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Vol. 47 Issue No. 39

Anpetu Iyamni, Sept. 28, 2016

Inside this Edition –

SWO Primary Election is next week Tuesday, October 4th

Breaking news: SWO signs education agreement with BIA

No DAPL: SWO mni wiconi defenders go from Standing Rock and the Missouri River to Boone, IA and the Des Moines River

SWO Self-Governance work group article

Buffalo Lanes bowling alley now open

Walk Against Meth held from Memorial Park to SWC campus

Note to candidates: New Sota discounted rates, pre-payment policy

Deadline for receipt of copy is Friday noon

Calling Oyate: 2016 Primary Election is next Tuesday, October 4

By CD Floro

Sota Editor

Lake Traverse Reservation District polling places (District Centers) will be open for registered SWO voters next Tuesday, October 4th, 2016 from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

This Primary Election is your opportunity to decide candidates whose names will be placed on the ballot in the Tribal General Election to be held Tuesday, November 8, 2016.

Please note that the REB has announced deadline for receiving your Absentee Ballots.

Absentee Ballots deadline for the 2016 General Election is Monday, October 24th.

Please come out and vote your conscience for leaders you think will be best serve the needs of all members.

This is neither a popularity contest nor a survey to show whose tiospaye has more close relatives than others. "We are all relatives" must not simply be a slogan.

Above all, these elections must not be about electing anyone to Tribal office with a preconceived notion that he or she is going to provide you perks unavailable to other members of your Oyate.

Perhaps read Paula Horne's commentary which includes the seven W's of Dakota culture.

No one of us is perfect, but choose wisely not for selfish gain – that is the way of those deserving to be called "wasicu" – but for the good of your community.

Finally, thank you to each one who has filed to run as a candidate. Thank you for your willingness to serve.

Please see the Primary Election sample ballots provided in this week's Sota by the Reservation Election Board.

Watch for our election coverage in the Wednesday, October 11th Sota and online on our website and on Facebook.

Breaking news: SWO signs education agreement with BIA

Dr. Sherry Johnson, SWO Tribal Education Coordinator, has announced approval and signing, by SWO Chairman Dave Flute and Acting Director of the Bureau of Indian Education Ann Marie Bledsoe-Downs, of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) agreement for the Tribal Education Department.

"This takes our SWO Education Department to an another level for sovereignty in the operations of our own Education," said Dr. Johnson.

This agreement ensures access to information by the Tribal Education Department but most importantly guarantees the confidentiality of information."

"It has been a long time in coming but through persistence it was approved," she said.

"We are moving forward!"

It is one of the goals of the Sovereignty in Education Program for the Education Department staff Tyler Birney, Project Director and Phyllis Roberts, Education Manager under the guidance of Dr. Sherry Johnson Education Director and Bonnie Haines Education Specialist.

(Editor's note: Watch for more information about this historic agreement taking greater authority for education from the BIA and handing it over to the Tribe's Education Department.)

No DAPL: SWO mni wiconi defenders go from Standing Rock and the Missouri River to Boone, IA and the Des Moines River

Photos by John Heminger

What are the camps on the Standing Rock Sioux homelands doing?

There are songs and prayers at sunrise every day.

As plans are underway for staying at camp thru the winter, more and more people keep coming to stand strong.

You would think people would be getting ready to go home and come back next spring, but that is furthest from the truth. The camp is only getting stronger and bigger every day.

Many tribes are still showing up.

Many Indigenous people from all over the world are still on their way, many Indigenous people from central and South America are still on their way to Stand with Standing Rock.

This is the end of corporate greed and the destruction of mother earth.

Here are photo highlights of the camps at Standing Rock from the past week, and a journey of SWO mni wiconi defenders to stand alongside No DAPL activists at Boone, Iowa. These Iowans, non-Natives, are joined with us in defense of sacred waters and lands being destroyed by the corrupt-government-media complex. Their era of domination and control is ending, and how special it is that our tribes and many allies are at ground zero of the shift! At Boone, our SWO caravan of 16 defenders joined in civil disobedience to disrupt the digging of Dakota Access pipe underneath the Des Moines River. Below, please read comments about our Oyate by Paula Horne, and news and editorial commentary about the growing global movement against the destruction. Everyone's future is at stake. The fossil fuel must remain in the ground; there is no more need for hydraulic fracking. CDF

About the Des Moines River

By Sara Childers

Between the Saint Peters (MN) River and Missouri River many streams of considerable magnitude enter the Mississippi from the westward. The largest of them is the Des Moines River, about 100 miles above the Illinois River.

On this river the Sioux and some other bands of Indians frequently descended with their furs and skins for market.

The current of the Mississippi continues gentle and its water clear, until it joins the Missouri, where it becomes much more rapid and remarkably cold and muddy.

SWO Mni Wiconi defenders

By Sylvana Flute

We, Allison Renville and I, met Jess Mazour and Matt Ohloff on top of Facebook hill at Oceti Sakowi camp. We took them to the SWO camp to introduce them to our people. Then Allison and I handed out their fliers for them around Oceti Sakowi camp. Jess and Matt came from Iowa to answer Standing Rocks call as well! They love it in Standing Rock! The people, peacefulness, unity and prayer!

When we met the people of Iowa we told them that we are one people as humans. In that way we are, all related in our plight against the pipelines as well as other pollutions! We are the voices for those who have none ... water, air, wildlife, plants, earth, etc. We are the defenders of the helpless. We come in prayer and told them to ALWAYS be prayerful when together for Mni Wiconi. We of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate band of Oceti Sakowi stand united in solidarity with all tribes, nations and people in the battles to prevent the death of our waters and lands via pollutions!

Our group felt hope in a hopeless situation as DAPL was drilling 24/7 into the Des Moines River. The only concession the courts gave to the peoples of Iowa (farmers, landowners, city people, town people, youth, etc.) was NO DRILLING DURING RAIN! The next morning Ina Maka showed us how disrespectful DAPL is. They continued to drill! We are Ina Maka's witnesses to her rape even during a time of supposed protection by Iowa Law. Ina Maka is helpless.

We took part in a protection of a blockade of cars that temporarily stopped DAPL from drilling for 2-3 hours. They continued later on even through the rain on our journey home to SWO. We met 85-year old, Hazel Zimmerman whose picture, in handcuffs defending their waters in Iowa, was spread throughout social media. We told Iowa that in our culture our elders are cherished. It took an elder for us to notice their plight in Iowa. Just as the youth of Standing Rock the 7th generation whose thousands of miles run to Washington, DC to ask President Obama to stop the blacksnake/pipeline to protect the Missouri River from oil spills contaminating or killing their drinking waters.

I felt so bad for those few Iowans standing strong in strength and fortitude against the black snake/DAPL/Bakken. These huge oil corporations especially DAPL are using Eminent Domain on Iowa's, landowners such as they did to us the Oceti Sakowi when they disbanded us by sending us to reservations a couple hundred years ago. We have compassion for our fellow humans and that is a part of who we are. We gave the Iowans hope and uplifted their spirits knowing they are not alone.

Danielle Wattanee, Meskwaki Nation and Sac and Fox, welcomed us on our return home to Iowa, our (Dakota, Lakota, Nakota) anscestoral lands! She greeted us as brother and sisters united as we used to be ancestral enemies. Danielle also ran with the Sanding Rock youth to Washington, DC. She cried in gratitude when we hugged each other as we came to stand beside her to speak. We ended up sharing tears of unity and hope! We, the representatives of the SWO did not expect the beautiful welcome we received as we simply came to support Iowa.

Our journey together against the black snake/DAPL/Bakken pipeline has only begun.

We will come to stand the last great MNI WICONI battle in the near future with our Iowa relatives at the Mississippi River. The black snake will spill oil into the Mississippi River all along those states, lands cities. All life, using it as drinking waters! Oil is death to our waters. When that time comes there will be fighting and wars amongst our own peoples in this country for clean drinking water as the land and wildlife die.



Sylvana Flute: "I am helping protect our waters for my grandsons Nation and Kendricks. They are my heart and future! As well as doing this for all future generations, waters, plants, soil and wildlife.! "


John heminger: "It's shameful that more Oceti Sakowi did not answer the call when the Iowans made it when they came to Standing Rock to support us. The war on the black snake covers different battlefield from SD, ND, Iowa and Illinois. We must respond to all the calls for help!"


Margaret Hopkins: "I was scared of not knowing what to expect in a non-Native environment. I still answered the call. I was surprised and grateful at how well the Iowans treated us. Many of the Iowans came up to us crying. So grateful that the Sisseton Wahpeton answered their call. We gave them hope! "


Josh "Sammy" Lawrence: "I went to Iowa, with a heart filled with prayer. knowing that my children and people were all with me. "


Allison Renville: "As someone who has been actively participating on social media throughout this ordeal, I came across a photo on Facebook of Hazel Zimmerman. An 85 year old elderly woman who has herself been on the frontline of their battle in Iowa, we were impressed with her tenacity once we saw her being arrested by the Iowa state patrol. As we've been here in Standing Rock we have connected thru our plight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. We understand there way of life as farmers and a rural community is jeopardized just like ours is as we respect the land and water as our lifeline. We have shown our support to Standing Rock and when there was an invitation extended to come to Iowa I was so excited and proud to be an Oyate member when the SWO was represented as an ally along, with Hunkpapa people, standing in solidarity with the Bakken Resistance."

Anpetu was'te Oyate!

By Paula Horne

I just want the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate to be proud of our Tribal members representing our Oyate by staying, protecting and supporting our Mni Wic'oni cause in Standing Rock.

Also to those Oyate that are taking time off work traveling to add to the energy of solidarity of the people at the camp, even for a moment is good. Just to assist and be there to represent our participation at the Standing Rock endeavor in protecting the Mni Wic'oni – Water of Life – is such an honorable and once-in-a lifetime opportunity to be part of.

This has been a very beautiful sight to see, with over 300 flags of support from around the world, sometimes swelling to 7,000 strong of people coming from the four directions.

I am hoping for the same sincerity in protecting our SWO water will come about by experiencing Unity of the Sacred Hoop of our Oyate, where we should all learn take our place to stand in.

I realize that our people are quick to judge and I would like to ask those making comments and judging to turn them into prayers instead.

These young people have not been raised by a village of our honor teachings like back in the day of camps with the knowledge of all of the 7 Ws, where we all felt the need to keep us all like a true tios'paye.

Be proud they are slowly learning, let's show them support.

The 7 as a reminder are:

Woc'ekiya – Praying: Finding spirituality by communicating with your higher power.

Wa o' hoda - Respect: for self, higher power, family, community and all life.

Wa on'sida – Caring and Compassion: love caring, and concern for one another in a good way, especially for the family, the old ones, the young ones, the orphans, the one in mourning, the sick ones, and the ones working for the people.

Wowijke – Honesty and Truth: with yourself, higher power and others with sincerity.

Wawokiye – Generosity and Caring: helping without expecting anything in return, giving from the heart.

Wah'wada - Humility: we have a spirit; we are not better or less than others.

Woksape – Wisdom: practice with knowledge comes wisdom.

That being said, I want to ask Chuck with Sota to help maintain a GOFUNDME for this camp's needs. Maybe find a way to divert to an accountable umbrella. All the other tribes are fundraising with help from their own people that have to work as well as outside assistance; to get decent winter tents, cots, stoves, boots and winter supplies. The CRST even brought in picnic tables and generators and they don't have three casinos.

(Editor's note: The Sota is assisting a nonprofit organization in initiating a GOFUNDME. Find links on the Sota website and shared on Facebook this week.)

Our camp consists of the original tipi I brought from the Coming of Age and Arvol Looking Horse brought in his old Sundance tipi. Later Sylvana Flute checked out two Tribal tipis. They also have their own and donated tents and supplies, but these are not going to hold up for winter.

I am presently working with an organization on a Healing with Horses Camp that Arvol will be initiating in the future, so I am going to put in for tents and cots and allow them to use them to help them – if I am successful to help that way.

In the meantime it would be good for all you that choose to stay home for your family's survival needs, to help by donating to our Tribal participation camp for their needs, like other tribes are doing.

They may or may not have made some bad decisions while there, but I will tell you this. I know that when I had a meeting with Security, without them knowing I was from Sisseton, they claimed that our boys were the most dependable and voluntarily efficient.

We have had meetings to address different concerns within our SWO camp and we feel they were positive, but can be even more positive with your help by not allowing your energy of keyapi to affect them, instead pray for them.

Visit them and take them some pie, or soup or love through whatever means.

Wopida for those bringing in wood; make sure our camp gets it first please.

The girls want skirts, people that send in clothes for the large village have a habit of taking those things for themselves and other camps are sewing with their generators. There are around 4-8 women there, help them with skirts for those that sew.

The bigger picture is our water – MNI Wic'oni. There is a lot at stake here and if that pipeline gets laid, which will leak for sure eventually in our children's children's time on earth, this contamination will seep into our territory too.

I think many of you think it won't reach us or affect us, let alone the contamination going on now from the cattle leases and the huge dairy CAFO these days. But we need to think like a Dakota and care and protect our territory – our lands – for our children, rather than how much money we can make off our resources.

Remember, Mother Earth is the Source of life, not a resource.

My prayers are with all of you to change your keyapi into positive prayers of concern to be directed toward our representing youth to heal.

Wopida Tanka to Ione Eagle who came and to stay at the camp too.

I was so proud that day. She was the oldest representative there so far.

My prayers are for healing for our Oyate's minds to wake up to the needs of children's future environment they are inheriting.

Hugs to my Oyate, Paula.

Standing Tall: The Sioux's battle against a Dakota oil pipeline is a galvanizing social justice movement for Native Americans

By Kristen A. Carpenter and Angela R. Riley

Slate – Sept. 23, 2016 – What sparks and sustains a movement? For more than a month, members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and thousands of allies have gathered in camps along the Missouri River in Cannon Ball, North Dakota. They are protesting the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline which, if completed, would carry half a million gallons of crude oil per day ultimately to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico. More urgently for the protesters, the pipeline is slated to be built within a half mile of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, traveling across treaty-guaranteed lands, under the tribe's main source of drinking water, and through sacred sites. As lawyers for the tribe have argued, "An oil spill at this site would constitute an existential threat to the Tribe's culture and way of life."

For many American Indians, stopping the Dakota Access Pipeline has become (another) last stand.

For now, a federal appellate court has granted an injunction to temporarily halt construction over certain portions of the pipeline as it considers tribal claims under the National Historic Preservation Act, Clean Water Act, and other statutes. This follows a statement by the Department of the Interior, the Army, and the Department of Justice indicating that construction would not be allowed to go forward while the government reviews whether federal agencies adequately consulted with the tribes before permitting the pipeline. These are positive steps forward, particularly given that, as the government concedes, the pipeline was "fast tracked" through the normal environmental review processes. The recent judicial decision gives the federal government time to consider more carefully the risks that the pipeline will pose for humans, the water, and the environment.

But it's not enough. The United States has affirmative obligations, both legal and moral, to protect Indian water, land, culture, and religion. The reservation established by the Treaty of Fort Laramie of 1851, for example, included extensive lands that would be crossed by the pipeline. Although the government soon violated provisions of both that 1851 treaty and the Treaty of Fort Laramie 1868, the tribe may still have outstanding claims. In addition, various federal laws have been promulgated precisely to give the tribes a role in decisions affecting tribal resources off-reservation. As part of its review of the pipeline consultation process, the government promised to consider reform measures more broadly. Any reforms to the federal consultation process should require affirmative mutual consent between the federal and tribal governments regarding undertakings that impact tribal resources. There must be an opportunity for tribes to review, shape the terms of, and agree to federal projects affecting them before those projects get underway, as well as an open channel of government-to-government relations during and after project completion.

For many American Indians, stopping the Dakota Access Pipeline has become (another) last stand. Neither side is giving in. Numerous protesters, including the tribal chairman, have been arrested. Social media has helped fuel the tribe's resistance. Indian people recorded and shared video of the company bulldozing ancient stone prayer sites near the pipeline. When the pipeline company's private security forces unleashed dogs and Mace on protesters, witnesses armed only with cellphones posted video footage online, leading to more intense journalistic coverage (including by one reporter who was then herself the subject of a state arrest warrant). When the governor of North Dakota called a state of emergency and cut off the camp water source, all of Indian country was put on alert and many other tribes trucked in donations of water. Thousands of Indian people have now turned out to drum and sing and pray at the camps. All of these events have attracted widespread media attention, visits from actors and musicians, and even a new protest song by Neil Young.

The situation at Standing Rock is a reminder that the plight of American Indian tribes, and of the Sioux in particular, stands as an all too familiar and dark chapter of U.S. history. The Sioux famously battled Custer and signed those historic treaties of Fort Laramie, only to have the government break them when gold was discovered in the Black Hills of Dakota territory. In 1890, after the U.S. outlawed Indian religions, the 7th Cavalry shot and killed approximately 200 Sioux people while they prayed in a ceremony called the Ghost Dance. After the Sioux refused to surrender and give up their lands, the U.S. tried to starve them by overhunting the buffalo and denying treaty rations. Just 50 years ago, the government seized individual homes on the Standing Rock reservation to build the Oahe hydroelectric dam project. To this very day, many members of the Oceti Sakowin, the Great Sioux Nation's name for itself, live on some of the poorest Indian reservations in the poorest counties of the United States.

In 2014, President Obama traveled to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The President was reportedly moved by the poverty and suffering of tribal members, and also by their tenacity and spirit. In an historic speech, he said, "I promised ... to be a president ... who honors our sacred trust, and who respects your sovereignty, and upholds treaty obligations." He went on to quote the great Sioux leader Sitting Bull, saying, "Let's put our minds together, to see what we can build for our children." To Indian people who believe in an obligation to live on this Earth in a way that honors what they call the Seven Generations—from great-grandparents to great-grandchildren—the president's words acknowledged a sacred bond of shared responsibility for the past, present, and future of Indian country.

The situation unfolding in North Dakota is primarily a story about the legal battle facing the Standing Rock and other Sioux tribes. But it is also about the ways in which the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is, against all odds, marching at the forefront of today's contemporary indigenous rights movement. Connected to other national and global movements emphasizing racial, social, and environmental justice, the Standing Rock Sioux are asserting rights to sovereignty, land, culture, and religion in ways that are connecting to larger, global struggles. More than 150 Indian nations have traveled to support the Sioux, flooding the camp with supplies, prayers, and commitments of solidarity. The Crow tribe even set aside its historic differences with the Sioux to present gifts, songs, and prayers to the Standing Rock tribe upon its arrival. For indigenous people traveling from Ecuador, and New Zealand, and beyond, Standing Rock is about more than just one tribe's fight for justice. It has become a symbol of hope and rebirth. As the people say, Mni Wiconi, "water is life."

The storm brewing in North Dakota is now moving beyond the Plains. This week, Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault traveled to Geneva to make the tribe's case to the United Nations. In formal testimony before the U.N. Human Rights Council, Archambault stated, "This pipeline violates our treaty rights and our human rights, and it violates the U.N.'s own Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples." The declaration is an instrument, adopted by 144 nations worldwide, including the U.S., which calls on national governments to recognize the rights of indigenous peoples to land, water, and sacred sites in traditional territories.

The protests around the Dakota pipeline have already achieved something historic: They have inspired indigenous peoples across the world to unite around efforts to preserve natural, religious, and cultural resources essential for the survival of the earth. As Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black wrote at the end of his now-famous dissent in the 1960 Indian treaty case Federal Power Commission v. Tuscarora Indian Nation: "Great Nations, like great men, should keep their word." The federal government must meet its obligations in this case. Meanwhile, as summer turns to fall, and colder weather is coming to the Plains, members of the Oceti Sakowin and their allies at the Cannonball camps are gathering supplies and prayers to continue the struggle for the people and the water.

EARTH JOURNAL: Why the Dakota Access pipeline fight may be a turning point in U.S. environmental politics

By Ron Meador

Minnpost – Sept. 16, 2016 – In about two weeks' time, Indian-led opposition to the Dakota Access oil pipeline has grown in stature from a somewhat local, perhaps desperate struggle to what may well prove a watershed event in modern American history, marking significant shifts in environmental politics and pipeline policy.

Given the Obama administration's newfound willingness to give it more federal review, announced last Friday, it seems at least possible that the 1,172-mile pipeline, said by its owners to be 60 percent complete already, may seriously falter and even fail.

It also appears probable that the unity of tribes across the U.S. in support of the Standing Rock Sioux will persist long beyond their ad hoc collaboration of the moment, regularly described as exceeding in size and power the alliance preceding the Battle of the Greasy Grass 140 years ago. (And we know how that one — aka the Battle of the Little Bighorn — turned out.)

But the fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is also over issues beyond saving tribal burial grounds from the bulldozer or protecting reservation rights to clean water from the Missouri River. White farmers and other landowners also have opposed the project along its route from the Bakken formation in North Dakota through South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois, though with little success and less coverage so far.

There were 18 arrests on Saturday in Boone County, bringing the Iowa total to nearly 50, which doesn't rival the tally over many weeks at the Standing Rock protests but isn't trivial, either.

In addition to local environmental concerns, or simply wanting the pipeline routed away from their own properties, many in Iowa and elsewhere resent the four states' grants of eminent domain to the project, which enable Energy Transfer Partners to take by legal force any easements for its pipeline that it can't obtain by writing a check.

Eminent domain is typically reserved for the taking of private property for a public purpose, like highways and power lines. Speaking of power lines, we now come to perhaps the most far-reaching way in which the DAPL battle may change national policy — by focusing attention and ire on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' decision to authorize the pipeline without environmental review under its Nationwide Permit 12 program, aka NWP 12.

Normally a four-state pipeline built to carry petroleum products across the landscape, like every other project with significant potential impact on the surrounding environment, would require federal review under the National Environmental Policy Act. The requirement is obvious and until recently it was routinely met.

But in the last several years, in a shift most commentators trace to the Obama White House, several large pipeline projects have gotten federal signoff under NWP 12, which is administered by the Corps as part of its authority to protect the nation's surface waters and wetlands.

Fast track for pipeline permits Designed for power lines, substations and similar public utility projects, this permit assumes minimal impact from, say, a tower or building whose surface disturbance would be less than a half-acre in size. By approving DAPL under NWP 12, the Corps essentially decided to treat it as a series of small wetland crossings instead of a four-state infrastructure project that will transport perhaps a half-million barrels of petroleum products per day, with high risks for spills and a huge contribution to global warming.

(As some may remember, this is the authority under which President Obama announced with pride that his administration would fast-track a TransCanada pipeline that had been part of Keystone XL, before eventually deciding to reject the remainder. For a good discussion of this history, you could do worse than Steve Horn's Desmog Blog post of last Thursday.)

And though many national environmental groups have opposed DAPL — with special emphasis on the NWP 12 issues — mainstream media attention has been fairly light across the country and perhaps especially so in the Twin Cities. As Bill Richardson, the former congressman, governor, ambassador and energy secretary from New Mexico, wrote on Wednesday in The Hill:

As someone who regularly appears on television to discuss the day's top stories, I've been fielding calls lately to give my thoughts on Secretary Clinton's health, Donald Trump's health, Secretary Clinton's foundation, Donald Trump's foundation, and so on. Yet, I have not received a single call from the media asking about the most important and quintessentially American story that is playing out on the banks of the Missouri River in North Dakota right now. Clashes at the protest site Interest has grown dramatically, however, since a flurry of activity that began Sept. 3, when bulldozers flanked by private security guards began digging near the Standing Rock protesters' encampment, at a spot the tribe had just identified in a court filing as containing old burial sites.

Guards and protesters clashed. Pepper spray and guard dogs were deployed; reports indicate at least several protesters were bitten, at least one of them a child. In remarks that have echoed for many our southern civil rights struggles of the 1960s, local cops have consistently accused the protesters of starting all the trouble by throwing rocks, using flags as weapons and brandishing "pipe bombs" (later corrected to "peace pipes.")

The authorities have not helped their worldwide image by holding one protest organizer, arrested on a misdemeanor trespassing charge, without bail and issuing arrest warrants for a nationally known broadcast journalist (Amy Goodman of "Democracy Now," accused of stepping onto private land) as well as presidential candidate (Jill Stein, who admits spray-painting a bulldozer with the tag, "I approve this message.")

To my mind, however, the best parallel here is not Selma but Pine Ridge and all the other places in the Dakotas where authorities fought the American Indian Movement in a series of skirmishes and sieges so well documented by Peter Matthiessen's "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse." How I wish he were still with us to add his perspective on what's unfolding there today.

And I think the sometimes embarrassing conduct of Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier and the officers he commands shouldn't shift all the focus away from the behavior of Energy Transfer Partners, which by most accounts has muscled its way through state-level project reviews and is suing protest leaders in a clear attempt at intimidating them into silence.

Meanwhile, the Standing Rock protest has set off like-minded demonstrations in Detroit, St. Louis, Toronto and, of course, at the White House; according to The Nation, more than 100 protests were planned worldwide for Tuesday.

It has also inspired a Michigan tribe to withdraw its approval of a settlement between the Environmental Protection Agency and the Enbridge pipeline company over damage from the big spill at Kalamazoo in 2010. Echoing the Standing Rock Sioux, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa says its treaty rights to consultation on matters affecting the Straits of Mackinac, which are crossed by an Enbridge line, were ignored in drafting the deal.

Where do we go from here? Most of the DAPL project can go forward despite the administration's decision to temporarily block construction on Corps-controlled land on or under the Missouri River at Lake Oahe until it resolves "important issues [of consultation] raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other tribal nations and their members regarding the Dakota Access pipeline specifically, and pipeline-related decision-making generally."

The announcement said the Corps will "move expeditiously" to reach this resolution and asked Energy Transfer Partners to voluntarily suspend DAPL work elsewhere until that's done; to nobody's surprise, the company declined.

At the same time, the Corps' NWP 12 is heading for expiration next May unless it is renewed; public comments on renewal were collected during the summer but no decision has been made. Given the level of controversy that has arisen from the DAPL example, it seems fair to wonder if there might not be significant changes, at the least, in store for the permit or the ways it is applied.

Especially given this paragraph from the announcement:

Furthermore, this case has highlighted the need for a serious discussion on whether there should be nationwide reform with respect to considering tribes' views on these types of infrastructure projects. Therefore, this fall, we will invite tribes to formal, government-to-government consultations on two questions: (1) within the existing statutory framework, what should the federal government do to better ensure meaningful tribal input into infrastructure-related reviews and decisions and the protection of tribal lands, resources, and treaty rights; and (2) should new legislation be proposed to Congress to alter that statutory framework and promote those goals.

President Obama hosts 2016 White House Tribal Nations conference

President Obama is hosting the 2016 White House Tribal Nations conference this Monday, September 26.

The event is being held at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC.

This is the President's eighth and final Tribal Nations conference.

Its purpose is to provide tribal leaders from the 567 federally recognized tribes with the opportunity to interact directly with high-level federal government officials and members of the White House Council on Native American Affairs.

Each federally recognized tribe has been invited to send one representative to the conference.

Buffalo Lake District Councilman Kenny Johnson is the delegate representing the SWO Tribe.

In a news release coming late last week, the White House said that this year's conference "will continue to build upon the President's commitment to strengthen the government-to-government relationship with Indian country and to improve the lives of American Indians and Alaska Natives."

Plans for 2016 White House Tribal Nations conference

From September 26-27th, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Deputy Secretary Michael L. Connor and Principle Deputy Acting Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts will join President Obama, other cabinet Secretaries, and leaders from the 567 federally recognized tribes at the 8th annual White House Tribal Nations Conference.

On Monday, September 26, Secretary Jewell will deliver opening remarks before participating in a tribal-led discussion on the environment, climate change and natural resources. The following day, Tuesday, September 27, Secretary Jewell will attend several meetings with tribal leaders in the morning on issues ranging from health care and education, justice and safety, economic development and infrastructure, and energy development and investment. In the afternoon, the Secretary and U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy will participate in an event at the White House Tribal Youth Gathering related to the Interior Department's leadership of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Outside initiative, which aims to inspire millions of kids to play, learn, serve and work outdoors. During the Youth Gathering, Secretary Jewell will also participate in a panel on climate change and the environment.

Army, DOI, DOJ call for tribal consultation

Washington, DC – Sept. 23, 2016 – The U.S. Departments of Justice, of the Army, and of the Interior today invited representatives from all 567 federally recognized tribes to participate in formal, government-to-government consultations on how federal decision-making on infrastructure projects can better allow for timely and meaningful tribal input. Starting with a listening session on Oct. 11, formal tribal consultations are scheduled in six regions of the country, from Oct. 25 through Nov. 21. The deadline for written input will be Nov. 30.

The three departments previously announced on Sept. 9, the intention to hold these consultation sessions after important issues were raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other tribal nations and their members regarding the Dakota Access pipeline specifically and pipeline-related decision-making more generally.

The consultations will focus on how the federal government can better ensure meaningful tribal input into infrastructure-related decisions and the protection of tribal lands, resources and treaty rights and will also explore with tribes whether new legislation should be proposed to Congress to alter the current statutory framework to promote those goals.

Excerpt from the letter

Dear Tribal Leader:

Recent events have highlighted the need for a broader review and consultation as to how, prospectively, Federal decisionmaking on infrastructure projects can better allow for timely and meaningful tribal input. On behalf of the Department of the Interior, Department of Justice, Department of the Army, and other Federal agencies, we invite you to consultations on how the Federal Government can better account for, and integrate tribal views, on future infrastructure decisions throughout the country. Consistent with our nation-to-nation relationship, our consultations are with tribal leaders and your designated staff. In particular, we have identified the following questions we seek your input on:

(1) How can Federal agencies better ensure meaningful tribal input into infrastructure-related reviews and decisions, to protect tribal lands, resources, and treaty rights within the existing statutory framework?

(2) Should the Federal agencies propose new legislation altering the statutory framework to promote these goals?

We will provide a framing paper with additional detail on these questions, including a description of the statutory framework currently in place. While these questions are of particular interest to the Federal agencies, we welcome any input relevant to the broader topic.

We respectfully request your participation in one of the following consultation sessions:

Regional meetings include the following:

*Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016: Albuquerque, NM.

*Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016: Billings, MT.

*Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016: Minneapolis, MN.

*Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016: Rapid City, SD.

*Monday, Nov. 21, 2016: Consultation by teleconference.

(Watch for details to come.)

The framing paper, details on the consultation locations, and any additional information will be available at this website: http://www.biagov/WhoWeAre/AS-WORMffriballnput/index.htm.

If you would like to provide written input, please send it by email to or by mail to: Office of the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs, attn.: Office of Regulatory Affairs & Collaborative Action, 1849 C Street, NW, MS 3071, Washington, DC 20240. We will consider all written input we receive by Friday, November 30, 2016.

We recognize this is an aggressive consultation schedule, but we believe it is appropriate given the importance and urgency of the issues. If you have any questions regarding these sessions or would like additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Elizabeth K. Appel, Director, Office of Regulatory Affairs & Collaborative Action, at (202)208-7163 or

We understand that Tribal Nations' voices must be heard, in a timely and meaningful way, with regard to Federal decisions that could affect their treaties, homelands, environment, cultural properties, and sacred sites. We look forward to your input as to how our agencies, and the Federal Government as a whole, can improve Federal decision-making processes that affect Tribal lands, resources, and treaty rights to ensure that those decisions are fully consistent with our obligations to Tribal Nations.

Buffalo Lanes now open

Buffalo Lanes Sandbagger Bar grand opening this weekend, Sept. 30-Oct. 1st

Buffalo Lake District has successfully taken advantage of a BIA loan support program for tribal economic development. It is not an easy process, and Sisseton BIA Superintendent has praised Buffalo Lake District officials for remaining steadfast in making the program work.

The District worked with Peoples State Bank of Summit, and the BIA, to arrange financing for a complete renovation of its former Bde Tanka Tioskata.

That was the Dakota-iyapi name for its roller skating rink.

With the loss of Sisseton's bowling alley in a fire that tragically claimed the owner's life, and no plans for the family to rebuild, here was an opportunity.

The District looked at revamping the skating rink, converting it into a bowling alley.

And, thanks to persistence and support from the Summit bank, the development package came together and Buffalo Lanes bowling alley held an open house Wednesday, August 31st, inviting local people to come and see what's available.

Buffalo Lake District Chairman Louie Johnson served as moderator.

He introduced those who played key roles in making possible the makeover.

Each was presented with a star quilt:

*Tim Gapp, People's State Bank.

*Ronnie Grajczyk, Dakota Resurfacing.

*Matt Redlin, Landmark Builders.

*Russell Hawkins, BIA Superintendent. (Russell was unable to attend to receive his quilt in person.)

Buffalo Lanes is now open for business, with league and open bowling, and daily specials at the Grille.

"We need bowlers on Monday night Women's league, Wednesday night Women's league, Mixed Team Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights," said Manager John Christopherson. "And they all begin at 6:00 p.m."

There are some new "fun events." These are "No Tap Pot" bowling (9 pins = strike) and the "Forty Frame Game" every Tuesday night beginning at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $8 for all you can bowl plus prize money.

There is also $1 a game bowling Saturday and Sunday. Hours are between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

From Strikers Grille Tuesday night is build your own burger basket.

Friday night is Indian Taco and Super Nacho Night.

Saturday night is Build Your Own Burrito

The Sandbagger Bar at Buffalo Lanes will be having its grand opening this coming weekend of Sept.30-Oct.1st.

The Bar will be serving drink specials and food from Strikers Grille. Come in and enjoy Sisseton's next great attraction.

Walk Against Meth held last week

Photos by John Heminger

Dakotah Pride staff, counselors, individuals in recovery, and family members remembering loved ones who lost the battle, turned out last Wednesday morning, September 14th for a "Walk Against Meth."

Tom Wilson, KXSW radio announcer, publicized the event on the air and on Facebook.

Tom set up a mobile station at SWO Memorial Park at Sisseton, where the walkers … and a couple of fast runners – left with signs and balloons to travel down BIA 700 to the Sisseton Wahpeton College campus.

Balloons had names of loved ones remembered by those participating in the walk.

At the end there was a rally and presentation on awareness of what is being done to help bring back those who suffeer from addiction.

For more information about treatment by counselors and groups of recovering addicts helping others, contact Dakotah Pride Center, 605-698-3917.

Fieldwork completed on Lake Traverse Reservation: Pregnancy health survey

Fieldwork for the Pregnancy Health Survey for Parents of Newborns on the Lake Traverse Reservation was completed June 30, 2016. The purpose of the survey is to help understand why some babies are born healthier than others. Moms and dads of babies born between April 1 and December 31, 2015 whose mother's residence was Roberts, Day, Marshall, and Codington counties when the baby was born were invited to take the survey. There were 149 total American Indian infants born during this nine-month period.

The response rate achieved was 61% for moms and 50.8% for dads. The target the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shoots for is 60%, so we met that for moms. Since this was the first time EVER that anyone thought to invite dads to participate, we are pleased with the response.

Funding for the survey is through a grant from the Sanford Collaborative Research Center for American Indian Health, who received its funding for pilot projects from the National Institutes of Health.

Presently the data is being analyzed by our partners at South Dakota State University. Once the data is tabulated, it will belong to the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate. The data can never be shared publicly without official permission from the Tribe. Once the data is available, the Tribe will determine how the results can be used to improve services and programs for the people.

Feedback from the comments offered by survey participants included the words "interesting", "reasonable", "important", "need more like this", "glad y'all are doing a survey" and "good survey". Both moms and dads submitted comments. One mother expressed her appreciation of her partner's efforts to "help us as a family stay strong". Another mother noted that, "Mothers need to be complimented on having healthy children" and added, "I am fortunate to have my mother teach me."

Sharing information, insight on Domestic Violence

By Rhonda Kampeska

Domestic Violence


* Domestic Violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners maybe married or not married, heterosexual, gay or lesbian; living together, separated or dating

Hau, my name is Rhonda Kampeska, I am the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Victim/Witness Coordinator. I am here to write about Domestic Violence. As a child I witnessed this between my parents, alcohol abuse, as well as physical abuse. Those of you that grew up with me know what I am talking about when I say physical abuse.

As a child you grow up SHY, live with SHAME, because YOU wonder, do others have this happen to them? In the back of your mind you say to yourself "I'm not going to let this happen to me when I get married."

Those of us that went to alcohol/substance abuse treatment know that growing up seeing the person committing the abuse tends to be the kind of person you are attracted to. Now, another cycle of Domestic Violence has begun.

Shame takes over, you don't want nobody to know this is happening to you. Your relationship is in full bloom, your friends ask you how you are doing, you tell them "He is good to me" when they grew up knowing him, and his personality and know different. But, they are your friends and they take YOUR WORD for it.

Now, children come into the relationship and he is the sole bread winner, stress, financial problems now play a huge roll. Alcohol and substance abuse comes center stage. Arguments happen, verbal abuse starts then escalates to physical abuse, YOU are the receiving the brunt of the abuse, and who is watching and standing there, your kids…..Your next question to yourself is why me, what did I do to cause this.

Domestic Violence happens to ANYONE, no matter if your rich, poor, working, educated, in good standing in the community. We as survivors can help the YOUNGER ones experiencing this now.

Us older ones, we survived this, somehow, we either got out of the relationship, or it worked it's way out. But, we became stronger, tougher and our self-esteem was rebuilt in our OWN way.

I would like to start up a Talking circle, group anything to help stop this vicious cycle, I should not say STOP, but learn to deal with it by saying I am tired of this, I want to be ME. Life is too short, enjoy your LIFE, your kids. Go back to college, get your GED. DO IT FOR YOU….

If anyone would be interested in this I would like some feedback, I can be reached at this number 698-2022 or

Pidamiya, Mitaku Owasin.

Undoing historical wrongs to our Native American citizens

By Sen. Mike Rounds

September 23, 2016

Imagine a scenario today in which the federal government, with no due process, forcibly removes children of a specific race from their homes and places them into a boarding school more than a thousand miles away from their family and friends. Or imagine the outcry if the federal government were to subject a certain race of citizens into forced labor as a condition of receiving benefits he or she has a treaty obligation to receive. Such patronizing superiority would not be tolerated in today's society, and there would be a public outcry against such blatant discrimination. Yet these are examples of federal laws which are still on the books today with regard to our Native American citizens. It is time to officially remove these historical wrongs from the books.

In April 2016, I introduced the Repealing Existing Substandard Provisions Encouraging Conciliation with Tribes Act, or the RESPECT Act, and it recently passed unanimously out of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. The RESPECT Act would reverse a list of outdated, offensive laws against Native American citizens in the United States. In addition to laws that would allow for the forced removal of Native American Children who can be forced into boarding schools and subjecting Indians into forced labor, a law currently exists today where the president is authorized to declare all treaties with such tribes "abrogated if in his opinion any Indian tribe is in actual hostility to the United States." Another statute calls for the "withholding of moneys or goods on account of intoxicating liquors," meaning Native Americans can be denied annuities, money or goods if they are found under the influence of alcohol.

These and other statutes that would be repealed under the RESPECT Act are a sad reminder of the hostile aggression and overt racism displayed by the early federal government toward Native Americans as the government attempted to "assimilate" them into what was considered "modern society." In many cases, these laws are more than a century old and do nothing but continue the stigma of subjugation and paternalism from that time period. Clearly, there is no place in our legal code for such laws. The idea that these laws were ever considered is disturbing, but the fact that these laws remain on our books – is at best – an oversight. I thank Senate Indian Affairs Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) for all he has done to move the RESPECT Act forward, as well as Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) for introducing companion legislation in the House of Representatives. During a Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing in June, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribal Chairman David Flute of South Dakota testified in support of the RESPECT Act, saying that "Native Americans should all be fully included in America as U.S. citizens and citizens of our Native Nations, with respect for our rights to Freedom, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." I could not agree more. While we can't change history, we should do everything we can to make the future better for all Americans. The RESPECT Act is but one long-overdue step we can take in that ongoing effort.

Funding to UND to combat Indigenous Elder Abuse

Washington, DC – Sept. 19, 2016 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced $350,000 in federal funding at the University of North Dakota (UND) to provide training materials and culturally appropriate information on elder abuse in Indian Country.

The UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences will receive the funds to support its National Indigenous Elder Justice Initiative (NIEJI). Starting in 2011, NIEJI aims to provide culturally appropriate information and resources to address elder abuse in Indian Country. At UND, these federal funds will be used to develop online elder abuse training modules that will be compatible with dial-up, high speed internet, and mobile devices.

"Since joining the U.S. Senate, I've been standing up for some of our most vulnerable North Dakotans to make sure they have the resources, support, and care they need," said Heitkamp. "These federal funds are a critical component in those efforts because they will make sure elders in Indian Country are protected and respectfully cared for, while helping UND continue its great work to educate the region about culturally appropriate approaches to supporting victims of physical and spiritual abuse."

Heitkamp stressed the importance of education and resources to combat elder abuse and called on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to approve these federal funds in June 2016. In 2014, Heitkamp announced $200,000 in continuing federal funds for UND that were used to provide resources and assistance for elder abuse in Indian Country.

IHS reform bill advances to Senate floor

Washington, DC – Sept. 21, 2016 – Today the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs approved the Indian Health Service (IHS) Accountability Act of 2016, introduced earlier this year by U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee. Thune's bill, which is cosponsored by U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), and Steve Daines (R-Mont.), represents one of the most comprehensive IHS reform bills introduced in the Senate this Congress, and if enacted, would bring some much-needed change and accountability to the federal agency responsible for providing quality health care to tribal citizens in South Dakota and around the United States.

"Creating a culture change at a federal government agency is never an easy task, but that doesn't mean we should shy away from the hard work that's required to ensure tribal citizens receive the quality care to which they're entitled," said Thune. "In crafting this legislation, we've been deliberate in our effort to work with a wide range of stakeholders and take into consideration their feedback and concerns. I've said all along that we wouldn't be able to achieve meaningful reform without this important consultation, and I believe that today more than ever."

"I thank Chairman Barrasso and Sen. Thune for their work to improve the quality of care at IHS," said Rounds. "Any time we can make improvements to Native Americans' access to health care, it's a good thing, and the Indian Health Service Accountability Act is a step in the right direction as we seek ways to fix the broken IHS system. I'm pleased to see this important bill pass out of committee so we can continue to debate and amend it on the full Senate floor."

The IHS Accountability Act of 2016 would improve transparency and accountability at the IHS by:

Expanding removal and discipline authorities for problem employees at the agency; Providing the HHS secretary with direct hiring and other authorities to avoid long delays in the traditional hiring process; Requiring tribal consultation prior to hiring area directors, hospital CEOs, and other key leadership positions; Commissioning Government Accountability Office reports on staffing and professional housing needs; Streamlining the volunteer credential process and providing federal liability insurance to those providers who volunteer their time at an IHS service unit; Mandating that the HHS secretary provide timely IHS spending reports to Congress; and Requiring IHS to engage in a negotiated rulemaking to develop a rule regarding tribal consultation policy for IHS.

The IHS Accountability Act also addresses staff recruitment and retention shortfalls at IHS by:

Addressing gaps in IHS personnel by giving the HHS secretary flexibility to create competitive pay scales and provide temporary housing assistance for medical professionals; Improving patient-provider relationships and continuity of care by providing incentives to employees; and Giving the HHS secretary the ability to reward employees for good performance and finding innovative ways to improve patient care, promote patient safety, and eliminate fraud, waste, and abuse.

In June, at Thune's request, the Indian Affairs Committee held an oversight and legislative field hearing in Rapid City, South Dakota, on the IHS Accountability Act. Prior to the field hearing, committee staff led a town hall meeting to hear firsthand from stakeholders about the IHS and receive feedback on the bill.

Funds for economic growth in Indian country

Washington, DC – Sept. 22, 2016 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced more than $100,000 in two federal grants that will be allocated to the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Sioux Tribe and the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation to promote economic development, job growth, and private capital investments.

"For North Dakota's tribal communities to grow and small businesses to expand, we must have economies that are secure and stable," said Heitkamp. "Across North Dakota, I have been working to promote better opportunities for jobs and economic growth across Indian Country, and today's federal funds will help do that by investing critical support in our tribal communities to help develop strategies that can provide a path forward for small businesses and innovative entrepreneurs to thrive."

These federal funds will be used to expand economic development strategies through collaboration between the public and private sectors with the intention to diversify and strengthen these local economies. These federal grants will be distributed as follows:

· Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Sioux Tribe: $51,000

· Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation: $51,000

The funds are provided through the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA).

Funding supporting victims of Sexual Assault

Fargo, ND – Sept. 23, 2016 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced two federal grants totaling over $1.2 million for the North Dakota Department of Health to provide vital support services and enhance criminal justice efforts on behalf of victims of sexual and domestic violence.

"It is critically important that we can deliver quality intervention and support services for domestic and sexual assault victims as well as coordinated criminal justice efforts for those affected by this unacceptable abuse," said Heitkamp. "These services can help individuals recover from abuse and remove themselves from dangerous situations. Throughout my time in public service I have been a staunch advocate for better policies, support services, and criminal justice efforts to combat domestic and sexual violence. Today's federal funds will build on that work by helping the North Dakota Department of Health provide direct intervention services for victims of sexual assault to empower them as they heal and to bring their abusers to justice."

These federal funds are made available through two grant programs under the U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women. The Services, Training, Officers, and Prosecution (STOP) Formula Grant will provide $874,549 and the Sexual Assault Services (SAS) Program will provide $349,368 in federal funding.

In the Senate, Heitkamp is building on her work as North Dakota's Attorney General in the 1990s to combat sexual violence and stop those who seek to harm adults and children. Among the first bills Heitkamp cosponsored and helped pass in the Senate was the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Heitkamp worked to include a key provision in VAWA to address the continuing crisis of violence against women in tribal communities by strengthening existing programs and providing tribal governments with the force they need to prosecute non-Indian perpetrators who commit these crimes on tribal land. As North Dakota's Attorney General, Heitkamp helped implement the initial VAWA after the bill became law in 1994. Since then, programs supported by VAWA have made drastic changes. According to the Justice Department, the annual incidences of domestic violence have fallen more than 60 percent since 1993.

Bill to combat Domestic Violence introduced in US House

Washington, DC – Sept. 22, 2016 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced that her bipartisan bill to help combat domestic abuse and sexual violence by increasing access and promoting pro-bono legal services for victims of domestic violence was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. Last fall, Heitkamp's bill unanimously passed in the U.S. Senate.

"Too often, victims of domestic violence are unable to seek permanent refuge because they lack the protective legal services that keep them safe from their abusers – but our bill aims to change this," said Senator Heitkamp. "We can make sure domestic violence victims – especially those living in Indian Country – can access affordable legal services that can help them escape the often cyclical abuse they experience. Last fall, the Senate unanimously passed the bipartisan bill Senator Sullivan and I introduced to help make those services more available, and it's great news that Congressman Kennedy is building on that momentum by introducing our bill in the House of Representatives today with a bipartisan group of cosponsors. As North Dakota's former Attorney General, I understand the many legal needs of victims of domestic violence – and how difficult access to those services can be. By asking our U.S. Attorney's to take the lead in prioritizing increased access to legal protections for victims of these crimes, with a particular focus in states like North Dakota on our most vulnerable populations including women in Indian Country, this bill helps make sure those critical defense tools are available to victims who need them most."

"Domestic violence and sexual assault are scourges that we must work to eliminate," said Senator Sullivan. "One of my priorities as Attorney General for Alaska was to tackle the unacceptably high rates of domestic violence and sexual assault in my state. Among other initiatives, I put on a pro bono summit that gathered lawyers from all across the state and saw firsthand how effective such efforts can be. I'm grateful that many lawyers in my state continue to provide much-needed legal services to victims on a pro bono basis. And I am grateful to Congressman Kennedy for introducing this bill in the House of Representatives. We were sent to Washington, D.C. to make a difference. This bill will help make a difference."

"For the victims of domestic violence, our justice system should be a safe haven," said Congressman Kennedy. "Instead, too many survivors show up in court and face the very same fear and intimidation they are trying to escape. Without access to legal assistance, many confront their abuser alone in court, victimized once again. The POWER Act will help restore the promise of equal protection for the millions of domestic violence victims across our country."

Heitkamp's Pro bono Work to Empower and Represent or POWER Act (POWER Act), introduced with Republican Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska, would require U.S. Attorneys in each judicial district across the country to work with domestic violence service providers or coalitions and an area volunteer lawyer project to hold at least one event promoting pro-bono legal services. The purpose is to reinforce a critical way to empower survivors of domestic violence, engage citizens, and help lift victims out of the cycle of abuse. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, cosponsored the bill.

Today, Congressman Joe Kennedy (D-MA), introduced a companion bill to Heitkamp's POWER Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill is cosponsored by Congressman Don Young (R-AK), Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), and Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-IN).

Across Native populations in North Dakota and Alaska, rates of domestic and sexual violence are staggering. To address these crimes specifically in Indian Country and among Native communities, Heitkamp and Sullivan included a provision in the bill mandating U.S. Attorney's offices work with the Native populations in their judicial district in planning and holding an event every few years with a focus on addressing these crimes in Indian Country and among Native populations. Senators Sullivan and Heitkamp are both former attorneys general of their states and understand how the legal system can help prevent the probability that victims will again be abused.

Heitkamp has long worked to combat domestic violence in North Dakota and across the country. As North Dakota Attorney General in the 1990s, she implemented the original Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) across the state, and worked to change the perception of domestic violence as a public health issue, so it would be treated and viewed as what it is – a criminal act. As a result, Heitkamp saw firsthand the dramatic changes in the number of incidents that followed after domestic violence was criminalized. Largely due to VAWA, according to the Justice Department, the annual incidences of domestic violence have fallen more than 60 percent since 1993.

Editorials –

Sota guest editorial –

Sad lesson in recent US history –

Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian unveils secret treaty

"Yes, we are still here. What happened during the Gold Rush is different to what we see happening today at Standing Rock with oil. But there are similarities in the quest for commodities near American Indian nation land. We have to keep fighting." Sabrina Nakhjavanpour, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

Washington, DC – Sept. 22, 2016 – For the first time in history, one of the 18 treaties negotiated and signed during the Gold Rush between the United States and the American Indian Nations of California, but secretly unratified by the United States Senate in 1852, went on display to the public today.

The Treaty of Temecula, also known as Treaty K, was unveiled in the presence of the descendants–leaders of three of the Native Nations–who were affected by the Senate's failure to ratify the agreement: Jeff Grubbe, Chairman, of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians; Mark Macarro, Chairman, of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians; and Sabrina Nakhjavanpour, Treasurer, and Melonie Calderon, Business Committee Member, of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

Treaty K is just one of the 18 treaties that was submitted to the U.S. Senate on June 1, 1852 by President Millard Fillmore. Unbeknownst to the Native nations' signatories, the Senate rejected the treaties and ordered them to be held in secrecy for over fifty years.

Meanwhile, left undefended by United States Armed Forces, Native nations across California were overrun by white settlers and American Indians were subjected to violence at the hands of state and local militias. Considered illegal aliens on their own land without state or federal legal recourse, it led to their ethnic cleansing. The American Indian population in California plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000 between 1846 and 1870. The 1880 census records 16,277 American Indians in California—a 90% decline in their population since the onset of the Gold Rush.

Quoting from a November 22, 1852 letter by California Indian Affairs superintendent Edward F. Beale to U.S. Commissioner of Indian Affairs Luke Lea, Chairman Grubbe read to the group:

"The wretched remnant which escapes starvation on the one hand, and the relentless whites on the other, only do so to rot and die of a loathsome disease, the penalty of Indian association with frontier civilization….I have seen it, and seeing all this, I cannot help them. I know they starve; I know they perish by hundreds; I know that they are fading away with startling rapidity; but I cannot help them….They are not dangerous….It is a crying sin that our government, so wealthy and so powerful, should shut its eyes to the miserable fate of these rightful owners of the soil."

Chairman Macarro noted that September 23rd is American Indian Day in California. "It also happens to be the day on which the Pechanga Nation people were evicted in 1852. Seeing this treaty on display is both horrific as it shines daylight on the cheat and fraud that accompanied the sale of our land. But California Indian nations had treaties with the United States, and this is validation," he said.

"There is so much our people have to do as a whole," said Treasurer Nakhjavanpour. "Yes, we are still here. What happened during the Gold Rush is different to what we see happening today at Standing Rock with oil. But there are similarities in the quest for commodities near American Indian nation land. We have to keep fighting."

On loan from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) through January 2017, including the anniversary date of the treaty on Jan. 5, Treaty K will be on display in the museum's award-winning exhibition "Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations," which opened on Sept. 21, 2014 and will stay open through Spring 2020. The full text of the treaty is available on the Nation to Nation project website.

"Consent is at the heart of the treaty relationship," said Kevin Gover, director of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. "That is what this exhibition is all about. And it is not just about the past, it is about the present and future, too. Just imagine what the world would be were decisions are made bi-laterally. When both parties agree, good things result, both can thrive. When they are made unilaterally or when agreements are not kept, bad things happen."

Brief editorial comments from the editor's desk –

On and Off the Lake Traverse Reservation

What amazes and boosts my spirit is to see the global expansion of our No DAPL water defenders!

There is a spiritual force behind the growing movement of our mni wiconi defenders that the corrupt corporate-government-media complex ultimately cannot withstand.

See how so many others beyond our tribal communities are waking up to stand alongside in this sacred defense.

This is not warfare in the sense of the dying age of division, hatred and conflict; it is outpouring of love for the water, the land, and for all life ... for all relatives.

Remember also those who have signed contracts to work with the black snake are relatives; hatred for them only prolongs this current age. Kill their snake with prayers and compassion.


While focus is on Standing Rock, and here is the pivotal point being seen from all corners of the world, there are others.

Right here on the Lake Traverse Reservation we have been raising the cry against what appears to be the single largest concentration of dairy CAFOs in the upper Midwest in our SWO Mni Wiconi.

Concentrated and contaminating industrial agriculture operations are being supported and encouraged by a corruption in state and federal government.

Water for which our Oyate have first rights usage is being plundered and polluted.

And contamination spreads downstream.

Down the Minnesota River.

Down the Mississippi River.

Down into the Gulf of Mexico.

We hear much about the ten or so million people downstream of the Standing Rock homelands where the energy cartel is demanding to place another pipeline under the Missouri River.

What about what is already coming from our Sissetonwan Wahpetonwan homelands?

There are many other areas across the country where harmful industrial agriculture exists.

And there are more pipelines.

The same cartel is pushing the Trans-Pecos Pipeline through west Texas.

From my late parents' home on the edge of the Fort Davis Mountains you can see pipe laying stretched out on the ground – waiting for the crews to come put it in.

The black snake is widespread.

What has been happening is a last grasping for profits before the chapter of fossil fuels comes to an end – an end which should have come at least two decades ago.

It is no longer needed.

Yet the cartel continues to put greed against the best interests of the environment.

This movement that is happening today serves notice they are finished.


All SWO Tribal members please note that the Reservation Election Board has announced deadline for receiving your Absentee Ballots.

Absentee Ballots deadline for the 2016 General Election is Monday, October 24th.

The General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.

Those of you who live off the Reservation or who may find it difficult to come to your District polling place on election day, please take advantage of this means of making known your choice for leadership of your District and Tribe.

See the REB notice elsewhere in this edition of the Sota.


We're pleased to let readers know that Tribal officials are holding on-site consultation meetings with principles involved in planning for the long-desired Community Justice and Rehabilitation Center.

Watch for information from the working group in upcoming issues of the Sota.


Please read the new Sota policy concerning political advertising.

The rates reflect a greater discount rate for full, half and quarter page advertisements – as much as 70 percent off the commercial rate, depending upon size of the ad.

Full page: $180.

Half page: $100.

Quarter page: $50

Smaller sizes will still be discounted, but will be charged $2.50 per column inch: for example, 2 col. x 10" ad (20 col. inches) would cost $50, the same as a quarter page; another example, 2 col. x 5" ad (10 col. inches) would cost $25.

The policy is a re-statement that all political advertising must be pre-paid. No exceptions.

Advertising copy can be mailed with an accompanying check or money order to: Sota, P.O. Box 5, Wilmot, SD 57279; or placed in the Sota mailbox at Tribal headquarters (no postage required).

If an advertisement is sent electronically, by e-mail or fax, then a check must be mailed to the Sota, either at headquarters or through the postal service.

There can be no exceptions.


Elder's Meditation:

"Even the trees have spirits – everything has a spirit." – Mary Hayes, CLAYOQUOT

The trees are great teachers. The trees are great listeners. That is why we should meditate in their presence. The Great spirit is in every rock, every animal, every human being, and in every tree. The Great Spirit has been in some trees for hundreds of years. Therefore, the trees have witnessed and heard much. The trees are the Elders of the Elders. Their spirits are strong and very healing.

Great Spirit, teach me respect for all spiritual things.


Words to consider (or, perhaps not!):

People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed. Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784)

The easiest way for your children to learn about money is for you not to have any. Katharine Whitehorn

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter. e e cummings (1894 - 1962)

The main things which seem to me important on their own account, and not merely as means to other things, are knowledge, art, instinctive happiness, and relations of friendship or affection. Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity. Christopher Morley (1890 - 1957)

It's a rare person who wants to hear what he doesn't want to hear. Dick Cavett (1936 - )

Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy. Isaac Newton (1642 - 1727)

A committee can make a decision that is dumber than any of its members. David Coblitz


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 –

Traditional services for Katherine Blackthunder-Melchert

Katherine Dawn Blackthunder-Melchert (Mi'Ki'Gle: Put Something On The Ground), age 39, unexpectedly went to our Creator's World on Tuesday, September 20, 2016.

She was born April 18, 1977 in Fargo, ND to the late Effie Blackthunder and Donald Melchert.

Katherine was employed with the Oneida Health Center.

For those in times of need, she could be counted on to be there with a helping hand. Her generosity and support touched many lives and will be missed by many. Katherine Dawn lived and loved her Dakota way of life. Her presence at ceremonies will be greatly missed.

She is survived by her children: Elijah and Josaphene Thundercloud; two sisters: Tina Marie Peck of Sisseton, SD, and Jennifer Sue Peck of Bismark, ND; nieces and nephews: Trenton, Robert, Maliyah, and Deray Richotte, Arianna and Rosemond Hart, and Emanuel Hayes; also survived by aunts, uncles, relatives, and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; maternal grandparents: Elijah and Thelma Black Thunder; paternal grandfather, Harvey Melchert; younger brother, William Peck; grandparents, and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Burial will take place at The Traditional Reparation Grounds, Sisseton, South Dakota.

Honorary pallbearers will be: Nicollette Simon, Amy Laughter, Izola Simon, Gretta Simon, Skylar Cornelius, and Brooke Owen.

Pallbearers will be: Elijah Blackthunder, Elias Quinn, Juice Dorsch, Algin Blackthunder, Sonny Lablanc, and Kip Cartier.

Notice of editorial policy

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

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

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

Open letter to the Oyate

Dear Oyate:

I attended the Long Hollow District (LHD) last night, Sept. 22; the first one in a few years due to health problems. The meeting sure has change much since I've been gone. Controlled chaos - seemed descriptive of the proceedings. Someone was supposed to be chairing the meeting, but you couldn't really tell it from the way anyone spoke up whether or not they had their hands raised and whether or not the Chair recognized them. Whoever spoke the loudest got the floor it seemed. That disorganized managing a meeting and bully tactics to get your way seemed modeled by Clowncil. Our Clowncil Rep. seemed awake, if not aware.

Clowncil, in its magnanimous actions, directed the districts to be given $200.00 from casino revenues for the Christmas Days. Of course, Clowncil put stipulations on it to make sure SWO members knew "who it was coming from". In its restrictions, Clowncil excluded any District member not present at the casino to pick up the $200.00. Why can't Clowncil mind their own business and keep out of District affairs!

LHD has a traditional practice of including all LHD members when something is to be shared by LHD. The District Executives present options to benefit all members when possible. LHD members serving in the military, those away at school, those in hospitals or nursing homes are the circumstances of some members at the holiday season. Clowncil in its all-knowing wisdom wants LHD to abandon its time-honored tradition of generosity.

The debate was hot and heavy at LHD, and I'm not sure if the Grinch came out on top or not. But LHD obeyed Clowncil directives and excluded anyone not able to attend. It also came to our attention that the GM at Dakota Sioux thinks Enemy Swim District members are the only ones good enough to darken their doors for District Days. Our LHD Treasurer and Vice-Chair received an unwelcoming reply from John Rondell. I hope he gets reprimanded by Clowncil as he deserves. But knowing the bullying tactics of kevin roberts, I doubt if he will get reprimanded. I would urge other SWO District members to avoid that business.

Respectfully, Francis M. Simon, SWO member.

Open letter to the Oyate

Part II

Article II of the SWO Constitution contains membership requirements. Since the SWO Constitution was adopted in 1946 membership requirements have changed eight times. The last change was in 1990 and allows Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux blood and any other Native American Indian blood to be a SWO member. When the Constitution was adopted in 1946 there was no blood quantum required for membership. Then, it was set at the 1/8th degree and then moved up to the 1/4th degree of Sisseton or Wahpeton blood. Now you are allowed to use ALL of your Indian blood to meet the 1/4th degree of blood requirement.

I believe former chairman Robert Shepherd benefited from this change. As I recall he was 1/64th degree short of Sisseton or Wahpeton Dakota blood, so he is allowed to "borrow" some of his Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara grandmothers blood to reach the 1/4 degree requirement.

Until 2006 the SWO tribe did not care if you were enrolled in more than one tribe. So now you are not allowed to be enrolled in two tribes, but you are allowed to use TWO or more tribal bloods to become a Sisseton Wahpeton tribal member. This sure seems like a form of dual enrollment doesn't it?

It has been six years since I was disenrolled and I am still wondering what my crime was, and why dual enrolling is thee most serious crime in all of Indian Country.

A SWO member can rape, rob, murder, molest, abuse children and elders, be tried and convicted, and sent to prison, but they cannot lose their tribal membership.

Similarly, in the wisicu world a citizen can commit all kinds of heinous crimes and cannot lose their citizenship.

So, why is claiming all your relatives the only crime that can result in the loss of your membership or tribal citizenship?

I have yet to hear a logical, intelligent reason from those that disenrolled me - Winfield Rondell, Delbert Hopkins, Garryl Rousseau, Floyd Kirk, Terri Larson, Joyce Country, Lynn Halbert, Dave Selvage, and Kevin Roberts. In my opinion, they all mindlessly make rules and laws without any intelligent thought.

Tribal attorney Shuan Eastman is just as bad, she said that dual enrolling is NOT a crime.

In our system of jurisprudence there is Civil law and Criminal law. The object of Civil law is to correct a wrong by making the guilty party pay compensation or restitution. The wrongdoer is not punished, he only pays so much as is necessary to make good the wrong he has done. For example, somebody owes you money, you take them to court and you are awarded a monetary judgement. The guilty party does not have to sit in jail.

On the other hand, in the case of Criminal law, the main object is to punish the wrongdoer. In Criminal law, a guilty defendant is punished by either (1) incarceration in jail or prison, (2) a fine paid to the government, or, (3) in extreme cases, the death penalty.

You do not have to have a law degree like Shaun Eastman to see that I was Criminally punished for what in all respects was a Civil matter.

Apparently the reason for the dual enrollment law is to prevent a tribal member from getting benefits from more than one tribe (Double Dipping). That being the reason for the law then I should have been ordered to pay the SWO tribe back the monetary value of the elderly coupons I got while I was dual enrolled.

Instead, the tribal clowncil decided that my dual enrollment was a crime so serious that they literally gave me the ultimate punishment. You could say they "executed" my membership!

The tribal clowncil was the Judge, Jury, and Executor. The democratic principle of Separation of Powers was thrown to the Tate (wind).

Interestingly, there is no penalty for being dual enrolled. There is a dual enrollment law, but there is no penalty for being dual enrolled. The SWO tribe has a dual enrollment "Hearing Guidelines" but the guidelines does not contain a penalty for being dual enrolled. Sixty-eight months after my disenrollment the tribal clowncils and tribal attorneys still have not codified a penalty for being dual enrolled. Codified means to put a penalty for being dual enrolled in the tribal codes or law books. There is a codified tribal law and penalty for letting your dogs run loose, but there is no penalty for being dual enrolled where you can lose your tribal citizenship. Is it any wonder why I call the SWO tribe a third world type of government?

I am going to "tell on" a couple of other members I know who are dual enrolled. There are several hundred other tribal members who are dual enrolled, but these two are the only two who have the guts to publicly admit it - my chaske Travis Renville, and Korbyn Bertsch.

Heads up tribal clowncil and tribal attorneys!

If you disenroll Robin Renville you must also disenroll Travis and Korry, and the hundreds of others who are dual enrolled, if you do not you are in violation of the SWO Constitution that you pledged to uphold. Your "crime" is you have violated the SWO Code of Ethics - Malfeasance of Office, Gross Partiality.

Granted, some of the present tribal clowncil will not be in office three months from now, so they could care less if they violate the Code of Ethics, however, those who do get re-elected, I will promise you that I or someone else will file charges against you in tribal court.

Actually, it won't be a bad idea to file a Civil action in tribal court in the near future, that way I may be able to stop all of you from getting severance pay. The SWO members voted in 2012 to do away with severance pay, but the clowncil of 2012-13 ignored that vote, and no doubt this clowncil is also looking forward to cashing in $20,000 dollars worth of severance pay. May I offer a simple solution to save us all the hassle of me charging you with Gross Partiality and putting your severance pay in jeopardy. Simple solution - repeal the dumb law. The dual enrollment law and the use of blood quantum's to determine membership are dumb wisicu ideas.

Grady Renville.

St. Mary's News

A reminder that we are asking for donations to renovate the old church before the 135th anniversary in August of 2017.

Renovations we would like to complete are: siding, doors, windows, painting, chimney, some concrete work, and a new furnace.

Anyone wishing to donate can make a deposit at the Credit Union, under the Building Fund account. And if you would leave your name, we would really appreciate it.

Our thanks to those that are already making payroll deductions. We appreciate what you are doing.

Coming up is our Halloween Party on October 22nd at 3 p.m. at St. Mary's Guild Hall.

Remember Fr. Chan in your prayers as he recovers from heart surgery.

Morning prayer services on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Sundays with the lay readers.

Communion and baptism on the 2nd Sunday with Fr. Chan.

Communion and baptism on the 4th Sunday with Fr. Ceciel and Bitsey.

Don't Wait

By Rep. Kristi Noem

September 23, 2016

Mary Ellen Dirksen grew up in what most people would consider a pretty typical Midwest family. Her close-knit family of four looked picture perfect from the outside – and for the most part, it looked just as perfect from the inside. But a little more than a decade ago, Mary Ellen's big brother – a handsome, intelligent guy who loved basketball and hot fudge sundaes – died by suicide.

South Dakota has one of the nation's highest suicide rates, and in recent years, the state has seen the number of attempted suicides increase considerably. As one of the state's leading causes of death, most families or communities, to one extent or another, have felt the blow of suicide.

Despite knowing how far reaching suicide is, we too often lean heavily on narrow stereotypes to determine the type of people most likely to be impacted by mental illnesses. But mental illness and suicidal thoughts can afflict anyone, which is one of the reasons I sponsored legislation designating September as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

In her book, "The Swing Set," which describes the grief and healing she experienced after her brother's death, Mary Ellen explains: "I had known [my brother] wasn't dressing well, that he looked unshaven, that he was irritable and that this was causing turmoil in our family. I had known he wasn't leaving the house, that he didn't take interest in life like he used to, and that his worldview had become pessimistic. But I had never really known anyone who suffered from depression, actual depression, especially not someone handsome and capable like my brother."

The National Alliance on Mental Illness adds to the list of characteristics Mary Ellen saw in her brother, pointing to increased alcohol and drug use; talking, writing, or thinking about death; and impulsive or reckless behavior as other warning signs.

While anyone can be impacted, I also recognize that in recent years some communities have been affected more than others. I'll never forget sitting across the table last fall as a young tribal member told me they had lost all hope. Suicide had taken their sibling as well as more than one of their friends – all before their high school graduation. This individual too had thought about it. Within weeks of that meeting, we had new provisions in a mental health bill that's now passed the House directing more resources into tribal suicide prevention programs. It's an epidemic that needs to end.

The same is true within veteran communities. Nearly two dozen Americans lose their life to suicide daily. More resources have been dedicated in this area as well and we continue to invest in learning more about the relationship between military service, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries, and suicide. But none of it is being done fast enough.

"I wish I had known how difficult it is to live with depression and that a person can't simply 'snap out of it,'" wrote Mary Ellen, who now helps other families struggling with depression and grief in Sioux Falls and beyond. While we can't walk someone else's journey, we can help each other navigate through – and that's all a person can ask.

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the warning signs, please use this as your motivation to get help. If it is an emergency, dial 911 immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) – is also open around the clock for help. Don't wait to call.

IHS Reform Bill gets Ways and Means Committee approval

Washington, DC – Sept. 21, 2016 – With recruitment of quality medical staff being one of the top challenges within Indian Health Service (IHS) facilities in South Dakota, the House Ways and Means Committee today unanimously approved provisions introduced by Rep. Noem to offer tax-free student loan repayment for IHS medical staff. The provisions are part of Noem's HEALTTH Act, which aims to fundamentally reform the IHS. Because of the comprehensive nature of Noem's HEALTTH Act, the legislation must next receive approval from the House Natural Resources and Energy & Commerce committees.

"The kind of care being delivered by the IHS puts lives in jeopardy," said Noem. "One of the many hurdles we face is the recruitment of competent medical staff. The HEALTTH Act provision approved today offers a new, more competitive, incentive to help recruit the kind of workforce needed to improve the quality of care. I thank Chairman Brady and the committee for making this step forward."

"A healthcare system is only as good as the staff that supports it," said Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady. "I appreciate Rep. Noem's effort to recruit more clinicians to deliver care in tribal communities, and thank her for bringing a targeted solution to the Ways and Means Committee that will help enhance efficiency, staff recruitment resources, and accountability for the communities IHS serves."

Currently, IHS medical staff may participate in a student loan repayment program; however, participants must pay taxes on the repayment amounts, reducing the program's benefit. Under the provision approved by Ways and Means today, the student loan repayments would be offered tax free, increasing the value of this incentive. If enacted, IHS would be on a level playing field with programs like the National Health Service Corps, which provides care to underserved areas and already receives student loan repayment tax free.

In addition to the provisions reviewed by the Ways and Means Committee today, Noem's HEALTTH Act:

+ Gives tribes a seat at the table to encourage better, longer-term contracts by allowing for a partnership among IHS, tribal communities and healthcare stakeholders to collaborate throughout the contract negotiating process, rather than leaving those decisions solely to IHS.

+ Addresses the current recruitment problem – for both medical staff and hospital leadership – by putting provisions in place to:

· Allow for faster hiring.

· Make the existing student loan repayment program tax free, as an added incentive for high-quality employees.

· Provide incentives to attract competent and well-trained hospital administrators as well as medical staff.

+ Reforms the Purchased/Referred Care (PRC) Program by, among other things:

· Requiring IHS to develop a new formula for allocating PRC dollars. Under Noem's bill, IHS would be required to develop a formula based on need, population size, and health status to ensure those areas that have the greatest need receive a greater portion of the funding.

· Requiring IHS to negotiate Medicare-like rates for services it pays for with private providers. IHS currently pays a premium for PRC services. Noem's proposal would bring payments in line with what Medicare pays to stretch every dollar further.

· Requiring IHS to address the backlog of PRC payments to private providers. Private hospitals in the Great Plains Area have long expressed concern because IHS has failed to pay their bills. Noem would require IHS to put a strategy in place to get these hospitals paid what they are due.

+ Restores accountability through strategies, such as:

· Require IHS to be accountable for providing timely care.

· Require the Government Accountability Office to report on the financial stability of IHS hospitals that are threatened with sanction from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The legislation has been endorsed by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, the National Indian Health Board, Avera, Rapid City Regional Health, Sanford Health, the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations, the South Dakota State Medical Association, the South Dakota Dental Association and others.

IHS awards $6.8 million telemedicine services contract to Avera Health

Services will provide health care services to American Indian and Alaska Native patients in the IHS Great Plains Area

The Indian Health Service has announced a new contract for $6.8 million awarded to Avera Health to provide telemedicine services in all 19 Great Plains Area service units, which serve approximately 130,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives. Telemedicine services use electronic communications to connect health care providers and patients for remote clinical appointments, as well as some nonclinical services. In some cases, specialty care furnished through telemedicine is supplemented by a nurse or assistant who is physically in the room with the patient. IHS has found that telemedicine can be one of the best ways to get health care services where they are needed most, and this contract expands telemedicine services as a means of strengthening access to care at IHS health facilities in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota.

The contract will strengthen existing IHS services for patients by enabling IHS facilities to offer additional specialty services and appointments to ensure patients have the fastest possible access to the health care they need. Under the contract, Avera Health will be providing additional emergency medical services at hospitals in the Great Plains Area as well as providing additional access for American Indian and Alaska Native patients to see specialists in: behavioral health; cardiology; maternal and child health; nephrology; pain management; pediatric behavioral health; rheumatology; wound care; ear, nose and throat care; and dermatology.

"It is challenging to provide specialty health care in rural areas, and this is especially true in Indian Country. IHS has long been a leader in information technology and electronic health records, and IHS experience shows that telemedicine is an effective way to increase access to quality health care services in remote, hard to reach areas," said Mary L. Smith, IHS principal deputy director. "This contract is beneficial to IHS patients because it connects Avera Health's medical experts to American Indian communities as part of a major IHS initiative to improve access to quality care at hospitals, health centers and other facilities in the Great Plains." Some IHS facilities in the Great Plains Area already have the infrastructure in place to provide telemedicine services for behavioral health and diabetic retinopathy screening for patients right now. This new contract to Avera Health builds on that expertise and will provide additional telemedicine services to serve more patients. IHS works collaboratively with tribal leaders to deploy telemedicine services that respond to the needs of patients and communities.

The funding announced covers one year of services. IHS has the option to add funding to the contract to expand services this year as well as to extend the services up to five years in total, subject to the availability of resources.

IHS issued the Request for Proposal seeking these telemedicine services earlier this year. The contract has a maximum value of $100 million in total over five years, should additional resources become available.

IHS has a long history of using telemedicine to meet the needs of patients:

*The IHS TeleBehavioral Health Center of Excellence was established in 2009 to provide behavioral health services for patients across the Indian health system. The Center works to provide, promote and support the delivery of high quality, culturally competent telebehavioral health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives.

*The IHS Teleophthalmology Program was established in 2001 to screen IHS patients across the country for diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness in patients with diabetes.

The IHS, an agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 2.2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Tomato Christmas and rural health

By Richard P. Holm MD

Our eldest son, who now lives in Brooklyn, New York, recently came home to South Dakota on "he loves how he can see the stars and the Milky Way in the night sky, the morning tangerine sun rising in the east, and the space and lack of congestion in shelter-belted houses surrounded by fields of abundant crops, separating the miles between small towns. Home-grown tomatoes here have even prompted him to deem August in South Dakota as "Tomato Christmas."

"It is so different than life in the city," he says. The tall buildings, with city lights on all night long wash out the stars; usually the sun is up for hours before it is seen; sidewalks are full of people rushing to and fro at almost every hour; towns have filled and merged such that there are no open spaces between them; and aside from parks, there are too few growing places in the city. He told me, "The beauty and wonder of rural life becomes more apparent only when you have been away from it for a while."

But rural more remote living can result in increased health risks because, when there is an emergency, extensive travel can be required, even to the closest hospital. Then, that small-town hospital with its limited resources may lack the necessary tools and experience to help you. Even with helicopters flying to the rescue, rural living may still result in delay in care when minutes can matter. And when a medical problem is not so urgent, rural people often still have to travel long distances to obtain outpatient medical, subspecialty, dental, and pharmaceutical care.

The result, as outlined by the National Institutes of Health, is that too often rural residents delay care, problems become more serious, and higher rates of chronic disease occur. In addition, with farmers' potential exposure to chemicals, excessive dust, and dangerous, motorized farming equipment, farming is rated the fourth most dangerous profession, behind industrial fishing, logging, and piloting.

But technology has helped the rural health condition. With (e) electronic connectivity, like the e-Intensive Care Unit and e-Emergency Room, communicating health information between small rural hospitals and more urban specialty centers, has helped reduce the risks. Additionally, your Prairie Doc television program endeavors to reduce rural risk by bringing science-based health information to the people of this rural region.

Although living in a rural area carries some health disadvantages, the risks have been reduced. This makes living here even more worth it, especially during Tomato Christmas.

Youth, school activities highlights –

Education watch on the Lake Traverse Reservation

Our Youth, Our Future Survey underway at TZTS

The week of September 26, 2016, students in grades 7-12 are participating in the "Our Youth, Our Future" survey in cooperation with the Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research at Colorado State University.

The funding for the administration of the survey comes from a federal grant awarded to the Tri-Ethnic Center, which allows the survey to be conducted at no cost to the school. Participation in this survey is voluntary. Parents who wish to withdraw their child from participating may do so by contacting Megan Hilpert, Counselor, at 605-698-3953, ext. 220.

In addition, a copy of the survey is available at the school for parents who would like to review it.

Tiospa Zina believes that students' participation in this survey will assist the school in planning, funding and evaluating drug and alcohol prevention programs.

Tiospa Zina classes harvest Community Garden

Harvest time is here in the SWO region, and Tiospa Zina Tribal School students recently helped with both gathering and distribution of crops to local programs.

Our work began at the tribal garden on September 15, 2016, high on the hill south of Hwy 10. Students from both the high school PEACE class (Ms. Fink) and elementary (Mr. Durkin) combined for a group of 9 willing helpers to harvest the tomatoes.

Our focus was the Roma (sauce) tomatoes. The plants were covered with fully ripe fruit. There were so many tomatoes that a plastic bag could be filled without moving your feet!

Within 40 minutes we had about 15 bags of tomatoes- each weighing about 12-15 do the math!

Before the harvest, we had chosen three tribal programs that could use bulk produce.

We delivered to the Tribal Food Pantry, the Homeless Shelter and the Tribal Elderly.

Each program was very appreciative of the tomatoes. They also took time to explain to the class their mission, goals and daily routines.

So when you are at tribal functions and taste delicious tomato slices or sauces, think of the efforts put forth by our TZ students.

Also that day PEACE learned about obtaining a tribal identification. Some students took the time to get their own ID during the visit.

ESDS announces new faculty, staff

Here are recent new members of the Enemy Swim Day School faculty and staff.

Grace E. Frazier

Wasicu caze Grace E. Frazier, emakiyapi ye.

My name is Grace E. Frazier.

I live in Sisseton, SD with my daughter, Missy Williams and Sean Shepherd her special friend.

We have 4 dogs and 3 cats and gerbil that may or may not still be in hiding in the house!

For the past 10 years I worked at IHS clinic in the Purchased/Referred Care department. I will miss my patients and co-workers but it was time for a change.

I did work as a Parent Educator in the past for the FACE program.

I am happy to be back and start this new adventure with the Enemy Swim Day School and all the children and parents.


Dakotah Grant

Hi my name is Dakotah Grant and I'm the new Community Education Coordinator here at the Enemy Swim Day School.

My job also ties into the Afterschool Program so I help manage there

 I have been a previous employee in the Afterschool Program as a group leader a few years back

 I have lots of experience with working with grades k-8 and I enjoy it very much.

I'm 26 years old and have four children; and twop of them will be starting here at ESDS.

We as a family like to travel to powwows to dance and sing.

I really think being employed here at ESDS my children and I are going to have a great year.

Wer'e always willing to meet new people and make friends!

Dawn Thuringer

Hi! My name is Dawn Thuringer and I am very excited to have the wonderful honor of being the middle school language arts teacher and 6th grade science teacher at Enemy Swim Day School.

I come to Enemy Swim from Chesapeake, Virginia where I most recently was a 3rd grade teacher.

My husband and I are both originally from the Waubay area and we are very happy to be back "home" after his retirement from the Navy.

I live in Waubay with my husband and my three handsome sons: William, Nolan, and Roman.

I am looking forward to a fun-filled year of learning and nurturing students' love for literacy and science.

I am very happy to join the Enemy Swim Day School family.

Alexis Gerdes


My name is Alexis Gerdes and I am one of the new fourth grade teachers at Enemy Swim Day School.

I recently graduated with my Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from Buena Vista University earlier this spring in May and am very excited to start my teaching career in the fourth grade at Enemy Swim Day School.

I look forward to this coming school year and meeting so many new people at Enemy Swim Day School and the surrounding area.

My husband and I currently live in Webster, SD and are very happy to now call this area of South Dakota home, especially now that we just bought our first house.

God Bless, Alexis Gerdes.

Mr. Hairgrove

Hi, my name is Mr. Hairgrove.

I am very excited to be teaching 4th grade literacy this year at Enemy Swim Day School!

My teaching career began in 1976 in Lower Brule, South Dakota.

For the last 26 years I have been teaching physical education at Aberdeen Central High School.

My wife Cheryl and I are the parents of three daughters. Stephanie lives in Santiago Chili, Kenna lives in Madison Wisconsin and Val lives in Custer South Dakota.

We are the proud grandparents of two boys, Steven 4 years olds and Mikko 2 months old.

SWO Head Start implements Dakotah Language immersion

Submitted by Lynn Halbert

The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Head Start and Early Head Start Program has begun the process of implementing immersion classrooms into our program, with an eventual goal of operating the Head Start program as a full immersion program in the future. In order to set a plan to achieve the goal, we reached out to the National American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start Collaboration Office (NAIANHSCO). The NAIANHSCO director was able to travel onsite, and support the community in an assessment of language learning resources, creation of a strategic plan, and creation of formal partnerships with the Sisseton Wahpeton College, Dakotah Language Institute, and elders. We have experienced some setbacks with staff turnover and fluent first speakers passing away, but we have also experienced success, with a recent three-day language intensive class for teaching staff. As part of our long term strategy to build a fluent early childhood workforce, we are providing language coursework for credit through the Sisseton Wahpeton College.

We are also hosting Dakotah language classes in the middle building every Monday night at 5:30 for our parents and community. Again, we have been working with the Sisseton Wahpeton College on getting additional Dakotah classes going for our Early Head Start Teachers very other Thursday and Fridays. For our Head Start teachers the college has made it possible for us by adding an additional Dakotah Language class every day from 3:30-4:30. The SWC have been wonderful in working with us, we are so blessed in having this additional support.

Early Head Starts first day of Dakotah Language classes was last Thursday, they are also working on the BYKI program, Brigance and CDA. The teachers and Education manager like this additional time to improve on their teaching methods. Monday, we have Jace Pratt coming in at 5:30 to teach the language to our staff, parents and community. We have recently had the honor of his aunty coming to our Monday night classes teaching us, so we have the woman speaking role as well. Overall our teachers are working hard for our children.

Sisseton Superintendent update

By M. Neil Terhune Ed. D., Supt., SPS

By the time this hits the street homecoming 2016 will be history. Congrats to the entire homecoming court and special congratulations to student selected King Hunter Medenwald and Queen Laci LaFromboise. I cannot say enough good about those who rolled up their sleeves and put together an outstanding homecoming ceremony and coronation. Changing it took courage but standing up for keeping the ceremony also took courage and was handled in a professional manner. Our student leadership are worthy to be called young adults. Our teacher leaders and custodial staff are also to be commended for making the change their highest priority. I suppose I could single out individual contributions to the success of the ceremony but will not. They know who they are. A great man once pointed out they we do our good works in secret and we are ultimately rewarded openly.

There has been some scuttlebutt about what the homecoming changes will mean to other aspects of the Sisseton mascot and related chieftain imagery.  Just to be clear I know of no school board initiative to make any other changes. I do not intend to recommend any. I understand that there are similarities to the homecoming issue but there are also some differences. From my personal viewpoint, the Redman athletic alumni for at least three generations have sacrificed both body and soul, on and off the field for our Redman teams and what they represent. Frankly there appears to be very strong support for them from both our major community constituencies; even more so we had with the homecoming ceremony. Clearly we have a number of academic issues that the school could be addressing in the future instead and I for one will be happy to get back to my real job.

I am pleased to say that our Chief Croymans and Officer Appel have met with our Administrator Team and begun serious discussion of updates on how we will proceed in the event of disaster. We have some new cameras, updated floor plans and staff rosters.  I will keep the community updated on this as we progress.

We have a home volley ball against Redfield on Thursday and an away game at Groton on Friday. Both our teams appear to be making excellent progress as the season continues. I am pleased with how well our band is doing and how hard they have practiced. I remind everyone that the district will not have school on Friday October 7th or on Monday October 10th. Our Board meeting will occur on Tuesday October 11th because of the holiday.

Thune's office accepting Spring Internship applications

Washington, DC – U.S. Sen. 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.

"Interning in a Senate office is a great opportunity to get a firsthand look of how the federal government works," said Thune. "Interns will gain valuable experience working in a Senate office, including learning about both state and national issues and helping serve the needs of South Dakotans. All college students should consider applying for this unique and rewarding opportunity."

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 21, 2016, to:

Senator John Thune Attn: Angela Merkle

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 21, 2016, 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.

Rounds accepting Spring 2017 Internship applications

Washington, DC – U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today announced that he is currently accepting internship applications for spring 2017. The deadline to apply for internships in his Washington, D.C., Pierre, Rapid City and Sioux Falls offices is October 14, 2016. College credit is available.

Duties in the Washington, D.C., office may include tracking legislation, researching bills, attending committee hearings and briefings, leading tours of the U.S. Capitol, handling constituent phone calls, sorting mail and providing legislative support. Duties in the South Dakota offices include researching constituent inquiries and requests, participation in outreach activities, assisting staff on special projects, handling phone calls and constituent requests and sorting mail. In all offices, students will work closely with constituents and staff, polish their research and writing skills and gain an in-depth understanding of a Senate office.

Interested college students should complete the online internship application and submit a resume no later than October 14, 2016. Resumes should be submitted to intern coordinator Erin Budmayr at Information about the internship program, along with the application, can be found online at

Additional questions can be directed to Erin Budmayr at (605) 224-1450.

Noem accepting applications for Spring Interns

Washington, DC – Rep. Kristi Noem is accepting applications for spring internships in her Washington, DC; Sioux Falls; Rapid City; and Watertown offices.

Student interns will work with staff on various constituent service and communications projects, as well as assist with legislative research. Both South Dakota and Washington, DC internships provide students with first-hand knowledge of the legislative process and the countless other functions of a congressional office.

College students who are interested in interning in any of Representative Noem's offices should submit a cover letter and resume to by Tuesday, November 1. For more information, contact Christiana Frazee at 202-225-2801.

Funding for Sitting Bull College

Mandan, ND – Sept. 16, 2016 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced $2.5 million in federal funding for Sitting Bull College to improve its research capabilities, helping students and faculty develop a Master of Science degree program in environmental science. More than $400,000 of that funding has been released to date, with additional funding intended through the project's end date in 2021.

"Creating good-paying jobs right here in North Dakota, and especially in Indian Country, begins in the classroom," said Heitkamp. "This federal funding for Sitting Bull College will help recruit, retain, and graduate more students in the STEM field on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, building the skilled workforce the community needs to lead and create opportunity."

This federal funding is made available through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP) to support Sitting Bull College as it develops a Master of Science in environmental science. The program will help train students to work in diverse areas, such as water quality, pollution science, ecology, and climate change.

The goal of the project is to increase recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of students by improving their research experience. The federal funding also aims to train a diversified work force in STEM fields for the Standing Rock community that has leadership skills and is trained in the use of state-of-the-art technology.

Classroom to Career

By Rep. Kristi Noem

September 16, 2016

Every few months, I have the opportunity to welcome a new business to the state. Almost every time, I hear versions of the following: "We started in (or expanded to) this area, because South Dakotans have the skills needed to do the job right – and the work ethic to do it right now." This is not by accident. In addition to smart economic policies that create opportunities for employers to grow, South Dakota has a strong tradition of starting careers in the classroom.

Much of this job-ready teaching is done through Career and Technical Education (or CTE) programs in high school. Shop and home-ec were the CTE classes of my generation (and maybe yours), but today, South Dakota's young people have access to courses that offer job-ready training in everything from IT and healthcare to skilled trades, like plumbing and welding. Organizations like FFA, DECA, FCCLA, and FBLA also offer CTE opportunities, giving young people hands-on experiences in leadership, problem solving, and communication – translatable skills that students can take with them regardless of where the job market may lead.

In addition to offering opportunities for young people to pursue good-paying jobs in industries that are critical to our economy, a strong CTE program equips employers with a skilled workforce, ready to fill the jobs that are available.

Earlier this month, I helped the House pass the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, which improves the federal programs that support many CTE opportunities in South Dakota and across the country.

It's been more than a decade since Congress weighed in on how federal investments into these programs are made. As a result, they no longer reflect the realities and challenges facing today's students and workers.

Among other things, our legislation offers states and localities more flexibility, so the programs implemented can better target the community's needs. Additionally, it encourages stronger engagement with local employers and meaningful credentialing so students are prepared to enter the workforce prepared for success.

Additionally, the legislation helps link high school curriculum to postsecondary education, investing equally in both areas. That's especially beneficial to South Dakota, which has some of the nation's top community colleges. In fact, Lake Area Technical Institute (LATI) near Watertown was just recognized as one of ten finalists for the 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence – a distinction that could come with a $1 million prize if LATI comes out on top. The final winner will be announced in March of next year, but regardless of the outcome, a spot in the finals is an incredible distinction.

I'm always proud to represent people with the work ethic of South Dakotans. Investing in CTE programs means we're investing into that work ethic and equipping young people in the classroom with the skills needed to be successful in the career of their choosing.

Drivers license exams

Driver license examinations are held in Sisseton at the City Hall, 406 2nd Ave.

Examiners are there from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each Wednesday of the month.


File application at least one hour in advance of scheduled closing hours if you wish to complete the exam on the same day.

Driver license applicants should bring one item to prove identity, date of birth and lawful status (such as certified birth certificate, etc.); one document to prove Social Security number; and two documents to prove residential address.

If your name is different from the name on your identity document, you need to bring additional proof of your legal name, such as a certified marriage certificate, certified adoption document, or court order authorizing a name change.

The examiners must be able to trace from your birth name to your current name.

No driving tests will be given from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

For more information, call 1-800-952-3696 or visit the website at


Bid Request

Requesting sealed bids for: SWO Enemy Swim Buffalo Project

Trench and install 2500 l.f. PVC SDR 26 1 ½" pipe - Backfill 2 - 13' inside diameter rubber tire tanks with insulated tops Gravel Base for tanks 5.8 CY Frost free Hydrant ¾" galvanized

Stop in the Procurement Office for specifications:

All bids MUST have the following attached: SWO Business License TERO Certification General Liability/Workman's Comp Insurance Certificate of Bonding and/or Performance Bond equal to 100% of the Contract amount will be required and must be provided if awarded contract.

Please submit sealed bids to: SWO Procurement Office

Attn: Fran Tease

By 4:00 pm on Friday October 7, 2016

Bid opening will be Monday October 10, 2016 at 10:00 am in the Vice-Chairman's Suite

All interested parties acknowledge that any Agreement executed and performed within the Tribe's exclusive jurisdiction is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Tribal Court of Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation .All interested parties acknowledge that they must comply with the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Ordinances: TERO Chapter 59 Requirements, Wage Rates & Compliance Plan; Business License Ordinance Chapter 53 and Tax Ordinance Chapter 67; and Chapter 75 Sex Offender Registration.






CASE: D-16-798-672





NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Petitioner's request for a change of name from PATTY BRANDEN-ADAN to PATRICIA BRANDEN-ADAN 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 20th day of OCTOBER 2016.

Dated this 22nd day of September, 2016.                                             


/s/ B.J. Jones, CHIEF JUDGE



Sota is waiting for approved

July and August 2016 SWO

Tribal Council Proceedings

For publication

Trading Post ads

Rummage Sale

St. Peter's, Sisseton, SD, Friday, Sept. 30 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 1, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Lots of baby clothes, baby bath  seat, stroller, kitchen table, and much miscellaneous.



Customer Service Associate

Office Location – Sisseton, SD Applications will be taken until Friday, Oct. 7 or until filled. To request a job application and job description, contact GROW South Dakota, 104 Ash St. E., Sisseton, SD 57262 or call (605)-698-7654. EOE



Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate

Job Openings

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

Generalist, CHR

Special Needs Assistant/Family Service Worker, Head Start

Disabilities Assistant/Literacy Coordinator, Head Start

Delivery/Inventory Clerk, Property & Supply

Dispatcher, Law Enforcement

Dakota Language Teacher, Head Start

Closing Date: September 30th, 2016 @ 04:30 PM

Protective Service Worker, Child Protection

Office Manager, Transportation Department

Director, Transportation Department

Workstation Specialist, MIS/IT

Native Connection Behavioral Health Project Director, Health & Social Services

Closing Date: October 7th, 2016 @ 04:30 PM

All interested applicants may obtain application and job description information at the Human Resource Department, of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate or contact Arnold Williams at (605) 698-8238 or Denise Hill at (605) 698-8251. (Tribal preference will apply)


Vacancy Announcement

Native Connection Behavioral Health Project Director: The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation in northeast South Dakota is seeking a Licensed Professional Counselor/Mental Health (LPC-MH) who can commit five years of work that will make a difference in the lives of American Indian young people up to and including age 24. This position will develop and then manage a new behavioral health component that aims to prevent and reduce suicidal behavior and substance abuse, reduce the impact of trauma, and promote mental health. This position is funded through a Native Connection cooperative agreement awarded by Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration for the project period 09/30/2016 - 09/29/2021. For more information, contact Sara DeCoteau, Health Coordinator at or call 605/742-3697. Closing Date is Oct. 7, 2016 at 3:30 p.m.


Tiospa Zina Tribal School

Job Openings

Current 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

2016-2017 School Year Vacancies:

Vacancy: High School Science Teacher ($2,000.00 Sign-on Bonus) Qualifications: Current South Dakota Certification meeting the Highly Qualified status for a High School Science Teacher Opening Date: January 29, 2016 Closing Date: open until filled

Vacancy: Career and Technical Education Teacher ($2,000.00 Sign-on Bonus) Qualifications: Current South Dakota Certification meeting the Highly Qualified status for a Career and Technical Education Teacher Opening Date: March 11, 2016 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: Middle School Social Studies Teacher ($2,000.00 Sign-on Bonus) Qualifications: Current South Dakota Certification meeting the Highly Qualified status for a Middle School Social Studies Teacher Opening Date: April 22, 2016 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: Middle School 6th Grade Classroom Teacher ($2,000.00 Sign-on Bonus) Qualifications: Current South Dakota Certification meeting the Highly Qualified status for a Middle School 6th Grade Classroom Teacher Opening Date: June 21, 2016 Closind Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: Gear-Up School Based Coordinator Qualifications: Current South Dakota Teaching Certificate and possess a valid South Dakota drivers license Opening Date: May 23, 2016 Closing Date: Open until filled

2016-2017 Coaching Vacancies- Closing Date: Open until filled

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 (see TZ website or contact HR office). **Do not need SDHSAA/NFHS Coaching Requirements.

Head Wrestling Coach Head Girls Basketball Coach

**Jr. High Boys Basketball Coach

**5/6 Grade Boys Basketball Coach

Jr. High/Assistant Track Coach Assistant Varsity Boys Basketball Coach

Assistant Varsity Girls Basketball Coach

Assistant Wrestling Coach

Assistant Track Coach Weight Room Monitor

2016-2017 Extra-Curricular Vacancies-Closing Date: Open until filled.

Horse Club Adviser

Science Club Adviser

Close-up Foundation Adviser

Destination Imagination Coach

Drum Adviser

Military Club Adviser

National Honors Society Adviser

Senior Class Adviser

If you would like to apply to be a part of the TZ tiwahe you may pick up an application and background check form 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. 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 and United States Code Title 25 Chapter 34 - Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention.


Browns Valley Public School

Browns Valley School is seeking a paraprofessional for the 2016-2017 school year. Application forms may be requested from the district office, 320-695-2103.

Please submit applications to Denise Pikarski, Principal

Browns Valley School

Box N 118 Church Street

Browns Valley, MN 56219


Browns Valley Public School

Browns Valley School is seeking a full-time Elementary Teacher for the 2016-17 school year. Application Process: Application forms may be requested from the district office, 320-695-2103 or Send cover letter, three letters of recommendation, resume, copy of transcripts and current Minnesota teaching license to:

Denise Pikarski, Principal

Browns Valley School

Box N 118 Church Street

Browns Valley, MN 56219


Dakota Magic Casino

Job Openings

Accounting Department:

Revenue Audit Clerk (Full-Time or Part-Time) Day

Cage Department:

Cashier (4 Full-Time or Part-Time) Rotating

Slots Department:

Technician (3 Full-Time or Part-Time) Rotating

Table Games Department:

Dealer (3 Part-Time) Rotating

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

Closing Date: September 30, 2016 at 4:00 p.m.

Starting Wage: D.O.E.

High School Diploma or GED required for most positions

Two identifications documents required upon hire

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


Dakota Sioux Casino & Hotel

Job Openings

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


FRONT DESK CLERK (1 FULL- TIME). GENERAL FUNCTION: Must have excellence customer service ability and a professional image to meet all customers' needs. Good phone etiquette, make reservations, must handle diverse situations in handling phone calls to appropriate departments. Must meet the needs of the guests throughout their stay. REQUIREMENTS: High School Diploma or GED. Three to six months related experience and/or training, or equivalent combination of education and experience. Good people skills, both in person and on the telephone. Must meet the requirement of a non-gaming license upon hire.

HOUSEKEEPER (1 Full-Time). GENERAL FUNCTION: Clean rooms, halls, restrooms, elevators and stairways according to standards. REQUIREMENTS: 1-3 months related experience. Must have the ability to move or lift up to 25 lbs. Non-Gaming License is required

These positions will close on September 28, 2016 at 4 pm.

Indian Preference will apply/EEO.

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

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


Dakota Sioux Casino & Hotel

Job Openings

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

FOOD SERVICE: COOK II (Line Cook) (1 FULL-TIME) GENERAL FUNCTION: The purpose for this position is to assist the Cook I, Cook III, and shift supervisor. Safely prepare quality food products for customers and employees. Maintain positive communications to ensure the smooth operation of the department and promote the highest degree of customer satisfaction. REQUIREMENTS: High school diploma or G.E.D. equivalent. One year of cooking experience in operating fryers, broilers, and grills. Must have the ability to stoop, bend, and stand for long periods of time and lift up to 35 lbs. Must be flexible, must work weekends and holidays. A Non-Gaming License is required for this position.

Position will close on September 28, 2016 at 4 pm

Indian Preference will apply/EEO.

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

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


Dakota Sioux Casino & Hotel

Job Openings

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

LOUNGE: SERVER (1 Full-Time) GENERAL FUNCTION: Acts as host/hostess for all Lounge and casino patrons. REQUIREMENTS: Must have High School Diploma or G.E.D. equivalent. Must be able to stand and/or walk for prolonged periods of time as well as carry heavy trays of drinks. Greet guests in friendly, positive manner and make them feel welcome. Basic arithmetic for money transactions and maintaining department cash bank. Excellent communication skills. Good organizational skills. Must obtain a Non Gaming License upon hire.

This position will close September 28, 2016 at 4 pm.

Indian Preference will apply/EEO.

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

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


Dakota Connection Casino

Job Openings

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

Opening Date: Thursday, September 22, 2016

Closing Date: Wednesday, October 5, 2016 @ 4:00 p.m.

All positions will be exposed to noise & tobacco smoke

Indian preference will apply/EEO Employer.

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


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.

Opening date: Thursday, September 22, 2016

Closing date: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 @ 4:00 p.m.

All positions will be exposed to noise & tobacco smoke

Indian preference will apply/EEO Employer.

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


Dakota Connection Casino

Job Openings

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

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

Restaurant Department: Dishwasher (2) full-time, rotating shifts, day, swing, includes weekends & holidays. Experience in Food Service, food handling safety, and sanitation. Mobility throughout the facility. Able to lift 20-50 lbs. occasionally. Good health, able to stand and walk for long periods of time. Frequent bending, stooping and twisting. Appropriate dress code. Ability to obtain a "Food Handlers" certification. Must be at least 18 years old.

Opening date: Thursday, September 22, 2016

Closing date: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 @ 4:00 p.m.

All positions will be exposed to noise & tobacco smoke

Indian preference will apply/EEO Employer.

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



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