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Volume 46 Issue No. 39

Anpetu Iyamni, September 30, 2015

Inside this Edition –

Chairman Renville Wopida evening meal Tuesday, Sept. 29 at the Community Center

Tribe to receive funding from federal contracts settlement

SWO Mni Wiconi bringing attorney to speak about lawsuit to stop CAFOs from depleting Oyate aquifers, contaminating soil and water

VSO Geri Opsal named to Senator Rounds’ Military Academy Selection Board

Photo highlights: Horse racing at Big Coulee Saturday, Sept. 26

Watch for TZTS Homecoming highlights next week

Deadline for receipt of copy is Friday noon

Dakota tribes to get $48M through contracts settlement

SWO Tribe is recipient

Bismarck, ND – Dakota tribes are getting about $48 million through a nearly $1 billion settlement between the federal government and tribes across the country.

The deal settles a claim that the government failed to adequately compensate tribes while they managed education, law enforcement and other federal services.

In South Dakota, the Oglala Sioux Tribe is getting the most money, at about $12.8 million. The tribe was one of the lead plaintiffs.

In North Dakota, the Three Affiliated Tribes is getting the biggest share — nearly $8 million.

Other tribes getting money are the Standing Rock Sioux, Turtle Mountain Chippewa, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, Spirit Lake Sioux, Cheyenne River Sioux, Crow Creek Sioux, Flandreau Santee Sioux, Lower Brule Sioux, Rosebud Sioux and Yankton Sioux. Several tribal colleges in the states also are getting money.

Note: The settlement still needs approval in federal district court.

Tribes win nearly $1 billion from Feds

Tanya H. Lee

Indian Country Today - September 18, 2015 - The federal government on September 17 announced a historic agreement worth almost $1 billion that would end 25 years of litigation between the U.S. and tribes over the payment of contract support costs incurred by tribal entities under the terms of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975.

The U.S. Departments of Justice and Interior have filed the proposed settlement in federal district court in New Mexico. If approved, funds could be distributed to tribes within the next several months.

Benjamin C. Mizer, principal deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department, said the settlement was a compromise reached after years of complex negotiations following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2012 decision in Salazar v. Ramah Navajo Chapter.

Mizer described it as a settlement both sides can be proud of. It provides a $940 million lump sum payment to the 645 plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit to settle claims for contract support costs for the years 1994-2013.

Kevin K. Washburn, assistant secretary – Indian Affairs, explained that under ISDEAA, the federal government signs intergovernmental contracts with the tribes that allow them to run Bureau of Indian Affairs programs for the benefit of tribal members, such as law enforcement, forest management, fire suppression, road maintenance, housing and federal education.

The federal government has been contracting with tribes for these services for four decades, but Congress has consistently failed to authorize enough money to cover the full costs of the contracts.

The direct cost of hiring personnel to provide services has been covered, but support costs, which are costs related to running the programs, such as insurance, workmen’s compensation, janitorial services, computer hardware and software—in fact, everything except payments for direct services—have not been fully covered by Congressional appropriations. “If the tribes don’t get the money for these costs, they must take it from the programs or other sources,” said Washburn.

In 1990, a class-action lawsuit was brought to force the federal government to cover those costs. The government maintained that it could pay the tribes whatever amount it wanted to, whenever it wanted to and it could decide what amount it would pay after the tribes had performed the services the contract called for. This was the only context in which federal contracts could be treated in such a cavalier manner, essentially rendering them non-contracts.

And that is what the Supreme Court decided was unacceptable in 2012. Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Anthony Kennedy sided with the tribes based just on the fact that ordinary government contracts cannot work that way. The court ruled that the federal government was liable for contract support costs whether or not Congress appropriated enough money to cover them. It was a major victory for the tribes.

This settlement addresses the question of how much tribes will receive to reimburse them for contract support costs they incurred, but were not compensated for, during the two decades from 1994 to 2013.

Mizer explained that the settlement “provides a fair and equitable system for distributing shares of the award to each of the 645 class member tribes and tribal contractors. Generally, each tribal contractor that submits a claim will receive a share based on the amount of contract support costs it has incurred over the last 20 years. There is also a minimum payment for each year that a self-determination contract existed with the tribe in order to insure that no tribe is excluded from the benefit of this agreement.”

Jessica Kershaw, a spokeswoman for the Interior Department, told ICTMN that this settlement applies only to contract support services for BIA programs and does not pertain to Indian Health Service programs. “Those claims are being litigated separately,” Kershaw said.”

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell noted that this settlement is indicative of the “tremendous strides the Obama administration has made in its commitment to Indian country.” She cited the resolution of nearly 100 trust cases for a total of $2.5 billion, the restoration of tribal homelands through land-into-trust actions and the land buy-back program funded by the Cobell settlement, the initiative to put the education of tribal children back into the hands of the tribes, and the new opportunities for higher education created by the Cobell Scholarship Fund.

Washburn said in a statement, “Today’s proposed settlement, together with President Obama’s request for full, mandatory funding of tribal contract support costs in the future, removes one of the significant obstacles to tribal self-determination and self-governance. Tribes can now be confident that the federal government will pay sufficient costs to allow them to be successful in running federal programs.”

SWO Mni Wiconi bringing international attorney to Lake Traverse Reservation

Paula Horne has announced that the SWO Mni Wiconi will bring its attorney to the Lake Traverse Reservation on Native American Day, next Monday, October 12th.

Watch for time and location in next week’s Sota. Tentatively, this public informational event will be held at the Sisseton Wahpeton College omniciye tipi at Agency Village, SD.

Paula, myself Chuck Floro and Julian came together to find a way to report to what is happening environmentally to our territory.  Other  concerned Oyate responded including OEP and tribal secretary  this spring, in April 2015, and decided to push for re-engaging in the stand against exploitation of waters over which they have first rights – or “should have” those rights.

Not only is this effort against depletion of the aquifers, but it is a fight against contaminating the soil, surface and ground water, and sending pollutants downstream in watersheds flowing into Canada and down into the Gulf of Mexico.

And it has been stalled. There has been no action by the Tribe or the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) since 2013.

At that time, at a meeting which Paula attended, EPA officials gave assurance that complaints of misuse of the water by CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations – essentially factory warehouses packed full of animals) would be investigated. While these can be livestock CAFOs, most on the Lake Traverse Reservation are CAFO dairies. The largest are located at Veblen. At 19,300 head of cows as of January 1st 2015, it is by far the largest CAFO dairy in the state of South Dakota.

But those 2013 promises yielded nothing.

And in the meantime, the state of South Dakota has encouraged expansion and permitting of new CAFO dairies – including others on the Lake Traverse Reservation. Governor Daugaard has led the charge, enticing new investors with the help of millions of dollars in EB-5 incentives.

But Paula Horne and now many others that find out the truth are not going to give up without a fight.

The truth created the enthusiasm that has spread to others. The Office of Tribal Secretary Crystal Owen and the SWO Office of Environmental Protection (OEP) have realized the seriousness to continue to be there when called upon.

The SWO Mni Wiconi came about as a grassroots volunteer group to bring awareness to the water issues to the Oyate and encourage Tribal Council to become involved.

The group has held public meetings and met several times with Council concerning the need to challenge how the ag industry has been getting permits for new, and expanding existing CAFOs without even any Tribal consultation.

Tribal Council has been supportive, but did not make a commitment before a deadline set by the SD Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). That deadline, last week, was a call to respond formally to the state’s reply to a “cease and desist” letter prepared by behalf of the Oyate by international attorney Scott Michael Moore.

Scott was retained by SWO Mni Wiconi to make that response and open a multi-partner lawsuit against the federal government and the EPA.

Anyone interested in learning about how it is possible to assert the Tribe’s water rights in international court, using the treaties as legal foundation, come to next Monday’s open meeting.

Scott will answer your questions.

The Oyate are also invited to sign up as co-plaintiffs.

This action is for protecting the water resources and cleaning up the environment for everyone.

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

Phone 605-698-3388

*FARGO VAMC: I was fortunate to be part of suicide and mental health group at Fargo VAMC. During the discussion a Chaplin stated one of the most thought provoking things and it makes complete sense. She said she has read the bible many times; that she doesn't know much about Warrior mentality but she has studied the Roman soldiers in the bible. She said even biblically that once you were part of the Roman Army as you were forced to serve that when you became of the age where you were better to be retired - they had a ceremony for you it was their part of reintegrating you into society back as a civilian. We were also told by the Social workers that after 1 tour serving in the war zone - that reintegration works fairly smooth; after 2 tours…..your Warrior mentally is set. You are trained to be the fighting machine, to protect and defend our Country. We need to help our returning Soldiers to reintegrate into society to do Ceremonies. So I am asking you whoever is reading this and if this touch's your heart please contact me and help me - we need to make this a given for each of our Warriors (men and women). Give it some thought.

*PTSD TRAINING: was a success. We had 73 participants sign in the total of 2 sessions and of those 73 attendees - 23 were Veterans. Thank you to the Chairman for allowing people to attend and Harvey DuMarce, Dean SWC & staff thank you for the use of the wonderful facility. It is our duty to learn what we can to help our fellow man/woman who may be in crisis or suffering. I want to reiterate that while we all walk this earth - we should all share in this great responsibility. Not only for Veterans but all people. I thank those of you that took the time out of your busy day - it shows that you do care - and with that the people that were meant to be there were there. Thank you Doc, DeLano, Danielle - Commanders of the Honor Guards for you all look out for your fellow Veteran.

*ANNUAL WOMANS VETERANS CONFERENCE: Friday, October 9, 2015 10-2:30PM Central Baptist Church. Keynote speaker is Brigadier General US Army Myrna Williamson. Please contact our office if you would like to attend and would like a ride down to this wonderful conference for Women Veterans. Last year our very own Keynote speaker was Donna Williams - US Navy. It's a great event for Women Veterans and families. Our SWO will be planning a Woman Warrior/Veteran Honoring in the later part of October - stay tuned in the Sota for details!

*NATIVE AMERICAN WOMEN WARROR SONG: given to the Women Warriors by Northern Cheyenne, composed by Conrad Fisher and sung by the Birney Drum. This was shared with us by our THPO Tamara St. John who comes from a family with a long line of Veterans.

*VETERANS DAY POWWOW WACIPI: The dates are: November 13-15, 2015 . DAKOTA MAGIC CASINO. CALL: 268-1765 Danielle for questions.

*BURN PIT REGISTRY: At our meeting at SFVAMC this past week we had some concerned Veterans from OEF/OIF/OND Vets asking about this registry. This is a tool to help Veterans with concerns about inhaling fumes or smoke. Please contact me and I can give you the information on how to register or google: burnpit registry and it will give you the information!

*Housing Needed: If anyone has any available housing for rent for Veterans please contact me at 698-3388. I have them on the SWHA waiting list but time is of the essence. We have one Veteran discharging Sept 2015 and I am searching for a 3 bedroom for him and his family. I have utilized all resources. Vern Donnell, Family Life has helped us tremendously in a crunch. We checked all advertised but perhaps anyone reading this may have a contact that we may not know about. Please call 698-3388 if you can assist!

*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.

We must look for the opportunity in every difficulty instead of being paralyzed at the thought of the difficulty in every opportunity." -Walter E. Cole, Korean War Veteran.

Statement from Commander Desert Era Veterans, member Lakota Women Warriors

By Danielle DeCoteau

Han Mitakuyapi.

My name is Danielle DeCoteau I am the Commander of Desert Era Veteran Honor Guard group and a member of the Lakota Women Warriors which I feel has been a real blessing to be a part of both. Being a member of both groups I feel we have made a huge impact on our local community and on Indian Country by representing our Tribe(s) and working with the youth.

This Summer was filled with a lot of participation attending numerous events and wacipis which consisted of the Memorial Day 21 Gun Salute at all the cemeteries with the United Veterans Association, participating as color guard with LWW for the Women are Sacred Conference in Rapid City, SD, DEV participating in the youth color run with Roberts County Aliive Program/SWO Youth Department, DEV Color Guard for the 4th of July Celebration and leading the Bataan Death March walk in memory of Winfield Thompson and Louis William, LWW color guard for the Arikara Celebration in White Shield, ND, LWW Color Guard for the Seneca Veterans Wacipi in Salamanca, NY, DEV participated with the Enemy Swim Day School Face Program doing face painting, LWW brought in the colors for the Minnesota Lynx vs. Atlanta Dream in Minneapolis, MN, I had attended the Dakota Clan Celebration in Fort Thompson, SD and was asked to help bring in the colors with both Crow Creek and Cheyanne River honor guards which was such an honor.

And for the first time ever crossing the Canadian border with the Lakota Women Warriors as we were invited to bring in the colors for the Roseau River Wacipi at Roseau River, MB, Canada which was a huge honor to go across the border and represent and fly the American Flag next to the Canadian flag and getting invited to come back to represent.

The Desert Era Veterans were asked to lead the walk in honor of Mr. Emmit Eastman who is a marathon runner a traditional dancer and a Korean War veteran in the United States Air Force and hear his story which is so amazing and we later brought in the colors for the SWO Youth wacipi which was a huge honor to be there with all your youth enjoy ourselves.

Then I went with the Lakota Women Warriors to Eagle Butte, SD and we honored WWII Veterans Marcella LaBeau as an honorary member of the LWW, her story is so amazing I was honored to meet her and visit with her.

Then I went with the Lakota Women Warriors to Manito Ahbee in Winnipeg, MB, Canada as we were invited to be host honor guard at their wacipi to honor all women veterans, and soon the Lakota Women Warriors will be marching in the colors for the Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers game on November 22, 2015.

I want the people to know that it is such an amazing feeling to be next to my brothers and sisters carrying those colors, representing our Tribe, speaking to the youth, and giving back to the people plus it is healing being back in the circle.

I wanted to put out a message to the people and to all veterans that we are not our own enemy, we are the caretakers of the generations to come, we are the examples that are set, we are power in numbers, we are friends, we are brothers and sisters, we are good relatives, we are Veterans.

Learning our traditional ways and trying to live by them daily is a part of who I am and all the stones that get thrown at us veterans is not our way, if a stone is thrown I will seek shelter I will not continue to stand in its path because being a Dakotah does not mean I pick up that stone and throw it back but I pick it up and I pray with that stone or grandfather and if another is thrown I will continue to pray with it because it's not our way to hurt one another it's our way to help the people and hold each other up.

I just wanted to share all this with the people and say nina wopida to all who have grabbed my hand to help me see life in a different perspective and help lead me on to a better path that is healing and learning a new way of life.

SWO VSO Geri Opsal named to Military Academy Selection Board

(Editor’s note: Congratulations to SWO Tribal Veteran Service Officer Geri Opsal! Geri has been selected by U.S. Senator Mike Rounds to serve on his Military Academy Selection Board. Here is the letter announcing Geri’s appointment.)

September 17, 2015

Geri Opsal

Peever, SD

Dear Geri,

Each year I have the honor and responsibility to select South Dakota's best and brightest to become America's future leaders and attend the Military, Naval, Air Force and Merchant Marine academies.

I would be honored if you would accept this invitation to serve on my Military Academy Selection Board. The nine-member board is made up of men and women throughout our great state.

The board will meet in Pierre to interview candidates and make selections. The deadline for completed student applications is October 1, 2015. Student application packages will be mailed to board members for review prior to the selection day. The most important item for you to consider is your availability on Saturday, November 14 to interview and select the applicants.

My East River Director, Mark Johnston, will be contacting you in the coming days to discuss this opportunity further.

Thank you for your consideration. I think you will enjoy the process and meeting these bright stars of the future and I look forward to your service on the board.

Sincerely, Mike Rounds, U.S. Senate.

Horse racing comes to Big Coulee

Richard Kopas headed an effort to revive the horse nation locally on the Lake Traverse Reservation. He organized first in a series of horse races held last Saturday, September 26th, at Big Coulee.

There was a good lineup of horses, riders and spectators who followed the signs to the “big tree” along the gravel road that runs up to Alvah’s place.

John Heminger was on hand to take photos so others might get a glimpse of the races. (See John’s pictures next week.)

Iyakaptapi must be the place where the horse nation rises on this Reservation.

Most winners are named in the photo captions. Gerald German Jr. won the mens 300 yard race.

A second horse race is scheduled for this Saturday, October 3rd.

Here is what Richard has announced about this round of action:

We have heard wants and wishes to get an Indian Relay Team from the riders in attendance today. So next Saturday, we’re going to have Indian Relay Horse Races.

But we're going to have a few other races first before the relay race.

*300 yard Men, Women and Youth Races.

*Stick/Hoop Race.

*Rescue Race.

We discussed the idea to play TAG on Horseback, where the riders wear ribbons on their arms and everyone has to try to take the opponents ribbon off until LAST PERSON STANDING (on Horseback). We discussed the idea of a "Save The Warrior" race. With a Man/Woman team.

The woman on one end of the racetrack builds a travois and runs down and the man gets on the travois and they race back to the finish line. The purpose of the race is for it to be educational for the children who will be watching; some of us never saw that before.

Indian Relay Race is going to be cool to watch. We're anticipating to change the course of the racetrack for the relay race.

Watch for signs at Big Coulee noon on Saturday.

Federal funding to support Native Youth at Circle of Nations School

Washington, DC – September 24, 2015 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced more than $440,000 in federal funding to improve education standards and provide resources to the North Dakota Circle of Nations School to help students prepare for college and their careers.

As part of the Administration’s Generation Indigenous “Gen I” Initiative to support Native American youth, these federal funds will be used to develop community-wide approaches to support college readiness by providing academic, social, mental health, and other services that promote a commitment to learning.

“Children and youth all across North Dakota, including Native children, are the future leaders of our state,” said Heitkamp. “For decades, I have visited tribes across North Dakota and I have seen the daily struggles Native children and their families face from extreme poverty to horrific child abuse. It’s on all of us to improve, protect, and provide the economic and educational resources these children need to thrive and become great leaders not only for their tribal communities, but for North Dakota. Part of our federal government’s trust and treaty responsibility is to make sure that we empower future generations and support their cultural traditions, and I’ve been pushing for policies that will uphold this responsibility and support programs that offer our Native youth the chance to flourish. My bipartisan bill to stand up for Native youth and the Generation Indigenous Initiative provide greater opportunities for Native children by lifting barriers they face in their quest to succeed and these federal funds will play an important role in making sure Native youth have the tools to succeed.”

Since her time as North Dakota’s Attorney General in the 1990s, Heitkamp has worked with tribes to stand up for Native families. Her bipartisan bill to create a Commission on Native Children unanimously passed in the U.S. Senate in June 2015, and just days later it was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. Heitkamp also continues to push for legislation to improve the juvenile justice system for Native youth as well as addressing the suicide epidemic among Native youth.

These federal funds are authorized by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Interior.

EDA invests $750,000 to support Native American entrepreneurs in SD

Washington, DC – September 23, 2015 – U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams visited the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota today to announce that the Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $750,000 grant to Artspace Projects, Inc., to help fund the Oglala Lakota Arts and Business Incubator. According to the grantee, this project will create 100 jobs for Native American artisan entrepreneurs and small business owners over the next nine years.

“For 50 years, EDA grants have helped remove economic barriers and attract capital to Indian country, addressing a broad array of needs,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams. “Over the past five years EDA has awarded nearly $48 million in assistance to Indian tribes to create businesses, build roads and other infrastructure, and develop economic development plans. The EDA grant announced today demonstrates our continued support for our nation’s tribal communities.”

“Over the last three decades Artspace has led an accelerating national movement of arts-driven community transformation that creates fundamental social change,” said Kelly Lindquist, President of Artspace Projects Inc. “We are thrilled to be working in partnership with First Peoples Fund and Lakota Funds on the Oglala Lakota Arts and Business Incubator to build the capacity of Native artists for the benefit of the entire community.”

“Nearly 80% of home-based businesses on Pine Ridge are comprised of tradition based arts,” said Lori Lea Pourier, President of First Peoples Fund. “We know art is a strong economic driver for Native people. If we provide a space for them to receive training, it will improve their income, and change their life.”

EDA’s investment will help fund the construction of a reservation-based incubator space for Native American artisan entrepreneurs. The facility will also offer business services to new and emerging Native artisan businesses. According to the grantee, the Oglala Lakota Arts and Business Incubator will serve five Native American enterprises, establish two anchor businesses that will aid and assist in incubator tenants through established programs, and provide space for non-incubator tenants and home-based Native entrepreneurs and artists who will receive training in business practices.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration ( The Economic Development Administration marks 50 years of public service, leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

Obama Administration Climate Resilience tools

Online Climate data sets help communities prepare, manage impacts from Climate change

Anchorage, Alaska, Sept. 2, 2015 – As part of the Obama Administration’s Climate Data Initiative, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced a new set of online climate data resources to help Arctic communities with climate change planning, adaptation and management. The new data sets, introduced today as part of an online Climate Resilience Toolkit, comprised more than 250 Arctic-related datasets and more than 40 maps, tools, and other resources designed to support climate-resilience efforts in the Arctic.

The U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit is a website developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other Federal agencies that will enable decision-makers to take action. The toolkit will boost climate resiliency by using data-driven tools, information and subject-matter expertise. This also offers information from across the Federal government in one easy-to-use location so that Americans are better able to understand the climate-related risks and opportunities impacting their communities, which will enable them to make smarter decisions to improve their resilience.

“Through the release of Arctic-themed climate data, the U.S. is demonstrating its leadership in sharing free and open climate-relevant information, while also encouraging public innovation and partnerships with private sector entities that are interested in leveraging this data,” Secretary Jewell said. “Also, by sharing climate data among nations, we are providing tools that may be useful in increasing resilience measures across national boundaries in the Arctic."

In tandem with the release of Arctic-specific climate data sets, Jewell joined Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn to announce that the Climate Resilience Toolkit will also be updated with climate impact information specific to tribal nations.

“Rising temperatures, thawing permafrost, melting glaciers and sea ice are having significant impacts on critical infrastructure and traditional livelihoods for tribes in Alaska and across Indian country,” said Assistant Secretary Washburn. “That means climate change not only affects tribal livelihood, but it also affects access to vital resources and the cultural integrity of communities. We are committed to working with tribal leaders to help build more resilient Native communities in the face of a changing climate."

The online tribal climate resources, developed with support by tribes and other federal agencies like NOAA and the EPA, represent an important outcome from the cross-agency work of the White House Council on Native American Affairs.

Bill to reduce Student Loan debt, make College more affordable

Washington, DC – September 22, 2015 – To help North Dakotans saddled with private student loan debt, U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp today introduced a bill that could enable borrowers to refinance private education loan balances at reduced interest rates at no cost to taxpayers.

Nearly 70 percent of college seniors in 2013 required loans to afford the skyrocketing price of college, and many are turning to private education loans – which often have higher interest rates than federal loans. Long an advocate for affordable college, Heitkamp introduced the legislation to better support students by enabling them to refinance private student loans, as borrowers of such loans can be ineligible for options like deferment, income-based repayment, or public service loan forgiveness.

North Dakota students have some of the highest rates of indebtedness in the country: 83 percent of the class of 2011 graduated with some form of debt – more than any other state that year. On average, North Dakota students graduate with more than $27,000 in debt, which can force some students to use private education loans as additional assistance. Student loan debt across the U.S. has topped $1.3 trillion, surpassing credit card and auto loan debt. Of that debt, $150 billion is in private education loans. Private loans not only often carry higher interest rates, but can include hidden fees, and lack the safeguards provided by federal student loans. Heitkamp’s Private Education Loan Modification Act would work to address those issues and provide potential refinancing options for reduced interest rates.

“North Dakota’s young people deserve every opportunity to succeed – but with more than a trillion dollars in student loan debt nationwide, we have a serious problem on our hands. I’ve heard from countless students and families in North Dakota about struggles with debt. It prevents far too many young North Dakotans from moving ahead in life by burdening them and their families often for decades. That doesn’t just hurt students and families – it hampers our state’s economy, too,” Heitkamp said. “With my bill, I’m trying to make it easier for students to refinance private education loans at today’s low interest rates, so they can pay down their debt and start off on the right foot when they graduate. North Dakotans shouldn’t have to choose between paying the interest on their education and buying a home.”

Heitkamp’s bill would establish debt refinancing mechanisms aimed at providing relief to private student loan borrowers by:

• Eliminating Inefficiency: Authorizing the U.S. Department of the Treasury to find creative solutions to eliminate inefficiencies in the private education loan market.

• Providing Refinancing Options: Accommodating and providing information on refinancing opportunities for private student loan borrowers whose debt obligations represent a disproportionate share of their income.

• Encouraging Innovation: Spurring greater competition among private lenders by incentivizing innovation and participation in the refinancing market.

• Strengthening Effective Oversight: Requiring a report to develop best practices that guarantee effective oversight mechanisms are established.

Conversations with North Dakota students and families have reinforced Heitkamp’s commitment to tackling rising student debt. Heitkamp has been an outspoken advocate for debt relief for students in the U.S. Senate. The bill Heitkamp introduced today is similar to a bill Sen. Heitkamp cosponsored in 2013.

In March, Heitkamp supported an amendment to the Senate budget resolution that would make college more affordable for middle-class families by allowing borrowers with outstanding federal and private student loans to refinance at the interest rates approved for new borrowers. And, during recent Senate Committee on Banking hearings, on which Heitkamp sits, she made the case repeatedly for helping North Dakotans with existing student loan debt have the opportunity to refinance at affordable interest rates.

Funding to combat Human Trafficking, support Crime Victims

Washington, DC – September 24, 2015 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced a total of $1.6 million in federal funding – which she pushed for – to create a collaborative and comprehensive approach to combat human trafficking across the state through a partnership with the North Dakota Office of the Attorney General and North Dakota Council on Abused Women in Bismarck. In addition, a portion of the funding will help develop a statewide strategy to improve services offered to crime victims.

Earlier this month, Heitkamp urged the Department of Justice, which authorized these federal funds, to award adequate funding to North Dakota to help address the state’s unique needs. Specifically, $1.5 million of the federal funding will be used to identify victims of human trafficking, investigate and prosecute sex and labor trafficking cases across the state and address the individualized needs of victims through comprehensive and quality services. The remaining $100,000 will be used by the North Dakota Council on Abused Women to develop a statewide strategy to better support crime victims.

“Human trafficking is not only happening in foreign countries or dark alleys – it’s happening right in our backyards,” said Heitkamp. “As the incidences and threat continues to grow in North Dakota, we have to make sure members of our communities, business leaders, and local law enforcement have the resources they need to address and prevent these horrific crimes, and these funds will help do that. For years, I’ve been working to shine a light on the heartbreaking realities victims of human trafficking face every day and I’ll continue to work across the aisle in the Senate and with officials and advocates in North Dakota until we’ve ended modern day slavery not just in North Dakota, but across the United States and around the world.”

“North Dakota will now have significant financial and staff support behind a coordinated response to sex and labor trafficking for the next three years,” said Christina Sambor, coordinator at FUSE who sits on Heitkamp’s Strong & Safe Communities Task Force. “We have created a task force model which will partner North Dakota BCI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and service providers from across the State. With this partnership, we will be able to offer a 24/7 trafficking crisis hotline in North Dakota, we will have dedicated staff to provide support and technical assistance to service providers and law enforcement who encounter trafficking victims in their caseloads, and we will be able to get funding to our service providers on the front lines who have been doing this work for years with little to no additional funding support. Securing this funding for the North Dakota Human Trafficking Task Force is truly an incredible example of what we can achieve for victims when we all work together."

“Providing access to victim centered services has been and always will be our priority,” said Janelle Moos, Executive Director of the North Dakota Council on Abused Women Services who sits on Heitkamp’s Strong & Safe Communities Task Force. “This award is the culmination of 18 months of a statewide comprehensive planning that will increase our state's ability to address the rise in human trafficking cases and ensure victims have the services they need.”

Heitkamp has been leading the charge to combat and raise awareness about human trafficking in North Dakota and across the nation by:

Raising Awareness in the Senate about Human Trafficking Early on: In September 2013, she led a Senate hearing on efforts underway at the federal, state, and local levels to combat human trafficking, including in Indian Country. Before this hearing, there had been little discussion on tackling human trafficking.

Building Progress in the Fight Against Human Trafficking From the Middle Out: Heitkamp helped introduce, and played an integral role in passing in the Senate’s bipartisan Justice for Victims of Human Trafficking Act which the President signed into law May 2015. Working across the aisle with Republican Senator Susan Collins, Heitkamp helped reignite the politically stalled legislation by offering a bipartisan, compromise path forward. The final bill provides greater assistance to victims of human trafficking, increased resources to law enforcement and victims services organizations, and secures greater punishments for perpetrators of these horrific crimes. The package also contains provisions Heitkamp fought for and won – including stricter punishments against traffickers who transport victims across state lines, and legal protections from her Safe Harbor bill to make sure victims are not treated as criminals.

Working Across the Aisle on Bipartisan Solutions: Heitkamp and Collins introduced bipartisan legislation to give health care providers – including doctors, nurses, and social workers – training to help identify and protect victims of human trafficking. Heitkamp and Collins’ Stop, Observe, Ask and Respond (SOAR) to Health and Wellness Act would build on a pilot program taking place in Williston and New Town to give health providers across the country needed training on how to recognize, report, and potentially intervene when they see patients who are possible human trafficking victims. Recent studies suggest that nearly one-third of women trafficked in America saw a health care professional while they were still captive to these crimes.

Funding to improve Juvenile Justice

Washington, DC – September 25, 2015 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced more than $400,000 in federal funds to the North Dakota Department of Corrections Division of Juvenile Services to support state and local prevention and intervention programs, address and examine issues that often push youth out of school and into the juvenile justice system, and make improvements to the juvenile justice system.

“Improving our juvenile justice system in North Dakota and in tribal communities means supporting programs that both support successful prevention and better help those already incarcerated rebuild their lives,” said Heitkamp. “Too many young children find themselves in the justice system with no clear way to get out and these federal funds will support the services and programs they need to end the cycle of recidivism and help them reach their full potential. I’ll continue to work with local advocates, law enforcement, educators and juvenile and social services professionals to discuss how we can work together to address the needs of young people currently in the juvenile justice system.”

As former North Dakota Attorney General, Heitkamp has long been working to address challenges in the justice system, including the unique issues and needs of juveniles in the system. In July 2015, Heitkamp brought together top law enforcement, criminal justice officials, educators, and juvenile and social professionals in Fargo to specifically discuss the best ways to address the needs of young people currently in the justice system. Prior to the roundtable discussion, Heitkamp raised concerns of the unique challenges faced by Native American youth in the juvenile justice system during a Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing. In addition, Heitkamp is a vocal advocate for legislation to improve the juvenile justice system for Native youth as well as addressing the suicide epidemic among Native youth.

Heitkamp’s first bill in the U.S. Senate was to stand up for Native American children by making sure they receive the support and resources they need to reach their full potential. In June 2015, Heitkamp’s bill unanimously passed in the Senate, and just days later it was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.

These federal funds are authorized by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Pennington County Democrats call for renaming of Harney Peak

Rapid City, SD (September 22, 2015) – On September 22, 2015, the Pennington County Democratic Party passed a resolution calling for the renaming of Harney Peak, the highest mountain in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The resolution, entitled “PENNINGTON COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT FOR RENAMING HARNEY PEAK TO ‘BLACK ELK PEAK,’” encourages the U.S. Board of Geographic Names to approve the formal request of Lakota elder Basil Brave Heart to change the name of Harney Peak to Black Elk Peak.

The resolution states that public comments received by the U.S. Board of Geographic Names included support of the name change by a descendent of General William S. Harney and a descendent of Little Thunder, a leader of a Lakota village destroyed by Harney in 1855. The resolution further states that the existing name of the peak is highly offensive to Native people.

Historian Eric Zimmer, a doctoral candidate at the University of Iowa and a research fellow at the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, provides historical background regarding General Harney, after whom the peak is currently named.

Zimmer notes that Harney “likely never set foot on the mountain. Harney’s actions before and during his time in the Black Hills, moreover, were deplorable under any standard of human decency. While living in St. Louis in 1834, Harney murdered a slave child named Hannah. He was well known for his short temper, and historians have surmised that the girl’s only transgression may have been as minor as misplacing the soldier’s keys. Even in the antebellum South, the attack sparked a public outrage and Harney was indicted for murder. He was ultimately acquitted because, in the repulsive logic of their time, he was a decorated white soldier and she a forgettable slave girl.”

“Harney,” Zimmer continues, then “resumed his military career. Over the years, Harney fought against American Indians in Florida and Illinois, and later against Mexican forces during the US–Mexico War. But it was his exploits at Ash Hollow along Nebraska’s Blue Water Creek that earned Harney the nicknames ‘Mad Bear’ and ‘Woman Killer’ by regional Lakotas.

Following the 1854 Grattan incident, the Army sent Harney to arrest the Lakotas. On the morning of September 2, 1855, Harney’s forces found the Natives camped along Blue Water Creek. Tribal leaders again attempted peace, but Harney ordered an attack that killed eighty-six Lakotas, more than forty of whom were women and children. Aided by two Howitzer machine guns, the soldiers launched their assault then pursued on horseback.”

Changing the name of Harney Peak would follow the historic renaming of North America’s highest mountain, “Mt. McKinley,” to its indigenous name, Denali. President Obama announced that change last month.

The Pennington County Democrats will transmit their Resolution to Mr. Lou Yost, Executive Secretary of the US Board on Geographic Names, Domestic Names Committee by the September 30, 2015 public comment deadline. The public can submit comment, as well, to

Mr. Lou Yost, Executive Secretary US Board on Geographic Names/Domestic Names Committee

523 National Center

Reston, VA 20192-0523

Please comment by September 30, 2015 or via email at

Murder-suicide linked to Indian education grant in SD – September 24, 205 – An apparent murder and suicide of six people in South Dakota is being linked to millions of dollars in federal education funds.

Authorities believe Scott Westerhuis shot his wife and four children before setting their home on fire and turning the gun on himself. The deaths occurred last Thursday in the city of Platte.

The incident came one day after the state Department of Education refused to renew a $4.3 million education grant to a company where Westerhuis served as the business manager, the Associated Press reported. The money came from the federal GEAR UP program, which is designed to help low-income students, including Indian students.

Westerhuis was apparently not Indian. But he was registered as an agent for American Indian Institute for Innovation and the Oceti Sakowin Education Consortium, the AP reported.

Both organizations received GEAR UP funding through Mid-Central Educational Cooperative, the company where Westerhuis and his wife worked. Records show that Westerhuis and his wife also were employees of both organizations, the AP reported.

The state Department of Education used Mid-Central as the sub-contractor for the GEAR UP funds. A 2015 review by the state Department of Legislative Audit turned up numerous problems with the handling of those funds.

According to the audit, two "senior advisors" at Mid-Central failed to document their work even though Mid-Central charged the state $32,570.83 for the services of those advisors. One of those advisors was identified by The Pierre Capital Journal as Keith Moore, the state's former Indian education director and the former head of the Bureau of Indian Education.

Editorials –

Sota guest editorial –


 (Editor’s note: We’ve run this poem before, but the Meth crisis continues to grow in many places. Unfortunately, one of those places is right here on the Lake Traverse Reservation.)

"My Name: "Is Meth"

I destroy homes, I tear families apart, take your children, and that's just the start.

I'm more costly than diamonds, more precious than gold,

The sorrow I bring is a sight to behold.

If you need me, remember I'm easily found,


I live all around you - in schools and in town

I live with the rich; I live with the poor,

I live down the street, and maybe next door.

I'm made in a lab, but not like you think,

I can be made under the kitchen sink.


In your child's closet, and even in the woods,

If this scares you to death, well it certainly should.

I have many names, but there's one you know best,

I'm sure you've heard of me, my name is crystal meth.


My power is awesome; try me you'll see,

But if you do, you may never break free.

Just try me once and I might let you go,

But try me twice, and I'll own your soul.


When I possess you, you'll steal and you'll lie,

You do what you have to -- just to get high.

The crimes you'll commit for my narcotic charms

Will be worth the pleasure you'll feel in your arms,

your lungs your nose.


You'll lie to your mother; you'll steal from your dad,

When you see their tears, you should feel sad.

But you'll forget your morals and how you were raised,

I'll be your conscience, I'll teach you my ways.


I take kids from parents, and parents from kids,

I turn people from God, and separate friends.

I'll take everything from you, your looks and your pride,

I'll be with you always -- right by your side.


You'll give up everything - your family, your home,

Your friends, your money, then you'll be alone.

I'll take and take, till you have nothing more to give,

When I'm finished with you, you'll be lucky to live.


If you try me be warned - this is no game,

If given the chance, I'll drive you insane.

I'll ravish your body, I'll control your mind,

I'll own you completely, your soul will be mine.


The nightmares I'll give you while lying in bed,

The voices you'll hear, from inside your head.

The sweats, the shakes, the visions you'll see,

I want you to know, these are all gifts from me.


But then it's too late, and you'll know in your heart,

That you are mine, and we shall not part.

You'll regret that you tried me, they always do,

But you came to me, not I to you.


You knew this would happen, many times you were told,

But you challenged my power, and chose to be bold.

You could have said no, and just walked away,

If you could live that day over, now what would you say?


I'll be your master, you will be my slave,

I'll even go with you, when you go to your grave.

Now that you have met me, what will you do?

Will you try me or not? It's all up to you.


I can bring you more misery than words can tell,

Come take my hand, let me lead you to hell."

Sota guest editorial –

Open letter to the Oyate

On Friday, September 18th 2015, I attended the Chairman's hearing and was surprised to see only about 80 people there, I was expecting 400-500 to attend and support the Chairman's concern for the drug problem we have on the Reservation.

Apparently the people and two Council members that voted against the Chairman don't concern themselves with the problem. I commend the five Council members who voted for the Chairman's reinstatement.

They must have seen the drug problem we have as I see it at the Sisseton-Wahpeton Housing Authority.

The past year we had 56 move outs and 50 tested positive for drugs.

That is 90% of the units! That's pretty bad.

The cost of cleaning and re-painting the drug infested house with Meth paint is expensive. It puts a great burden on our budget; we barely get by as it is.

Another concern is the health of the maintenance staff that work in the environment on a daily basis. Will they face health problems later in life?

We need everybody to get behind the Chairman in his and our fight against this formidable enemy.

Ephriam Redearth, SWHA.

Sisseton SD.

Brief editorial comments from the editor’s desk –

On and Off the Lake Traverse Reservation

There are hidden costs to the suspension and attempted removal of Chairman Renville from office.

The few dozen Oyate upset by their own, and their family members having been subjected to the drug testing, caused a chain reaction.

Rather than filing grievances for being tested in a way not provided for in the Tribe’s personnel policies, they vented at their District meetings. And two of the Districts called for removal. A third called for suspension.

Yes, they had a right to complain.

And all of Council listened.

Then the Chairman and his staff were suspended from their offices.

For two weeks.

From September 4 until September 18, when Council reinstated Bruce Renville to office by a majority vote.

Hidden costs?

We are aware of only a few of the initiatives placed on hold during those days.

But they are of vital importance to the health, well-being and safety of the Oyate. And their economy.

Something to consider.

Another consideration: Please heed Etta Jo Marks. For how many, many years has she been saying get to your District meetings?

It takes more than a handful of people to weigh in on matters that involve all Tribal members.


The numbers shared by Ephriam Redearth, in his open letter/one of our guest editorials this week, are shocking.

Did you read them also?

Out of 56 move outs from Tribal housing this past year, 50 tested positive for drugs.

We remember high statistics from our SWO Grassroots Solutions meetings in past reports from Housing and from Crystal Owen in her former capacity as Meth Prevention Coordinator. So many units tested positive for Meth, fewer for Cocaine.

At the Elderly Board’s second Meth forum, John Cloud told about his recent and on-going investigation to locate his missing daughter how Meth is dealt in the open.

He said he has seen the dealing on casino property, in housing units, and on the street.

This is not a small matter … it is an epidemic … it is a crisis.


The nearly $1 billion federal settlement sounds great!

And the SWO Tribe is in line to receive some of that money – how much, we don’t know. Have not seen a detailed list.

But remember this.

The settlement remains subject to approval in federal district court.

That said, however, it’s a good chance or the Administration would not have released the deal to the media last week.


Please read our SWO Mni Wiconi report this week, and plan to attend the public meeting on October 12th with our attorney Scott Michael Moore of New York.

He is the international attorney who will be representing the group of Oyate plaintiffs to protect their right to protect water from their aquifers and to protect against environmental contamination.

Scott will be basing litigation on treaty rights.

Come, learn about the exploitation of your water and contamination of your ground and water.

The public meeting is tentatively scheduled at the Sisseton Wahpeton College omniciye tipi.

You will be given an opportunity to join this multi-plaintiff suit.

Note this is on Native American Day, Monday, the 12th.

Details will be published in next week’s Sota.


Elder's Meditation:

"No one likes to be criticized, but criticism can be something like the desert wind that, in whipping the tender stalks, forces them to strike their roots down deeper for security." -- Polingaysi Qoyawayma, HOPI

You move toward and become that which you think about. Creating a vision is what guides our lives. If we get off track with our vision, then we experience conflict. Conflict is nature's way of telling us we are not in harmony. Criticism can be a way for one human being to help another. Often our Elders will give us criticism. This feedback is intended to be helpful. Criticism from our Elders helps us grow strong.

Great Spirit, today, if I need it, please provide me positive criticism.


Words to consider (or, perhaps not!):

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain - and most fools do. Dale Carnegie

If you don't know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else. Laurence J. Peter (1919 - 1988)

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)

Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else's can shorten it. Cullen Hightower

When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' Theodore Roosevelt (1858 - 1919)

That you may retain your self-respect, it is better to displease the people by doing what you know is right, than to temporarily please them by doing what you know is wrong. William J. H. Boetcker

Beware of no man more than yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us. G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936)


The Sota is always looking for news of the Oyate.

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

For submission deadlines and other information, see below:

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

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

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

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

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

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

-- CDF

Obituaries –

Services for Garry Duwayne Crowe

Garry Duwayne Crowe (Hupahu Duta), Hunkpati/Sisitonwan Dakota, was born April 5, 1941 at Owl Lake, Sisseton SD to Cecil Crowe & Stella Rencountre.

Garry grew up at Owl Lake, Crow Creek & Pierre, SD. He was raised by his maternal grandparents & his older uncles helped raise him. Julia Yellowrobe also watched over him for a time. He was schooled at Immaculate Conception with his uncle Curtis. He attended Aberdeen Central. He graduated with his GED at Butner, NC in 2012. He was selected at GED student of the year at that time.

One of Garry's favorite song was "Shining Star" and Denver Broncos were his team.

Kimberly Reit was born to him and Kathy Fox. He married Marlene Johnson in June 1968 and Twin Forrest was born to them. Derrick Beau Weston was born to him and Rodricka Rouse. Dustin Cheyenne was born to him and Alexis Tiyona. His hunka daughter Jamie Crazy Bull after his best friend Koda passed, he promised he would watch over her.

Garry & family moved to Dallas, TX in 1968 where he worked for a trucking company, then to Denver, CO where he worked as a diesel mechanic. Then moved to LA, CA where he worked in construction. After moving back to South Dakota, Gary worked for the Lower Brule 81A. He then became manager of the Fort Thompson Complex with the Crow Creek Tribe. He drove truck in Clark, SD.

Garry ran for Crow Creek Tribal Chairman in 2004 or 2006 where he was narrowly defeated. He was Crow Creek Tribal Treaty member as well as Crow Creek Tribal Historical monitor. May 2015 Garry prayed for healing/good health of his people at the Horse Ceremony at Crow Creek. He was a proud AIM supporter and his flag was flown during his last ride back from Chamberlain to Fort Thompson, South Dakota.

Surviving him: (children) Kim Reit, Dell Rapids SD, Torin Crowe and Jamie Crazy Bull, (grandchildren) Breanna Crowe, Sioux Falls, SD, Evan King, AZ, Makayia Medicine Crowe, Tori Crowe, Justin & Listella Arcoren, Beau Gemma Crowe, Katana, Gary Jobe, Dustin Cheyenne II, Lakota Cheyenne, Rosebud SD, (uncles) Thurlow Ross, (aunts) Geraldine Rencountre, Enemy Swim, Silvia Crowe, Kathleen Pomani, Ethelreda Bad Moccasin, Esther Ross, (cousins) Eileen, Nina, Sharen, Carole, Douglas Jr., Gayle, Bonnis, Jody, Robert, Jerry, Rhonda, Evelyn, Leroy, Belinda, Lana, Debra, Mona, Ella, Katherine, Richard Butch, Cindy Lou, Curtis Jr., Misty, Virgil, Kathy, Alan, James, Wanita, Louis Jr, Randy, Kenneth. His other koda Neil Cody Russell.

Preceding him in death: His parents, grandparents Bert Rencountre & Margaret Noble, Isaac Crowe & Lillian LaMonte, sons, Derrick & Dustin, (uncles) Douglas Sr, Aaron PeeWee, Whitney I, Antoine Jack, Kenneth Joe, Weberly Johnny. Mugs, Richard Chico Traversie, Louis Crowe Sr, (cousins) Allen, Margie, Wanda, Burton "Ceske, Robin Rencountre, Richard Traversie Jr, Everette, Candice, (neice/nephews) Stella Spider, Michael Rencountre, Nathaniel Long, Justin Drapeau, Perry Heminger Jr., Rachel Rencountre, (grandchildren) Bishop Sazue & Richard Pease Jr. His best friends Chuck Fallis, Marvin Drapeau Sr & Paul Rouse preceded him.

The great loss to his children/grandchildren was his greatest regret as he revered each one of them. But we didn't lose Garry as he left his legacy of them for us. The second greatest loss is Garry was the last fluent Dakota speaker of the Rencountre Tiyospaye.

Thank you for being our dad, love, your son Torin. You are loved and always remembered. Garry was a kind hearted Dakota who loved to help people and loved every single one of his family. His motto "Forgive one another We lore and miss you more that you know, love your grandchildren.

 Wake services were held Tuesday and Wednesday, and funeral service Thursday, September 17, 2015 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Fort Thompson, SD.

Traditional services were led by Galen Drapeau Jr. (Yankton) and Wilfred Keeble (Hunkpati) NAC.

Drum groups: Nape Luta/Duta and Bad Nation.

Casket bearers: Justin Arcoren, Virgil Crowe, Verdell Rouse, Jerome Attikai, Dustin Hawk, Charlie Long Crow, Ronnie Rencountre.

Honorary pallbearers: Dan Adamson, Rodrika Rouse, Eleanor Dunn, Ronnie McBride, Ella Rencountre, Janice/Louis Adrian, Althea and Ben Westerman, Thurlow Ross, Faith Sazue, Marlene Crowe, Joseph McBride, Doug Rencountre, Ethelreda and Bernard Bad Moccasin, Jeanene Crazy Bull, Rose Drapeau, Florence Hill, Virgil Crowe, Richard Rencountre.

Services held for Dennis Enoch

Funeral service for Dennis M. Enoch Jr., 58, of Sisseton, SD were held last Wednesday morning, September 23, 2015 at the Long Hollow District Center, Long Hollow, SD with the Episcopal Lay Readers officiating.

Pianist was Kaye Burshiem.

Pallbearers were Timothy A. Max Jr. (TJ), Joshua D. Max, Maurice (Ruffy) Johnson, William Ryan, Dennis J. Hisgun (DJ), Daniel Necklace, Daniel (Butch) Williams, and Charlie Deegan.

Honorary Pallbearers were “All of his friends and relatives” and Jackie, David, and Darrell White, Elwood Grey Buffalo Jr. (EJ), and Kevin Cabella.

Interment is in the Max Family Cemetery, Long Hollow, SD.

An all-night wake service was held Tuesday at the District Center.

The Cahill Funeral Chapel., Sisseton, SD was in charge of arrangements.

Dennis Melvin Enoch Jr. was born on April 5, 1957 in Sisseton, SD to Dennis Enoch Sr. and Norma Hisgun.

He grew up and attended school in Sisseton, SD.

After his education he played drums for the band Peyote Dreams, and he raised his daughter.

He loved music, watching TV, especially the Minnesota Vikings games.

Dennis passed away on September 20, 2015 at a Fargo, ND Hospital.

Dennis is survived by one sister, Alvara Enoch of Sisseton, SD and one brother, Tim Max Sr. also of Sisseton, SD.

He was preceded in death by his parents, one daughter, Shalon A. Enoch, and his stepfather, Horace Max.

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.

Poem by Trinity L. Thompson –

“To Know Me”

To know me

is to judge me

and believe the things you hear,

but maybe there’s hope … not for me

but for those who don’t see clear


To know me

is to shed tears of both

happiness and sadness…

but to understand we all deal

with the madness,

in reflection I was blessed

with both a mother and father…

life is what it is why even bother,

this is all planned to perfection…

there’s no room, for interjection,

I’m not mad at the world

I’m lovin’ this journey

and all the questions to solve…

everybody stood back as they

watched me slowly evolve,

yea’ some were scared and even cried…

some knew they were safe

because in me, the warrior never died,

there I stood waiting to know me.


Written by Trinity L. Thompson

August 2, 2015

Hillary Clinton announces opposition to KXL, Native Leaders respond

SWO Dustina Gill comments on statement

At a town hall meeting in Iowa last week, Hillary Clinton finally gave her position on the Keystone XL pipeline, telling the crowd, “I oppose it. I oppose it because I don't think it's in the best interest of what we need to do to combat climate change.”

Clinton’s statement is being met with skepticism and guarded celebration by grassroots Native American leaders of the Oceti Sakowin, also known as the Great Sioux Nation. The pipeline has not received consent from the Oceti Sakowin tribal nations of the Great Plains to cross their treaty lands, it does not have legally permitted routes in South Dakota or Nebraska, and it has faced a growing opposition nationwide. Now, with Clinton joining fellow Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in opposition to this tar sands pipeline, all focus now lies on President Obama to deliver the final blow and reject the Keystone XL pipeline.

Gay Kingman, Executive Director of Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association Coalition of Large Tribes: "Tribal leaders of the Great Plains have long stood in opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline. We were disappointed when Hillary Clinton took a stand supporting KXL as Secretary of State but we are happy to hear of her changed position now opposing the tar sands pipeline. Hillary Clinton’s new stance reflects the clear facts that this pipeline is all risk with no rewards for the people of this land. Now, it is time for President Obama to end this debate once and for all and reject KXL."

Dallas Goldtooth, of Indigenous Environmental Network: “It is great to see Hillary Clinton finally make the right choice on Keystone XL. Her position switch on KXL is a direct testament to the sustained action and movement of our frontline Indigenous communities along this pipeline route. She once stood against Oceti Sakowin people on this issue, now she sings a different tune. We, along with our allies, made this happen. Now it is President Obama's turn see the writing on the wall and reject this dirty tar sands pipeline, once and for all.”

Oyate Wahacanka Woecun (Shield the People), Rosebud Sioux Tribe: “We recognize the importance of Hillary Clinton renouncing and opposing the Keystone XL pipeline. KXL will negatively impact our cultural, historical and burial sites; it will be a major environmental, public health and safety hazard, and most importantly it will be a threat to the non-negotiable rights of our women and children. President Obama, time to act, reject Keystone XL.”

Faith Spotted Eagle, of Ihanktonwan Treaty Council spokesperson: “Hillary's switched opinion on KXL is a plus for our climate change efforts, however, given her previous support of this pipeline, our celebratory reaction as Oceti Sakowin people remains guarded. Hillary is like sand cherries to us, moving in whatever direction the strongest wind is blowing . She knows how to harvest votes. It’s ok though, we from the Oceti Sakowin appreciate her new position on Keystone XL. Mr. Obama, reject the pipeline now.”

Waniyetuopi Bud Lone Eagle, Sr., Pte Ospaye Headsman: “Hillary Clinton's announcement that she opposes the Uncekila Sapa (Black Serpent), aka the Keystone XL pipeline, is another coup counted on TransCanada, and other environmental terrorist corporations. However, only when the Presidential permit is denied and the project scrapped in it's entirety can we claim victory over the Uncekila Sapa. When that day comes I would personally invite our allies to a victory celebration in my home, Bridger, South Dakota, a frontline community in this fight against KXL.”

Byron Buffalo, Pt'e Ospaye Headsman: “Hillary Clinton, your stance opposing Keystone XL pipeline is encouraging yet is met with skepticism. The Indigenous people of America stand strong against the Black Snake known as KXL. We implore you to not only voice your opposition but to actively seek ways to stop the climate destroying corporations that believe continued mutilation of our earth is the only way progress can be made. All we have this one earth, we must ALL protect it, for we, ALL living beings, are truly ALL related. Mitakuye Oyasin.”

Greg Grey Cloud, of Wica Agli: “Hillary Clinton is just now realizing that foreign tar sands crude, by way of the Keystone XL pipeline, is NOT for the American people. However, I see yet another political ploy taken as a wrongful gain to run for president. I reserve my celebration for the moment President Obama takes action and rejects the permit for KXL.”

Dustina Gill, Community Advocate, Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota: "Hillary Clinton’s recent stance against KXL attests to the threat this pipeline poses and highlights the efforts of numerous organizations and citizens of the Oceti Sakowin who have dedicated themselves to this fight against the tar sand pipeline. Those efforts have been critical in making this a national issue and getting presidential candidates on board with the climate movement. Now I too, like thousands of others, anxiously await the President’s decision to reject this pipeline."

35 years and counting

By Richie Richards

Native Sun News Staff Writer

Sioux Falls, SD –The law does not forgive a person who is in a blackout during the commitment of a crime in South Dakota, especially when the victim is viciously beaten to death.

In 1983, George Blue Bird, an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, beat a retired rancher, Herb Tech (83) to death in his home in Martin. After a long day of drinking in Martin, Blue Bird and his mother Lenora had gone to Herb Tech’s home. This is where mother and son’s version of the events of that fateful evening separate.

Blue Bird claims he was struck by Tech with a wooden object when asked to leave his home and in his retaliation, although he claimed not to remember, is when Tech died during the fight that ensued.

Originally charged along with Blue Bird, his mother Lenora, taking a plea deal, testified against her son. She claimed she witnessed her son punch and beat Tech until he lay lifeless. And that she returned with her son to check on Tech, when they noticed he was in fact dead, Blue Bird attempted to burn down the home to hide the evidence. The autopsy showed that Tech died of “blunt force trauma” to his head, chest and abdomen.

Blue Bird was 24 at the time of his arrest. In an interview with Native Sun News in June, Blue Bird discussed his life as a young adult, free man.

“I partied a lot. I used to like to do heroin and other drugs. I drank a lot too,” he said. “On the night I got in trouble and ended up here, I don’t remember much.” This incident led to a subsequent guilty plea to first-degree manslaughter and a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for Blue Bird. Although Blue Bird has exhausted all of his appeals this incident which landed the Lakota man from Allen in prison for nearly his entire adult life, he hopes to have his sentence commuted someday.

During Blue Bird’s speech at the Cultural Conference and Pow wow at the Jameson Annex in June, he said, “I’m tired of being here. I want to go home now. I want to go and be with my family before I die… I want to eat fried potatoes and onions. I want some raw kidneys with salt… I want my freedom again.”

These days, Blue Bird spends his time doing his artwork, teaching others Lakota history, and providing mentorship and guidance to younger inmates.

Along with fellow inmate, Robert Horse (Lakota), Blue Bird would like to work on a documentary about life inside the South Dakota state prison system in hopes of dissuading young Native Americans from choosing a life of crime. “This is no place for young Natives,” he says.

The difference between now and the time Blue Bird was sentenced, is the social activism and societal awareness which is putting attention on justice reform across the country. This would include focus on the harsher sentences for Native Americans in South Dakota. As of Aug. 31, 2015, the Native American population in the SD state prison system totaled 992 for both male and female inmates. The total population for white inmates, both male and female, was 2,001 at this same time, according to the South Dakota Department of Corrections website.

For a state whose Native American population hovers right around 9%, the Native American population in the state prison system is at 41%, according to the information provided by SD Department of Corrections website.

This is an extremely high incarceration rate for Native Americans compared to other ethnic groups in the state.

George Blue Bird is one of thousands of Native American men and women in South Dakota, who claim to be the victims of a racist justice system which historically has been giving tribal members stiffer sentences and harsher probation terms.

Blue Bird may not legally be forgiven by the laws of the state, but his hopes of being forgiven by the governing body of the state of South Dakota are still a possibility.

Local Arts Fellowship recipient to have exhibit, reception at Nicollet Tower

Paintings and photography by Alexis Monroe will be displayed in the interpretive center at the Nicollet Tower, beginning September 30 with a reception to follow on Saturday, October 3 from 1-4 pm.

Monroe earned a fellowship in March via National Artist Teacher Fellowship program through Boston Arts Academy with which she traveled to Italy in June to practice plein aire painting.

Artwork at this exhibit is inspired from her overseas experience.

In addition to the reception, Alexis will be present at the tower during the Journey to the Source Art Crawl on October 2, 3, and 4 during crawl hours.

Please visit for more information about the NATF program.

HUD awards $12.4 million to 18 tribes to address mold in their communities

SWO Tribe not included in awards

Washington, DC – September 21, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today it has awarded $12.4 million to 18 tribal communities in 13 states to remove and prevent dangerous mold in more than 1,000 homes. This is the largest amount to date awarded by HUD for this purpose. The grants are being made available through HUD’s Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) program, which addresses a wide variety of community development and affordable housing activities.

These grants will support mold remediation in housing owned or operated by tribes, tribally designated housing entities, or tribal organizations, with priority given to units with the most evidence of mold. (See chart below for list of winners.)

“Every family in America deserves a safe and healthy place to call home,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “These mold remediation grants demonstrate HUD’s commitment to partnering with Native American communities to improve tribal housing and create healthy communities where families can thrive.”

All the grantees will address moisture issues by using construction materials and techniques known to resist mold, and ensuring that staff or contractors use safe practices for identifying and remediating mold. They will also educate residents on ways to prevent mold from reoccurring in the future.

For example, the Blackfeet Tribe in Montana will address mold problems in 16 homes with wooden construction, by building and sealing new concrete foundations in the homes, installing exterior drain systems and installing sump pumps.  The White Earth Housing Authority in Minnesota will use its grant to repair 21 homes that were originally constructed without proper ventilation. It will also work with Indian Health Services and the tribe’s own Natural Resources Department to prevent future mold problems. And the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe in Alaska will use its grant to assess and remediate mold in 20 units with priority given to elders, households with children, and tribal members with asthma.  Many of the homes in this region were not designed for the damp, southeast Alaska climate but were prefabricated out of state.

The grant funding was first made available in Fiscal Year 2014 through a set-aside to remediate and prevent mold in housing units owned or operated by tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Entities.  Last year, nine tribes received grants to remove unhealthy levels of mold, including the Havasupai Tribe in Arizona where mold is a common problem partly because of frequent flooding in low-lying areas of the Grand Canyon.

Established in 1977, HUD’s ICDBG program assists Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages to meet their community development needs.  Federally recognized Indian tribes, bands, groups or nations (including Alaska Indian, Aleuts and Eskimos,) Alaska Native villages, and eligible tribal organizations compete for this funding. A second more general round of ICDBG funding will be announced later this year.

HUD administers six programs that are specifically targeted to American Indian, Alaska Native, or native Hawaiian individuals and families, and federally recognized tribal governments.  In Fiscal Year 2015 HUD received approximately $732 million to fund programs to support housing and development initiatives in American Indian, Alaska Native, and native Hawaiian communities.  Through innovative programming, American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments have created sustainable and community-driven solutions to their housing and community development challenges.

South Dakota:

Oglala Sioux (Lakota) Housing Authority, Pine Ridge, $800,000.

Yankton Sioux Tribal Housing Authority, Wagner, $658,858.

North Dakota:

Spirit Lake Housing Corp., Fort Totten, $800,000.

Animal-human infection connection

By Richard P. Holm MD

One early morning, I was walking toward the back door on my way to work when suddenly there was a big bat flying around the breakfast room, swooping around like in a Dracula movie. As it came near me, I reactively swung at it and like hitting a Nerf ball, it was thrown across the room landing on the kitchen floor a little stunned. I closed all doors to the rest of the house, locked open the exit outside, washed my hands thoroughly, and shooed the creature out into the early morning darkness.

Bats are a marvel of evolutionary diversity with something like 47 different species living just in the U.S and important by their contribution to our ecosystem. Experts believe that these winged animals first developed powered flight and later the ability to chirp and recognize their echo and thus their location. This capacity for radar-like-echolocation became so refined as to allow flying at night or in a cave without light. Bats eat their weight in bugs every night, carry seeds to reforest depleted wooded areas, and pollinate plants.

But one percent of these little flying mammals carry a deadly virus called Rabies. Stricken with Rabies, the victim, whether bat, dog, skunk, cat, or human, turns confused, agitated, aggressive, and infectious. Although not like a movie Zombie, which has returned from the dead, those bitten by one infected with this age-old condition, left untreated will certainly die.

So, after striking down the bat, did I need to receive Rabies Post Exposure Prophylaxis (RPEP) to protect me from coming down with Rabies? This involves four doses of Rabies vaccine over 14 days, and one injection of active immune globulin. Checking out the last 15 cases over five years in the U.S., nine were from bat exposure, four from dogs, one from a fox, and one unknown. This left me concerned.

The CDC recommendations advise having RPEP if there has been a bite or an exposure to saliva into eyes, nose, mouth, or open wound. This was unlikely in my case and official recommendations say hand-washing is extremely important.

So I did not seek out RPEP as I did not receive a bite, the bat was acting normally, and I washed my hands well after touching the bat, although I did have a few restless and on edge nights.

Still, don’t let me bite you if I start acting like a Zombie.


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

Youth, school activities highlights –

Education watch on the Lake Traverse Reservation

Highlights of 2015 Wambdi Homecoming

Congratulations to Wambdi 2015 homecoming royalty Wicasta Terrell Cook and Winyan Persephone Eastman.

From Winona Burley and the TZTS staff:

Pidamaya to everyone who participated in the Homecoming Parade!

Whether you came to watch, cheer, collect candy or cruise down the runway showing your best Wambdi Pride.

This year’s theme was Video Games. There were so many creative and unique floats, the votes were so close! We appreciate your hard work and amazing creativity, the parade was so fun. It was such a beautiful day, thank you for sharing it with us! On behalf the Tiospa Zina Tiospaye, Pidamaya!

Middle School/High School Results:

Best Float: High School, Senior Class; Middle School, 6th grade class.

Most spirit: High School, Junior Class; Middle School, 7th grade class.

Crowd Favorite: High School, Freshman Class; Middle School, 8th grade class.

Parade results for community entries:

Most Cultural: SWO Youth Department.

Most Creative: Coteau des Prairies Hospital.

Crowd Favorite: Sisseton Wahpeton College.

Judges’ Favorite: Dakota Connection Casino.

The Homecoming football game was a great contest, but the Wambdi team just couldn’t quite break down the Tigers.

Final score was 36-38. But as one fan, Miranda Rodlund put it, “Our boys came up short but played their hearts out til the end.”

They sure made the visiting players work hard for the win.

Homecoming: TZ vs Ipswich game

By Garrett Priest

Scoring plays:

Malvin Keoke 17 yd rushing TD 2pt conversion complete

Jarrod Appenay 23 yd TD catch from Dion Iyarpeya 2pt conversion no good

Malvin Keoke 1 yd TD run 2pt conversion complete

Dion Iyarpeya 63 yd TD run 2pt conversion no good

Gabe Akipa 5 yd TD run 2pt conversion complete

Passing: 9/17 for 165 yards

Rushing: 40 attempts for 363 yards

Receiving: 9 receptions for 165

Individual leaders:

Dion Iyarpeya: 9/16 passing for 165 yards, 8 rush attempts for 142 yards

Gabe Akipa: 13 rushing attempts for 83 yards

Jarrod Appenay: 5 rush attempts for 77 yards, 6 receptions for 115 yards

Defense leaders:

Brandon Kohl 9 tackles, 1 assist, and 2 sacks

Terrell Cook 7 tackles, 5 assists

Matt German 7 tackles, 2 assists

Jarrod Appenay 6 tackles 2 assists

Lonnie Rodlund 6 tackles 4 assists

Jesse Abraham 5 tackles 2 assists

Back and forth game that ended Ipswich/Edmunds Central 38-Tiospa Zina 36. Ipswich scored with 9 seconds left in the game.


Watch for Wambdi Homecoming Week photos next week in your Sota.

Game stats for TZ vs McLaughlin

By Garrett Priest

The Wambdi overpowered McLaughlin last week on the football field, with a final score of 53-0.

Scoring plays:

Jarrod Appenay 83 yard kickoff return for TD

Micah Eastman 12 yard TD reception

Jarrod Appenay 82 yard TD run

Brandon Kohl 6 yard TD run

Brandon Kohl 34 yard TD reception

Jarrod Appenay 35 yard TD reception

Terrell Cook 5 yard TD run

Malvin Keoke 15 yard TD run

Team stats:

Passing: 3/7 for 81 yards

Rushing: 22 attempts for 250 yards

Individual stats:

Jarrod Appenay rushing 2 attempts for 89 yards

Malvin Keoke rushing 7 attempts for 74 yards

Defense leaders:

Robert Laughter: 7 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 fumble recovery

Jesse Abraham: 5 tackles, 1 assist, and 3 sacks

Terrell Cook: 5 tackles and 3 assists

Friday is Cooking Day for FACE parents

By Renee Kwasniewski

ESDS Adult Learning Center Instructor

Enemy Swim Day School FACE parents, Allan Owen and Shannon Keoke’s Friday project was cooking.

Kari Ewalt provided the supplies, the recipe and guidance to prepare alfredo sauce.

Every other Friday is cooking day for FACE adults!!

To join the FACE group stop by the school or call us at 605-947-4605 ext 3080.

ESDS Anti-Bullying effort

Submitted by Rebecca Dargatz

School Community Director

Enemy Swim Day School works with all students to help them recognize, intervene, and prevent bullying.

All classes have a weekly meeting to work together on learning the skills needed to handle and prevent bullying situations.

IncrediBOWLS team practicing hard

Submitted by Rebecca Dargatz

School Community Director

The Enemy Swim Day School Bowling Team "The IncrediBOWLS" have been practicing hard after school!

Art, history will drive school residency

Plankinton artist Altman Studeny will conduct workshops for local students as part of the South Dakota Arts Council's Artist in Schools & Communities program. The artist will work with students in grades six through eight during the residency at Sisseton Middle School from September 28 - October 2.

During the weeklong residency, student will explore the history of their community through often overlooked channels for gathering research, including local newspaper archives, old yearbooks, local museums, family photo albums and oral history research with parents and grandparents. The art history component will be shared through pop culture references of the present, from movies to comics to advertising. Students will create works of art centered on a local historical event, whether a devastating drought or an ice cream social. A mixed-media collaborative exhibit will end the week.

The fourth generation to work on his family's weekly newspaper, Studeny learned early the history of a community is bound to its present. He discovered the rugged individualism that gave birth to South Dakota's hometowns also nurtured the unique characteristics of those communities in their 21st century incarnations. When Studeny attended college at Northern State University, he combined his interest in research with his studies in art history. Studeny's work was showcased in the "Emerging Artist Spotlight" at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City and in his "Less Blue" senior exit review at NSU.

This program is sponsored by the Sisseton Arts Council and the Sisseto Public School District, with support provided by the South Dakota Arts Council with funds from the State of South Dakota, through the Department of Tourism and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Sioux Voices Club elects officers for 2015-16

Submitted by Joy Lohre

The Sioux Voices club has elected the new officers for the upcoming 2015/16 school year. On September 3rd 2015 the following students were elected as the 2015/16 Sioux Voices club officers and class representatives.

President: Fiona White Eagle.

Vice President: Katie Christopherson.

Secretary: Jasmine Anderson.

Senior class rep: Aron Haug.

Junior class rep: Chaunce Peltier.

Sophomore class rep: Benjamin Thompson.

Freshman class rep: Aliyah DuMarce.

Entries invited for Thunderbird Athletics Logo Contest

Bismarck, ND – UTN – United Tribes Technical College invites American Indian student artists to create a new logo for the college’s athletic teams.

The deadline is Friday, November 20 to submit entries in the Thunderbird Athletics Logo Contest.

The design selected will become a copyrighted image representing United Tribes Athletics. It will be used on uniforms, fan wearables and a wide range of branded athletic and college products.

The designer will receive a $1,000 award donated by the Spirit Lake Tribe and the Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara Nation, two of the college’s governing tribes.


Since 1984, United Tribes Technical College athletic teams have been known as the “Thunderbirds.” Three previous designs have been used to represent the image of this respected symbol in the spiritual beliefs and oral traditions of Great Plains tribes.

The Thunderbird is a powerful and sacred figure in the culture associated with certain forces of nature – the rain, thunder, lightning and wind – that possess the dual ability to destroy life and at once renew and nurture it.

At United Tribes Technical College the Thunderbird is held in highest esteem as a guiding symbol of the spirit of those involved in the college’s athletic programs.


Artists must be currently enrolled in high school or college and be a member of one of the five governing tribes of United Tribes Technical College: Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, Spirit Lake Tribe, Standing Rock Tribe, Three Affiliated Tribes of the Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara Nation or the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. A copy of the student’s current class schedule must be included with the entry form.


Colors used on entries must only be the school colors of United Tribes Technical College: red, black and white.

Artists may submit up to four different designs but the work submitted must be that of the artist submitting each entry. All submissions must be vector art and be in pdf, eps, or ai format.

Designs may be submitted in hard copy or as electronic files via e-mail.


Designs submitted will be judged on appearance, marketability and printability. The ability to reproduce the design in various formats and in various sizes will be a determining factor.

The design selected becomes the property of United Tribes Technical College. The college will retain ownership and copyright and may use the design in whole or in part.


For more information please contact Hunter Berg, United Tribes Athletic Director, 701-221-1361,

Thune’s Office accepting Spring internship applications

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

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

“Students who intern in a Senate office have a unique opportunity to experience our democratic process with a front-row seat to the action,” said Thune. “Interns gain valuable knowledge about both state and national issues and an understanding of the inner workings of a Senate office. I encourage all college students to consider applying for this rewarding experience.”

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

College students who are interested in interning in Senator Thune’s Washington, D.C., office should submit a resume and cover letter by Friday, October 30, 2015, to:

Senator John Thune Attn: Adam Wek

511 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510


By fax to: 202-228-5429


Or by email to:


College students who are interested in interning in Senator Thune’s Aberdeen, Rapid City, or Sioux Falls offices should submit a resume and cover letter by Friday, October 30, 2015, to:


Senator John Thune Attn: Robin Long

5015 South Bur Oak

Sioux Falls, SD 57108


Or by email to:


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

From Strip to Chip: Everything you need to know about the new generation of payment cards

By Nathaniel Sillin

If you've received a replacement for your credit or debit cards in the mail lately, take a closer look. That little gold chip on the front is going to make it tougher for thieves to steal your data.

By year-end 2015, Visa estimates that 63 percent of cards in American wallets will feature this new technology ( aimed at derailing counterfeit fraud. The new chip adds a unique, one-time code that changes every time you use your card to make an in-store payment. That automatic security code change makes your data nearly impossible to use to create a counterfeit card.

Counterfeit or "cloned" cards account for about two-thirds of in-store fraud to the tune of $3 billion, according to Boston-based research firm Aite Group. The transition to chip cards is expected to be nearly complete by year-end 2017.

You'll see very slight differences in using these cards. First, you'll need to insert a chip card into a new slot on built for chip cards and keep it there until your purchase is complete. You won't have to swipe traditional magnetic strip on the back anymore. You will still be able to sign, enter a PIN or just pay-and-go for everyday transactions as before. Just remember to take your card with you when the transaction is complete.

However, if you are currently using an old but unexpired card or if the business where you're doing a transaction doesn't have the upgraded chip card equipment, don't panic. The strip on the back of your card will continue to work with all card terminals for the foreseeable future.

For merchants – the collective name for the stores, restaurants and other businesses where you use credit and debit cards every day – the transition to chip cards is moving along as well. According to a recent survey by Visa, approximately 90 percent of business owners are aware of chip technology and about 70 percent have already upgraded their equipment or have plans to do so. Current estimates show that 47 percent of U.S. terminals will be able to read chip cards by the end of the year.

There's one more incentive for all businesses to get on board with chip card technology: Starting October 1, liability for some counterfeit fraud may shift from the card-issuing financial institutions to retailers unless they are able to accept and process chip card transactions.

For merchants, processing chip transactions will likely involve a hardware or software upgrade somewhat similar to upgrading a cellphone contract. In many cases, the terminal will be included in the cost of the service. About a third of merchant terminals are already chip card-capable and just need a software update to fully function.

For the smallest businesses, some low-cost options for upgrading card acceptance terminals can cost $100 or less. Square, for example, recently announced a new $49 card reader that accepts chip cards as well as mobile payments and they're giving away 250,000 of them to small business customers at no cost.

If you travel overseas regularly, you've probably already seen chip card technology in action. It's based on a global standard called EMV and is already at work in countries moving to cashless options for private and public goods and services.

One final note. While you're waiting for your new chip cards, you'll still be able to use your current strip-based credit cards in new machines under their zero liability fraud protection rules. However, debit card security rules are different, so it is best to check with your bank on their guidelines so you know your funds are secure.

Bottom line: The move from strip to chip cards will create a more secure environment for credit and debit card users. However, consumers will still need to keep their cards safe and confirm the accuracy of all their spending data.


Nathaniel Sillin directs Visa's financial education programs. To follow Practical Money Skills on Twitter:

Garden Corner

Submitted by Eric Hanssen

Browns Valley, Minnesota

Fall color is just near its peak in eastern South Dakota. The trigger for fall color is the decreasing day lengths followed by cold night temperatures. These are the cues trees used to begin the process of acclimating or preparing for winter. As part of this process deciduous trees begin to shed their leaves. Leaves do not just fall; they first develop an abscission layer at the base of the petiole (the leaf stalk). This abscission layer is formed by two layers of cells, a separation layer of thin walled cells that eventually break allowing the leaf to fall and a protective layer on the stem side of thick corky cells to seal the abscission point and prevent pathogens from entering. This corky layer of cells also slows the movement of water and elements into the leaf and also restricts the movement of sugars out of the leaf. This biological roadblock affects the development of the two main fall color groups, the reds and the yellows. Yellow pigments, primarily carotenoids but also lycopenes that are always present in the leaf but are masked by the green chlorophyll. As chlorophyll begins to break down in the fall with the restriction of water and elements the yellow begin to show through. The reds are due to the formation of anthocyanin. They result from the buildup of sugars in the leaf and these results in the bright reds. Fall color is at its best when we have a combination of sunny, mild days and cool – but not freezing – nights. Freezes can result in leaf browning rather than coloring and excessive rains in the fall reduce the warm sunny weather important in the formation of sugars. That is not an issue this year but the color might be less due to the dry weather causing leaves to drop before the color fully develops. Pines and spruce also have an autumn color change. At this time of year pines have their three-year old needles turn yellow and drop, with spruce it is their five to seven year old needles. This color change and shedding is sometimes greeted with alarm by homeowners who believe their tree is dying when it is just a normal seasonal process. This year the color is even more noticeable as the dry, sunny weather seems to make the older foliage turn almost a straw yellow before it is shed. Fall is upon us and we need to be thinking of winter. Remember now is the time to be watering your trees, not just before the soil freezes. We have not had had sufficient rains in much of the state this late summer and if you are in an area that has not received at least 3 inches of precipitation in the last month you may want to begin watering the trees, particularly the young, newly planted ones.

Watering now is the best way to reduce winter-burn and winter-kill. I expect there will be a lot of re-plants in windbreaks next spring if we have another open, dry winter.

This article comes from Professor John Ball, SDSU Forestry Specialist in his Pest Update publication available online at






CASE: D-15-707-528




And concerning: JOAN MAHPIYASNA, Petitioner.



NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Petitioner's request for a change of name from DANIEL SITTING HOLY MAHPIYASNA to DANIEL WARREN WILLIAMS shall be heard before the Honorable B.J. Jones, Judge of Tribal Court, in the Courtroom of the Sisseton Wahpeton Tribal Court at Agency Village, South Dakota at 2:30 P.M. on the 21st day of OCTOBER, 2015.

Dated this 17th day of September, 2015.


/s/ B.J. Jones, CHIEF JUDGE








CASE: D-15-704-525



And concerning: DESMONA CAMPBELL, Petitioner.



NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Petitioner's request for a change of name from LINCOLN STEVE SHEPHERD to LINCOLN STEVE KONGI shall be heard before the Honorable B.J. Jones, Judge of Tribal Court, in the Courtroom of the Sisseton Wahpeton Tribal Court at Agency Village, South Dakota at 10:30 A.M. on the 16th day of OCTOBER, 2015.

Dated this 17th day of September, 2015.


/s/ B.J. Jones, CHIEF JUDGE



Trading Post ads

Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate

Job Openings

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

Teacher, Early Head Start

Closing Date: October 2nd, 2015 @ 04:30 PM

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

Director, Office of Child Support

TANF Intake Specialist/Caseworker, ET Demo

Bus Driver (part-time), Head Start

Closing Date: October 9th, 2015 @ 04:30 PM

Survey CAD Technician, GIS

GIS Analysts, GIS

Open Until Filled

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


Tiospa Zina Tribal School

Employment Opportunities

2015-2016 School Year Vacancies:

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

Vacancy: High School English Teacher (Sign-on Bonus) Qualifications: Current South Dakota Certification meeting the Highly Qualified status for a High School English Teacher Opening Date: April 30, 2015 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: High School Science Teacher (Sign-on Bonus) Qualifications: Current South Dakota Certification meeting the Highly Qualified status for a High School Science Teacher Opening Date: April 30, 2015 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: Special Education Teacher (Secondary) (Sign-on Bonus) Qualifications: Current South Dakota Certification meeting the Highly Qualified status for a Special Education Teacher Preferred, will consider applicants with current South Dakota Certification meeting the Highly Qualified status per Secondary or Primary Education levels. Opening Date: April 30, 2015 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: Elementary Art Teacher (Sign-on Bonus) Qualifications: Current South Dakota Certification meeting the Highly Qualified status for an Elementary Art Teacher Opening Date: July 3, 2015 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: Elementary Teacher (Sign-on Bonus) Qualifications: Current South Dakota Certification meeting the Highly Qualified status for an Elementary Teacher Opening Date: August 10, 2015 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: Gymnasium Custodian Qualifications: GED or High School Diploma and 1 year directly related experience Opening Date: September 4, 2015 Closing Date: Open until filled

2015-2016 Coaching Vacancies:

For List of Coaching Positions Below: Proof of all SDHSAA coaching requirements at the time application is submitted. Requirements are to complete the following courses through the National Federation of High School Sports (NFHS): Fundamentals of Coaching, and First Aid and Safety for Coaches. Must also submit a letter of intent that answers the questions found on form Athletics Coaching Questionnaire.

OPENING DATE: April 17, 2015 CLOSING DATE: Open until filled

Assistant Girls Basketball Coach Junior High Volleyball Coach (*certifications not necessary for Junior High Volleyball Coach) Junior High Track Coach Assistant Wrestling Coach

2015-2016 Extra-Curricular Assignment Vacancies:

For List of Extra-Curricular Assignments Below: Applicants are required to have a GED/High School Diploma, be able to fundraise if applicable, identify and recruit students if applicable, meet on a regular basis if applicable, and perform the duties per assignment description (contact Human Resources for description information). OPENING DATE: May 1, 2015 CLOSING DATE: Open until filled

AISES Advisor Destination Imagination Advisor Junior Class Advisor (2) Senior Class Advisor (1) Technology Mentor (3-5)

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


Enemy Swim Day School


The Enemy Swim Day School has an immediate opening for a Para-Educator. Duties include assisting in the classroom, assisting the teaching staff, meeting with SpEd staff, reporting and other duties. The minimum of an AA degree and/or para pro assessment/certification is preferred or willing to work toward certification. Wage is dependent upon experience. Position is open until filled. Visit for an application and job description. Call (605) 947-4605 or (888) 825-7738 and ask for Virginia to inquire about the position. Applications may also be picked up in the administration office. Indian preference policies will be followed.



Sisseton Wahpeton College


Sisseton Wahpeton College has an opening for a part-time (up to 30 hours per week) Custodian in our Facilities Department. 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 is open until October 2, 2015. Visit our website for a complete job description and application or contact the HR office at 605-698-3966, ext. 1118.


Dakota Nation Gaming Enterprise

POSITION: General Manager

PROPERTY: Dakota Magic Casino, Hankinson, ND

REPORTS TO: Chief Executive Officer, Dakota Nation Gaming Enterprise


The General Manager (GM) works with Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Dakota Nation Gaming Enterprise (DNGE) by profitably managing the daily gaming and business operation of the Dakota Magic Casino; more specifically, to provide overall planning and management of profit centers and various support functions, to maximize departmental productivity and meet the growth objectives of the DNGE.

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS: B.S./B.A. degree in a business related major and five (5) years of upper management casino experience in a casino with an annual gross income of $100M or more or an A.A degree with 10 years of casino experience. All applicants must have a minimum of five (5) years experience in a management position in a class III gaming facility over the following departments: Slots, Table Games, Marketing, and Finance. Applicant must demonstrate the requisite experience, skills and abilities to perform the duties described herein, and that applicant is qualified in all respects to fulfill the obligations herein. Must be licensable by the SWO Gaming Commission. Must obtain a PMO Gaming License. Indian Preference may apply.

Closing date: October 19th, 2015 4 p.m. (CST)

Send resume to: Dakota Nation Gaming Enterprise, Heather Williams, Corporate Executive Assistant, 16849 102nd Street SE, Hankinson, ND 58041. Or by Email:

Any questions contact Heather at 701-634-3000 ext. 2426.



Dakota Magic Casino

Job Openings

Hotel Department:

Bellhop (2 Full-Time or Part-Time) Rotating Room/Laundry Attendant (Full-Time or Part-Time) 8:00 am to finish

Marketing Department:

VIP Ambassador (Full-Time or Part-Time) Rotating

Table Games Department:

Dealer (4 Full-Time or Part-Time) Rotating Pit Boss (2 Full-Time or Part-Time) Rotating

Closing Date: October 2, 2015 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):

SECURITY: SECURITY SERGEANT (1 Full-Time) ROTATING GENERAL FUNCTION: Supervises security personnel on shift. Safeguards company assets. Supervisor will assist Security Director in training officers. The security officer protects company assets and provides a safe environment for customers and employees. Exhibit a friendly, helpful and courteous manner when dealing with the customers and employees. Maintains security activities and performs credit transactions adhering to company, Tribal, State and Federal guidelines. Work closely with Casino & Hotel Management. REQUIREMENTS: Must have a high school diploma or G.E.D. equivalent. Must not have a felony on their record. Should have some type of law enforcement background. Supervisory experience is necessary, In-house security background will be considered. Must be physically fit and able to lift 40+ lbs. Capable of doing scheduling and administrative paperwork. Must obtain a Key Gaming License upon hire.

This position will close on October 8th 2015 at 4:00 pm.

Indian Preference will apply/EEO.

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

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


Dakota Sioux Casino & Hotel

Job Openings

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

FOOD SERVICE: FOOD SERVICE SUPERVISOR (1 FULL- TIME) GENERAL FUNCTION: Supervises and directs the overall functions of the Food Service Department on a specific shift, exhibits a friendly and courteous manner when dealing with customers and all food service personnel. REQUIREMENTS: High School Diploma or GED is required. Minimum of (4) years Lead Line Cook. Minimum of (2) years Kitchen Management/Supervisory position. Effective communication skills. Must be computer literate with proficiency in Excel. General Experience with: Inventory Management. Will be exposed to noise and tobacco smoke. Will be stooping, bending, standing for long periods of time, or lifting up to 50 lbs. Ability to with stand temperatures (hot/cold) while working in the food service facility. Will be required to work overtime, rotate shifts, work holidays and weekends. Ability to handle diverse situations and/or people. Must obtain an Employee/ Non Gaming License upon hire.

This position will close on October 1, 2015 at 4 pm.

Indian Preference will apply/EEO.

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

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


Dakota 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 September 24, 2015 at 4 pm.

Indian Preference will apply/EEO.

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

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


Dakota Sioux Casino & Hotel

Job Openings

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

FOOD SERVICE: FOOD SERVICE MANAGER (1 FULL- TIME). GENERAL FUNCTION: The purpose of this position is to supervise and direct the overall functions of the Food Service Department, exhibits a friendly and courteous manner when interacting with customers and fellow employees, and prepares necessary financial and narrative reports. REQUIREMENTS: AA Degree in Culinary Arts or AA Degree in Hospitality & Casino Management,          Experience Specific to: 5 years Restaurant Management is equivalent to an AA Degree. Effective communication skills. Must be computer literate with proficiency in Excel. General Experience with: Inventory Management. Ability to handle diverse situations and/or people. Must obtain an Employee/ Non Gaming License upon hire.

This position will close on October 9th, 2015 at 4 pm.

Indian Preference will apply/EEO.

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

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


Dakota Sioux Casino & Hotel

Job Openings

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

PORTER: PORTER (1 Full-Time ) ROTATING GENERAL FUNCTION: Serves as janitorial/housekeeping staff for guests and casino operations. REQUIREMENTS: Physical mobility throughout the facility and surrounding grounds. Able to lift 40 to 50 lbs. Must obtain Non Gaming License upon hire.

This position will close on October 2nd, 2015 at 4 pm.

Indian Preference will apply/EEO.

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

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


Dakota Connection Casino

Job Openings

C-Store Department:

Clerk/Cashier (1) full-time, rotating shifts, day, swing, graveyard, includes weekends & holidays. Excellent customer service skills; math skills essential; ability to operate necessary equipment; physical ability to lift moderate amounts of weight; previous experience working with money preferred; strong organizational skills managing various functions; dependable & available to work any & all shifts. Must be at least 21 years old & have a High School diploma or GED.

Deli Attendant (1) full-time, rotating shifts, day, swing, graveyard, includes weekends & holidays. Ability to operate necessary equipment. Physical ability to stand for long hours, clean, lift heavy objects up to 30 lbs., and restock inventory; 6 mos. Previous cooking experience preferred, 6 mos. working with the public. Knowledge of food preparation safety requirements. Must be dependable & available to work any and all shifts. Must be at least 18 years old and have a High School Diploma or GED.

Opening date: Thursday, September 24, 2015

Closing date: Wednesday, September 30, 2015 @ 4:00 p.m.

All positions will be exposed to noise & tobacco smoke

Indian preference will apply/EEO Employer.

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

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