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

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

Here they are:

Self-Governance Articles from past Sotas

  Obituaries Editorials Editor's column Education
Trading post



Vol. 48 Issue No. 12

Anpetu Iyamni, Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Inside this Edition –

Tribal Chairman updates the Oyate

Vice-Chairman suspension hearing postponed until Monday, April 3

Civil rights public forum on racism in SD in Aberdeen March 24th

SWST hosts Smithsonian Institute official March 28 to discuss National Native Veterans Memorial

Tribal Law Enforcement offering drug paraphernalia identification workshop

Suicide hotline volunteer training offered

Drug Endangered Children training underway this week

Announcing: Daughters of Tradition I, prevention education program for 8-12 year olds

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

Chairman's Corner:

Updating the Oyate

My friends and relatives.

I understand there is confusion because of misrepresentations of facts that have been posted on Facebook and in our Tribal paper; by a number of people. Although our entire Tribe suffers from these contentious behaviors, I want to assure everyone that we are moving ahead and not letting these unfortunate circumstances slow us down. Therefore, I would like to keep this update report to the people focused on positive and progressive actions we are taking as elected officials.

The Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board held a quarterly meeting, hosted by the Santee Sioux Tribe, March 13th and 14th. Eleven of Great Plains tribes attended and listened to reports from the Aberdeen Area and Headquarters staff.

On behalf of our tribe, Old Agency Councilman Eddie Johnson and I argued our position against the Indian Health Service taking Hospital and Clinic monies that were designated for our service unit. We were supported by all eleven tribes present and were able to get a resolution passed by the GPTCHB supporting us and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (CRST also had monies taken from their service unit without consultation), that I.H.S. needs to reallocate funds taken from our two tribes and find different funding source to cover the funding deficiencies I.H.S. failed to plan for at three other service units within the Great Plains. We were also honored to accept a request to host the next Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board meeting; both Eddie and I humbly accepted.

Some interesting but frustrating discussions held involved the Area's lack of diligence in reporting, data sharing and overall not complying with area tribes' requests for budgets, meaningful consultation, and faithfully addressing tribal concerns.

Headquarters staff were also on conference call but would not give us answers.

I did the best I could, along with Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe support, to get an answer as to "why" they did not consult with us per HHS Tribal Consultation Policy before they moved monies that were designated to our SWST and CRST service units. They would not answer.

I also asked the impact it will have on our service unit and asked for commitment and assurance it will not result in forcing us to use our third-party monies; again, no commitment and no assurance.

Again, here is another reason why I dislike being under the direction of Aberdeen Area.

I asked if this was going to be deducted from next year's budget and Headquarters said it would not. I asked for a commitment and assurance but the director of operations said she could not give me a commitment. I am disgusted with the Aberdeen Area and I.H.S. overall.

We also got resolutions passed that Aberdeen Area adhere to Great Plains request for transparency. We got resolutions passed that Aberdeen Area adhere to Great Plains request for accountability.

Also, as I mentioned in my last report, I am ready to sue I.H.S. for all the wrong doings they have done unto our Tribe, especially the most recent; lack of following the HHS Tribal Consultation Policy. Cheyenne River is also ready to join us if we choose to initiate the suit.

I asked the eleven tribes in attendance for their support and it was unanimous they would support our effort to sue and or file a claim to get I.H.S. to restore our funds they took without meaningful consultation.

I will be asking our Tribal Council to take action and begin the process to file a claim and or suit against I.H.S.

On Tuesday, March 28th, our Tribe will be hosting the Smithsonian Institute as they consult with tribes on their Native American Veteran's project. It was humbling to have been asked to host this event on behalf of the Tribe.

I want to say publicly, "We are honored to host Mr. Kevin Gover, Director of the National Museum of the American Indian, and staff of the Smithsonian Institute, and their efforts to consult with Great Plains area tribes and solicit input for the National Native Americans War Memorial project."

The grocery store is moving along and for the most part on schedule. We have approved the General Manager job description for a general manager and that will go out in all the papers and reach as far as Sioux Falls and Fargo. It is my understanding that we will look for the best applicant that will have the capabilities and understanding of successfully operating a grocery store and being extremely competitive. As we continue to move ahead, there will be advertisements coming soon for forty other jobs that we will need to fill for the operations of our new store.

The Tribe and Housing have been working on getting infrastructure completed for additional homes at Barkers Hill; known as Barkers Hill phase II.

This work has been going on since last year and we are continuing to move ahead with the project and getting all the components in place that need to be completed first. This infrastructure project is mostly funded by a grant from Rural Development. The housing will need funding for the homes that will be placed at phase II. It is my understanding that the Housing Director and Board are working on a financial package that they will present to Council in the upcoming weeks. We understand there is a huge shortage of homes and we are doing what we can with what we have to get another 80 homes built.

As April 28th approaches, I am hoping Congress passes their budget. Currently, Congress has been operating off of last year's budget through a continuing resolution.

I am anxious to see how much will be appropriated to the Department of Justice, Department of Interior and B.I.A.

Building our jail facility has been stagnant for a couple months because there is no funding for new detention facilities. We have been asserting our need for a complete justice center but because we are waiting to see if Congress passes a new budget and how much will be allocated for new Tribal detention facilities, we are at a standstill.

The alternative to "waiting" for funding is using our own dollars to build the jail.

We are shovel ready and have the funding but we will need District support.

There is opportunity for us to become a regional tribal detention facility and contract our services with B.I.A.

If we choose to take advantage of this opportunity, this facility would generate revenue and would minimize the cost burden of the Tribe to operate and maintain the building; and good possibility that it could be completely self-sustaining.

Another reason to consider contracting with the B.I.A. is the jobs it will create in the field of law enforcement and detention services. There will be additional jobs that would become available and funded via the revenue we generate "if" we build a new detention facility soon and contract with the B.I.A. as a regional tribal detention facility.

If we choose not to build with our own money and wait for Congress, well, your guess is as good as mine as to "when" we will get a new detention facility.

Also, let me be very clear, we have not lost our sight of a complete justice center that would include treatment, but we need to consider the recent actions of B.I.A. deeming our facility a hazard and non-compliant. We are still focused on a treatment facility and we would still be able to modify the justice center if we built our own detention facility.

As a final update, for this week, Tribal Council and Executives have heard the complaints of unattended animals in our housing sites.

I was directed by Council to come up with a budget and job description for an animal control officer. The Chief of Tribal Police, Captain Gakowski, has a job description, and my staff have worked with him on a budget to fund this position.

It has come to our attention that dog attacks have become more noticeable and is extremely concerning to Tribal leadership.

Therefore, I support Council's decision to enforce our policies and policing up our housing sites that have stray dogs and other unattended animals. I will not be surprised we will get complaints from pet owners that are unhappy with Council or Housing enforcing their policies, but, the concern for public safety and dog attacks needed to be addressed.

Finally, I commend Joan White and her volunteers that take on the task of housing stray and or unwanted pets; thank you. We are working on a dog pound/animal shelter to help the program and get stray pets out of our housing sites.

Dave Flute - Chairman, Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe.

Vice-Chairman suspension hearing postponed

The suspension hearing for SWST Vice-Chairman Donovan White has been postponed from this Tuesday, March 22nd, 2017.

The hearing has been rescheduled for Monday, April 3, 2017, at 10:00 a.m.

SWST hosts public discussion of National Native American Veterans Memorial

The Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe will host a public discussion of the National Native American Veterans Memorial project in Washington, DC.

Congress has authorized the National Museum of the American Indian to create a memorial honoring service of Native Americans in the armed forces of the United States.

Museum Director Kevin Gover will be present.

Others expected to attend include Ben Nighthorse Campbell (Northern Cheyenne), and Jefferson Keel, Lt. Governor of the Chickasaw Nation.

Native veterans and community members are asked to join in discussing the project at the Dakota Magic Convention Center, Hankinson, ND, from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon next Tuesday, March 28.

The event is scheduled in the BlueDog Room, and a lunch will follow.

Please see the poster elsewhere in this issue of the Sota.

Civil Rights Commission public meeting: "Subtle Effects of Racism in SD"

Aberdeen, SD – PRNewswire-USNewswire – March 13, 2017 – This Friday, March 24, 2017, the South Dakota Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will convene a public panel session to examine the subtle effects of racism in the state.

The meeting will take place at the Public Safety Building, 114 2nd Avenue SE, Aberdeen, SD 57401, from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm (CDT).

This meeting is open to the public, and parking is available on-site.

Persons with disabilities requiring reasonable accommodations should contact the Rocky Mountain Regional Office at 303-866-1040 prior to the meeting.

The Committee will hear testimony from law enforcement, representatives of local, state, and federal agencies, tribal officials, community organizations, and advocacy groups. The session will also address the value of use of body-worn cameras in law enforcement, and minority policing that impacts Native Americans and immigrant communities.

Members of the public will be invited to speak during the open forum, 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm. The Committee will also accept written testimony submitted to by April 24, 2017. This session is the first of three meetings to be held across South Dakota - over the next 12 months - to address the subtle effects of racism in the state.

After all testimony has been received, the Advisory Committee will issue findings and recommendations in a report to the Commission.

Members of the South Dakota Advisory Committee are: Dr. Richard M. Braunstein, Chair; Charles T. Abourezk, Rapid City; Melanie K. Bliss, Sioux Falls; Marcia N. Bunger, Spencer; Scott D. German, Peever; A. Gay Kingman, Rapid City; Lloyd C. LaCroix, Rapid City; Mike J. Levsen, Aberdeen; Renee B. Olson, Waubay; and Ira W. Taken Alive, McLaughlin.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is an independent, bipartisan agency charged with studying and advising the President and Congress on civil rights matters and issuing an annual federal civil rights enforcement report. Advisory Committees to the Commission conduct reviews and produce reports and recommendations concerning state and local civil rights issues. Appointees to the Committees serve four-year terms and are unremunerated. For more information about the work of the Commission and its Advisory Committees, visit and follow us on Twitter:

Sungwatogda "Fearless Horses" riders carry proclamation to SWST

The Sunwatogda "Fearless Horses" riders traveled from Crow Creek last week to the Lake Traverse Reservation. The riders brought along a proclamation calling on the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe, and other Oceti Sakowin tribes, to divest from fossil fuel energy.

The riders came to Tribal headquarters Wednesday morning, March 15th, where they were greeted at the east public entrance by Tribal Chairman Dave Flute and Tribal Secretary Crystal Heminger.

The proclamation was read and a copy presented to the Chairman, and there were prayers and songs before the riders left.

While on the Reservation, the riders traveled from Crawfordsville to Toka Nuwan, where they spent Thursday evening talking with youth about their lives and what motivates them to ride for their people.

Some of those who helped with their accommodations, meals, and meetings with youth were Dionne Crawford Lake, Dustina Gill, Derrick McCauley, Noonah Starrlight. There were others, unidentified, but everyone's help is appreciated.

Tom Wilson, KXSW announcer, livestreamed the riders at Tribal headquarters and provided these photos.

Sota news, editorial feature –

SWO father, son take part in Natives Rise March

Tribal elder Joe Williams and his son Joseph took a road trip a week ago from the Lake Traverse Reservation to Washington, DC.

Purpose was to participate in the country-wise Natives Rise March in the nation's capitol and activities on the National Mall leading up to the march.

The march drew thousands of tribal people and their allies to stand up rights of Indigenous peoples and justice for all people and for the environment – all under attack by a president intent upon destroying America not "making it great again." And a Congress working on behalf of corporate interests, not interests of the citizens.

Besides simply being a spectator, Joe Williams ended up being one of the speakers at the march.

Here are photos of Joe during an honoring held at the National Mall, and him speaking outside the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters.

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

Phone 605-698-3388

*Tuesday, March 21, to Thursday, March 23 - The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation will host Job Search Assistance Programs (JSAP). JSAP is a workshop for people recovering from job loss or enhancing their job search skills. Trained instructors speak on modern-day techniques used to successfully find employment. Topics covered are: resume and cover letter writing, interviewing etiquette, networking effectively, using social media and much more. JSAP will be offered at the following locations: Wednesday, March 22, 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. CDT, Sisseton - at 10 E. Hickory St. Suite 3. For more information, call 605-698-3964 or visit

*CORRECTION: I have a correction to make. The organization that Basil and group formed was, Sisseton Wahpeton Tribal Betterment Association (not a "Veterans Organization"). My mindset is always about "Veterans" I can see how I thought I heard that.

*Operation Black Hills Cabin is now taking applications for the 2017 season, and has a few weeks open at this time. Our season is from Memorial weekend thru the end of September. If you are a combat injured veteran from OEF/OIF/OND, and are interested in a week in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota to reconnect with your immediate family in a quiet and peaceful setting, at little or no charge to the family, please check out our website at All completed applications are considered on a first come, first served basis.

*VA CAMP LEJEUNE: The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regulations to establish presumptions for the service connection of eight diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, N.C. are effective as of this week. "Establishing these presumptions is a demonstration of our commitment to care for those who have served our Nation and have been exposed to harm as a result of that service," said U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Dr. David J. Shulkin. "The Camp Lejeune presumptions will make it easier for those veterans to receive the care and benefits they earned." The presumption of service connection applies to active duty, reserve, and National Guard members who served at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 days (cumulative) between August 1, 1953, and December and are diagnosed with any of the following conditions: o adult leukemia o aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes o bladder cancer o kidney cancer o liver cancer o multiple myeloma o non-Hodgkin's lymphoma o Parkinson's disease The area included in this presumption is all of Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River, including satellite camps and housing areas. This presumption complements the health care already provided for 15 illnesses or conditions as part of the Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012. The Camp Lejeune Act requires the VA to provide health care to veterans who served at Camp Lejeune, and to reimburse family members, or pay providers, for medical expenses for those who resided there for not fewer than 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.

*March is Women's History Month. It's a time dedicated to commemorate and celebrate the accomplishments of women that have contributed to society and this great world. A big Shout Out and thanks to all our women veterans. You have broken barriers for the generations to follow and capitalized on the many leadership opportunities afforded by your military service. A big Shout Out and thanks to all our women T/C VSOS for not only serving this great country, but for their dedication in assisting South Dakota's veterans. Thank you to Basil Robertson and family for the lovely flower for the office, it was a wonderful gesture!

*Recently the VA launched the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry in response to concerns that veterans who deployed after 1990 were experiencing a range of respiratory illnesses. The goal of the registry is to help researchers study the health effects of burn pits and other air-borne hazards. We encourage veterans to visit the registry site ( to ensure that our heroes will not have to wait four decades for resolution.

*Veteran & Law Enforcement Fishing Tournament: Please mark your calendars! This will be held in May, the 20th of May 2017 @ 9AM-2PM on Piyas Lake. You can boat or shore fish! Please see accompanying poster!

*FAMILIES: of Veterans no matter what ERA from WWI, WWII, Korean, Vietnam Veteran, Gulf on to present the ones that are currently on active duty please contact our office as we want to make sure each and every one of our TRIBAL MEMBERS have an existing file in our office. I know sometimes we have had calls and we didn't have any information on your loved ones and we need your assistance to help us continue to build up our files in the office. We honor each of our Veterans and with your help some day we will have complete files!!! And unless you call and check to see if you're on the roster when we file for medals or badges for difference campaigns we will not know if you're loved ones or yourself are on the list. Women Veterans: Please contact me to update your information and status. I need to find out what services are lacking for our Women Veteran population and would like to take the opportunity to talk with you. Please contact me at 698-3388. Also check out this site dedicated to serving women veterans. The web address is: Take the time to check this out there are many empowering stories to read.

*VETERANS: PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE IF YOU NEED ASSITANCE; WE ARE HERE TO SERVE! We are asking that you get your appointment slips turned in as soon as you get your slip - do not wait the day before or 2 days before. We have other avenues that we can utilize and if we have at least 4-5 days in advance that will give us plenty of time. Thank you.

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

Woodrow W. Keeble Memorial American Legion Post 314 - Delano Renville, Commander Cell # 268-0354; Vietnam Veterans Kit Fox Society - Doc Wanna, Commander Phone # 698-3299; Desert Era Veterans - Justin Chanku, 268-0977 Commander Cell# 467-9714; for GAS ASSISTANCE Geri Opsal 698-3388.

Have a great and safe week.

Geri Opsal, TVSO.

"Drug Endangered Children" training

The Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe is hosting a two-day training session by the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children this week.

"Moving from Awareness to Action to Sustainability" is the theme.

The Drug Endangered Children (DEC) training is being held at the Sisseton Wahpeton College Omniciye Tipi this Tuesday and Wednesday, March 14 and 15, 2017.

The same training is provided each day, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Here are brief biographies of the presenters:


Lt. Eric Nation began his career in law enforcement in 1995 where he held numerous positions. From 1996-2002, Nation was assigned to an undercover narcotics unit and from 2007-2012, he was assigned as the Commander of the M.I.N.E. Taskforce-Eastside.

Nation helped start and develop the Jasper County Drug Endangered Children Alliance and is a member of the National DEC Criminal Justice Working Group. Nation is a Certified Core DEC Instructor that has been involved in the training of thousands of professionals across the United States as a Trainer for the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children.

Nation's efforts towards Drug Endangered Children in Jasper County earned him the 2009 "Ongoing Victims Service Award", the 2011 "National Drug Endangered Children Collaborative Leadership Award"; participated in the "Defending Childhood Initiative and Working Group Meeting on Law Enforcement and Children's Exposure to Violence" - United States Attorney General Eric Holder - Washington, D.C.; and, participated in the development of IACP's Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Children Exposed to Violence project tools and deliverables as a Children Exposed to Violence Advisory Working Group Member in Alexandria, VA.


Stacee has spent over 16 years working in the child welfare field, gaining insight and experience on a variety of key child welfare issues. Before working for National DEC, Stacee held the Associate Ombudsman position with the Office of Colorado's Child Protection Ombudsman. There she was involved in program development and review, complaint resolution, and investigations of, and recommendations for child welfare practice and policy.

Prior to that Stacee was the Child Protection Safety Specialist for the Colorado Department of Human Services where she oversaw child safety in child welfare across the state of Colorado. She was also responsible for overseeing and reviewing institutional abuse and neglect investigations and facilitating the Institutional Abuse Review Team. Stacee reviewed fatalities and assisted with the facilitation of the Fatality Review Team. She provided technical assistance and training to county child welfare departments and became a valuable point person for substance abuse issues in child welfare. Her depth of experience in child welfare issues made her a key member on a number of committees and workgroups such as the Substance Exposed Newborns Steering Committee, the Rural Law Enforcement Meth Initiative, the CDHS Child Fatality Review Team, and the CDHS Prone Restraint Workgroup. Stacee also worked for many years as a Child Abuse and Neglect Investigator specializing in complex investigations, including fatalities, serious bodily injuries, substance abuse, and mental health.

Stacee started working for National DEC as a consultant in November 2011 and then was hired as the Director of DEC Network Development in May, 2013. She is responsible for the development and oversight of State and Tribal DEC Alliances, and she provides technical assistance to the National DEC network. Stacee is also an integral member of the training team and has participated in curriculum, online training, and publication development. Additionally, she has trained thousands of professionals on topics involving child welfare issues, collaboration and multi-disciplinary teams, evidence/information collection, local alliance development, and other specific drug issues.

Stacee received her Master's in Social Work from the University of Illinois focusing on Mental Health and Administration in 2002, and her Bachelor's in Psychology from the University of Iowa with an emphasis on abnormal psychology and dependency behaviors in 1997. Stacee is an adjunct professor at Metro State University in Denver, Colorado where she teaches in the Master's Social Work Program.

2017 SD Legislative repots

Representative Steven McCleerey

Week 9

The final full week of the 92nd Legislative Session is over. Like usual, it was a busy session, but many issues went unresolved. This week I wanted to give you some highlights of what was-and what was not-accomplished.

First and foremost, we passed a balanced budget. I was very concerned that education and healthcare providers were not going to get an increase this year at several points in the Session. During the last couple of days, due in part to Democratic efforts, we came together with the House to give a 0.3% increase to K-12 education and Community Support Providers (CSPs). Even though it is small, it is still an increase and shows that we want to fulfill the promise to make teacher pay competitive here in South Dakota, and support the well-being of our communities by helping them to retain their CSPs.

Despite these victories, this year's budget was disappointing as a whole. We simply did not do enough to address economic development in South Dakota and help the working class get ahead. Many of the bills I supported to do so, like legislation to give paid sick and maternal leave to working families and to eliminate the sales tax on groceries were defeated on largely party-line vote.

Another disappointment was the mixed record of the Legislature in honoring the will of the voters, who passed IM 22, the Anti-Corruption Act, this past November. After rushing a repeal through the Legislature, the majority party did not do enough to replace the ethics and campaign finance reforms enacted by the voters through IM 22. One positive development was the success of HB 1076, which has been signed by the Governor. This bill creates a Government Accountability Board to review and investigate public officials and employees of the executive branch regarding allegations of illegal and unethical behavior. This is a change that has been needed for many years, and seeks to catch scandals like EB-5 and Gear Up before tragedy occurs. I have supported efforts to create such a board for years, and while there is more to do, this bill is a big step in the right direction.

In the area of campaign finance reform, I and other Democrats tried to replace the lax limits contained in a bill loosely about campaign finance reform, SB 54, with the strict campaign finance limitations from IM 22. Sadly, these efforts were defeated on largely party-line votes. Keeping these voter-approved limits would gone a long way in showing voters that we heard them at the ballot box and respect their wishes, but nothing got done on reforming campaign contribution limits except the formation of a summer study.

Finally, I was glad that many of the bills designed to limit the voice of the people at the ballot box as it relates to the Initiated Measure process. A couple did pass, though, including changing the effective date of initiated measures to July 1st, which will make it easier for the Legislature to make changes to measures passed on the ballot during session. I fought against this change, because South Dakota was the first state in the nation to allow the ballot measure process and the process has a rich history in our state, and I believe it should be protected, not attacked. Thank you for the honor and privilege of representing you in Pierre. I apologize that my columns have gotten lost in the mail (or rather, email), but hopefully that's been corrected.

Representative Steve McCleerey

SD legalizes religious-based discrimination in adoptions

Oglala Sioux Tribe members form children's advocacy group

Free Speech Research Radio News (FSRN) – March 14, 2017 – South Dakota has become the first state this year to enact a measure that would allow religious adoption and family placement agencies receiving public funds to discriminate against prospective foster or adoptive parents based on those agencies' religious criteria. Critics of South Dakota's SB 149 say it uses a pretense of 'religious freedom' to prevent LGBT couples from adopting, but child advocates warn it could also keep single parents, divorcees, non-Christians and anyone else religious agencies deem as 'inappropriate' from taking in children in need of a home.

Bills with nearly identical wording as the South Dakota legislation have been introduced in Texas, Alabama and Oklahoma within the last month.

South Dakota's SB 149 did explicitly mention 'due regard' for the Indian Child Welfare Act. The state has a history of removing Native youth from their cultural contexts, a practice that was aided by Christian boarding schools with forced 'assimilation' programs. Lakota families in particular experienced high rates of involuntary separation.

When two severely malnourished and abused girls were found on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation last November, community members near and far gathered to take action on the tribe's own terms. As Jim Kent reports, the newly-formed "Embracing Our Children's Health" group focuses on empowering, encouraging, assisting, and supporting existing programs and organizations for children and their families on the reservation.

The Pine Ridge Reservation is located along the border between South Dakota and Nebraska. It's home to members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, also known as the Lakota.

Despite largely successful efforts to maintain cultural traditions and a value system rooted in deep respect for women and children, the prevalence of domestic violence on the reservation is relatively high. Many Lakota attribute this to the lingering effects of the Christian and federal boarding school system that tore families apart for most of a century.

As of July 2016, the Medicine Wheel Healing Community organization reported 40 ongoing cases of child abuse on Pine Ridge with more reports being investigated every day by the tribe's Child Protection Services Department.

But when police officers responding to an assault complaint found two young malnourished and abused girls at a home in the reservation's Potato Creek community last November, Pine Ridge businesswoman Patty Puorier had had enough.

"It just broke my heart. And I think it did a lot of other people, too. I couldn't get it off of my mind. And I decided enough is enough. I can make a difference. I'm not a social worker. I'm not an attorney. But I am an organizer," Puorier says. "So I decided, you know what? I can try to organize a meeting to try to get a coalition of different entities together so we can maybe streamline help for children."

The "Potato Creek" girls – aged 2 and 3 – were hidden under a pile of blankets on the floor and only weighed about 13 pounds each. A pediatrician who later examined the girls compared them to prisoners of World War II concentration camps.

Pourier gathered community members and created a group called "Embracing Our Children's Health." One of her first supporters was Donna Lamont, a supervisor for the Oglala Sioux Housing Authority on Pine Ridge.

The home where the girls were found falls under the tribe's jurisdiction, where like any government the left hand often isn't aware of what the right hand is doing.

Lamont says one key to prevention is to reinstate a practice the tribe's Housing Authority and Public Safety Departments used to have: "Whatever they encountered out there, we went along with them. We kind of lost that for a while, I don't know why, but we did."

Lamont says in addition to reestablishing that partnership, she hopes other tribal agencies on the reservation that deal with child welfare will communicate with Oglala Sioux Housing and with each other, as well.

But that's not all "Embracing Our Children's Health" is doing.

The group left the gate at full speed. Members are establishing Collective Action Forums to bring children's services on Pine Ridge together and determine how actions by one affect the work of another.

They're also creating "Safe Houses" for children in each of the reservation's nine districts. And a "Caring For Relatives" program is in the works along with a volunteer network to support overwhelmed parents and provide the tribe's social and health services with much needed human resources.

In conjunction with the Oglala Sioux Tribe's Child Protection Services the group is about to start intensive training for foster parents.

While the Indian Child Welfare Act protects Native children from being permanently removed from the reservation and losing all identity within the culture, Pourier says there are other ways for non-Natives to provide for Native kids' needs.

"It's also important for people to know that you can be a foster parent to a Native child, as long as there is a community of Natives within the area that you're fostering that child," Pourier explains.

To make sure children placed outside the reservation remain culturally connected a Lakota Spiritual Chairman includes indigenous traditions in the group's programs. Though the primary focus is children between the ages of birth and five years, reviving coming of age ceremonies for boys and girls is also on the agenda. In the 19th century, all Native American ceremonies were banned, but were finally restored by the American Indian Religious Freedom Act in 1978.

Patty Pourier says the ultimate goal is making children feel comfortable with who they are, to be free of shame and proud that they're Lakota.

Oglala Sioux President Scott Weston began his term of office just one month after the girls were found at Potato Creek. He says child abuse is not just a tribal issue, but a state and national issue.

"This should be initiated at the local level. But it should be carried out by the national level," Weston says. "So that means we start here, but we go to Washington to start this process back to improve what needs to happen because currently it doesn't work."

Weston adds that the key to successful multi-agency efforts to protect Lakota children is ensuring the focus is on helping the children and not on political agendas.

Trump requests $11.6 billion for DOI FY 2018 budget


Budget blueprint furthers Administration's strong support for energy development on federal lands

Washington, DC – March 16, 2017 – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today announced President Trump's $11.6 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget blueprint request for the Department of the Interior. The budget meets the Department's core mission while also saving taxpayers $1.5 billion or 12 percent reduction from the FY 2017 Annualized Continuing Resolution level.

The President's budget blueprint prioritizes strengthening America's energy security by increasing funding for programs that support responsible development of oil, natural gas, coal, and renewable energy on public lands and offshore waters. The blueprint also sustains funding for DOI's collection and disbursement of roughly $10 billion annually for mineral development, an important source of revenue to the Treasury, states, and Indian mineral owners.

The President's blueprint directly supports funding for land management operations for the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management, ensuring streamlined operations and greater access to public lands for multiple uses, including recreation, conservation, and responsible development of natural resources. The budget ensures National Park Service assets are preserved for future generations by increasing investment in deferred maintenance projects.

"America's public lands are our national treasures and the President's budget sends a strong signal that we will protect and responsibly manage these vast areas of our country 'for the benefit and enjoyment of the people'," Secretary Zinke said. "Before serving in government, I served on the front lines for 23 years as a military officer. I can say for certain that this budget allows the Interior Department to meet our core mission and also prioritizes the safety and security of the American people. From supporting tribal sovereignty and self-determination across Indian country to investing more than $1 billion in safe and reliable water management in the western U.S., to budgeting for wildland fire preparedness and suppression, and streamlining access to the energy resources America needs, this budget enables the Department to meet its core mission and prioritizes programs that will put Americans' security first."

The President's budget blueprint also eliminates some duplicative programs, including discretionary Abandoned Mine Land grants that overlap with existing mandatory grants, National Heritage Areas that are more appropriately funded at the local level, and National Wildlife Refuge fund payments to local governments that overlap with other payment programs. The budget reduces land acquisition funding by more than $120 million and focuses available discretionary funds on investing in and maintaining existing parks, refuges and public lands.

(Editor's note: We question the meaning of the word "responsible" as used in this PR release from the new DOI chief.)

Trump's budget plan cuts funding for Arts, Humanities, and Public Media

By Bryan Naylor

NPR – March 16, 2017 – President Trump's proposed budget calls for big cuts in a wide array of domestic programs — among them, agencies that fund the arts, humanities and public media.

Funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be cut to zero under the proposal, and the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely, the first time any president has proposed such a measure.

The spending outline is what White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney calls a "hard-power budget," with spending increases for defense and homeland security at the expense of many other programs in the discretionary part of the budget.

Trump Unveils 'Hard Power' Budget That Boosts Military Spending POLITICS Trump Unveils 'Hard Power' Budget That Boosts Military Spending Mulvaney appeared on MSNBC Thursday morning to defend the proposal.

"Can we really continue to ask a coal miner in West Virginia or a single mom in Detroit to pay for these programs?" he asked. "The answer was no. We can ask them to pay for defense and we will, but we can't ask them to continue to pay for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting."

CPB received $445 million in federal funding in the last fiscal year; the NEA and NEH got about $148 million each — a tiny portion of the roughly $4 trillion federal budget.

In a statement, CPB President and CEO Patricia Harrison said, "There is no viable substitute for federal funding that ensures Americans have universal access to public media's education and informational programming and services." She called public media "one of America's best investments," costing "approximately $1.35 per citizen per year."

Most CPB funds go directly to local radio and TV stations. NPR's funding sources include the program fees those stations pay, and the network receives less than 2 percent of its budget directly from CPB.

In a statement, NPR COO Loren Mayor said:

"Millions of Americans depend on their local public radio station for the fact-based, objective, public service journalism they need to stay informed about the world and about the news in their own communities. Public media serves the public interest with essential educational, news and cultural programming not found anywhere else, as well as vital information during local and regional emergencies. Federal funding is an essential ingredient to making this possible." The federal funds are especially crucial for local stations, as well as local arts groups, which often receive matching funds from other donors based on their federal allocations.

NEH Chairman William D. Adams issued a statement saying his agency is "greatly saddened to learn of this proposal for elimination." NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, "We are disappointed because we see our funding actively making a difference with individuals of all ages in thousands of communities, large, small, urban and rural, and in every Congressional District in the nation."

That reference to every congressional district is key for the survival prospects of all three agencies. Congress will have the final say about the fate of Trump's budget, and while some conservatives have long targeted arts and public media for cuts, lawmakers from both parties have supported the agencies in the past.

The NEH says its grants "have reached into every part of the country," noting:

"Residents in Whitesburg, Kentucky are preserving the photographs and films of their local Appalachian region through Appalshop cultural center. Veterans returning from war in Iraq and Afghanistan connect with classic texts and the public through Aquila Theatre. Students, teachers and historians have access to the papers of Founding Father George Washington." According to Americans for the Arts, NEA's annual appropriation supports a $730 billion arts and culture industry, 4.8 million jobs and a $26 billion trade surplus for the nation.

'We're still here and we're not going away!'

Native Nations March on D.C.

By Maxine Hillary

Washington, D.C. Correspondent – March 17, 29017 – Tipis on the National Mall are nothing new. They were there at the Prayer Vigil for the Earth in 2011 and in all-night ceremonies honoring Native American veterans in 2014. Tipis also went up on the Mall in 2014 as farmers, ranchers, and tribal peoples in the Northern Plains joined in the Cowboy and Indian Alliance to protest the proposed Keystone XL Tar Sands pipeline. But this time it was different.

The tipis on the Mall were a call to action to tribal nations across the country—even the world to stand up to what has been seen by many as a 360 degree pivot from environmentally-friendly policies to an avalanche of actions that threaten Indian Country and perhaps the entire nation. In the waning days of the Obama administration, not only had the Keystone XL pipeline been blocked, work on the Dakota Access Pipeline was suspended when the Army Corps of Engineers agreed to do an environmental impact study and look for alternative routes to avoid disturbing sites sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux and eliminating potential damage to the tribe's water source. That all changed when as one of his first executive orders, President Donald Trump gave the thumbs up for Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners to resume drilling. Oil could be flowing by early spring.

Beginning on March 7, tipi poles were in the ground kicking off four days of lobbying, ceremonies, cultural events, and discussions culminating in Friday's march from the Army Corps of Engineers headquarters to a rally in Lafayette Square. The previous day's 74 degree temperatures gave way to freezing rain and sleet—to some a blessing amid a growing apprehension that space opened by the previous administration for an improvement in tribal/U.S. government relations is closing.

Manual Pino, President of the Indigenous Environmental Network traveled from his home on the Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico. Looking across to the White House, he voiced his frustration with the current administration's lack of willingness to recognize the basic tenets of tribal engagement. Calling the recent developments surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline and other executive orders "environmental genocide." Pino said, "This is complete ignoration of the government-to-government relationship that should exist between this country and indigenous peoples. Federal environmental laws have been completely overlooked for the benefit of big oil and the almighty dollar."

Statement on President's topline budget

Williston, ND – March 16, 2017 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today released the following statement after the administration put out its topline budget for the 2018 fiscal year.

The budget would cut U.S. Department of Agriculture programs that North Dakota farmers rely on by 21 percent. State Department programs that guarantee national security would face 28 percent cuts. The budget also would cut U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spending by 16 percent, putting at risk strong, permanent flood protections in Fargo and Minot.

"Some increases to defense spending are needed, but it's irrational to pay for those increases by crippling programs that strengthen American families and rural communities," said Heitkamp. "This budget would seriously hurt North Dakota and rural America. The budget would slash $4.7 billion from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's budget, and reduce staffing at USDA field offices that North Dakota farmers and ranchers rely on. It entirely cuts rural development programs that guarantee clean water for families and businesses in North Dakota—programs that provided our state with $37 million in federal funding in the last two years alone. It would eliminate a program that provided $22 million just last year to help low-income North Dakota families, seniors, and folks in Indian Country heat their homes this winter. By cutting $1 billion in funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, this budget would jeopardize flood protections in North Dakota that are critical to keeping our communities strong and safe. The budget would also end a federal program that guarantees affordable air travel in rural communities, which helped Devils Lake's airport board a record-breaking 6,290 passengers last year. Each year, that program invests $4.2 million in Dickinson's airport, $4 million in Devils Lake's, and $2.8 million in Jamestown's, helping keep rural economies vibrant and connected.

"This budget is a blueprint of the administration's priorities, but it unfortunately leaves behind North Dakota and rural communities across this country. Ultimately, it's Congress' job to set spending priorities and fund the government—and I'll fight to make sure an even-handed approach wins out, so programs North Dakota businesses and families rely on don't face senseless cuts."

Providing certainty for wind-energy workers

Williston, ND – March 16, 2017 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today reinforced the importance of strong policies that encourage certainty for renewable energy workers and promote increased build out of wind energy resources following the announcement of Xcel Energy's new projects to build a total of seven wind farms in the Upper Midwest.

In total, Xcel Energy's proposals will develop 1,550-megawatts of wind energy across North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Iowa. The new wind farms in North Dakota will be built in Dickey, Morton, and Mercer Counties. By using federal production tax credits – available only because Heitkamp negotiated a long-term extension for the credits at the end of 2015 – Xcel Energy is able to secure low wind energy prices for customers and estimates these projects will save more than $4 billion in fuel and other costs.

"North Dakota has a long history of embracing a true all-of-the-above energy strategy, which includes both renewable energies and fossil fuels, that is a model for other parts of the country," said Heitkamp. "Xcel Energy plays a critical role in helping to diversify our energy industry because of its strong investments in renewable energy, commitment to providing affordable energy for folks all across our state and in our region, and support of good jobs in our state. The new projects announced today will strengthen North Dakota's strong partnership with Xcel Energy, as well as help us harness the full force of our wind power, grow jobs, and produce clean energy in our communities."

Long an advocate for all of North Dakota's energy workers and a strong proponent of a diversified national energy strategy, Heitkamp worked for a year and a half to bring both Republicans and Democrats to the table on her bill to lift the nation's 40-year ban on exporting crude oil. She helped negotiate a deal to lift the ban and paired it with provisions Heitkamp long pushed for to support prolonged certainty for renewable energy workers across North Dakota – including a five-year retroactive extension of Production Tax Credit for wind producers through 2019 which will encourage more energy efficient, job-creating solutions for years to come. The deal passed in Congress' year-end spending bill in December 2015.

Across North Dakota, up to 3,000 jobs were supported by the wind production industry in 2015 alone.

In July 2016, Heitkamp spoke at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Xcel Energy's Border Wind Farm – a project that created 11 new full-time jobs and is expected to employ about 150 North Dakotans during peak construction. Heitkamp toured Fargo's 70-year-old Ulteig Engineers in April 2015 to discuss the direly needed build-out of North Dakota's energy infrastructure with a particular focus on providing certainty to wind energy industry workers. In January 2014, Heitkamp toured Iberdrola Wind Farm near Rugby and in May 2013, Heitkamp attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Bison Wind Energy Center near New Salem. She also visited an Otter Tail Power Company and NextEra Energy Resources wind farm near Edgeley in October 2014.

Nominations to serve on RESPONSE Act Subcommittee

Washington, DC – March 15, 2017 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced that the application period is now open to serve on the RESPONSE Act Subcommittee to address first responder safety, and she encouraged North Dakotans and others across the country who are eligible to apply to join it.

The Subcommittee is created as a result of Heitkamp's bipartisan bill that became law in December to improve training, resources and tools for first responders handling potential hazardous incidents, including crude oil train derailments.

In the wake of a crude oil train derailment in Casselton in 2013, Heitkamp introduced her Railroad Emergency Services Preparedness, Operational Needs, and Safety Evaluation (RESPONSE) Act to make sure first responders are prepared for emergencies related to the transportation of crude oil on the rails, especially as many first responders in rural communities like Casselton are volunteers. Now law, members will be selected from a pool of applicants to serve on the RESPONSE Act Subcommittee that combines emergency responders, federal agencies, and leading experts to review training and best practices for first responders. This Subcommittee, co-chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), will provide Congress with expert recommendations on how to address first responders' safety needs with increased railway safety challenges so they can best protect communities across the country.

Specifically, Heitkamp today is calling for non-federal agency representatives and experts from: rail and rail labor industries, communications industries, emergency response providers, emergency response training providers, tribal organizations, technical industries, and vendors, developers and manufacturers of emergency response service resources to apply for the Subcommittee.

"The kind of heroism we saw when a crude oil train derailed in Casselton about three years ago, and then again in Heimdal two years later deserves nothing less than the full respect and support of our communities – but too often, first responders who run toward the fires are not equipped with all of the tools or training they need to keep our towns safe. My RESPONSE Act Subcommittee will work to change that," said Heitkamp. "I encourage North Dakota's experts and leading industry members to serve on the RESPONSE Act Subcommittee that my bill creates so they can work in tandem with federal agency leaders on ways to best prepare and defend first responders dealing with rail hazmat incidents, and help make sure Congress implements that support. We can make sure rural communities are strong and safe by enabling first responders to have the tools to do their jobs when every second counts – and we need North Dakota's best and brightest to do it."

Click here to learn more about the RESPONSE Act Subcommittee. To apply for the RESPONSE Act Subcommittee, submit a cover letter and resume to the Office of the National Advisory Council at no later than April 3, 2017.

The Casselton derailment was also the impetus for her Strong & Safe Communities Initiative, which aims to help address some of the new challenges facing the state by bringing a greater focus to keeping North Dakota's communities strong and families safe in their homes. She issued her Strong & Safe Communities Report in August. Among the goals of her initiative includes better equipping emergency response teams with the necessary tools and resources to prepare for hazmat incidents on the rails, which Heitkamp's legislation will do.

Despite the current downturn in oil production, 22 percent of North Dakota crude oil is still transported by rail and will likely continue to into the future. On major freight railroads across the country, the number of railcars carrying crude oil grew by more than 4,000 percent between 2008 and 2013.

In addition to her RESPONSE Act, Heitkamp has worked to improve first responder safety by helping secure $5 million in federal funding to support a one-of-a-kind federal training facility in Pueblo, Colorado that prepares first responders to handle hazmat incidents on the rails, such as crude oil train derailments. At the end of 2016, nearly 310 North Dakota first responders had participated in training at the Pueblo facility – more than 130 of which were trained to specifically handle crude-by-rail incidents. She has also worked closely with federal, state, and local officials, including bringing then-U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to North Dakota and holding a U.S. Senate hearing on first responder safety.

Editorials –

Sota guest editorial –

Rising against the assault on our Arts and Culture

"…things I personally love and live for are under attack."

By Tamara St. John, SWO THPO Archivist

SD Humanities Council Board Member

2016-2017 has been my first full year as a board member of the South Dakota Humanities Council. It's been a great year and I'm just beginning to see the make-up of those who apply for grant funding and what sort of projects people invest their heart and soul into. Many of the projects are done within our tribal communities or with our young people in mind. I'm in awe of the efforts I see and it wonderful to see them supported and then later get a glimpse of how each of them impact various communities.

I hadn't considered that within my first year I would be writing an essay on "why the humanities are important to me" to add to the blog campaign against the demise of NEH or National Endowment for the Humanities and NEA or National Endowment for the Arts.

I feel like the things I personally love and live for are under attack. As someone who works as a tribal archivist and within a program that works hard in various aspects of cultural preservation, this has left me thinking about the value of both the NEH, NEA and my own life's work in history and culture. I thought about how my own work in this area began with my grandparents many years ago.

During the summer and Christmas vacations I spent taking care of my grandparents, we talked about many things. We traveled back thru time to visit each generation and learn who they were. We went far enough back to where my grandfather was learning too. As my grandmothers Alzheimers progressed she began to forget things. She forgot who people were and where she was. She didn't know how she got to where she found herself in her warm house and comfortable chair. We made sure that in the present moment she found herself in, she could feel that all was well, and that she was loved and safe. It was the best we could give her. I knew that she did not know the sleepy little girl who crawled in her lap to ask her how to say "crayon" in Dakota language, but her smile said that she knew the girl loved her and I think it was those type of moments that helped her to not feel so lost and unsure.

When a colleague and I were discussing the often-reoccurring battle of budgets and the need to explain to some people the value of history, he relayed his thinking in different context but I put it into something I understood well in my own mind as he spoke.

If we as a people were to become like my beloved Kunsi had been and were unable to understand how we came to be where we are in the present, we would also feel lost. We wouldn't know what we were doing or recognize each other, and would not know to exist as a people or tribe other than by what fragments of memory remain with us. I can't help but think of how sad that would that be. How sad to live not knowing and understanding the past and what brought us to the world we live in today.

It makes me value even more the people who do their best to preserve, language, culture, dance and songs. I value the colored folders of my own archives full of historical information. I value the stories that found their way into the books on the shelves in my office. It makes me cherish the red folders filled with names of people who walked where I walk and lived a life full of all the things we experience today. Each of them have a story, a history and are a thread woven with many others into the fabric of who we are now as a tribe.

I think of them all and the prayers I had said before I began the research to look into their lives. Those prayers stay with me or come back to me when I'm sitting across a table with someone who needs to know them now, someone who is searching for them. The connection they find to that person or name always brings a smile and sometimes people shine when they see their ancestor's name on a paper copy of something that proves they once lived and breathed and that their presence in this world was noted. On a paper. Those connections are powerful and healing. The understanding of them becomes the identity a person carries with them always.

So yes, Genealogy and History matters! Arts and Humanities Matter! The stone features or burial places that are the evidence of our existence as aboriginal people matter. The floral beadwork or quillwork from long ago is the cultural expression of ancestors who survived so that we may live today. Just as in all cultures, ALL of it matters and together it is our collective memory and we would be lost without it today.


Brief editorial comments from the editor's desk –

On and Off the Lake Traverse Reservation

Please read Chairman Flute's update to the Oyate on page one.

He reports on the recent Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board. It's a pretty dim picture of having meaningful consultation with IHS, much less a return of money transferred out from Sisseton to cover shortfalls elsewhere.

It's good to see support from the other tribes for SWST, and CRST (also having had money transferred out), in resolution form.

IHS officials on the conference call missed an opportunity to show us why self-governance would not be a good choice.

The Chairman announces the SWST will host Mr. Kevin Gover and the Smithsonian Institute next Tuesday, March 28th.

This is the second time the Director of the National Museum of the American Indian and staff have come to the Lake Traverse Reservation to talk about the project to build the National Native Americans War Memorial in Washington, DC.

For more information, see the poster inviting Native veterans and community members to attend the event at Dakota Magic.

Other highlights include: planning for additional homes at Barker Hill; and where to go in the short term with the detention center and long-term with the justice center (including rehab) projects.


We encourage any Tribal members with stories to tell about effects of racism in the state, to attend the special meeting this Friday in Aberdeen.

Please read the story on the Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights public meeting elsewhere in this Sota.

Voices must be raised in order to be heard.


There are many important events this week and in coming weeks that are announced in this week's Sota.

The Drug Endangered Children training is being offered this week, on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Each day's training is the same.

Want to learn how to make moccasins and buffalo dolls?

The SWO Cultural Art Project is providing instruction Thursday and Friday this week.

Find out about how you or your family can learn these traditional arts.

Learn about changes in child support from the Tribal Judge Michael Swallow at a training session being held this Wednesday afternoon, March 22nd, by the Judicial Committee.

Later Wednesday evening, receive bullying prevention training sponsored by the Tribal Education Department.

Come and become involved in your community and culture.

Tribal Law Enforcement is hosting a drug paraphernalia identification workshop next Tuesday evening, March 28th, at the SWC omniciye tipi. Attend and learn how to spot the signs of drug abuse in your community.

Come to the suicide hotline volunteer training sessions!

Find out what you need to know to help man the crisis phone line, being there to help someone in crisis.


Parents, please consider signing up your daughters age 8-12 in the Daughters of Tradition program.

For six months, classes will be provided at the Dakotah Language Institute (provided by the SWO Education Program) to help provide a traditional cultural foundation for surviving, and thriving throughout their teenage years.

Read more about the program elsewhere in this edition. For more information, call Charlotte Almanza at 605-467-1771.

Applications need to be filed by March 31st, and classes are weekly on Monday afternoons, beginning April 3rd.


I doubt that many know this, but Rosebud Marshall was a key figure in the history of your Sota Iya Ye Yapi.

She served as far more than secretary in our early office.

She was office manager, administrator, bookkeeper, advisor, confidant, co-conspirator (she would smile if she heard that). More than once her advice saved the day.

Rosebud also was instrumental in bringing our Sota office into the computer age. She wrote the loan application so our office got its very first computer.

And yes, we paid off the loan. Thanks to her bookkeeping and billing skills.

Man, that computer … what a beast! A heavy, clunky machine that ran the first Windows operating system.

We were glad to have it.

What we remember most about working with her, though, is not what she accomplished for the office.

It was her spirit; she was someone who made you feel good just being around them.

That's how I remember her.


We always enjoy seeing how Angela Two Stars puts Dakota culture and language into her creative art works.

Please see work she has on display in Michigan, in this Sota.

Watch for updates, and new work from this talented SWO artist.


Congratulations to SWC student LaVerne G. Whitebear, whose nonfiction "Pumpkin Hill," earned an award in the TCJ writers contest.

We have requested permission to publish the work, and hopefully will be able to feature it in a future edition of the Sota.


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

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

Last week was the first broadcast, and Tom had some technical difficulties.

Hopefully, the IT will be working well for upcoming meetings.

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


Elder's Meditation:

"By listening to the inner self and following one's instincts and intuitions, a person may be guided to safety." –Dr. A.C. Ross (Ehanamani), LAKOTA

Be still and know. The Medicine Wheel teaches the four directions of inner power – not personal power, but the power of God. These four directions are emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual. As our emotions get too far out of control, we simultaneously create an equivalent mental picture, our physical body fills with stress and tension, and we become spiritually confused. When we experience these uptight feelings, the best thing to do is mentally pause, slow down our thinking, breathe slowly, or pray and ask the spirits to help. Only when we approach the stillness of the mind do we get access to our spiritual guidance system. To be guided, let your mind be still.

Creator, today, let me reside in Your stillness.


Words to consider (or, perhaps not!):

Decisions are made by people who have time, not people who have talent. Scott Adams (1957 - ), Dilbert, 10-26-07

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

Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. Tom Robbins (1936 - )

In spite of the cost of living, it's still popular. Laurence J. Peter (1919 - 1988)

How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct. Benjamin Disraeli (1804 - 1881), Speech at the House of Commons, January 24, 1860

The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible. Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - ), "Technology and the Future" (Clarke's second law)

Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is. William James (1842 - 1910)


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 –

Funeral services held for Rosebud Marshall

Funeral services for Rosebud LuVerne Jones Marshall, 84, of Peever, SD were held on Monday afternoon, March 13, 2017 at the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Community Center, Agency Village, SD with the Rev. Fr. Charles Chan and St. Mary's Episcopal Church Lay Readers officiating. Pianist was Billy Kohl. Music was provided by Butch Felix. Drum Group was Big Stone.

Pallbearers were Eric Marshall, Eddie Johnson Jr., Ed Johnson Sr., Okokipe Jones, Donnie Eastman, Clint Paul, John Two Stars Jr., and Ephriam Redearth.

Honorary Pallbearers were Naomi Parker, Elwood Greybuffalo, Florestine German, Yvonne Wynde, Roberta Trevino, Yvonne Redearth, Vine Marks Sr., Crystal Venegas, Edmond Two Stars, Beverly Wakeman, Alma Redearth, Arlene Miller, Carol Adams, Lorraine Rousseau, Chris "Mato Numpa" Cavender, Iver Cloud, Myrna Weston-Louis, Tekakwitha Living Center Staff and Prairie Lakes Dialysis staff. Interment will be in St. Mary's Episcopal Cemetery, Agency Village, SD.

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

Rosebud LuVerne Jones Marshall "Ihdakesawin" was born to Sam Jones Jr. and Nancy Two Stars Kitto on April 22, 1932 in rural Peever, SD.

Rosebud attended school in Old Agency SD; Pipestone MN, and Flandreau SD.

She graduated in 1950 from Flandreau Public School.

She furthered her education at Haskell Indian University in Lawrence KS. She graduated in 1952 with a "commercial" (business) degree.

After graduating from Haskell, Rosebud relocated to Hoopa Valley Reservation in California where she met and married Larry Carlson Marshall in July 1953. They had four children Larry, Angie, Blair and Shelli.

While in California, Rosebud was employed at Aero Jet, Sacramento Crime Lab, BIA Area Office in Sacramento as a probate clerk along with other various other jobs. She spent over twenty years in California and then returned home to South Dakota in the early 70s.

She returned to Sisseton where she worked with the SWO for a period of time and then moved to Pierre SD where she worked for the United Sioux Tribes and the Lakota Women's Organization.

From there she went to Flandreau and served on the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribal Council as the Secretary/Treasurer from 1983-1984.

Rosebud relocated back to Sisseton and became the recording secretary for the SWO and remained there until her retirement.

Rosebud served many years on the judicial committee which was her passion.

She is also attributed to the design of the current logo of the SWO of the Lake Traverse Reservation boundaries and the seven districts.

In March 2015, due to health reasons, Rosebud became a resident of the Tekakwitha Living Center and remained there until her passing.

She passed away on March 7, 2017 at Sanford Hospital, Sioux Falls, SD.

Rosebud enjoyed visiting and telling stories reminiscing of her childhood days and when she worked for the Tribe.

Her favorite food was personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut and crème filled donuts from Rosalie's.

Her favorite songs were "How Great thou art" and "Amazing Grace".

She is survived by her daughters Angie Johnson (Pat Deutsch Sr.) of Sisseton and Shelli Marshall Cabrera (Carlos Cabrera) of Flandreau. Seven grandchildren: Angie, Eddie (Devon), Michelle, Ericca (Clint), Eric, Elise and Brittany and 12 great grandchildren: Sierra, Antonio, Yamni, AJ, Corrine, Angelo, Avaya, Sebastian, Nicholas, Christian, Cailyn, and Connor. One sister Joyce Kiana of Alaska and one Aunt Naomi Jones of Aberdeen SD.

Rosebud is preceded in death by her parents Sam Jones Jr. and Nancy Two Stars Kitto; sons Larry and Blair; brothers and sisters Norbert Jones, Dwayne "Big Boy" Eastman, Wayne "PeeWee" Eastman, Clayton "Cooten Jack" Eastman, Donnie Eastman, John "Skippy" Wilson, Sharon Darnelle Rice, Twila Cloud, Floy Venegas, Ron Jones, John Jones, Y. Nancy Two Stars, Kenneth Blue, Ronald "PeeWee" Blue, Michael Blue, Margie Crooks, Roy "Bud" Blue, Bud Blue and Violet Blue Welch.

For Rosebud's obituary add on-line registry please visit

Stacey LaBlanc services are Monday

Stacey Peter LaBlanc, "Hokshina Ohitika" (Strong Boy) 59, of Minneapolis, MN will return to the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Oyate Lake Traverse Reservation, Sisseton, SD for a funeral mass on Monday, March 20, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Church, Sisseton, SD with Fr. Jerry Ranek Celebrant.

Pallbearers will be Chaske St. John, Edwa St. John, Levi St. John, Andrew Eagle, Mike LaBlanc and Jerry Eastman.

Honorary Pallbearers will be All of Stacey's Family and Friends.

Wake services were held Saturday evening and all-night Sunday.

Following the funeral mass, he will make his final journey up to Heipa, where he will be buried near his relatives near the head of the Little Minnesota River and the end of the hills in Veblen, South Dakota, in the land that he loved.

Life touches us all and we carry it on with us and it carries us all on with him.

Rest in Peace, Strong Boy.

Interment will be in St. Matthew's Catholic Cemetery, Veblen. SD.

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

Stacey LaBlanc (age 59) was born at Indian Health Service Hospital in Sisseton, South Dakota on November 27, 1957 to mother Louise LaBlanc, father Melvin Renville, grandparents Celeste LaBlanc St. John and Edward St. John, and great grandparents Peter LaBlanc and Grace Wanna.

Stacey was baptized Catholic, and lived 10 years in foster care with his older brother Michael, in homes in Monticello, Waverly and Howard Lake areas of Minnesota, he was foster brother to the Rogers family of White Earth, Minnesota and among many others.

Stacey passed away Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 10:25 a.m. in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his daughters and family near him.

Maybe he painted your house or home; he was a super painter for 15 years in Minneapolis. Maybe you knew him on the rez, drove you to IHS, or had drink or two with him, maybe saw him fishing or around the Harts' place, in the late 70's and early 80's was an EMT driver for Indian Health Services in Sisseton, South Dakota. You might have gone to school with him or played hooky and shot hoops in Peavey Park with him, or on the Ave.

He attended West High School in Minneapolis. Stacey had received a childhood injury to his arm but this didn't limit him in participating in basketball at the American Indian Center basketball league and other recreational activities.

His Grandfather named him 'Hokshina Ohitika' (Strong Boy), family just called him 'the Boy', he would mumble at you with a rapid "I ain't no Boy", if you weren't family… Maybe you saw him in Minneapolis, working, driving around or walking; he lived life strong as he could. He was known for being in Dick Bancroft's Longest Walk photograph: Warriors, an internationally famous photo taken in 1978 as he was standing in front of the FBI building, this was in AIM photo show that travelled the globe.

Stacey loved his family and being a Dakota. He loved life and yet had to survive the difficulties that most of us do in the Native community. He tried to do the best he could, he loved to laugh and have a good time and truly appreciated friendship, loyalty and family.

Stacey is survived by his mother, Louise LaBlanc, his brother, Michael LaBlanc as well as 8 children, Danny Blue, Stacey LaBlanc Jr., Melissa LaBlanc, Nicolle LaBlanc, Eric LaBlanc, Alicia LaBlanc, Cheyenne Eastman, Autumn Eastman and numerous grandchildren. He had many friends and relatives who will miss him.

Services Monday for Kimmy Del Grosso

Funeral services for Kimberly "Kimmy" Ann Del Grosso, 33, of Maplewood, MN are planned for this Monday, March 20, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at the SWST community center, Agency Village, SD with John Cloud III, Lloyd Keoke and Episcopal Lay Readers officiating. Pianists will be Billy Kohl and Mary Beth Kirk.

Pallbearers will be Isaac Del Grosso, Ezekiel Hernandez, Victor Del Grosso, Robbie Keoke, Matthew Keoke, Josh Keoke, Chris Sherod, Alex Del Grosso, Clinton Boyd and DJ Sherod.

Honorary Pallbearers will be all of Kimmy's Friends & Relative.

All-night wake services were held Saturday and Sunday at the community center.

Cahill Funeral Chapel of Sisseton, SD is in charge of arraignments.

Kimberly Ann Keoke was born on September 20, 1983 in Sisseton, SD to Debbie Keoke.

She attended grade school and Harding High School in St. Paul, Minnesota. Kimberly raised her two children in the St. Paul, Minnesota area.

She liked to shop at thrift stores. She always was helping people she met that needed help. She loved to give hugs. She loved cooking eggs and bacon and taking walks with her family. She had a close relationship with her brother, two sisters and her niece and nephews.

She liked to come back to Sisseton to visit.

Kimberly passed away on March 14, 2017 in Maplewood, Minnesota.

Kimberly is survived by her two children, Isaac Del Grosso and Ezekiel Hernandez of St. Paul, Minnesota; her significant other, Omar Hernandez of St. Paul, Minnesota; one brother, Victor Del Grosso of St. Paul, Minnesota; two sisters, Kelly and Latasha Del Grosso of St. Paul, Minnesota; one niece; seven nephews, and many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Kimberly was preceded in death by her mother, Debra; her maternal grandparents, Darlene and Robert Keoke; great grandparents, Frank and Alice Barse, and Jacob and Etta Keoke.

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.

Suspended Vice-Chairman open letter

Hau Mitakuyapi.

The hearing has been granted a continuance until Monday, April 3rd at 10:00AM.

Hard days are coming for Sisseton-Wahpeton and all of Indian Country if the Trump administration budget cuts get approved. Some of the cuts include: all USDA water and sewer grants - which we count on for housing developments, the HUD Community Development Block Grant, Low-income rental assistance programs, the entire Economic Development Administration grants, the entire CDFI program, and the yet to come anticipated cuts to the IHS and BIA.

We need to plan for the future, not continue to spend like we have unlimited resources. We need to DO BETTER with stagnating and diminishing resources. If we had unlimited resources we would not have to take out high-interest loans for buildings, businesses and remodeling. I have just begun to figure out where we have been bleeding cash, and have not had the time to build a long-term plan for our future. It has only been sixty days and I have already been attacked for doing my job.

Quality and efficiency improvement planning should be part of the tribal government's overall strategy, and decided and steered from the highest level of the government, by the Tribal Council and Executives. I have observed a "tacit" complicity, although seemingly unconscious, among the different sectors of the tribal government and its enterprises in maintaining hidden costs and expenses that equate to an inefficient usage of our limited resources.

My short-term objective is to increase overall tribal profitability, evaluating and creating a more efficient system to better balance and respect the budget. In the long-term, the economic stakes are the tribe's survival and development through improving the effectiveness and competitiveness of our income producing entities.

We need to have a financial baseline in order to plan and structure for the future that is coming. Gaming is no longer a growth industry, it is flat and our own facilities are declining as we sit here wondering how and why with no answers. We need to learn to professionally manage our for-profit businesses to produce or they will surely perish. We must have income from profit to pay for the things that we have built and purchased on credit.

Lastly, there is an issue that must be addressed with my current suspension.

When you listen to the tribal council recording and compare it to the printed Motion, they CHANGED THE MOTION AFTER THE VOTE. The original Motion was to suspend, do an investigation and the removal proceeding was supposed to be based upon IF there was "confidential information downloaded." The new printed Motion goes straight to suspension and removal without a single investigation. This is dishonest, it cannot, it must not, be allowed to stand.

The altered/edited version after the official Vote substantially changed the intent of the Motion. What this alteration did was open the door for the kitchen sink to be thrown at me instead of the one issue everyone knows about which was the sole issue and intent behind the DCA recommendation in the first place.

Now that they edited and altered the original Motion to allow for what can only be described as an "Open Season" attack on me they tagged on a number of additional "charges." Again, this should not be allowed, as the INTENT was an investigation into ONE ISSUE, not seven.

The burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard rests with the Tribal Government to prove, NOT with me to disprove the allegations.

The additional charges are what is known as "grasping at straws." The accusations are literally stretching reality to reach conclusions that do not exist. Please do not fall for the increasing rumors that are meant to distract your attention away from the real issues. Instead, please start asking for the documentation and proof of all allegations and claims. For instance: the Chairman states that he has tribal council motions which allowed him to spend the amounts I posted in last week's letter. I hope he produces these alleged Motions to the community soon, because my staff and I have gone through the last two years of Council minutes and we cannot find them.

I am not the bad guy in this story. I am doing exactly what I promised and trying to deliver on my Constitutional Duties in accounting for our limited cash. The corruption and misappropriation of tribal funds to garner political support must and will stop. You elected me to look into this type of activity. The findings are conclusive and non-refutable, it is up to the Council to address per their duties listed in the constitution. If the Council and DCA continue to look the other way at these and other very serious charges I will have to pursue a remedy in the Courts.

Trying to railroad another tribal Executive out of office will not work nor will it deter me from carrying out the duties I campaigned on and was duly elected to perform. When the crooks and their supporters are out in the community trying to sell you their next claim without proof or documentation, please call my personal cell phone 605-237-2928 to discuss.

Semper Fidelis, Donovan White, BA, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Vice-Chairman, United States Marine Corps Akicita, Combat Infantry Veteran, South Dakota State University Graduate.

Open letter to the Oyate

I am writing this letter in response to the last issue of the Sota articles by our tribal chairman and vice-chairman. They are both strong letters and worthy of being addressed by the Oyate. Particularly, these issues/concerns are not to be taken lightly as we are in the midst of a transition from the Obama administration to the Trump administration. I can assure you that monies are going to get very tight with a Republican controlled White House, Congress, and Supreme Court if and when a conservative judge is approved by the U.S. Senate.

It has been said, "Truly without vision, the people perish." It behooves all of us to be alert, attentive, and concerned about both the tribal and district councils when it comes to the tribal budget. Without constraints and/or restrictions there is nothing to prevent the misuse of tribal funds by our elected officials. Again, it has been said, "To much is given, much is required." Our tribal council is ultimately responsible for millions of dollars from our casino revenues. As it now stands, the tribal council makes decisions on how this money is disbursed to themselves and to the district councils. Presently, there are no constraints being imposed on our council with the use of TRIBAL FUNDS. As we have seen in the past the tribal council can give themselves unmerited bonuses and there is nothing the tribal executives can do about it. I have been told it is "immoral" but legal by our chairman. Thus, it is within their power to give themselves more than a mere $15,000 and/or $20,000 severance pay and there is nothing you or I can do about it. In other words, if there were a million dollars available at the end of their terms they could split it amongst themselves and each receive $142,857 apiece.

As a member of the Lake Traverse District, members are eligible to fill out an application for assistance which has limitations for medical appointments, hardships, youth, and medical emergencies for immediate families only, funeral assistance, education for high school seniors, and higher education scholarships if a 2.0 GPA is maintained. Again, there are specific restrictions placed upon district members in order to receive these funds. Are the same restrictions placed upon our tribal council? And/or district council?

What does or doesn't our tribal constitution say about the use of tribal funds? Who makes up the rules regarding the use of district funds? Where does it say in our tribal constitution that tribal council members can give themselves unlimited bonuses? and/or "severance" pay?

Finally, there is an old saying, "Surely evil shall prevail if the good people stand around and do nothing." This is a call to action, for the Oyate to voice your concerns, ask questions, and make sure that evil shall not prevail within our own ranks from the tribal chairman down to the latest newborn!

Sincerely, John Derby Sioux Falls, SD.

Open letter to the Oyate

I believe what's going on with the Vice Chair is because he's looking into the Tribal Chairman's handling of our tribal money. From what I seen in black and white, on paper, it don't look good. This is what I seen when I sat in on council on 03-07-2017. The Vice Chair was giving his report and he had Mike Roberts who is the Vice Chairman's Aide, give a report on the findings of the Shakopee home ownership grant. Mike was interrupted by the Chairman and Lake Traverse councilman Francis Crawford. Councilman Crawford asked why he was investigating this and the Vice Chairman said Enemy Swim wanted it done and its my constitutional right as Vice Chairman. Councilman Crawford said, We don't listen to one district, and didn't want to heat it. The Tribal Chairman then stopped the Vice Chair's report. A couple motions later, Big Coulee councilman makes a motion to pro-rate 2.8 million to the districts because that's what his district wants. Motion passed and Lake Traverse Councilman Crawford voted yes. Only one district wanted this so why did he listen to this to one district now?

Then DCA came on, they were live streamed and only one district comes in to suspend the Vice Chair, the other districts only wanted an investigation into the IT Department to see what the Vice Chair downloaded on the dreaded Jump Drive. So again Councilman Crawford voted yes to suspend the Vice Chair, only brought up by one district. So he doesn't want to listen to the Vice Chairs report because only one district wanted it but yet goes along with the following motions that were only wanted by one district. He does this not once but twice in the same day. In my opinion it looked like he was protecting the Chairman from being exposed.

Maybe this week the Chairman will have some evidence in his defense so we can see the whole picture might be and not just what the Vice Chair is putting out for the people to see. The Chairman is calling all this lies but in last weeks Sota he is the only one that lied. In Mr. Flutes statement where he said he offered me help with the standard $200 is a lie. I seen him twice last week, once at the Agency C-store and all he did was stand and glare at me. The next day I sat in the council chambers, during council and he never said anything to me. They have our number, its on our request. If he can lie about this little thing about offering me money, what else is he lying about? I wasn't going to write anything in the paper this week but Bonnie Rencoutre's letter last week, inspired me to be a better Dakota Man and stand up for my family and my people, and I did find the money to pay our Outrageous light bill.

P.S. The only member who has been dis-enrolled in the Tribes 150 year history helped us out. Pidamiya Shady Grady.

P.S.S Interest Free.

Thanks, Jody Owen.

Visions by Betty Ann

I awakened from a deep sleep and drifted back into another one Friday morning, about 3:28. And through the sleeping state a dream vision was given to me.

Our people were standing on this high white building and unable to escape. It was the home of the Great White Father in Washington, D.C. and across the earth was seen the nine reservations in South Dakota.

Asleep but aware of my surroundings, the spirits attached to my hair began to move and detach and entered into my dream state.

The first spirit was that of a woman with long wavy hair and she started to braid my hair.

She spoke Dakota fluently and began to motion toward the earth.

She danced and became a red cardinal.

From the north appeared a grandfather spirit and he wore around his shoulders the United States Flag and the ancient scroll of Sacred Pledges (2 highest supreme laws of the land). He moved with silence into an arena.

From the south appeared thousands of Akicita from days gone and they were dressed for battle as they made the grunting dance song (hdo-hdo-do-wan) of our Dakota men going to war.

The sky turned to blood and the ghost men entered from the darkness of the night and a battle ensued.

There was great turmoil within the reservations as the great white ghost father (Trump) sought to destroy the Sacred Pledges and take the sacred land.

Appearing before me in my dream state was that of a that. Water flowed through his arteries as his once veins became dark oil. He spoke to me and said, "They should not bother the water and land, for in this world and time our spirits guarded that which is sacred. They removed the protection of this world (spirit) way back when tribal leaders started to take money to build the pipeline. Look over there said that of that and he revealed to me dangerous men and women taking over our land called America. They were after the great white father Trump for he owed mazaska to many dangerous men."

"Look," said the Spirit, "He only became leader to have the Americans hide him from these bad men and women who own him, he is safe as the leader of this country for he knew Americans would protect him."

I asked the spirits to speak to the ones that dwell in my hair and they shared sacred things to do, that which will happen and to come in the future.

One spirit says, "Tell the people our day starts in the night and to look to the sky above for the visitors. They will appear from the constellations and tell the Dakota what is needed to protect the people for what is to come."

In April we will have a night gathering (han-ki'-kta) for a (han-do'-wan and guided by the spirits in my hair and around me in Long Hollow. Oh haun.

Betty Ann Owen, Sioux Falls, SD.

SWST artist Angela Two Star exhibit

Art work of Sisseton-Wahpeton artist Angela Two Stars is now on display in the Michigan Collegiate Art Exhibition at the Lansing Art Gallery in Lansing, Michigan.

The show runs from March 1st until March 28th.

These diamond shapes can be moved around.

Angela says it is her dream to have this in a classroom, where students can create their own star quilt patterns.

Angela's art work will be on display in the Michigan Emerging Graduate Artists (MEGA) exhibition from April 8-July 31st at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art (UICA) in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

This week, Angela will be in Minnesota.

She has been selected as a finalist for the Bde Maka Ska Public Art Project in Minneapolis. She will be participating in a panelist interview.

(Angela's step-mom Dani Two Stars held a fundraiser to help her pay travel expenses to take part in that event.)

Need help with a federal agency? Give us a call

By Senator Mike Rounds

Washington, DC – March 17, 2017 – In the United States Senate, much of our time is focused on crafting and debating legislation, attending committee meetings and making sure federal policies are working for South Dakota families. But we also spend a great deal of time helping South Dakotans who are having difficulties dealing with a federal agency. It is a lesser-known but equally-important service that allows us to act as a liaison between you and the federal government. Washington is so broken and our federal bureaucracy has grown so large that individual needs of American citizens are too often lost in a sea of red tape. Our goal is to work with federal agencies to identify your issue and fix it.

Over the past two years, working with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on behalf of South Dakota veterans has been the most common situation we're asked to help with. We have assisted countless South Dakota veterans navigate the Veterans Choice Act and other VA programs here in South Dakota, while simultaneously seeking changes to federal policy that will improve the care they receive under the current law. We also work frequently with the VA to obtain overdue medals and awards for veterans and their families. I have been able to present a few of those medals to South Dakota veterans firsthand as I've traveled around the state. It is a very special honor to recognize these vets, with their family and friends in attendance, and say thank you to them for their service to our country.

In addition to helping veterans get the benefits and services they have been promised, we have also been able to bring families together by helping individuals get visas or expedited passports. We also help people access social security benefits, file tax returns, work with the Indian Health Service (IHS) and make sure that federal agencies are treating citizens fairly and with the respect and attention they deserve. I am very proud of the work we are doing to help South Dakotans who feel like they have been left behind by the federal government and have nowhere else to turn.

Our South Dakota offices are located in Sioux Falls, Pierre, Rapid City and Aberdeen. Our staff members who handle casework are available every week day, either in person, by phone or by email. You can find the contact information for our offices on my website, My team works closely together across the state and in Washington, and we strive to provide a timely response to everyone who contacts us, particularly if it is an urgent matter in which we are able to intervene.

We take our work on behalf of South Dakotans very seriously, and I am pleased that we've been able to help so many constituents already since setting up our office two years ago. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you are experiencing difficulty dealing with a federal agency. We are here to help.

National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

By Gypsy Wanna

SWO Wellness Coordinator

March 20th is National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NNHAAD). March 20th is the first day of spring and marks a special time in the life of many Native peoples. This is a day is to celebrate life by challenging Native people to create a greater awareness of HIV/AIDS in our communities.

What does HIV stand for? HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV can only be transmitted from human to human when infected fluids (blood, semen, vaginal fluids, anal fluids or breast milk) enter the blood stream of another person. It cannot be transmitted through hugging, shaking hands, sharing forks or spoons, using a telephone, kissing, toilet seats, being bitten by insects, or sharing food with an infected person. People generally do not have symptoms when they first get infected with HIV. In fact, symptoms may not show up for years. There is no cure for HIV but it can be prevented.

Although the number of HIV cases in Roberts County is small (under 5), it can easily spread to hundreds if people don't protect themselves. The best and most important thing you can do is to get tested and know your status. Then if you choose to have sex, use a condom correctly every time you have anal, oral or vaginal sex and never share syringes/needles.

How do you know if you are at risk of HIV infection? You are at risk of HIV infection if you ever had sex with someone who has had sex with other people, if you have shared needles with anyone or if you have ever had a tattoo given to you by someone who is not a professional tattoo artist.

The Community Health Education Program is partnering with the Public Health Nurses to provide education and POC screenings, HIV screenings, and Hepatitis C screenings at the tribal building Monday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month –

Cesdi happens. Get yours tested

(for colorectal cancer)

By Gypsy Wanna

SWO Wellness Coordinator

Colorectal cancer, like all cancers is a serious issue. Since it is cancer of the colon, it can be difficult to talk about and there aren't always symptoms. After all, to get screened involves testing poop. (Or going through other uncomfortable procedures) The easiest way to get screened for colorectal cancer is to take the iFOB test. This is a take home test where a person collects a very, very, very small sample of their poop which will be checked for blood. Hence, the campaign, "Cesdi happens. Get yours tested for colorectal cancer." was created. We all poop. The older we get, the more risk we have of getting colon cancer.

Colorectal cancer can be prevented and cured, if it is caught early enough. Both men and women can get it and it is in most people over age 50.

Cancer isn't funny and ignoring symptoms (if you have them) isn't helpful. We wanted to make a serious issue less threatening to talk about. Sometimes humor is a good way to make a strong point. The idea was to get people talking, create awareness, and get people screened for colorectal cancer. We thought long and hard and sought input from several elders and the Human Services Board. Most everyone thought our campaign was a good idea; they were right because the response has been excellent! Our end goal is that people will continue to get annual screenings as needed to lower colon cancer rates.

We want people to live a longer and healthier life and aware of diseases and how some diseases can be prevented. If you've received a letter from IHS, please follow-up and get screened.

For more information you may contact the Community Health Education Program at 605-742-3651 or PHN at 605-698-7606.

See accompanying photos from last week's "Wear Blue Day," bringing awareness of colorectal cancer to the Oyate.

On-the-ground tools to combat Opioid abuse

Minot, ND – Building on efforts to comprehensively tackle opioid abuse across North Dakota, U.S. Senator Heitkamp convened local leaders in Minot to discuss challenges the Minot community is facing in dealing with a major increase in opioid addiction and abuse, as well as announce the bill she helped reintroduce to help make sure communities are equipped with the resources and tools they need to fight the growing crisis.

Following a tour of Minot's Community Medical Center – the state's first medication assisted addiction treatment center – which opened last August and is using methadone to help treat opioid addiction, Heitkamp led a roundtable discussion with local law enforcement, health, and addiction treatment specialists, as well as family members of recovering addicts, about the growing opioid abuse and addiction epidemic growing in the Minot region and across the state. In the Minot region alone, heroin and methamphetamine use increased by 400 and 438 percent in 2015, and according to the Ward County Narcotics Task Force, heroin seizures spiked by 442 percent from 2014 to 2015. During the discussion, leaders spoke about how to implement best practices from others across the state, specifically, the Fargo Mayor's Blue Ribbon council – a group consisting of law enforcement, education experts, health care workers and other leaders to bring a comprehensive approach to tackling opioid abuse.

At the roundtable, Heitkamp also discussed a bill she helped reintroduce to help bolster these local collaborative efforts by making sure communities have the support they need on the ground to proactively combat opioid addiction and abuse. By establishing a permanent funding stream for those efforts, Heitkamp's Budgeting for Opioid Addiction Treatment Act (LifeBOAT Act) would provide and expand access to substance abuse treatment across North Dakota – where opioid-induced fatalities in North Dakota increased by 125 percent from 2013 to 2014 alone – and the country, which lost 47,000 Americans to opioid and heroin abuse in 2014.

"Across our state, I've sat down with families, law enforcement, and those in recovery who have shared stories of the heartbreaking loss and painful cost of opioid addiction and abuse – and we need all hands on deck to prevent this suffering from growing," said Heitkamp. "To make sure our towns from Fargo to Minot remain strong and safe, we need to build on the progress Congress made last year, and push for legislation that would generate new financial resources for communities fighting this battle on the ground. It also means using the best practices from communities like Fargo that were dealing with this crisis earlier, which we heard about today. Acknowledging this problem is important – but the work doesn't end there. We need real community-oriented solutions and resources to fight back."

Heitkamp first unveiled the LifeBOAT Act last year in Bismarck during a discussion with local leaders to make sure the federal government is treating opioid abuse as the national public health and law enforcement crisis that it is by making available the appropriate education, prevention, and treatment resources communities need to recover and fight back. The LifeBOAT Act would establish a 1 cent stewardship fee on each milligram of active opioid ingredient in a prescription pain pill to fund efforts to provide and expand access to substance abuse treatment. The bill also includes a rebate program for cancer-related pain and hospice care, and exempts drugs used exclusively for the treatment of opioid addiction. That funding could be used for:

· Establishing new addiction treatment facilities, residential and outpatient.

· Recruiting and increasing reimbursement for certified mental health providers providing substance abuse treatment.

· Expanding access to long-term, residential treatment programs for addicts.

· Establishing and/or operating support programs that offer employment services, housing, and other support services to help a recovering addict transition back into society.

· Establishing and/or operating facilities to provide care for babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome.

· Establishing and/or operating substance abuse treatment programs in conjunction with Adult and Family Treatment Drug Courts.

This legislation expands on Heitkamp's legislative efforts to stop opioid abuse from spreading. Last spring, Heitkamp fought for and helped pass bipartisan legislation in the U.S. Senate which is now law to broaden tools available to law enforcement, first responders, and state prescription drug monitoring programs to address the national heroin and opioid abuse crisis. The bill also included legislation Heitkamp introduced which would close loopholes in our federal drug laws to stop foreign drug traffickers before their products reach our borders. Heitkamp's bill builds on that legislation's establishment of a recognition of the crisis by developing concrete resources to fight it.

Since fighting North Dakota's methamphetamine crisis as the state's attorney general in the 1990s, Heitkamp has been working to stem the tide of addiction, abuse and illegal drug trafficking. On the federal level, Heitkamp has been working to address this issue by:

· Convening statewide community leaders to build a comprehensive approach to tackle opioid addiction and abuse: Since helping announce the LifeBOAT Act, Heitkamp has been gathering leaders across the state to hear directly from them about the challenges they are seeing in their hometwons. Last year, Heitkamp held listening sessions in Bismarck, Grand Forks, Fargo, and Jamestown to take on the opioid abuse epidemic and discuss the federal support these communities need to recover from and prevent opioid addiction. That same month, Heitkamp also joined Fargo's City Commission for a meeting on a strategic response to the growing opioid addiction and abuse in the community.

· Bringing federal anti-drug crime leaders and resources to North Dakota: Heitkamp brought both current and former White House Office of National Drug Control Policy's (ONDCP) directors to North Dakota – securing a national focus and strong resources to the state to help fight drug crime as a result.

· Convening statewide leaders to comprehensively battle drug crime and abuse: Heitkamp convened statewide experts and leaders to combat drug crime and abuse to serve on the growing task force of her Strong & Safe Communities initiative, which she initially launched in September 2014 in response to the state's energy boom.

· Engaging statewide leaders on the front lines of North Dakota's opioid addiction crisis: Heitkamp met with facility leaders, medical staff, and tribal leaders during her visits to MHA Nation's Circle of Life Drug Treatment Center last May and Mercy Hospital in Devils Lake last March where she heard about the unique challenges they face in treating skyrocketing cases of heroin, methamphetamine, and opioid abuse on rural and tribal lands – often due to a lack of recovery resources her bill works to provide.

Independent oversight for veterans

Washington, DC – March 15, 2017 – U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today reintroduced legislation that would create an independent ombudsman position within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) that would be tasked with establishing a methodology for resolving certain complaints levied by veterans, their family members or designated caregivers, VA employees, and third party health care providers.

Thune introduced this bill in 2016 in response to concerns he received from veterans who reported ongoing scheduling issues created by the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability (Choice) Act of 2014, a law that was intended to increase veterans' access to local health care, but has been blamed for numerous scheduling backlogs.

"The Choice Act was enacted with good intentions, but I think we can all recognize that there are problems that need to be addressed," said Thune. "Our veterans should have access to top-notch health care without having to overcome the hassles the Choice Act was designed to alleviate. I'm hopeful this position in the OIG's office will create the right amount of oversight to ensure our veterans receive the care they deserve. My bill would also help inform necessary changes to the Choice Act as Congress considers its extension."

Under Thune's legislation, the newly appointed ombudsman would serve as the central collection point for complaints related to problems with:

Scheduling veterans to obtain care from third-party providers Authorizing veteran care to be administered by a third-party provider Enrolling third-party providers Copays and third-party reimbursement Coordinating care between the VA and third-party providers

The ombudsman, whose position would sunset after 10 years or when the Choice Act's authorization expires, would be required to provide quarterly reports to the House and Senate Committees on Veterans Affairs on his or her activity, including the total number of complaints received and complaints resolved and/or pending. He or she would also be required to provide recommendations for resolving the systemic problems with the Choice Act.

Opium, Oxycodone, and Overdose

By Richard P. Holm, MD

We are in the middle of an opioid overuse and abuse epidemic.

Opioids, also known as narcotics, are drugs which are either processed from the white tears of scored opium poppy fruit or made synthetically. Legal prescription opioids include morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, tramadol, whereas all these alone or in combination with heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine are sold on the black market. An estimated 16 million people in the U.S. are abusing prescription or black market opioids, including 20 percent of our high school kids.

Abuse is one thing, but death is another. According to the Center for Disease Control, from years 2000 to 2015 the number of opioid overdose deaths quadrupled; with more than half a million-people suffocating to death from opioid overdose during that time. 91 U.S. citizens are dying from opioid overdose every day. Embarrassing news for the healing professions is that at least one-half of these deaths are from prescription medications and three-out-of-four heroin users were initially addicted to legal opioid pain medicines prescribed for so-called legitimate reasons. When they could no longer get a refill of the prescription pain med, they turned to heroin.

This has all happened during the era of the electronic medical record with progressively obsessive government monitoring and discouragement of narcotic prescribing. I personally believe this speaks to how impotent oversight is in effecting control or change.

Causes for this deathly epidemic are myriad. For more than twenty years, we have been encouraged to ask patients to rate their pain on a zero-to-ten scale and quality parameters rate physicians poorly if they aren't addressing pain needs. Additionally, our whole culture has been almost hypnotized by pharmaceutical advertisements telling us that the answer to every medical problem is a medicine which is obtained if you "ask your doctor." Take it from me, it is easier to prescribe a pill than to say "no" to a demanding patient.

Still, we must say "no." Treatment for chronic pain means listening, encouraging movement, and insisting the return to function and work; NOT prescribing opioids. During the last 15 years of quadrupling of narcotic prescriptions, there has been no change in patient-reported pain across U.S. hospitals. Simply put, chronic pain responds poorly to narcotics, is always rated 11 on the 1-10 pain scale, and opioids should be avoided in treating chronic pain.

We are in the middle of an opioid overuse and overdose epidemic, to which there will be no end until doctors and patients say "No" to opioids and "Yes" to movement and return to function.



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

Youth, school activities highlights –

Education watch on the Lake Traverse Reservation

SWO Education Program announces –

Daughters of Tradition I program

The SWO Education Program has announced the start of a prevention education program designed for 8-12 year old girls.

The program provides teens and pre-teens the traditional knowledge to prepare daughters to become healthy teens.

This is a 6-month program, with classes in the Dakotah Language Institute (former O'Inajin) at Agency Village, every Monday afternoon from 4:00-6:00 p.m. beginning on Monday, April 3, 2017.

Final class will be on September 25, 2017.

Applications are available at the SWO Education Department in Tribal headquarters, and need to be filled out and submitted by Friday, March 31st.

For more information contact: Charlotte Almanza 467-1771.

TCJ student writing contest winners

SWC student among winners

March 16, 2017

Tribal College Journal has announced the winners of its 2017 TCJ Student creative writing contest. This year, the contest brought in scores of entries from tribal college and university (TCU) students from around Indian Country. Author and poet Santee Frazier (Cherokee Nation) is serving as guest editor of TCJ Student, selecting the top entries in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

The top fiction entries are: "Dragging through Time" by Darin Janis of Oglala Lakota College, "The Horse Named Worthless" by Jessica J. Lester of Sitting Bull College, and "Just Dessert" by Douglas Suano Bootes of the Institute of American Indian Arts. The top nonfiction entries are: "The Duality of Gender and Sexuality" by Vinessa Red Bird of Sitting Bull College, "A Long Way from Home" by Amber Ruiz of Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College, and "Pumpkin Hill" by LaVerne G. Whitebear of Sisseton Wahpeton College. The top entries in poetry are: "All Alone" by Santino Medina of Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College, "Doing Time" by Darin Janis of Oglala Lakota College, and "Shímásáni Clara" by Boderra Joe of the Institute of American Indian Arts. Students who earned honorable mention include: Christopher Bixby of Blackfeet Community College, Douglas Suano Bootes of the Institute of American Indian Arts, Rhiannon Boyd of College of Menominee Nation, Vivian Carroll of the Institute of American Indian Arts, Marcella Eriacho of Navajo Technical University, Antonio Gomez of Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College, and Chase Stevens also from Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College.

"We had a big turnout this year with lots of high quality writing," says TCJ editor Bradley Shreve. "I'd like to thank all the students who participated in the contest, as well as the faculty members who encouraged them to do so. Both the high turnout and quality really speak volumes about the growth and development of creative writing classes and programming at tribal colleges."

The winning students and those earning honorable mention will be recognized at the American Indian Higher Education Consortium's awards banquet March 21st in Rapid City. The winning entries will appear in the 2017 edition of TCJ Student, which will be published concurrently with the journal's fall issue. Those earning honorable mention will be published online at Tribal College Journal will continue to accept submissions to its art and film contest through March 21st. For contest guidelines and more information, visit:

About Tribal College Journal (TCJ): Tribal College Journal is a national, nonprofit media organization operated by AIHEC. TCJ has covered the news, newsmakers, and issues of the tribal college movement for 27 years, earning multiple awards from organizations such as the Native American Journalists Association, Association Media and Publishing, and Western Publishing Association.

About Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs): Currently, there are 37 AIHEC-affiliated TCUs in the United States, operating more than 80 campuses and serving more than 100,000 students and community members annually. TCUs were created in response to the higher education needs of American Indians and generally serve geographically isolated populations that have no other means of accessing education beyond the high school level. TCUs have become increasingly important educational opportunities for American Indian students and are unique institutions that combine personal attention with cultural relevance to encourage American Indians-especially those living on reservations.

ESDS student of the month awards

Enemy Swim Day School honors one student from each grade for each full month that school is in session.

The Students of the Month are chosen because they demonstrate the four school wide expectations consistently or have shown great progress toward them.

The school wide expectations are Awanicihdka: Be Safe, Waokihi: Be Responsible, Waunsida: Be Caring, and Woohoda: Be Respectful.

Home room teachers choose the Students of the Month in collaboration with the paras and other teachers who serve a particular candidate.

Students of the Month are honored during opening ceremony on the first Monday following each full month of school. Students of the Month attend dinner with two guests on the Wednesday evening following each Students of the Month honoring.

The February Students of the Month are: Kindergarten - Ian Danley, 1st Grade - Maddison Keoke, 2nd Grade - JJ Oreskovich, 3rd Grade - Avery Bernard, 4th Grade - Aiden LaBelle (not pictured), 5th Grade - Stacia Redday, 6th Grade - Maclovio Rios (not pictured), 7th Grade - Woneyah Red Eagle, and 8th Grade - Tehya Renville.

TNYC Cooking Class

The Toka Nuwan Youth Club held a cooking class on Tuesday, March 14th, for the kids Instructor was John Christopherson. They made smoothies, parfaits, spinach omelets, and marinated meat then made it into jerky. The kids really enjoyed helping and learning to make these fast easy snacks and enjoyed them even more when they got to taste them! These cooking classes really engage the youth; help them to learn how to cook safely and learn more about healthy foods.

A list of kids and adults that participated:

Jesse A

Justice A

Cashis A

Axel A

Xander R

Chelotte S

Nikki H


Tyra W

Jorie R

Miah W


Whitney H

Shylah F

Adryan H

Dominic F

Sonny M

Briar R

Dontevay R

Blaine W

Keandre C

Taylin O

Ryder S

Nicolas G

Korrina F

Jo R

Adrian W

Justice B

Raelon G.

Jesse H

Jesscinda H

Kenyin H

Carmello S


Thank you from:

Chelsea Hopkins, Toka Nuwan Youth Coordinator.

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

Garden Corner

Submitted by Eric Hanssen

Browns Valley, Minnesota

Crown of Thorns

Crown of Thorns, E.miliiis a smallish tropical species from Madagascar that has long been grown as a houseplant or ornamental in warm climates. Many cultivars and hybrids have been developed that vary in flower size and color. The variety grows as a shrubby plant on a woody stem up to 3 feet tall. The variety splendens grows larger, 5-6', and the hybrids are of various sizes. The grayish brown, branched stems, adapted for water storage, are 5-7 sided. The stem and branches are covered with prominent, 1" sharp grey spines, although there are some clones that are nearly thorn less. The new growth is sparsely covered with narrow succulent leaves. The smooth-edged leaves are 1½"long (some hybrids are much larger, up to 6" long), obovate (wider near the tip) and are spirally arranged on the stem. The bright green to grayish green leaves naturally drop off as the stems mature, producing a scraggly appearance on older plants. The plant may completely defoliate when stressed, but will later leaf out on new growth. Typical Euphorbia-type inflorescences are produced throughout the year under ideal conditions. A specialized structure called a cyathium (fused bracts that form a cup) has a single female flower with 3 styles surrounded by five groups of male flowers, each with a single anther, and five nectar glands. Two of those 5 nectar glands have petal-like appendages that most people would consider the "flower". On the species these are bright red, or yellow, but hybrids offer a variety of flower colors from white, cream and yellow, through many shades of pink and red. And some hybrids come in double forms. The flowers are generally produced in clusters along the stem. Sometimes poor flowering is due to too much light at night.

These plants can be moved outdoors for the summer. To prevent sunburn, acclimate them gradually to the higher light levels outdoors. The plants will benefit from rain water, but be sure to remove any dead leaves or matted flowers during periods of prolonged wetness, so that fungal diseases will not develop. Any plant part that turns brown should be cut off immediately so prevent the rot from spreading further. They prefer full, direct sun and average temperatures, but will grow in part shade (although flowering may be reduced). They will survive temperatures down to about 35°F. and does well in low humidity. The species and varieties do best when the soil is allowed to dry between deep waterings. Many of the hybrids, however, do better with growing conditions more suitable for tropical foliage plants than typical succulents, and require more frequent watering. Fertilize lightly in spring and summer. Over fertilization will produce soft and vigorous vegetative growth and few flowers. E. milli is sensitive to boron, so be cautious about using fertilizers with high levels of micronutrients.

Most types of crown of thorns can be kept in small containers to keep the plants more compact, and will bloom even with restricted root room, but some of the hybrids need larger containers. Repot only when the plant outgrows its container, and replant using a rich, well drained planting medium, such as a commercial cactus mix amended with additional perlite, pumice, sharp sand or gravel and a little extra composted manure or other organic nutrient source. The plant can be set lower in the ground than its original level, particularly if the plant becomes too tall for the container (or to hide the graft union on some of the grafted hybrids). Replant in spring or summer when the plant is growing vigorously.

Plants can be pruned to keep their shape and size. The milky sap will stick to and gum up cutting implements, so it is best to use a knife that is more easily cleaned, rather than shears. As with other Euphorbias, (a large genus of smooth and spiny shrubs and cactus-like succulents from 4" to 20 feet in the spurge family. With more than 1,600 species including poinsettia, crown of thorns, and castor bean), the copious, sticky, milky sap can cause dermatitis in susceptible individuals and temporary blindness if enough gets in the eyes, and is poisonous if ingested, so use caution when trimming or propagating this plant. Also beware of the sharp thorns! Cut the stems back to axillary buds to increase branching and a more compact habit, or remove entire branches back to their base to open the plant up. Remove weak or thin branches first to improve the vigor of the plant. Hybrids tend to need less pruning than the species, as they have been bred to be more branched and compact.

This plant is easily propagated from pruning or stem cuttings. Remove 3-6" terminal sections and dip the cut end in cold water or powdered horticultural charcoal to prevent the milky sap from running excessively. Allow the cuttings to dry for 2-3 days before placing in well-drained planting mix (such as sharp sand, perlite and peat) to root. Keep the medium just barely moist – if too dry the cuttings will not root, but if too wet they may rot. They should root in 5-8 weeks when temperatures are warm. Potted crown of thorns often become run-down looking after many years; these plants are best discarded after establishing cuttings to replace the original plant. Plants can also be grown from seed, but plants rarely produce seed without hand pollination with different plants.

Crown of thorns has few serious pests. Mealy bugs are the most common insect pest in the Midwest, but spider mites, scales and thrips may occur. Diseases generally are the result of too much water, either in the soil or on the foliage.

This article written by Susan Mahr, University of Wisconsin - Madison, available online at


Request for Proposals

Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate

Department of Transportation

12554 BIA Hwy. 711

PO Box 509

Agency Village SD 57262

Request for Proposal Notice:

The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, Department of Transportation herein gives notice that sealed proposals will be accepted for the, Aggregate Production Project/Gravel Crushing as outlined below.

Project Information:

Aggregate Production Project for various specification grades of aggregate on the Lake Traverse Reservation, South Dakota.

Statement of Work:

For this project the contractor shall be required to supply all materials (with exception given to Government or tribal furnished gravel pit), and equipment to complete in accordance with South Dakota DOT. Standard Specifications for Roads and Bridges.

Additional Information:

Quantities, specification tables, location of gravel pit to be used and plan attachments regarding the project, please contact:

Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, Department of Transportation, Tel. (605) 698-8355 Cell (605) 268-1775, E-mail:



Request for Bids

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

Please submit sealed bids to:

SWO Procurement Office

Attn: Fran Tease

By 4:00 pm on Friday March 31, 2017.

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.



The North Dakota Department of Commerce, Division of Community Services, is announcing the availability of the state's 2017 Annual Action Plan for public review and comment.

The 2017 Annual Action Plan serves as the state's grant application to the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the Community Development Block Grant, HOME, National Housing Trust Fund, and Emergency Solutions Grants programs. The Action Plan describes how the funds from each program will be distributed during the 2017 program year, which is scheduled to begin July 1, 2017. Funds are expected to be received on or about July 1, 2017.

All allocation amounts in the 2017 Action Plan are estimated amounts.

The Action Plan will be available on the Division of Community Services website, beginning March 27, 2017. Written comments must be received by the close of business April 24, 2017.

Alternate formats of the Action Plan are available upon request at 701-328-5300 or via Relay North Dakota: TTY 1-800-366-6888, Voice 1-800-366-6889, or Spanish 1-800-435-8590. Should anyone need additional information, please contact Bonnie Malo at 701-328-5300.

Written comments should be sent to:

North Dakota Department of Commerce Division of Community Services

PO Box 2057

Bismarck, ND 58502-2057

or Email:






CASE NO. D-17-164-024

In the matter of Vanessa Faye Espinoza

Minor child(ren) and concerning: Jenna White Espinoza, Mother and Juan Carlos Espinoza, Father, Parents


The COURT being satisfied by Affidavit duly filed herein that personal service cannot well be made, it is Ordered that Jenna White Espinoza and Juan Carlos Espinoza, who is/are the respondent(s) in the above entitled matter, be notified by three (3) weeks publication in full of the Notice of these proceedings in the regular issue of a qualified newspaper.

Dated this 7th day of March 2017.

BJ Jones, Tribal Court Judge.





CASE NO. D-17-164-024

In the matter of Vanessa Faye Espinoza

Minor child(ren) and concerning: Jenna White Espinoza, Mother and Juan Carlos Espinoza, Father, Parents



Take notice that Petition for Termination of Parental rights of the above named child(ren) and a hearing will be held at the above named Court, Agency Village, outside the city of Sisseton, Roberts County, South Dakota on the 10th day of April 2017 at the hour of two o'clock p.m. or as soon thereafter as possible.

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

Dated this 7th day of March 2017.


B.J. Jones, Tribal Court Judge.


Lois Kohl, Clerk of Courts.







CASE NO. CS: 17-046



SWOCSE/ Nanette Rockwood, PLAINTIFF



It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Complaint to Establish Paternity and Child Support and is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 24th day of March, 2017 at the hour of 9:00 o'clock A.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

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

Dated this 24th day of March, 2016



Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Carlson, SWOCSE Clerk of Court







CASE NO. CS: 17-052






It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Complaint to EstablishChild Support and is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 24th day of March, 2017 at the hour of 9:00 o'clock A.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

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

Dated this 24th day of March, 2016



Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Carlson, SWOCSE Clerk of Court







CASE NO. CS: 17-048



SWOCSE/ Nanette Rockwood, PLAINTIFF



It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Complaint to EstablishChild Support and is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 24th day of March, 2017 at the hour of 9:00 o'clock A.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

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

Dated this 24th day of March, 2016



Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Carlson, SWOCSE Clerk of Court







CASE NO. CS: 17-028






It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Complaint to EstablishChild Support and is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 24th day of March, 2017 at the hour of 9:00 o'clock A.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

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

Dated this 24th day of March, 2016



Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Carlson, SWOCSE Clerk of Court







CASE NO. CS: 13-110






It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Motion to Show Cause for Failure to Pay Child Support and is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 24th day of March, 2017 at the hour of 9:00 o'clock A.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

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

Dated this 24th day of February, 2017



Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Carlson, SWOCSE Clerk of Court







CASE NO. CS: 16-050






It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Motion to Amend Child Support and is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 22nd day of February, 2017 at the hour of 9:00 o'clock A.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

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

Dated this 25th day of January, 2017



Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Carlson, SWOCSE Clerk of Court







CASE NO. CS: 17-040






It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Complaint to Establish Paternity and Child Support and is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 23rd day of February, 2017 at the hour of 1:00 o'clock P.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

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

Dated this 26th day of January, 2017



Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Carlson, SWOCSE Clerk of Court







CASE NO. I: 11-074






It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Complaint to Establish Child Support and is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 23rd day of February, 2017 at the hour of 1:00 o'clock P.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

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

Dated this 26th day of January, 2017



Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Carlson, SWOCSE Clerk of Court







CASE NO. CS: 17-040






It is hereby Ordered that Notice by Publication is hereby provided for a Complaint to Establish Paternity and Child Support and is hereby provided that a hearing will held at the Tribal Admin Building in Tribal Court, Agency Village, South Dakota, on the 24th day of February, 2017 at the hour of 1:00 o'clock P.M. or as soon thereafter as possible.

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

Dated this 27th day of January, 2017



Michael T. Swallow, Presiding Judge

ATTEST: Melinda Carlson, SWOCSE Clerk of Court


Trading Post ads

Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate

Job Openings

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

Student Support Specialist, Education Department

Deputy Public Defender, Public Defenders Office

Closing Date: March 24th, 2017 @ 04:30 PM

Early Childhood Specialist, Education Department

Security Guard, Administration Building

Teacher, Early Head Start

Substitutes, Head Start

Bus Driver/Custodian, Head Start

Bus Driver (part-time), Head Start

Teacher Aide, Early Head Start

Closing Date: March 31st, 2017 @ 04:30 PM

EDA Planner, Planning

Closing Date: April 07th, 2017 @ 04:30 PM

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


Sisseton-Wahpeton Economic Development Corp.

Position Opening

The Sisseton Wahpeton Economic Development Corporation is looking for a Corporate Financial Officer.

For information, contact Josh Flute, MBA, Sisseton Wahpeton Economic Development Corp., 701-793-5769.


Tiospa Zina Tribal School

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

Vacancy: Custodian (starting pay $10.25/hr) Qualifications: GED/High School Diploma Opening Date: February 14, 2017 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: Bus Monitor $13/hr (Sisseton and Wilmot areas) Qualifications: GED/High School Diploma and possesses or willing to obtain First Aid and CPR certifications Opening Date: January 26, 2017 Closing Date: Open until filled

2017-2018 School Year Vacancies:

Vacancy: High School Science Teacher Qualifications: Current Teaching Certification in any state meeting the requirements for the position in which applying Opening Date: March 1, 2017 Closing Date: open until filled

Vacancy: Career and Technical Education Teacher Qualifications: Current Teaching Certification in any state meeting the requirements for the position in which applying Opening Date: March 1, 2017 Closing Date: Open until filled

Vacancy: Middle School Social Studies Teacher Qualifications: Current Teaching Certification in any state meeting the requirements for the position in which applying Opening Date: March 1, 2017 Closing 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

Vacancy: Art Teacher Qualifications: Current Teaching Certification in any state meeting the requirements for the position in which applying Opening Date: March 1, 2017 Closing Date: Open Until Filled

Vacancy: Elementary Teacher Qualifications: Current Teaching Certification in any state meeting the requirements for the position in which applying Opening Date: March 1. 2017 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. **Do not need SDHSAA/NFHS Coaching Requirements.

Jr. High/Assistant Track Coach Assistant Track Coach

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.

Classroom Substitute Information:

Tiospa Zina classroom substitutes must complete substitute training before they can substitute for teaching staff. If you are interested in Substitute Teaching you either have to attend and complete the Substitute Teacher training offered by Tiospa Zina or register with and complete the Substitute Teacher training offered online. If you choose to take the online training all furnishings and costs are the trainees' responsibility. The button below is the link to the online training courses. The button is also the link to subscribe to, free of charge, which gives you access to substitute teacher tools, resources, newsletters, and trainings.


Dakota Magic Casino

Job Openings

Accounting Department:

Revenue Audit Clerk (2 Full-Time or Part-Time) Day

Foods Department:P

Bus Persons (Full-Time or Part-Time) as needed

Cashiers (Full-Time & Part-Time) as needed

Dishwashers (Full-Time or Part-Time) as needed

Wait Staffs (Full-Time or Part-Time) as needed

Housekeeping Department:

Porter (Full-Time or Part-Time) as needed

Hotel Department:

Front Desk Clerk (3 Full-Time or Part-Time) 8:00am to finish

Night Audit Clerk (Full-Time or Part-Time) Graveyard

Room Attendant (Full-Time or Part-Time) 8:00 am to Finish

Marketing Department:

Promotions Coordinator (Full-Time or Part-Time) Various

Security Department:

Officers (Full-Time or Part-Time) as needed

Slots Department:

Technician (Full-Time or Part-Time) Swing

Surveillance Department:

Observer (2 Full-Time or Part-Time) Rotating

Closing Date: March 24, 2017  at 4:00 p.m.

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 Magic Casino

Job Opening

The Marketing Department Is Now Accepting Applications For

Position: Director of Marketing (Full-Time)

Job Description: Responsible to plan, develop, and oversee a comprehensive marketing, advertising, promotional, social media, and player development plan in accordance with Dakota Magic Casino & Hotel Vision, Mission, and Core Values, which will increase guest traffic and revenue.

Closing Date: March 31, 2017 @4:00 p.m.

Starting Wage: D. O. E. At least 21 years of age Bachelor's Degree in Marketing or related field and 6 years of experience in casino marketing. Or Associates Degree in Marketing or related field and 8 years of experience in the casino marketing. Or 10 years casino marketing experience of which at least 5 years were at a Marketing Manager level or above. Experience with Player Development (Host) departments required. Create a path of succession for tribal members.

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. 2583 Indian Preference will apply / EEO (Please Provide Tribal Enrollment).


Dakota Magic Casino

Job Opening

The Marketing Department Is Now Accepting Applications For

Position: Player Development Manager (Full-Time)

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

Closing Date: March 31, 2017 @4:00 p.m.

Starting Wage: D. O. E. At least 21 years of age Bachelor's Degree in Marketing and 4 years of experience in Player's Club and Player Development Operations. Associates Degree in Marketing or related field and 6 years of experience in Players' Club and Player Development Operations. 8 years combination of education and experience in Players' Club and Player Development Departments. Familiar with a sales/lead software to automate and track host opportunities (preferred, not required) Familiar with team member bonusing for meeting contact and lift expectations.

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. 2583 Indian Preference will apply / EEO (Please Provide Tribal Enrollment)


Dakota Connection Casino

Job Openings

C-Store Department:

Deli Attendant (1) full-time, rotating shifts, day, swing, graveyard, includes weekends & holidays.

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

Opening date: Thursday, March 16, 2017

Closing date: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 @ 4:00 p.m.

All positions will be exposed to noise & tobacco smoke

Indian preference will apply/EEO Employer.

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



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