from Pierre

Senator Frerichs –

Week 4 Legislative Column

All of the bills are entered into the legislative process now. Over the course of the next month, we will finalize, debate, and determine whether legislation will become law or wait until next year to take that action. I appreciate hearing from many of you who have contacted me to express your opinions on removing daylight savings time and the student restroom privacy legislation.

House Bill 1008 is the transgender restroom privacy bill that we will have up for a hearing in the Senate Education committee, where I have the privilege of serving along with six fellow Senators. I respect those of you who think this bill will be a cure-all to every situation; however, I am troubled by the extra costs that may be shifted to school districts to accommodate the requests of HB 1008. I am in support of local control and if school districts see a need to deal with this issue, they have every ability to handle the restroom and locker room situations for potential transgender students and their peers.

Many of you have contacted me expressing your disappointment with HB1067. This bill was introduced by those in the medical insurance industry who are trying to overturn Initiated Measure 17 from the last election, against voter's wishes. I will not support HB1067. Instead, I shall respect the will of the voters and the ability of health insurance customers to be able to choose their health care provider as much as possible.

I introduced three pieces of legislation recently. One will put in place landowner protections for the use and threat of eminent domain. Another would create a special cleanup fund for the Keystone tar sands oil pipeline. Finally, I introduced a bill to give more credit to the number of axles in determining truck weight limits.

Recently in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, I introduced legislation authorizing the usage of night-vision equipment for hunting on farmland. I have heard concerns from folks in our district regarding coyotes and other predatory animals venturing onto their property and the dangers that poses for livestock. I previously had worked to pass Senate Bill 104 in 2014, which authorized the use of night-vision. This bill adds to the previous bill by changing the weapon used. Previously, people would have been required to use rimfire cartridges, which is unlikely to kill a coyote. Instead, I am proposing an update for rifle cartridges with a bullet diameter up to .225 inches. Under the provisions of SB 58 the landowner or tenant would be required to join up to four guests when they utilize the tools of night vision equipment. The reason for increasing the caliber of weapon to be used is to ensure that an ethical taking of the predator happens. Currently with a rimfire/.22 limit, it is tough to take down coyotes especially when the fur is prime in the middle of winter. We want to ensure that we are killing these animals ethically, not hitting them and then allowing them to run off and die long, painful deaths. We also want to save our livestock from potential harm. Some people may wonder why farmers and ranchers wouldn't invite the state trapper in for these situations. The reasoning behind this is the animal damage control officers are covering multiple counties and can't always help to respond to livestock killing coyotes. This bill passed in committee and if passed by the Senate, this bill will help keep our livestock safe.

In Senate Education this week, we heard legislation for a math pilot project at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. This program was attempted last year as a way to prepare many of the students who attend the School of Mines and are required to take several advanced courses in mathematics. The school discovered in recent years that students were not performing well in these required courses for their degree. I advocated for pre-collegiate courses that help students be more successful, especially courses that don't put more financial burden on our college students. I wish we could accomplish this across the entire Regental system. The bill passed in committee and will move on to Appropriations with a "Do Pass" recommendation.

Over the course of the past two weeks, I am proud to report that the Governor's Office, along with the Department of Transportation, plans to develop a program to help replace small bridges that are scattered on township and county roads. These small bridges are not covered by the road and bridge funding we approved last year. If everything works as planned, there will be roughly $1-2 million of state funding. A county assessment program will be put in place to identify these dangerous structures and get them replaced with culverts, which will have few limits as the existing bridges. Please keep in touch on the issues that are important to you. I can be reached at 605-949-2204 and sen.frerichs@state.sd.us

Rep. Dennis Feickert –

Week 4 Legislative Column

We've just wrapped up the fourth week of the 91st Legislative Session. It is my honor to represent District 1 counties which include Brown, Marshall, Roberts, and Day.

As I've written before, education is a major focus of this Session. The Governor's office has proposed several different measures such as capping reserves and establishing reporting requirements to ensure new money is allocated to increasing teacher pay. Democrats are generally supportive of these efforts but continue to believe a higher target salary average of $50,000 is necessary to solve South Dakota's teacher shortage problem. Our proposal moves SD to 3rd in our 6 state region allowing us to meaningfully compete with our neighbor states. After all, especially here in the northeast corner of the state, the real competition for hiring teachers is with North Dakota or Minnesota, not with Mississippi or Alabama.

Another major focus of this legislative Session is Medicaid Expansion. If South Dakota chooses to participate in Medicaid Expansion, the state will be able to provide health care coverage for tens of thousands of South Dakotans, including a large number of Native Americans, whose needs are not being adequately addressed in the current system. Medicaid Expansion creates an opportunity for South Dakota to take a step toward preventing what has been the result of generations of extreme health disparities affecting American Indian populations.

According to the SD Budget and Policy Project, Medicaid Expansion would have the following impact on health care for Tribal members.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you so much for the opportunity to serve you, the residents of District 1.  Please feel free to contact me at rep.feickert@state.sd.us or call me at 605-216-3451 with any questions, concerns or comments.  If you plan to travel to Pierre during the legislative session, please let me know as I would be honored to meet with everyone from back home in District 1. 

Rep. Steven D. McCleerey –

Week 4 Legislative Column

A large part of my column will deal with Health and Human Services issues. For those of you who are grandparents, parents, and students, please be concerned with the drug issues in your area and do not hesitate to call law enforcement if you see suspicious activity. Unfortunately, the drug issue is still alive and thriving. In a number of areas, it seems that meth is on the rise and out of control, and the abuse of opioids is only contributing to the problem. The over-prescription of opioids has been on my radar. For this reason, I met with the Attorney General Marty Jackley this week to discuss the opioid issue. I would appreciate all my constituents being informed and alert about this concerning problem. Please check on your family's prescriptions, especially for young adults. Abuse seems to be more prevalent among young adults, so please be aware. I am concerned about the safety of young adults using opioids. I hope to be a strong advocate in protecting our children and constituents against drug abuse.

We have passed out of committee, SB27, changing the hardship requirements of ambulance services, which states there must be two EMT's on a run. Also, we passed through committee SB28, requiring the Meningococcal immunization for entry into middle school. This bill will assist in saving children's lives and improve the overall health of all South Dakotans. Furthermore, HB 1079 passed through committee, which "permits the prescription and possession of an opioid antagonist in certain instances." This antagonist will neutralize the body during the overdosing of an opioid. This bill keeps me hopeful, that it will save lives and help deter people from using opioids. Lastly, SB 29, which enacts and adopts a new Interstate Nurse Licensee Compact enabling licensed RM's and specialty nurses to cross state lines, in time of need, and expand their certain field expertise.

Overall, it was an enjoyable and hectic week. Do not hesitate to contact me. I enjoy hearing all the concerns and desires of my constituents.

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

Sincerely, Representative Steven McCleerey

February: American Heart Month

By Gypsy Wanna

CWWS SWO Wellness Coordinator

February is American Heart Month. It is a month to raise awareness about heart disease and stroke. This year for American Heart Month Community Health Education will be playing a month long game. Here is how it works.

Each week, we will send out 2 questions relating to heart health. Anybody who wishes to participate can answer the questions by submitting them by email to gypsy.wanna@ihs.gov Audrey.german@ihs.gov Elizabeth.anderson@ihs.gov OR by calling 742-3651. Answers must be submitted by Friday at 4:30 pm.

On February 22, we will draw 5-10 names (depending on the number of participants) of those that answered correctly that will advance to the finals. Those whose names are drawn will play "Plinko" on February 24th. Each person in the finals will have 3 chances to win prizes.

The two questions to be answered and submitted by Friday, 4:30 pm.

What is blood pressure? Why is high blood pressure such a big deal?

We will need your name and a phone number to contact you, in case you are selected.

For more information, call 605-742-3809.

Rounds participates in Veterans Suicide Prevention forum

Washington, DC – Feb. 2, 2016 – Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, today participated in a forum with VA Secretary Robert McDonald entitled, "Preventing Veteran Suicide: A Call to Action."

"As a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee and a Senator from a state that has more than 72,000 veterans who have honorably served this country, I take great interest in getting our veterans quality, timely and efficient care," said Rounds during his remarks. "While the most recent available numbers on veterans suicide have shown improvement in recent years, even one veteran taking his or her life due to the mental and physical stresses caused by service to this nation is one too many. We cannot - and will not - stop working to address the issue of veteran suicide until every veteran is adequately cared for."

Meningitis on the prairie

By Richard P. Holm MD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

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

Youth, school activities highlights –

Education watch on the Lake Traverse Reservation

Native Youth showcase talent, culture at Dakota Oyate Challenge

By Sarah Sunshine Manning

Indian Country Today - Feb. 4, 2016 – The Dakota Oyate Challenge [DOC] is a three-day event in Huron, South Dakota, where Native youth gather to compete in a high school basketball tournament, cheer competition, traditional hand game tournament, Dakota language competition and an archery competition. And while competition appears to be the focal point at the DOC, winning certainly isn't everything. It is a place where the talents of Native youth are showcased, where indigenous culture is transmitted and shared and a place where togetherness among all ages is palpable.

Native American teams from South Dakota and Nebraska participate annually in the DOC, which is in its twenty-eighth year. All events are held at the Huron Events Center, and this year, DOC took place January 28 to 30.

Silas Blaine, Chairman of the DOC Board of Directors and founding board member of the DOC, says that the event was created to provide a space for Native youth to have fun.

"The Dakota Oyate Challenge is all about showcasing our kids' talent, and the kids love it," said Blaine. "Dakota Oyate Challenge is also geared toward kids having fun, so we try to do plenty of fun things for them."

There is also a teen dance on Friday night at DOC, a college fair and retail vendors. This year, an impromptu round dance even sprang up in the events center lobby – not once, but twice. Young men with their voices warmed up after singing for the hand game tournament drew an equally notable crowd as they sang round dance songs for youth and adults alike.

While the basketball and cheer competitions are reserved for high school and junior high student athletes, the hand game, language and archery competitions are open to students of all ages. For all competitions, trophies and jackets are awarded to winning teams. Trophies are also awarded for sportsmanship, and jackets for all-tourney selections.

For many, DOC is something to look forward to year after year.

"It always felt good to be playing at DOC," said Demi Dumarce, now a college freshman and a former student athlete who participated in DOC all throughout high school.

This year, Dumarce has returned to DOC as a coach for the Dakota language competition. "Coming back as a college student and coach is a really cool experience, to see all the student athletes showing their talents, whether it be language or basketball or archery, it's good to see the youth work hard and be excited for something."

From Crow Creek, South Dakota, a young handgame team of fifth grade students, called Dakota Hunkpati Wayawa, participated in their first competitive handgame tournament at DOC this year and were elated to beat a much older team of high school kids in one game.

"It felt really good to win that game," said fifth grade student, Laila Ziegler. "And trickster didn't bother us," added Samantha Seaboy. After their win, the team of young boys and girls giggled and humbly smiled from ear-to-ear, their boost in confidence just as evident as their growing self-awareness as young Dakota.

In addition to learning how to play the game,all teams, including Dakota Hunkpati Wayawa, must also learn to sing handgame songs. Dakota Hunkpati Wayawa is excited to return to DOC next year and compete again.

Brock Ducheneaux, a fourth grader, and Ryker Logg, a third grader, came from Cheyenne Eagle Butte Elementary School to participate in the DOC archery competition.

"My favorite part is shooting," said Brock, who also participates in national archery competitions. "I like that we can win a prize," added Ryker, who is a relatively new competitor to archery and excited to be shooting in his first year. Cheyenne Eagle Butte brought the largest team to the archery competition, with a total of 26 competitors.

Cheerleaders from participating schools also look forward to DOC each year.

"We look forward to the cheer competition because we get to support our team, and also because DOC brings Natives together, kind of like a pow-wow, but for basketball. It's also fun because you get to meet new people," said Kyleigh Quickbear, a junior student cheerleader for Tiospa Zina Tribal School and a recipient of an All-Tourney cheer award.

Cheer teams often delight in meeting fellow cheerleaders from other schools, and all teams take the floor together to do one big cheer for the crowd on Friday night. New friends are made each year, and an exchange of hugs and handshakes occurs between cheerleaders from opposing teams at the beginning of each game, following an exchange of "hello" cheers.

Samantha Guerue, a senior cheerleader from Tiospa Zina remarked, "When you connect with other cheerleaders it brings everyone together, and by the third day of DOC, you're all cheering for each other."

Parents and community members fill the stands, coming from surrounding communities to support the youth. Rikki Middletent, a parent, said, "It's nice because you get to watch other reservations compete against each other, and watch three days of good basketball." Middletent had the privilege of witnessing her son, LJ Flute, win the championship game in his senior year in a nail-biter against Flandreau Indian School, final score 51-49. The Most Valuable Player (MVP) selected for the boys basketball tournament was Lower Brule senior, Adrian Farmer.

For the girls basketball tournament, Omaha Nation of Nebraska had the win over Crow Creek for the championship title, 69-35. Tyesha Parker, a senior from Omaha Nation, was selected as the tournament MVP.

"The win felt good, but overall, I couldn't have done it without my team," said Parker. "There is always so much excitement around DOC because we face competition that we usually don't see. We usually play a lot of non-Native teams back in Nebraska, so it's fun playing Native teams here, and we are treated good by everyone."

Celebrating youth, showcasing their talents and honoring culture continues to draw crowds at the DOC.

"Everybody enjoys the togetherness at DOC," says Board of Directors Chairman Blaine, "that's what it's all about."

Championship teams for the language, handgame, and archery competitions are as follows:

Dakota Language Competition: Flandreau Indian School

Hand Game Tournament: Lower Brule High School

Archery Competition: HS Girls, Samantha Crawford, Tiospa Zina Tribal School; HS Boys, Cameron Carpenter, Saint Joseph's Indian School; MS/Elementary Girls, Anna Rencounter, Enemy Swim Day School; MS/Elementary Boys, Misun Hagen, Enemy Swim Day School

Cheer Competition: Crow Creek High School

*****

Sarah Sunshine Manning. Sarah Sunshine Manning. Sarah Sunshine Manning (Shoshone-Paiute, Chippewa-Cree) is a mother, educator, activist, and an advocate for youth. Follow her at @SarahSunshineM.

Legals

SISSETON-WAHPETON OYATE

IN TRIBAL COURT

LAKE TRAVERSE RESERVATION

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA

CASE NO. CS: 16-050

SWOCSE/ Lynn Donnell, PLAINTIFF

VS.

LELAND FRYER, DEFENDANT

ORDER OF PUBLICATION &

NOTICE OF HEARING

It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Complaint to Establish Child Support & Paternity and Notice of Hearing is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 24th day of February, 2016 at the hour of 9:00 o'clock A.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

You are required to be at the hearing. Upon request, the OCSE Clerk will provide you with a copy of the Complaint describing the matter.

Dated this 27th day of January, 2016

BY THE ORDER OF THE COURT:

/S/

Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Heminger, SWOCSE Clerk of Court

6-3tc

 

SISSETON-WAHPETON OYATE

IN TRIBAL COURT

LAKE TRAVERSE RESERVATION

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA

CASE NO. CS: 16-036

SWOCSE/ Angel Marks, PLAINTIFF

VS.

RANDOLPH PRICE JR, DEFENDANT

ORDER OF PUBLICATION &

NOTICE OF HEARING

It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Complaint to Establish Child Support and Notice of Hearing is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 24th day of February, 2016 at the hour of 1:00 o'clock P.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

You are required to be at the hearing. Upon request, the OCSE Clerk will provide you with a copy of the Complaint describing the matter.

Dated this 27th day of January, 2016

BY THE ORDER OF THE COURT:

/S/

Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Heminger, SWOCSE Clerk of Court

6-3tc

 

SISSETON-WAHPETON OYATE

IN TRIBAL COURT

LAKE TRAVERSE RESERVATION

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA

CASE NO. I: 12-176

SWOCSE/ Amber Frost, PLAINTIFF

VS.

LELAND FRYER, DEFENDANT

ORDER OF PUBLICATION &

NOTICE OF HEARING

It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Complaint to Establish Child Support Arrears and Notice of Hearing is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 24th day of February, 2016 at the hour of 9:00 o'clock A.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

You are required to be at the hearing. Upon request, the OCSE Clerk will provide you with a copy of the Complaint describing the matter.

Dated this 27th day of January, 2016

BY THE ORDER OF THE COURT:

/S/

Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Heminger, SWOCSE Clerk of Court

6-3tc

 

SISSETON-WAHPETON OYATE

IN TRIBAL COURT

LAKE TRAVERSE RESERVATION

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA

CASE NO. I: 16-011

SWOCSE/ Erica Contreras, PLAINTIFF

VS.

PHILMORE JACKSON, DEFENDANT

ORDER OF PUBLICATION &

NOTICE OF HEARING

It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Complaint to Establish Child Support and Notice of Hearing is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 25th day of February, 2016 at the hour of 9:00 o'clock A.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

You are required to be at the hearing. If you fail to appear a Warrant will be issued and Bond set at the amount of the arrears. Upon request, the OCSE Clerk will provide you with a copy of the Motion describing the matter.

Dated this 28th day of January, 2016

BY THE ORDER OF THE COURT:

/S/

Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Heminger, SWOCSE Clerk of Court

6-3tc

 

SISSETON-WAHPETON OYATE

IN TRIBAL COURT

LAKE TRAVERSE RESERVATION

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA

CASE NO. I: 15-065

SWOCSE/ Shelsa Wills, PLAINTIFF

VS.

JEFFERY HENRY, DEFENDANT

ORDER OF PUBLICATION &

NOTICE OF HEARING

It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Motion to Show Cause for Failure to Pay Child Support and Notice of Hearing is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 25th day of February, 2016 at the hour of 9:00 o'clock A.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

You are required to be at the hearing. If you fail to appear a Warrant will be issued and Bond set at the amount of the arrears. Upon request, the OCSE Clerk will provide you with a copy of the Motion describing the matter.

Dated this 28th day of January, 2016

BY THE ORDER OF THE COURT:

/S/

Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Heminger, SWOCSE Clerk of Court

6-3tc

 

SISSETON-WAHPETON OYATE

IN TRIBAL COURT

LAKE TRAVERSE RESERVATION

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA

CASE NO. I: 11-058

SWOCSE/ Ruth Graves, PLAINTIFF

VS.

MAURICE SPIDER, DEFENDANT

ORDER OF PUBLICATION &

NOTICE OF HEARING

It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Motion to Modify Child Support and Notice of Hearing is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 25th day of February, 2016 at the hour of 1:00 o'clock P.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

You are required to be at the hearing. Upon request, the OCSE Clerk will provide you with a copy of the Motion describing the matter.

Dated this 28th day of January, 2016

BY THE ORDER OF THE COURT:

/S/

Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Heminger, SWOCSE Clerk of Court

6-3tc

 

SISSETON-WAHPETON OYATE

IN TRIBAL COURT

LAKE TRAVERSE RESERVATION

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA

CASE NO. I: 15-035

SWOCSE/ Christi Bravebull, PLAINTIFF

VS.

STACEY LABLANC, Jr., DEFENDANT

ORDER OF PUBLICATION &

NOTICE OF HEARING

It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Complaint to Establish Paternity and Child Support and Notice of Hearing is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 25th day of February, 2016 at the hour of 1:00 o'clock P.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

You are required to be at the hearing. Upon request, the OCSE Clerk will provide you with a copy of the Complaint describing the matter.

Dated this 28th day of January, 2016

BY THE ORDER OF THE COURT:

/S/

Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Heminger, SWOCSE Clerk of Court

6-3tc

 

SISSETON-WAHPETON OYATE

IN TRIBAL COURT

LAKE TRAVERSE RESERVATION

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA

CASE NO. I: 16-033

SWOCSE/ Kimberly Hershman, PLAINTIFF

VS.

CHRISTOPHER THENNIS, DEFENDANT

ORDER OF PUBLICATION &

NOTICE OF HEARING

It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Petition to Recognize a Foreign Order and Notice of Hearing is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 25th day of February, 2016 at the hour of 1:00 o'clock P.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

You are required to be at the hearing. Upon request, the OCSE Clerk will provide you with a copy of the Petition describing the matter.

Dated this 28th day of January, 2016

BY THE ORDER OF THE COURT:

/S/

Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Heminger, SWOCSE Clerk of Court

6-3tc

 

SISSETON-WAHPETON OYATE

IN TRIBAL COURT

LAKE TRAVERSE RESERVATION

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA

CASE NO. I: 12-089

SWOCSE/ Jenna Seaboy, PLAINTIFF

VS.

BEAU CRAWFORD, DEFENDANT

ORDER OF PUBLICATION &

NOTICE OF HEARING

It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Motion to Review Child Support and Notice of Hearing is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 25th day of February, 2016 at the hour of 1:00 o'clock P.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

You are required to be at the hearing. Upon request, the OCSE Clerk will provide you with a copy of the Motion describing the matter.

Dated this 28th day of January, 2016

BY THE ORDER OF THE COURT:

/S/

Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Heminger, SWOCSE Clerk of Court

6-3tc

 

SISSETON-WAHPETON OYATE

IN TRIBAL COURT

LAKE TRAVERSE RESERVATION

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA

CASE NO. CS: 02-191

SWOCSE/ Stephanie Williams, PLAINTIFF

VS.

NICOLAS JOHNSON, DEFENDANT

ORDER OF PUBLICATION &

NOTICE OF HEARING

It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Motion to Show Cause for Failure to Pay Child Support and Notice of Hearing is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 26th day of February, 2016 at the hour of 9:00 o'clock A.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

You are required to be at the hearing. If you fail to appear a Warrant will be issued and Bond set at the amount of the arrears. Upon request, the OCSE Clerk will provide you with a copy of the Motion describing the matter.

Dated this 29th day of January, 2016

BY THE ORDER OF THE COURT:

/S/

Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Heminger, SWOCSE Clerk of Court

6-3tc

 

SISSETON-WAHPETON OYATE

IN TRIBAL COURT

LAKE TRAVERSE RESERVATION

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA

CASE NO. CS: 14-092

SWOCSE/ Rochelle Renville, PLAINTIFF

VS.

JASMINE BARSE, DEFENDANT

ORDER OF PUBLICATION &

NOTICE OF HEARING

It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Motion to Show Cause for Failure to Pay Child Support and Notice of Hearing is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 26th day of February, 2016 at the hour of 9:00 o'clock A.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

You are required to be at the hearing. If you fail to appear a Warrant will be issued and Bond set at the amount of the arrears. Upon request, the OCSE Clerk will provide you with a copy of the Motion describing the matter.

Dated this 29th day of January, 2016

BY THE ORDER OF THE COURT:

/S/

Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Heminger, SWOCSE Clerk of Court

6-3tc

 

SISSETON-WAHPETON OYATE

IN TRIBAL COURT

LAKE TRAVERSE RESERVATION

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA

CASE NO. CS: 04-325

SWOCSE/ Miranda Crawford, PLAINTIFF

VS.

DAVID GENIA, Jr., DEFENDANT

ORDER OF PUBLICATION &

NOTICE OF HEARING

It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Motion to Show Cause for Failure to Pay Child Support and Notice of Hearing is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 26th day of February, 2016 at the hour of 9:00 o'clock A.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

You are required to be at the hearing. If you fail to appear a Warrant will be issued and Bond set at the amount of the arrears. Upon request, the OCSE Clerk will provide you with a copy of the Motion describing the matter.

Dated this 29th day of January, 2016

BY THE ORDER OF THE COURT:

/S/

Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Heminger, SWOCSE Clerk of Court

6-3tc

 

SISSETON-WAHPETON OYATE

IN TRIBAL COURT

LAKE TRAVERSE RESERVATION

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA

CASE NO. CS: 04-016

SWOCSE/ Allison Eastman, PLAINTIFF

VS.

LEVI DUMARCE, Jr., DEFENDANT

ORDER OF PUBLICATION &

NOTICE OF HEARING

It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Motion to Show Cause for Failure to submit to genetic testing and Notice of Hearing is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 26th day of February, 2016 at the hour of 9:00 o'clock A.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

You are required to be at the hearing. If you fail to appear a Warrant will be issued and Bond set at the amount of the arrears. Upon request, the OCSE Clerk will provide you with a copy of the Motion describing the matter.

Dated this 29th day of January, 2016

BY THE ORDER OF THE COURT:

/S/

Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Heminger, SWOCSE Clerk of Court

6-3tc

 

SISSETON-WAHPETON OYATE

IN TRIBAL COURT

LAKE TRAVERSE RESERVATION

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA

CASE NO. CS: 15-074

SWOCSE/ Bruce DuMarce, PLAINTIFF

VS.

DIMITRIA RODLUND, DEFENDANT

ORDER OF PUBLICATION &

NOTICE OF HEARING

It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Motion to Establish Child Support Arrears and Notice of Hearing is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 26th day of February, 2016 at the hour of 9:00 o'clock A.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

You are required to be at the hearing. Upon request, the OCSE Clerk will provide you with a copy of the Motion describing the matter.

Dated this 29th day of January, 2016

BY THE ORDER OF THE COURT:

/S/

Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Heminger, SWOCSE Clerk of Court

6-3tc

 

SISSETON-WAHPETON OYATE

IN TRIBAL COURT

LAKE TRAVERSE RESERVATION

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA

CASE NO. CS: 14-096

SWOCSE/ Christine Hill, PLAINTIFF

VS.

MARTHA HILL, DEFENDANT

ORDER OF PUBLICATION &

NOTICE OF HEARING

It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Motion to Review Child Support and Notice of Hearing is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 26th day of February, 2016 at the hour of 1:00 o'clock P.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

You are required to be at the hearing. Upon request, the OCSE Clerk will provide you with a copy of the Motion describing the matter.

Dated this 29th day of January, 2016

BY THE ORDER OF THE COURT:

/S/

Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Heminger, SWOCSE Clerk of Court

6-3tc

 

SISSETON-WAHPETON OYATE

IN TRIBAL COURT

LAKE TRAVERSE RESERVATION

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA

CASE NO. CS: 15-052

SWOCSE/ Ariel Macconnell, PLAINTIFF

VS.

MICHAEL WIGGINS, DEFENDANT

ORDER OF PUBLICATION &

NOTICE OF HEARING

It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Motion to Show Cause for Failure to Pay Child Support and Notice of Hearing is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 26th day of February, 2016 at the hour of 1:00 o'clock P.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

You are required to be at the hearing. If you fail to appear a Warrant will be issued and Bond set at the amount of the arrears. Upon request, the OCSE Clerk will provide you with a copy of the Motion describing the matter.

Dated this 29th day of January, 2016

BY THE ORDER OF THE COURT:

/S/

Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Heminger, SWOCSE Clerk of Court

6-3tc

Trading Post ads

Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate

Job Openings

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

Adult Daycare Provider (part-time), Tribal Elderly

Cultural Resource Protection Ranger, Tribal Historic Preservation Office

Wildlife Biologist, Fish & Wildlife

Chemical Dependency Technician, Dakotah Pride

Closing Date: February 12th ,2015 @ 04:30 PM

Process Server (part-time), Office of Child Support

Administrative Assistant, Early Childhood Intervention Program

Intervention Behavior Specialist, Early Childhood Intervention Program

Tracking Paraprofessional, Early Childhood Intervention Program

Family Liaison/Intervention Paraprofessional, Early Childhood Intervention Program

Compliance/Investigator, Gaming Commission

Field Agent (Male), Gaming Commission

Field Agent (Female), Gaming Commission

Police Officer (Certified)           Law Enforcement

Closing Date: February 19th, 2015 @ 04:30 PM

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 Nation Development Corp.

Advertising for two positions: General Manager and Senior Bookkeeper.

Open until filled.

For more information, contact Dakota Nation Development Corp., Josh Flute. 605-698-2002.

6-2tc

 

Sisseton Wahpeton College

Sisseton Wahpeton College has the following vacancies:

Facilities/Custodian:

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

Sponsored Programs Assistant/Purchasing & Inventory:

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

Student Accounts Receivable:

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

Prep Cook:

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

 

Dakota Magic Casino

Job Openings

Foods Department:

Wait Staff (Full-Time or Part-Time) Swing

Poker Department:

Dealer (Part-Time) Rotating

Closing Date: February 12, 2016 at 4:00 p.m.

Starting Wage: D.O.E.

High School Diploma or GED required for most positions

Two identifications documents required upon hire

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

 

Dakota Sioux Casino & Hotel

Job Openings

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

GIFT SHOP: GIFT SHOP CLERK (1 FULL TIME). GENERAL FUNCTION: Assist in providing quality service to the customers of the Dakota Sioux Casino and efficient operation of the Gift Shop/C-Store. REQUIREMENTS: High school diploma or G.E.D. equivalent. Neat appearance and good communication skills. Working knowledge of retail and marketing sales. Operate Micros system cash register and make exact change. Must obtain a Non-Gaming License upon hire. Able to move 50lbs; minimal bending and using step ladder. Must be 21 years of age to work in C-Store.

This position will close on February 10, 2016 at 4 pm.

Indian Preference will apply/EEO.

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

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

 

Dakota Connection Casino

Job Openings

Position: Restaurant Manager

Qualifications: Must have a high school diploma/GED a graduate of Culinary Arts School is preferred. At least 5 years previous supervisory experience, 5 years cooking experience and 3 years food supervisory experience is required. Applicants should have excellent leadership, organizational and motivational skills, communications skills (oral and written), customer service skills, and comprehensive knowledge of food products and cost of sales, conflict resolution skills, computer program skills, the ability to work closely with other departments and the ability to work flexible hours. Must have a telephone within 30 days of hire and must be able to obtain a Non-Gaming License upon hire.

Opening Date: Monday, February 8, 2016

Closing Date: Monday, February 22, 2016 @ 8:00 a.m.

All positions will be exposed to noise & tobacco smoke

Indian preference will apply/EEO Employer.

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

 

Dakota Connection Casino

Job Openings

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

Surveillance Department: Agent (1) part-time; rotating shifts; day, swing, graveyard, weekends, holidays, and the ability to work flexible hours. Must have excellent written & verbal communication skills, motivational & mechanical skills. Knowledgeable of Tribal, State, and Federal gaming regulations. Knowledgeable in the operation of Microsoft Word. 1 year previous experience preferred. Must be at least 21 years old, must have a High School Diploma or GED. Must be able to obtain a Key Gaming License.

Opening date: Thursday, February 04, 2016

Closing date: Wednesday, February 10, 2016 @ 4:00 p.m.

All positions will be exposed to noise & tobacco smoke

Indian preference will apply/EEO Employer.

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

 
 

 

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