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Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate: Want to re-read the Self-Governance articles from past issues of your Sota Iya Ye Yapi?

Whether or not the Tribe assumes administrative authority over your health services is a BIG DEAL. What do you know about it?

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Vol. 48 Issue No. 30

Anpetu Iyamni, Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Inside this Edition –

Donovan White appeals removal from Vice-Chairman post

Update on Dakota Magic renovation, Dakota Crossing grocery store, and Agency Village C-Store

SWC offers new, returning programs

Photo highlights from summer youth activities, including Kunsi's Garden at ESDS

"Sons of Tradition" training coming for teachers, youth coordinators, mentors

Reminder: Deadline to submit copy for consideration in the Sota is Friday noon

Dakota Crossing grocery store: Construction progress in pictures

Also photos of completed work at Agency Village C-Store

Here are photos as work progresses on the Tribe's new grocery store/c-store along Highway 10 on the east side of Sisseton. These photographs continue the Sota series updating Tribal members on their new grocery store. These photos, taken last Thursday, show the CENEX brand sign erected alongside the fuel pump islands outside (where the parking lot is now completed), and final sealcoating of the floor inside. The exterior signs are all scheduled to be erected this week, and refrigerated cases installed inside. Also here are photos of the renovations at Agency Village C-Store. The exterior has been repainted, fuel island canopy repaired, and the CENEX brand sign erected. Inside (not pictured) shelves are stocked with more grocery items than before, thanks to Dakota Crossing's wholesale food supplier.

Donovan White appeals removal from Vice-Chairman post

Former SWST Vice-Chairman Donovan White, suspended and removed from office earlier this year, will have his day in court Friday, August 4th.

That is when an appeal filed on his behalf against the Tribe will be heard by the SWO Supreme Court. The Tribe's Supreme Court is a three-judge body established to consider cases appealing Tribal Court rulings.

Chief Justice Thor Hoyte issued an order Thursday, July 13, for both Donovan White's attorney and the Tribal attorney to submit written briefs and replies by the end of next week.

Oral arguments will be heard at 10:30 a.m. August 4th.

Each party will have twenty minutes to speak.


The SWO Supreme Court is comprised of: Chief Justice Hoyt, Olympia, Wash.; Associate Justice Patrick Donovan; and Associate Justice Erin Shanley.

Erin is a recent addition to the court, having replaced Russell Zephier, Oglala Sioux Tribal Attorney.

She is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and serves as Associate Chief Judge of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Prior to that, Erin worked as Judicial Systems Administrator for the ND Indian Affairs Commission, and from 2013-2015 served as Special Assistant US Attorney to prosecute domestic violence cases in North and South Dakota.

Sisseton food pantry open hours

The Sisseton Ministerial Food Pantry will open in the building at the corner of Maple Street and 1st Ave West, downtown Sisseton, on Thursday, July 27th.

Hours are from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

The pantry will be open the second and fourth Thursdays of the month.

Scenes from Sisseton's 125th anniversary parade

By Deb Adams

My sisters and I decorated my car and went in the Sisseton, SD parade celebrating the 125th birthday of the town! Our 91-year-old mother is one of the oldest parishioners of the St. Kateri Tekakwitha Church so we celebrated her too as she rode in the car and threw candy to the kids.

My niece Dawn Eagle and I walked the entire parade route carrying the church banner.

My little sister Crystal Owen made the signs; she wanted to create awareness and encourage diversity in the community so our theme was "Let us embrace our differences."

Need access to cultural education opportunities for Native students

Would help update decades-old data to increase funding, participation in federal learning resources for Native students attending public schools

Washington, DC – July 21, 2017 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) highlighted the need for legislative action that will reinforce the ability of Native students to access critical learning programs that can help them thrive academically.

Currently, the federal government relies on Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to determine the number of eligible students for the Johnson-O'Malley (JOM) program, a federal cultural educational support program that works to boost academic achievement among underserved students in Native populations. However, the last official BIA count of eligible Native students took place more than two decades ago, severely underrepresenting the level of need as the number of school-aged Native Americans has continued to grow.

During a hearing in the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Heitkamp questioned Carla Mann, the president of the National Johnson-O'Malley Association, about the ways in which Native American students who are eligible for federal learning resources that can help address their unique academic and cultural needs are prevented from accessing those critical programs. Mann discussed the challenge of ensuring access to such programs when the federal government still relies on severely outdated BIA data to determine federal funding needs and distribution for the JOM program. Mann and other experts on the panel specifically called for Heitkamp's bipartisan Johnson-O'Malley Supplemental Indian Education Program Modernization Act, which she reintroduced in April with Republican Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Steve Daines (R-MT), to remedy this problem. By requiring the federal government to accurately count all Native students who could be served under the program, Heitkamp's bill would work to help close significant gaps in access to programs that can help Native students improve their academic performance.

"We know that too often, Native children are shut out of opportunities that unlock their academic potential," said Heitkamp. "We also know the federal government uses decades-old data to determine eligibility and funding for programs like Johnson-O'Malley which have been proven to boost academic performance of Native students – preventing young, bright minds by the hundreds of thousands from reaching higher and achieving in school. When I spoke with the head of the Johnson-O'Malley program, and to other top experts on Indian students' education, they made the immediate need for my bipartisan bill to update the yellowing pages of data that are used to determine which Native students can access the critical cultural and educational support. I'll keep fighting for the prosperity and potential of every Native child so that no Native young person falls through the cracks."

"For nearly 25 years and through several Administrations, the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Indian Education have been unable to complete the necessary work to be able to finalize a count of the numbers of Indian students currently using or the total pool of eligible Indian students for JOM services. Since 1995 has been all but frozen in time, there has been no updated student count, no update of the program rules, and no real increase in funding to meet the real-time growth in the eligible population as noted from data collected for other Indian education activities and the 2010 Census. Senator Heitkamp's bill, S.943 the Johnson-O'Malley Supplemental Indian Education Program Modernization Act of 2017, will unfreeze the program and provide well over 1 million Indian children with true access to JOM services and assistance, as the U.S. Government intended when the original Johnson-O'Malley Act became the law of the land in 1934," said National Johnson-O'Malley Association President Carla Mann. "NJOMA is so happy that Senator Heitkamp heard our pleas for help in reforming the JOM program, and that she has been such a diligent and committed champion of restoring the promise of access to 21st century educational activities and resources for our Native American children."

During a time when Native students graduate from high school at a rate far lower than any other racial or ethnic demographic in the country, Heitkamp, Lankford and Daines are working to make sure that the cultural programs in public schools that have linked to boosting Native students' morale, as well as academic performance and attendance, are readily available in classrooms. Despite the stark need for such programs, the last official count in 1995 by BIA identified 271,884 Native students eligible for such resources. Since that time, the BIA has attempted to officially verify Native students eligible for the program without success, while the National Congress of American Indians has recently indicated a large gap in access to these programs – with a marked increase of more than 500,000 Native young people nationwide in 2010 that could be eligible for JOM cultural resources.

Heitkamp's bill would call on the U.S. Department of the Interior to update its severely outdated count of Native students in a timely manner by using existing public information from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to show underserved students who are potentially eligible under the program. This data is crucial for making sure Native students in public schools can access the cultural and educational investments critical to their success.

In a U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing last May, Heitkamp reinforced the need to pass her bipartisan bill to make sure programs designed to enrich the academic performance among Native students are reaching students as intended. Heitkamp has long worked to make sure Native young people living in Indian Country have access to the quality educational opportunities and resources they need to thrive by:

· Identifying challenges faced by Native young people: Among Heitkamp's top priorities include comprehensively addressing the challenges Native children face – including inadequate access to educational opportunities. Her first bill introduced as a U.S. Senator, a bipartisan bill to create a Commission on Native Children, was signed into law last fall. Heitkamp has been pushing the President Trump and leaders of Congress to appoint more members to the Commission so it can begin its important work of studying the complex challenges facing Native children and make recommendations on how to make sure Native children get the protections, as well as economic and educational tools, they need to thrive.

· Protecting and strengthening Native languages and cultures: Building on her work to reauthorize legislation to help preserve often endangered Native languages, Heitkamp encouraged Congressional leaders in November 2015 to protect cultural language enrichment and immersion programs in the U.S. Senate's K-12 education reform bill that boosts pride and morale in Native communities and improves students' academic performance and attendance.

· Improving access to educational resources and opportunities for Native youth: Heitkamp has long promoted safe after-school programs like 21st Century Community Learning Centers for vulnerable and at-risk youth in Indian Country, and pushed to include provisions reinstating resources dedicated to such programs in the U.S. Senate's K-12 education reform bill in April 2015. Heitkamp also convened North Dakota educators to discuss challenges Native students in rural areas face in accessing academic opportunities, and met with the head of U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) in 2014 on improving connectivity to make sure Native students in rural areas can access technology for educational and economic opportunities.


DAPL cases dropped by state in record numbers

By C.S. Hagen

Mandan, ND – High Plains Reader – July 19th, 2017 – After being handcuffed, forced to strip, locked in dog cages, and hauled to jails across the state, hundreds charged with crimes during the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy are finding vindication through North Dakota's court system.

Officially, 761 people were arrested during the months-long opposition to the 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline, and already 114 cases have been dismissed by the state. Eleven people received guilty verdicts; 50 pled guilty – primarily on lesser charges, and three have been acquitted.

The state cannot meet the elements of offenses as charged, defense lawyers say.

"In an attempt to extract guilty pleas, the state is waiting to dismiss each case until the last minute before trial, which has created great hardship and uncertainty for many water protectors," Water Protector Legal Collective attorney Jacob Reisberg said in a press release. "The No-DAPL water protectors withstood extreme violence from militarized police at Standing Rock and now the state admits that it cannot substantiate the alleged justification for that violence."

While the Morton County Sheriff's Department reported 761 people were arrested, the Water Protectors Legal Collective reports the actual number is higher: 854.

A total of 552 cases remain open, Water Protectors Legal Collective staff attorney Andrea Carter said. Last weekend, one of activists involved in arguably one of the most controversial cases also had charges against him dropped.

Less than a week after former Leighton Security Services project manager Kyle Thompson went live on Digital Smoke Signals to speak about his experience working security along the Dakota Access Pipeline route, the state dropped charges against Brennon Nastacio, charged with a Class C felony of terrorism.

Nastacio, 36, a Pueblo Native American nicknamed "Bravo One," was charged for his participation in stopping Thompson, who wielded a semi-automatic AR-15, on October 27, 2016.

On June 14, Assistant State's Attorney Gabrielle Goter of Morton County filed a motion to dismiss the charge, which came days before the scheduled deposition of Myron Dewey, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Scott Betz, who was instrumental in Nastacio's prosecution. Depositions were also scheduled for two FBI agents involved in the transfer of Thompson for BIA custody to the Morton County Jail, and for Thompson, according to Nastacio's lawyers Bruce Nestor and Jeffrey Haas.

"This was a case where Mr. Nastacio acted to protect himself and others," Nestor and Haas said. "He should have been thanked and not prosecuted for his bravery."

"The feeling is good," Nastacio said. "Now I just need to concentrate on my other case."

Nastacio was indicted on February 8 on federal charges of civil disorder and use of fire to commit a federal crime, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office District of North Dakota.

Michael Fasig and Israel Hernandez also face felony charges over the same incident. Class C terrorizing charges carry up to a five-year prison sentence.

Other salient cases include the state dropping charges against drone operator and owner of Digital Smoke Signals Myron Dewey, and rap artist Aaron Sean Turgeon, also known as 'Prolific the Rapper.'

U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland recently agreed to the conditional release of Redfawn Fallis to a halfway house from where she's being held in Rugby. Fallis's arrest, Aaron Sean Turgeon 'Prolific the Rapper' (right) - Facebook pagewhich was filmed live, has become one of the movement's most viewed recordings. Police say she discharged a handgun while being tackled by law enforcement. Officially, Fallis was charged with criminal possession of a firearm or ammunition by a previously convicted felon, according to the United States Attorney's Office District of North Dakota.

Another reason the state is dropping cases en masse is because of evidence the camps were infiltrated by TigerSwan operatives, who were on a mission to "find, fix, and eliminate" pipeline opposition, according to Nastacio's lawyers.

"TigerSwan worked closely with law enforcement to infiltrate the camps, produce pro-DAPL propaganda, and aid prosecutions. TigerSwan acted in a supervisory capacity over Leighton Security, Thompson's employer."

"As we're learning that there was some kind of infiltration by either the FBI or TigerSwan, or both, we think it should become an issue in the cases that the state should have to prove that some of those people who were engaging in that kind of activity were law enforcement or infiltrators," Carter said.

"That's what is getting debated in a lot of these cases, is presence," Carter said. "There are entrapment issues. Five or more people must be engaged in a riot. If you hBennon Nastacio - Facebook pageave one of those five as law enforcement or as an infiltrator, and the state is alleging that someone is setting fires or throwing stuff, what if one of the people present was an infiltrator, and everyone else at the demonstration was peaceful or sitting in prayer, and you have one person instigating who wasn't even part of that group?"

During standoffs along the frontlines, police also gave contradictory warnings. Activists were told to leave an area immediately, and then given a different order to pick up items or clean up an area before leaving, which resulted in many people becoming trapped, Carter said.

"They would say 'go,' and as people were running to their cars, police were tearing them out of their vehicles. It's incredible the amount of force they were met with."

Former City Attorney for Valley City, Russell Myhre, who is now practicing law privately at his office in Valley City, is defending four people against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

"I have never seen delays like this," Myhre, who has been practicing law for nearly half a century said. "Even in high profile cases, there was always this contact with prosecution and the court. Here, there appears to be no reason whatsoever, and I don't know why they're not dealing with speedy trials."

The Dakota Access Pipeline controversy reminds Myhre of the Vietnam War era, he said, which polarized the nation instantly until the mid-1970s when the contention Red Fawn Fallis – online sourcessimmered and people began to realize that perhaps, the Vietnam War was not one of the nation's brightest moments.

"I think this Dakota Access Pipeline is tearing North Dakotans apart," Myhre said. "North Dakota was a god-forgotten outpost in the United States for many years, but they have found out that maybe they have sold their soul to big oil, and maybe, there is a dark side to this, and they're just now starting to realize this."

The lack of speedy trials is a legal tactic defendants can consider, he said. "A trial is scheduled within 90 days after demand for a speedy trial. It could be thrown out by the trial court or appealed to the North Dakota Supreme Court, or it could be brought to federal court for denial of due process and the denial of a right for a speedy trial."

There is potential that cases could be reopened and appealed, even if found guilty under North Dakota Century Code post-conviction relief laws, Myhre said. The law is a substitute for habeas corpus – after being convicted a defendant can come back in and allege their rights have been violated.

"I think the system is overwhelmed," Myhre said. "One of the other things is that prosecutors and law enforcement are realizing this is not going the way they wanted it to. Not many are coming forward pleading guilty."

And law enforcement records are lacking, he said. "Most of these officers did not write up personal reports, which is standard practice. Most of these officers did not write up anything, it was left to one officer in charge of writing things up for everyone."

Money is another contributing aspect as to why cases are being dropped faster than hot potatoes. The state was denied reimbursement for the $38 million spent during the controversy by the federal government last week. Days later, Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company of Dakota Access LLC, offered, once again, to pay the bill.

To compound the issues a federal judge ruled on July 16 that permits authorizing the pipeline to cross the Missouri River less than one mile from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation violated the tribe's fishing rights, hunting rights, and environmental rights.

"There's something funky going on in the background," Myhre said. "And I just don't know what it is. A lot of it may have to do with TigerSwan and the manipulation of the media. In North Dakota, unless you were a Native American or an extreme liberal, many people were anti protest.

"We're living in strange times."

Since the last Standing Rock camp was cleared in February, TigerSwan kept roving teams active in North Dakota until earlier this month. The security company left North Dakota last week, Energy Transfer Partners personnel reported. The security company hasn't left the oil business, however, and has set up shops along the Mariner East 2 Pipeline, which runs through Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Mariner East is also owned by Energy Transfer Partners.

In November 2016, TigerSwan LLC obtained business licenses for the three states, according to state registration records, but its private security license is under review in Louisiana by the Louisiana State Board of Private Investigator Examiners. The Louisiana Secretary of State reports TigerSwan, LLC was established in Lafayette on June 1, 2017.

"It is worth exposing in a court of public opinion, this is who law enforcement is working with, and this is exactly who TigerSwan is, and do you want these cultural things perpetuated domestically?" Carter said. "They [TigerSwan] manufactured some of these instances, they didn't like the surveillance. They just didn't want to be under surveillance."

Prayer and resistance camp launches in Louisiana to challenge pipeline connected to DAPL

The Bayou Bridge Pipeline would transport North Dakota's crude oil to refineries and facilities in Louisiana

By Yessenia Funes

ICYMI – June 26, 2017 – A new resistance camp, called L'eau Est La Vie (Water Is Life), opened over the weekend, on June 24. Based in southern Louisiana, the camp is against the 163-mile long Bayou Bridge Pipeline.

The camp, according to a press release emailed to Colorlines, is made up of indigenous and environmental justice communities. Described as a "floating camp," it sits among Louisiana's wetlands and contains numerous indigenous art structures that are on rafts. The camp's name, L'eau Est La Vie, is in the indigenous-colonial Houma French language. The United Houma Nation is one of the tribes whose members are challenging the pipeline.

For these first two weeks, the camp will be full of prayerful ceremony, says Cherri Foytlin, state director of Bold Louisiana and an indigenous woman. "Someone is praying at all times at the camp for the next two weeks," she said in a phone interview with Colorlines about the space which she considers a prayer and resistance camp.

However, Foytlin says that campers are prepared to put their bodies on the line. If the Bayou Bridge gets the necessary permits to begin construction—one from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, one from the state's Department of Natural Resources and another from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality—they will "use [their] bodies to protect [their] children." The Department of Natural Resources already issued its permit on April 3.

Energy Transfer Partners—the same company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline—needs the Bayou Bridge to bring the Dakota Access to its full potential. The company wants the crude oil from the Bakken Formation in North Dakota, which runs through the Dakota Access to Illinois, to ultimately end up at terminal facilities and refineries in St. James, Louisiana.

The Bayou Bridge Pipeline would be needed to bring North Dakota's fracked oil to the Gulf of Mexico. The pipeline system, collectively called the Bakken Pipeline, would bring the oil to Nederland, Texas, and then to Lake Charles, Louisiana. The idea is to expand that existing system to St. James.

It would carry 480,000 barrels of crude oil a day. Environmentalists in the region—including many indigenous and tribal nations—are concerned how the pipeline may impact crawfishing industry if a spill occurs. Landowners are worried that Energy Transfer Partners will take away their land to use for the pipeline, which Energy Transfer Partners has done with other pipeline projects around the country (including the Dakota Access Pipeline).

The company says the pipeline will provide an economic and employment boost, but The Times-Picayune reports that only 12 permanent jobs will come out of the project. It costs $670 million and would run across 11 parishes. Plus, the company's controversial counterterrorism tactics in North Dakota (which include surveillance and infiltration) have made pipeline opponents more determined to keep Energy Transfer Partners out of their backyard.

"This is part of protecting ourselves and liberating ourselves from [Energy Transfer Partners] in particular," says Foytlin. "It should have its social license revoked. They don't deserve to keep doing business."

Announces federal funding for pipeline safety

Washington, DC – July 19, 2017 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced $224,776 in federal funding for the North Dakota Public Service Commission that will support the state as it monitors pipeline infrastructure to help make sure North Dakotans are safe.

"Maintaining and improving our state's infrastructure is fundamental to growing our economy, keeping folks employed, and most importantly keeping all of us safe," said Heitkamp. "This federal funding will help make sure our state has the ability to properly inspect the pipelines that crisscross North Dakota to maintain their integrity and keep all communities protected."

This federal funding is made available through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration's State Base Pipeline Safety Grants Program.


Preparing Servicemembers for post-military careers

By U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.)

July 21, 2017

In Congress, my colleagues and I have not only been working around-the-clock to repeal and replace Obamacare, we have also been doing important work in our committees to cut red tape, advance pro-growth policies that will create jobs and provide essential oversight of government programs so we can improve them. This has been particularly true in the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, where we've already had an accountability bill signed into law as well as an extension of the Veterans Choice Act, which includes a provision of a bill I introduced which essentially makes the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) the primary payer under Veterans Choice Program and protects many veterans from paying higher health care costs.

Most recently, a number of us who serve on the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee introduced comprehensive legislation to enhance and improve veterans' education benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Under our proposal, when returning veterans are able to access the educational benefits included in the Post-9/11 GI Bill, they will be better equipped to pursue a successful career in a competitive job market. We want every veteran to prosper as they transition into civilian life, and getting a great education is the first step toward a lucrative and rewarding career.

I'm pleased that our reform bill includes three bipartisan pieces of legislation that I introduced earlier this year, including a bill to add all Purple Heart recipients to the list of eligible veterans who can access full Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. Purple Heart recipients have made incredible sacrifices, and deserve to have full Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, regardless of the amount of time they served on active duty. The reform bill also includes my provision that would allow survivors of deceased service members, who had Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits transferred to them, to reallocate the benefits to another designated survivor. We know that when an individual decides to serve his or her country, their entire family makes sacrifices too. While they can never be fully repaid for their sacrifices, we're hopeful that this change will make their lives a bit easier.

The third bill, the Veterans TEST Accessibility Act, included in the reform package specifically addresses veterans' education opportunities. Under current law, veterans are required to use a full month of their Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility to be reimbursed for licensing, certification and national tests, such as those required to be an athletic trainer, fire fighter or medical technician. The bill I introduced would address this issue by reimbursing veterans for the cost of an approved test and pro-rating the affected month of eligibility to be used for future educational expenses, such as tuition. Many high-demand jobs, including those in the science, technology and engineering fields, require tests and certifications. This provision would make the reimbursement process fairer for veterans so they can get the credentials they need to compete for good jobs.

Our veterans have made incredible sacrifices for our country, and they should be able to fully use the benefits they've been promised when they enter civilian life. The name of the bill we introduced in the Senate is the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, named for the Army Air Service veteran who drafted the original GI bill, the purpose of which was to improve the transition into civilian life for returning veterans. I'm hopeful our bill will do the same. We expect it to pass out of committee in the next week, and I look forward to seeing it pass the Senate and be signed into law by President Trump soon.

Co-sponsors Post 9/11 GI Bill reform

Bipartisan measure to improve Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for student veterans, includes Rounds' provisions

Washington, DC – July 20, 2017 – U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, today joined his colleagues in introducing broad, bipartisan legislation that seeks to improve veterans' education benefits and enhance the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 includes three provisions introduced by Rounds earlier this year.

"Our veterans have made incredible sacrifices for our country, and they should be able to fully use the benefits they've been promised when they enter civilian life," said Rounds. "I'm proud to be an original cosponsor of this bipartisan bill, which includes three provisions I introduced this year. I look forward to working with my colleagues to get this legislation signed into law."

Rounds Provisions Included in the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017: · A bill he introduced with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to add all Purple Heart recipients, regardless of length of time spent on active duty, to the list of eligible veterans who can access full Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits was included in the bill.

· The Veterans TEST Accessibility Act, introduced by Rounds and Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), to help returning veterans transition into civilian life by making sure they aren't forced to exhaust a full month of GI Bill benefits in order to be reimbursed for a low-cost certification or test.

· A provision to allow for more flexibility in allocating Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to survivors of deceased service members.

The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 makes much-needed updates for reservists, Purple Heart recipients, veterans who face school closures while enrolled and surviving family members. The legislation also provides increased resources and authority for educational assistance to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs, computer programming and career technical training.

Most significantly, this bill recognizes our country's need for an agile and adaptable workforce and that American workers need to be lifelong learners. For that purpose, this bill eliminates the arbitrary 15-year period within which a veteran is required to use their GI Bill so they can use their benefits at any time in their professional career.

Additional Provisions:

· Provides GI Bill eligibility for reservists mobilized under selected reserve orders for preplanned missions in support of the combatant commands or in response to a major disaster or emergency;

· Provides GI Bill eligibility for reservists undergoing medical care;

· Provides full GI Bill benefits for Purple Heart recipients regardless of length of service;

· Extends Yellow Ribbon Program benefits to Fry scholarship recipients; and

· Increases GI Bill payments by $2,300 per year for veterans with less than 12 months of active service.

The legislation is named in honor of Harry Walter Colmery, an Army Air Service veteran and former national commander of the American Legion who drafted the original GI Bill in 1944 to improve the transition for World War II veterans back to civilian life.

Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on July 13, 2017, and passed out of committee on July 19.

Additional SD CRP acres now open to emergency haying and grazing

"Today's announcement means that USDA has used nearly every CRP option that's available to assist South Dakota livestock producers who are suffering from these increasingly severe drought conditions."

Washington, DC – July 20, 2017 – U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), a longtime member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it would immediately allow emergency haying and grazing on more than 450,000 Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres in South Dakota that are categorized as "environmentally sensitive" and up to this point have been off limits to emergency haying and grazing.

On June 15, 2017, Thune and Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) asked USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to open these environmentally sensitive acres in the wake of the drought that is now plaguing nearly the entire state. Thune and Rounds also asked Perdue to open other non-environmentally sensitive CRP acres to emergency haying and grazing ahead of schedule, a request that was granted on July 10, 2017. As a result, emergency CRP haying and grazing on certain land began on July 16, 2017, two weeks earlier than normally allowed. Thune, in a letter, during a recent phone call with Secretary Perdue, and through other communication with USDA, has kept pressure on USDA to open these additional CRP acres as soon as possible.

"Today's announcement means that USDA has used nearly every CRP option that's available to assist South Dakota livestock producers who are suffering from these increasingly severe drought conditions," said Thune.

"Over the last few weeks and months, Secretary Perdue has proven to be the leader that we all hoped he would be when the president nominated him," continued Thune. "He has already visited South Dakota and has been accessible and willing to discuss issues with me that are important to South Dakota farmers and ranchers. His quick action on my recent requests has been welcome news to everyone who has been affected by the drought. I will continue to keep a close eye on drought conditions in the state and seek additional assistance when and where it is available."

In June 2017, USDA approved Thune's common-sense recommendation to reverse an earlier USDA decision that would have forced ranchers to destroy useable hay on CRP-enrolled acres that are subject to CRP mid-contract management in 2017. As a result of USDA's decision, that hay can now be used to feed livestock in areas that are suffering from drought conditions.

USDA also granted Thune's request to allow immediate access to emergency haying and grazing on CRP-enrolled acres for any county in which any part of its border lies within 150 miles of a county that has been approved for emergency grazing of CRP. That means all of South Dakota and North Dakota, two-thirds of Montana, half of Wyoming and Nebraska, and portions of Iowa and Minnesota were made available for emergency haying and grazing on land enrolled in non-environmentally sensitive CRP practices. Today's announcement would immediately release environmentally sensitive CRP acres in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Montana for emergency haying and grazing on all practices other than CP25 and CP42.

CRP participants who would like to hay or graze their CRP-enrolled land should contact their local Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service offices to complete necessary paperwork, obtain approval, and identify the areas they wish to hay or graze.

Applauds USDA decision to open CRP acres for emergency

Washington, DC – July 20, 2017 – U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today made the following statement in support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) decision to open sensitive Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres for emergency haying and grazing, effective today, July 20, 2017, for additional counties in South Dakota. USDA is adding the ability for farmers and ranchers in these areas to hay and graze CRP wetland and buffer practices. More information can be found on the U.S. Drought Monitor.

"Secretary Perdue understands the severity of the drought situation facing farmers and ranchers in South Dakota, and I thank him for continuing to provide additional tools to help producers during these tough times," said Rounds.

Last month, Rounds and Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) wrote to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue urging him to provide timely assistance to counties currently facing extreme drought conditions.

For CRP practices previously announced, including those authorized today, USDA is allowing this emergency action during and after the primary nesting season, where local drought conditions warrant in parts of South Dakota that have reached D2, or "severe" drought level or greater according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. This includes counties with any part of their border located within 150 miles of authorized counties in the state, and may extend into surrounding states. All emergency grazing must end Sept. 30, 2017 and emergency haying must end Aug. 31, 2017.

USDA opens additional CRP acres for haying

Washington, DC – July 20, 2017 – Rep. Kristi Noem today released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the agency would open additional CRP acres for emergency haying:

"I am always amazed by the resilience of South Dakota ranchers, but this year's devastating drought goes far beyond the challenges most producers have had to face in recent years. With many pastures in poor or very poor condition, I'm hopeful these added CRP acres will provide some degree of relief. I am sincerely grateful to Secretary Perdue and the USDA for hearing my concerns and offering the support South Dakota ranchers need right now."

In a June 2017 letter to Secretary Perdue, Rep. Noem urged the agency to release all South Dakota CRP acres for haying. Landowners interested in emergency haying or grazing of CRP acres should contact the Farm Service Agency office and meet with the local Natural Resources Conservation Service staff to obtain a modified conservation plan to include emergency haying/grazing.

USDA offers home loans with 100% financing in rural SD

Applicants encouraged to contact USDA Rural Development Staff before Sept. 1

Huron, S.D. – July 19, 2017 – The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is currently accepting loan applications from low-income families to purchase or repair homes in rural South Dakota communities.

Recent changes to USDA Rural Development's housing programs mean more rural South Dakotans can now achieve their homeownership goals.

Earlier this year the maximum mortgage limit for a USDA Rural Development direct home loan increased to $220,532, a jump of nearly $3,700 from the previous mortgage limit.

Also, a typical income limit for a one-person household using the USDA direct home loan program to purchase a home in an eligible rural South Dakota community or area is now $35,300. For a family of four a common limit is $50,400.

Income limits vary by county and household size, so applicants are encouraged to contact South Dakota USDA Rural Development staff for limits in their specific area.

The loans provide 100 percent financing, require no down payment or private mortgage insurance, no points, and no origination fees. The loans have a fixed interest rate for a term of 33 or 38 years. Low-income applicants may qualify for subsidized payments and effective interest rate as low as 1.0 percent. Loan funds may also be used to assist current eligible homeowners with repairs at reasonable rates and terms.

Applicants must have an acceptable credit history, meet income guidelines, have repayment ability to service the new loan and any existing obligations, be a United States citizen or legally admitted for permanent residence, and own and personally occupy the home on a permanent basis.

To learn more, contact Single Family Housing Director Janell Telin at the USDA Rural Development Aberdeen Office at (605) 824-3622 or visit


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

Editorials –

Sota guest editorial –

Proposed law seeks to reform system that jails people just for being poor

'In our country,' said bill co-sponsor Sen. Kamala Harris, 'whether you stay in jail or not is wholly determined by whether you're wealthy or not – and that's wrong.'

By Jon Queally, staff writer

(Published on Thursday, July 20, 2017 by Common Dreams.)

Civil liberties and criminal justice reform groups are celebrating the introduction of a new bill in the U.S. Senate on Thursday that would overhaul the nation's money bail system which critics have long decried for incarcerating people regardless of guilt or innocence but simply because of their inability to pay.

Introduced by Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act of 2017 is being applauded for a ddressing at least a portion of the pervasive inequality found throughout the U.S. justice system.

"Too many people in this country must spend weeks, months, or even years in jail waiting for trial only because they can't afford bail," said Kanya Bennett, legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union, which has endorsed the bill. "Even though these people are innocent in the eyes of the law, they're punished, deprived of their freedom with disastrous consequences for their families and their lives."

The bill would provide funding and federal guidelines to incentivize state and local governments to either scrap their money bail systems or greatly reform them.

"Our justice system was designed with a promise: to treat all people equally," Sen. Harris said in a statement. "Yet more than 450,000 Americans sit in jail today awaiting trial and many of them cannot afford 'money bail.' In our country, whether you stay in jail or not is wholly determined by whether you're wealthy or not – and that's wrong. We must come together to reform a bail system that is discriminatory, wasteful, and fails to keep our communities safe."

By specifying that any conditions placed on a defendant's release "should be based on the least restrictive, non-financial conditions that a judicial officer determines is necessary," the bill could potentially limit the negative impact on individuals and families—while also providing local governments huge savings. Ames Grawert, a criminal justice researcher with the Brennan Center for Justice, told the Guardian the proposal could go a long way in reversing some of the policies that have driven up incarceration rates in the last decades.

"We know that the 1984 [tough-on] crime bill did have an effect on states, did convince states to adopt tougher sentencing laws, did convince them to build more prisons – so the idea is that basically, if you flip those incentives on their head, maybe you could incentivize a different kind of behavior," said Grawert.

While the bill is far from perfect, said the ACLU's Bennet, "its reforms would be progress towards fixing the systematic problems that have led to mass incarceration."

(Editor's note: How clear is the parallel between relative wealth determining treatment by the legal system and relative wealth determining treatment by the health system in America?)

Brief editorial comments from the editor's desk –

On and Off the Lake Traverse Reservation

SWST Chairman Flute has been on travel last week, in Minnesota, and this in Montana, representing interests of the Oyate.

Watch for an update from the Chairman in an upcoming issue of your Sota.


Tribal offices were closed last Friday, out of respect for former Toka Nuwan Councilperson Belva Hatle, whose funeral services were held.

That meant that information we anticipated using in this issue did not arrive. This is partly responsible for the few number of pages.

Watch for more stories next week, and publication of the June 2017 Tribal Council proceedings.

And please check out what is included here.


See this week's update on the renovation underway at Dakota Magic Casino & Hotel.

As of last week, the report shows 74 more weeks before completion of phase one.

We continue to update the Oyate on progress being made at your grocery store. See the pictures in this week's issue showing final work on the floor and the CENEX brand sign by the fuel pump islands.

The parking lot is complete, but next week we expect to get pictures of exterior signs and installation of refrigerated cases inside – showing the Oyate's store much closer to opening.


The continued drought conditions are obvious.

Travel around the Lake Traverse Reservation, see how low the water levels are in the creeks and sloughs. Yes, very obvious.

Waterways that should be flowing, are stagnant.

We've had days of extreme heat and high humidity … and thunderstorms. Some severe.

So far we are missing periods of steady rainfall needed to replenish the earth and our waterways.

Yet our corner of the Dakotas is not as parched as other areas.

Note that the USDA has lifted haying and grazing restriction on CRP acres.

That's a good thing for all our livestock owners.


There is a rise and fall to everything. Sometimes there are many voices shouting for justice, for fairness, in how the environment is being plundered by greedy opportunists, how the government fails citizens, and how our education system fails needs of all, or some students.

Other times … the silence is deafening.

Last week we received minutes of the Sisseton public school board budget meeting of July 11th.

This meeting was advertised not only in the board's official newspaper, the Sisseton Courier, but also in your Sota Iya Ye Yapi.

Here was an opportunity to discuss how federal impact aid dollars are spent. An opportunity to discuss and how the law requiring the school board to work with Tribal officials and parents is being ignored.

Yet, according to the minutes – in which "others in attendance" is reported – it seems not one Tribal official, or parent, attended.

Yes, the Tribe does have Deb Flute seated on the board. And she does what she can to represent not only Oyate students but everyone enrolled in the public schools.

But what does this say about the voices who spoke up earlier, before the school board election?

Where are they?


We encourage all members to be actively involved in Tribal and District business.

If you are unable to come to Tribal headquarters to attend a Council meeting, these meetings are being broadcast live over Tribal radio station KXSW-FM and live-streamed over the internet by announcer Tom Wilson.

Check out KXSW 89.9 FM, the station's Facebook page, and website


Elder's Meditation:

"You must speak straight so that your words may go as sunlight into our hearts." –Cochise "Like Ironweed" CHIRICAHUA APACHE

Come into my heart this morning. Allow me this day to live in the now. Help me to see all the beauty You have created in all things. Let me know myself. Today, as I make mistakes, let me see them as lessons. Guide me. When I see others make mistakes, let me honor them for where they are. Let me realize that they are Your children and only You, my Grandfather, knows what is really going on. When my lips move, let the words be Your words.

Allow me to have the courage to speak Your truth.


Words to consider (or, perhaps not!):

The truth is rarely pure and never simple. Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Importance of Being Earnest, 1895, Act I

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

It only takes 20 years for a liberal to become a conservative without changing a single idea. Robert Anton Wilson

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. Dr. Seuss (1904 - 1991)

The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is inefficiency. An efficient bureaucracy is the greatest threat to liberty. Eugene McCarthy (1916 - 2005), Time magazine, Feb. 12, 1979

A neurosis is a secret that you don't know you are keeping. Kenneth Tynan

Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come. Carl Sandburg (1878 - 1967), The People, Yes (1936)

Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book. Ronald Reagan (1911 - 2004)

The human mind treats a new idea the same way the body treats a strange protein; it rejects it. P. B. Medawar (1915 - )

There are too many people, and too few human beings. Robert Zend


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 –

Mass held for Myrna DeMarce

Myrna K. DeMarce, 75, of Fort Totten, ND, began her journey to Heaven on July 5, 2017 at the CHI, St. Alexius Hospital, Devils Lake. Mass of Christian Burial was held on Monday morning, July 10, 2017 at Seven Dolors Catholic Church in Fort Totten.

Father Charles Leute celebrated the Mass. Burial followed at Myrna's home, rural Fort Totten.

Visitation, rosary and prayer services were held Sunday evening at Seven Dolors Catholic Church.

Myrna was born January 12, 1942 at Fort Totten, ND, the daughter of Ernest H. Smith and Agatha O. (Thompson) Smith.

She lived most of her life in the Spirit Lake Nation except when attending school in Kansas and working in Wahpeton, ND for a few years.

Myrna began her education at the Old Fort Totten Governor's School, part of her high school years at St. Michael's Mission School and graduated from St. Mary's Academy in Devils Lake.

She attended the Haskell Vocation School, Kansas graduating in 1962.

She married Sylvester DeMarce in 1963 and she then worked at the Wahpeton Indian School.

After moving back to Spirit Lake, she worked with the Early Childhood Program at the Spirit Lake Community Center.

She decided to return to school, and attended UND, Grand Forks and graduated with a major in Library Science in 1984.

She then went to work for Little Hoop Community College where she served as the acting President of the college for a short time. Myrna then worked in the College Library for many years.

She was currently employed at Spirit Lake Tribal Court.

Myrna is survived by her children: Daughters, Dawn, Melanie, Vanessa, Leah, Roanna and Mary DeMarce; Son Marshall R. (Molly) DeMarce; Special Granddaughters Lailah, Zoey, and Chloe; Grandsons Joel and Chad DeMarce; Sisters Tessie Brown, Joanne Smith and Ernestine Foote; Adopted Sister Evelyn Greene; Brothers Ernest D. Smith and Nathan (Marilyn) Smith; Goddaughters Paula Yankton and Karrah Alberts; 28 Grandchildren and 37 Great Grandchildren; 19 Nieces and Nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents Ernest and Agatha; son David S. DeMarce; great grandson Hayden; grandparents Mary Emma Straight Gourd and Moses Smith; Edward and Susan (DeMarrais) Thompson and many uncles and aunts.

Active casket bearers: Todd Yankton, Kevin Brown, Dustin Smith, Chad DeMarce, Joel DeMarce, Josh Colon, Tresten DeMarce, Dasan Alberts, Nathaniel DeMarce, Zach Alberts and Austin Smith.

Honorary bearers: Employees at Tribal Court, Spirit Lake Elders, Evelyn Greene and Family, Kristie Black and Family, Myrna (Torch) Greene and Family, Midge McKay Chase and Family, Kenneth and Flo Dunn and Family, Pat WalkingEagle and Family, Esther Abraham and Family, Annie, Patty, Cathy and Becky TwoHearts and Families, Karen GreyEyes and Family, Pam Rainbow and Family, Elaine Summers, Lois RedElk-Reed, Iris All Runner, Sharon Mudgett and Family, Bill, Claude and Carol Black and Families, Bob McKay and Family, Beverly Graywater and Family, Terry McKay, Jake and Myrna Thompson and Family, Susie, Nathan, Catherine and Jenny Thompson, Milton RedOwl, Benji Thompson and Family, Winfield Thompson Jr. and Family, Annie, Bonnie Fay, Teresa and Monica Thompson and Families, Linda (Hamie) Thompson and Family, Patsy Hart and Family, Betty Lou Ross and Family, Herald James and Brenda Culbertson, Pierre Culbertson and Family, Celestine Ducheneaux and Family, Mike Thompson and Family, Hugo Thompson, Marilyn Thomas and Family, Tony and Vina McDonald, Russell and Francine McDonald, Sharon Georgeson and Family, Louie and Hilda Garcia, Ramona LeftBear and Family, Skip and Darlys Longie and Family, Josie Lawrence and Family, Betty "Doll" Smith and Family, Cassandra Cloud, Tracy "Buzz" Charboneau, Reba Hegg Mack, Jennie K, Stacy and Connie Charboneau, Dale Alberts and Family, LaVonne Alberts, Dean Morken, John and Penny Knudson, Linda Larson Fee, Lorraine Greybear and Family, Rose Davis, Theresa Henry, Ardis Shaw, Mylo IronBear and Family, Jane Liska, Pam Baker and Family, Kristi Gaking, Brenda Robertson, Dean and Sonta Dauphinais and Family, Craig and Bernadette Brown, Brian Thunder and Family, Winona Fox and Family and Annabelle Cavanaugh.

So sorry if we forgot anyone, it was not intentional.

Infant Bryce Cody MacConnell Jr. services

Bryce Cody MacConnell Jr., Wakinyena Waho'i hi, "Dove that brought a message" infant son of Bryce Cody MaConnell Sr. and Jada Adams of Sisseton, SD passed away on Sunday, July 16, 2017 at Coteau Des Prairies Hospital in Sisseton, SD.

A wake service was held Thursday evening, July 20, at the Tribal community center in Agency Village, SD.

Funeral services were held on Friday afternoon, July 21, 2017, also at the Tribal community center.

Bryce is survived by parents, Bryce Cody MacConnell Sr. and Jada Carole Adams of Sisseton, SD; maternal grandparents, Jay and Danielle Adams of Sisseton, SD; paternal grandparents, Cody and Melanie MacConnell of Sisseton, SD; Maternal great grandparents, J. Kenneth and Carole Adams of Sisseton, SD, Duane and Karen Brown of Sisseton, SD, Philip and Kayan St. John of Mandan, ND; paternal great grandparents, Garry and Inez Owen of Agency Village, SD; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

He is preceded in death by his maternal great-great grandparents and paternal great-great grandparents.

For Bryce's obituary and on-line registry please visit

Services held for Belva Hatle

Belva M. Hatle, 83, of Waubay, SD passed away on July 17, 2017 at the Strand-Kjorsvig Nursing Home in Roslyn, SD.

Funeral services were Friday morning at the Enemy Swim Community Center, Enemy Swim, SD, with Fr. Charles Chan, Rev. Fr. Les Campbell and Pastor Jerome Renville officiating.

An all-night wake services was held Thursday at the Enemy Swim Community Center.

Pallbearers were Daniel Barse, Darin Barse, Douglas Barse, Kenneth Bender, Darrick Redwing, Andrew Redwing and Clayton Redwing Sr.

Honorary pallbearers were Deanne O'Riley, Sharon Cloud, Bonny Seaboy, Veldean Campbell, Cindy Shepherd, Karen Renville, Brenda Grey, Sonya Rouillard, Verna Sargeant, Les Campbell and Marlys Robertson.

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

Belva Marlene was born on June 16, 1934 in Day County, South Dakota to Thomas (Andy) and Alvina (Owen) Robertson.

She grew up and attended country school by Owen Creek.

She married Albert Redwing and followed her parents and moved to Rapid City until 1965.

In 1965 she moved to the Waubay area.

Later she married Raymond Hatle in 1972 in Wheaton, MN.

She worked as the substitute bi-lingual teacher at the old Enemy Swim School and as the Home School Coordinator/ Truancy Officer for the Waubay School.

She was active in the Tribal Elections and her District. Belva served on Council in 1973 for the Enemy Swim District. She was baptized and confirmed at the St. James Episcopal Church and was involved in the Ladies Aide and loved singing Dakota Hymns.

She enjoyed her family and gardening. She loved and cherished her grandchildren and great grandchildren. They were the joy of her life.

Belva is survived by her children, Clayton Redwing of Sioux Falls, SD, Richard Redwing of Summit, SD, Frank Redwing of Maryland, Jan Redwing of Waubay, SD; husband Raymond Hatle of Waubay, SD; nineteen grandchildren and fifty one great-grandchildren.

Belva was preceded in death by her parents, two daughters, Juleen Van Hunnik and Victoria Bender-Christienson; grandchildren, Robert Bender, Nicole Parisien, Silas and Baby Boy Bender; brothers, Thomas Jr., Edward (Toto) Sr. and Charles (Sunny/Chuck) Robertson; sisters, Betty Eberhardt, Lucille Anderson and Baby girl Robertson.

For Belva's obituary and on-line registry please visit

Notice of editorial policy

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

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

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


A photo in last week's Sota identifying members of the SWST delegation at the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board summit was incorrectly identified.

The caption reads that Rhonda Kampeska, a member of the Tribe's Human Services Board, was present at the meeting but not pictured.

Rhonda, however, was in the picture.

To My Best Little Sidekick

By Harry O. Renville

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14 Romans 7:15-25


I'm sorry for what I am I believe I said to you that day,

But it was so long ago you may not recall it that way;

For it was during those years when those addictions still had me,

I thank my Lord and Savior for from that life He set me free.


Deep down within my heart I knew that you would grow up some day,

But it hurt to watch the little you slowly slipping away;

You grew and changed 'til one day I sat there on the porch alone,

Thinking back to those good 'ole days and the fun times we had known.


Since I'm only human I still have my weaknesses too,

So although I don't plan it I will do things I shouldn't do;

But there is one thing which I never wanted to do again,

That was to hurt my best little sidekick as I did back then.


I need to stop looking back for I know those days are now gone,

And since God does have a purpose for me I now must press on;

For there are those who never read the scriptures, sadly, I've heard,

So I need to teach the truth found only in God's Holy Word.


Still, when the gates of remembrance open even just a bit,

The weakness of my flesh will still compel me to walk through it;

So when those sad thoughts returned again, I just needed to call,

For I missed you and wanted to hear your voice again, that's all.


In the past, when those old addictions would still lead me astray,

I was such a wretch, not knowing or caring what I would say;

But since Christ rescued me just over eleven years ago,

He lives within my heart so His love and compassion I know.


Now if I speak hurtful words expect an apology,

But I can't apologize if you won't even talk to me;

Still harsh words were spoken between our young kin, this much I know,

Who's to blame? I believe only God can answer that question though.


I'm sorry for what I am, may be what I said long ago,

But since I have grown in Christ, today I couldn't say that though;

For I know I am His creation whatever that may be,

And He loves me just as I am, and he loves you ---.



Health tip

By Sarah Sunshine Manning

Depression has been linked to magnesium deficiency.

We get magnesium from whole (natural) and raw foods. So, what you consume on a regular basis can be driving you closer to a depressive state (e.g. processed foods), or, helping you to be healthy and happy (e.g. natural, raw foods).

Chokecherries are an excellent source of magnesium, and so are epsom salt baths, where your largest organ, your skin, absorbs the magnesium-rich epsom salt almost instantly.

Moral of the story:

Eat more chokecherries, whole, raw foods, and relax in an epsom salt bath at least twice a week.

Fights to protect Indian country against devastating Cuts in Republican health care bill

54% of Native children in ND get affordable health care through Medicaid or Medicaid Expansion, which Republican bill would cut

Washington, DC – July 19, 2017 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) helped lead a call to action in the U.S. Senate to fight against efforts in the Republican health care bill that would erode protections that help make sure Native Americans can access quality health care resources.

During a meeting in the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Heitkamp spoke with Tribal Chairman Wayne Keplin and Secretary and Treasurer Alice Lunday of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in North Dakota, as well as other tribal leaders on Native health and advocacy about their concerns with the fate of health services on tribal lands under the Republican health care bill. The leaders and advocates discussed how slashed support for Medicaid would have a swift and negative impact on the ability of Indian Health Service (IHS) facilities to access third-party billing revenues, which have been crucial to helping strengthen IHS facilities' abiliy to offer more expanded, much-needed health services beyond life-and-limb care. Across North Dakota, 54 percent of Native children relied on Medicaid for health coverage in 2015, while 26 percent of all Native Americans living in Indian Country across the state depend on Medicaid for their health care.

Later in the day, on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Heitkamp voiced the concerns she heard from the Turtle Mountain Tribe and other tribal leaders – including potentially losing their ability to access third-party revenue through Medicaid, which the tribe's IHS hospital has used to make emergency room renovations, purchase new medical equipment, recruit additional staff and increase training, and expand to serve more patients. In June of this year alone, the tribe's IHS hospital served over 13,000 patients and provided over 1,000 services. If the Republican plan were to take effect, 984 Native Americans in North Dakota would lose access to cost-sharing reduction subsidies which benefit both patients and IHS facilities like Turtle Mountain's.

"The impact of the Republican health care bill on Native Americans is a discussion that hasn't been widely addressed – and we're trying to change that. When we talk about health care in Indian Country, we're talking about is a sacred trust obligation, and this Republican health care bill would shatter that promise," said Heitkamp. "I've long said we should make the current health reform law work better for families, and there are commonsense improvements that both sides of the aisle can agree on, including many I've offered. But the Republican bill would slash Medicaid – a program that provides health care for the vast majority of Native Americans in Indian Country in our state – and lock almost 1,000 Native Americans out of support to help afford care, which enables IHS hospitals like Turtle Mountain's to offer better, more expanded services. Too many families and businesses in Indian Country rely on Medicaid for their care, and reducing instead of protecting and strengthening their ability to access better, more quality health care is not an option."

The Senate Republican health care bill would get rid of the Medicaid expansion and cap the amount of federal funding states can get to cover those on traditional Medicaid. In 2015, 54 percent of Native children and 25 percent of adults in Indian Country rely on Medicaid to get affordable, quality health care. In large part due to the Medicaid expansion, the uninsured rate for Native Americans in North Dakota has fallen from 42 percent to 36 percent for adults and from 37 percent to 25 percent for children between 2008 and 2015. Medicaid also supports good jobs in Indian Country as it directly accounts for 24 percent of the IHS workforce. In fiscal year 2012, before the Medicaid expansion went into effect, 53 percent of the population served at the IHS hospital on Turtle Mountain was uninsured. Today, 39 percent of the population served is uninsured.

Just last month, Heitkamp led about 15 Democratic senators on the floor of the U.S. Senate in calling on Republicans to work with them to pass commonsense legislation to immediately provide certainty in the health care marketplaces and lower premiums for consumers. As a starting point for real, compromise reforms to improve health care for American families, she has also offered her bill which would ease the current cliff on premium assistance that many middle class families and seniors face – putting affordable care out of reach.

This effort continues Heitkamp's work over the past three and a half years to offer reforms that would help the health reform law work better for families, tribes and businesses. She will continue to try to work with Senate Republicans to reach compromise solutions that make health care affordable and accessible for North Dakotans. Since 2013, Heitkamp has also met regularly with her health care advisory board – comprised of health care leaders across North Dakota – to talk with them about health care in the state and improving the health reform law.

Federal funding to track air quality

Washington, DC – July 18, 2017 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced $90,600 in federal funding to the North Dakota Department of Health to support their efforts in monitoring outdoor air quality.

"North Dakota's endless and clear skies offer some of the most picturesque scenery in the county, and coupled with our clean air you can understand why folks are rightfully proud of our state's clean air efforts," said Heitkamp. "This federal funding will continue the efforts to protect our clear skies and clean air in responsible ways by supporting the statewide network of outdoor air quality monitors."

This federal funding is made available through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Air Pollution Control Program Support Gant.

Youth, school activities highlights –

Education watch on the Lake Traverse Reservation

Dakota Language and Culture workshop held at SWC

The Tribe's Johnson O'Malley (JOM) program sponsored a two-day Dakota Language and Culture workshop Wednesday and Thursday, July 12-13, 2017 at Sisseton Wahpeton College.

Presenters led groups in classrooms and also provided hands-on activities outdoors.

Students had access to a wide variety of subjects, including:

*Yoga – relaxation and stretching.

*Meditation – stress relief.

*Going on walks for wellness and to learn about Native plants.

*Dakota Language (lessons and games).


*College prep skills for high school students.

Here are photos taken in the classroom on day one, courtesy of Darlene Jo Roberts.

Activities in Kunsi's garden

There were several on-going activities in Kunsi's garden at Enemy Swim Day School this past week.

They ranged from classroom learning exercises to hands-on work in the garden.

Included were studies of wind vanes, the water (rainfall cycle), "world volleyball" and "Sneaky Snacky Squirrel" games.

The students also learned about "BIG" feelings (emotions), identifying fears, worries, and nervousness.

They were taught to "breathe … and listen for sounds … thinking about what they might be."

In the feelings lessons, the students made monsters and named them!

Here are photo highlights.

Sisseton School Board holds budget, reorganization meeting

The Sisseton Public School Board held its annual budget hearing in the high school library Tuesday evening, July 11th.

There was no public input.

Following the hearing, the Board canvassed results of the recent school board election:

3-year term:

Lenny Wegener, 461 (elected).

Cory Deutsch, 392 (elected).

Sara Johnson, 355 (elected).

Sara Lincoln, 152.

Sean Core, 54.

Martha Renville, 23.

Viva DuBois, 14.

In reorganizing, D. Nelson was elected to serve as Board president; S. Lehrke, vice-president.






CASE: D-17-534-378




And concerning:




NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Petitioner's request for a change of name from JARIN DEAN SHEPHERD to JARIN DEAN RED THUNDER shall be heard before the Honorable Michael Swallow, Judge of Tribal Court, in the Courtroom of the Sisseton Wahpeton Tribal Court at Agency Village, South Dakota at 11:30 A.M. on the 10th day of AUGUST, 2017.

Dated this 12th day of July, 2017.


/s/ B.J. Jones, CHIEF JUDGE





Request for Proposals

The Sisseton Wahpeton College is seeking proposals for various construction projects.

All interested parties are required to have all necessary insurances, equipment and licenses to complete projects.

Projects include electrical work for a rodeo arena and campus facilities, beds for a greenhouse, sidewalk and cement work, along with other miscellaneous jobs.

Contractor should be able to complete all tasks required in a timely, professional manner.

Closing date will be August 8th, 2017 at 8:00 a.m.

All bids will be accepted by Lauren LeBeau, Executive Administrative Assistant.

All TERO standards will apply.

All taxes will be contractor responsibility.

To inquire regarding this work contact:

Russell Eberhardt

Facility Manager

(605) 742-1109 Direct Line

(605) 698-3966 Main Line


Trading Post ads

Hiawatha Beach

SD side of Big Stone Lake

North of Corona, East of Wilmot

Rummage Sale

Numerous Cabin Locations

Friday (8 a.m.-6 p.m.)

& Saturday (8 a.m.-1 p.m.)

July 28-29

Directions: From junction of SD Hwy 15 & 472nd Avenue, go north to 132nd Street, turn right at "Lake Access" sign, proceed through the pasture and down the hill. Sale locations are both directions from the bottom of the hill. Watch for signs and balloons.

Household – Tools – Fishing –Furniture – Tiller – Bikes – and more! For questions, or if you get lost, call 605-216-2070.



Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate

Job Openings

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

Gaming Commissioner, Gaming Commission

Teacher (3 positions), Early Head Start

Teacher Aide, Early Head Start

Cook, Head Start

Family Service Worker, Head Start

Bus Driver (part-time), Head Start

Bus Driver/Custodian (2 positions), Head Start

Teacher Aide, Enemy Swim Head Start

Behavioral Health Prevention Specialist, Behavioral Health

Early Childhood Professional/Assistant Coordinator, Early Childhood Intervention Program

Closing Date: July 28th, 2017 @ 04:30 PM

Classroom Aide, JOM

Chief Academic Officer, Education Department

Early Childhood Specialist, Education Department

Closing Date: August 04th, 2017 @ 04:30PM

Application and job description information can be seen at SWO Human Resources Office or Application can be downloaded from "Apply Now" and emailed to ArnoldW@SWO-NSN.GOV or DeniseH@SWO-NSN.GOV. Contact can also be at Arnold Williams 698-8238 or Denise Hill 698-8251 with questions. (Tribal preference will apply).


Sisseton Wahpeton College

Has the following vacancies:


Sisseton Wahpeton College (SWC) is seeking a Librarian. This position performs a variety of advanced and complex professional library services in conjunction with the selection, maintenance, reference and circulation of Library materials to meet the educational, recreational, and information needs of the college. Candidates must possess a Bachelor's degree in Library Science or related field; Master of Library Science degree preferred. Visit our website for a complete job description and the application process, or you may contact Human Resources at 605-698-3966, ext. 1118. Open until filled.

Business Instructors

Sisseton Wahpeton College has openings for one full-time Business Instructor and one Adjunct Business Instructor. These positions will perform instruction-related duties and responsibilities in accordance with the mission statement and policies and procedures of the College. This position is also responsible for instructing assigned business courses, advising students, developing and following class syllabi, and developing and evaluating the effectiveness of class presentations. Candidates must have a Master's Degree in Business. Visit our website for a complete job description and the application process. Contact HR at 605-698-3966, ext. 1118. Open until filled.



Enemy Swim Day School

Has the following positions open for the 2017-2018 school year:

Teachers: MS Language Arts, MS Social Sciences, Special Education, & Dakota Language.

Bus Drivers.

Facilities II.

Cook's Assistant.

After School Group Leaders.

For more information on any of these positions please see the school website at and look under Employment Opportunities or inquire at the school during regular business hours or contact Nadine Contreras at (605) 947-4605, ext. 3097.



Full-Time Job Opportunities

GROW South Dakota is currently seeking a Full-Time employee for the accounting department and a Full-Time employee for the housing/loan department, both to be based out of the Sisseton office. Experience beneficial, but will train. Applications taken until Friday, July 28. To request a job application, contact GROW SD, 104 Ash St. E., Sisseton, SD 57262,, or call (605) 698-7654. EOE



Dakota Western Corp.

… Is accepting applications for the following positions:

Quality Assurance Technician: Responsibilities include but are not limited to inspecting and testing plastic bags for defects, accuracy, strength and print to verify conformance to specifications. Computer knowledge, MS Word and Excel desired. Must be able to work ½ day every other weekend.

Maintenance Technician: Responsibilities include but are not limited to the repair of electrical and mechanical components on production equipment, material handling and support systems. Performs other duties as required, including preventative maintenance, equipment installations and building maintenance.


Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation

Dakota Nation Gaming Enterprise

Position: CEO.

Occupation Summary: The direct primary responsibility of the Employee shall be the overall operation of the DNGE and shall include providing management oversight and directing the day-to-day business activities and the development and implementation of a long range business plan that includes a long range plan for strategic growth. Employee shall be subject to the supervision and direction of the Tribal Council.


o   BS/BA degree in business, management, marketing, accounting or related field of study. Experience:

o   A minimum of 10 years of management experience with at least 5 years performing at a senior level is required at a property generating over $50 million of gaming revenue.

o   Must be capable of developing and maintaining a comprehensive business and marketing plan.

o   Must demonstrate experience in finance, accounting, marketing, procurement, HR management, policy/procedure writing, and security/surveillance compliance.

o   Experience and knowledge in Class II and Class III gaming is preferred.

o   Experience and knowledge of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and other regulatory authorities.

o   Experience with multiple-site management is preferred.

o   Must demonstrate knowledge, skills, and ability to analyze all financial statements.

Must be able to obtain a (PMO) License with the SWO Gaming Commission


Submit resume to: Heather Williams, E-mail:


Dakota Magic Casino

Job Openings

C-Store Department:

Clerk (3 Full-Time) 2 Swing, 1 Graveyard

Supervisor (Full-Time) Rotating

Cage Department:

Cashier (Full-Time) Graveyard

Supervisor (Full-Time) Graveyard

Foods Department:

Bus Persons (Full-Time) as needed

Cashiers (Full-Time) as needed

Dishwashers (Full-Time) as needed

Wait Staffs (Full-Time) as needed

Hotel Department:

Front Desk Clerk (Full-Time) 8:00 am to finish

Housekeeping Department:

Porter (Full-Time) as needed

Security Department:

Officer (Full-Time) as needed

Slots Department:

Technician (Full-Time) Swing

Smoke/Gift Shop Department:

Clerk (2 Full-Time) Day, Swing

Surveillance Department:

Observer (Full-Time) as needed

Closing Date: July 28, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.

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 Magic Casino

Job Openings

The Surveillance Department Is Now Accepting Applications For

Position: Manager (1 Full-Time)

Job Description: Manager is responsible for the overall administration of the Surveillance department. Closing Date: July 31, 2017 @4:00 p.m.

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 Magic Casino

Job Openings

The Marketing Department Is Now Accepting Applications For

Position: Player Development & Club Manager (Full-Time)

Job Description: Oversees daily operations of the Casino Hosts and Magic Rewards Club. Responsible for growing and retaining our guest database through one-on-one interactions, telemarketing, written correspondence, direct contact, and on and off-site event participation. The Player Development Manager will ensure customer retention, increased trip frequency, guest loyalty and repeat business by building personal relationships with our mid-level and VIP club members.

Closing Date: July 27, 2017 @4:00 p.m.

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 Connection Casino

Job Openings

C-Store Department:

Clerk/Cashier (2) 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.

Opening date: Thursday, July 20, 2017

Closing date: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 @ 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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