Posts Tagged ‘Oglala Sioux Tribe’

22
Feb

Disappearance of Oglala Sioux Tribe’s buffalo under investigation

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By Jesse Abernathy, Native Sun News Editor

PINE RIDGE RESERVATION – In a case eerily reminiscent of the recent turmoil on the Cheyenne River Reservation stemming from that tribe’s near loss of its buffalo herd in a legal battle, the Oglala Sioux Tribe is currently in search of some missing buffalo.

Reports started circulating last month that the tribe’s buffalo herd count was off by approximately 100-150 head, though estimates are wildly inconsistent. It is also unclear how many total head of the traditionally revered creatures the tribe actually owns.

The tribal administration’s lack of accountability for the livestock has sent a shockwave of disbelief and speculation throughout this large, landlocked island community. Many residents will not speak publicly about the controversy for fear of retaliation by those in charge of both internal and external governmental dealings.

The case is being jointly investigated by the FBI and the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Office of Justice Services.

According to some tribal members, deputies from the nearby Sheridan County Sheriff’s Department in Nebraska shot and killed a few of the tribe’s roaming buffalo near Gordon, which lies some 40 miles to the south of the intermingled Pine Ridge Reservation and South Dakota borders.

Not so, says Sheridan County Sheriff Terry Robbins.

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14
Dec

Russell Means: ‘I won the battle, man’

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Incredibly happy to pass along this update on Russell Means, diagnosed this summer with deadly throat cancer:

Russell Means (Courtesy of Native Sun News)


By Jesse Abernathy, Native Sun News Editor:

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – In a remarkable turn of events, actor and American Indian activist Russell Means says he has defeated throat cancer.

This reversal of fortune is nothing short of a miracle. Means was diagnosed this summer with what was then essentially referred to as incurable, or inoperable, esophageal cancer. His physician gave him mere days to live at the time, he said. “The prognosis was grim,” Means told Tom Lawrence of the Mitchell Daily.

In a Dec. 8 telephone interview from his seasonal home in Scottsdale, Means spoke in a clear, robust voice – a stark contrast to his last Native Sun News interview in August, when his tones were made fragile and husky by the disease.

“I won the battle, man – I’m cancer-free,” he declared victoriously. “The doctor told me the day before yesterday that ‘Mr. Means, you will not die of cancer’.”

The triumph in Means’ voice was unmistakable.

Means, an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, partially attributes his amazing recovery to the outpouring of support – in the form of supplication – from all of the multifaceted corners of the globe.

“I beat it with prayer – prayer from all over the world from all the different disciplines,” he said.

“And Indian prayer,” Means added. “Indian prayer and Indian medicine,” he said, in referencing his primary spiritual and cultural connection to his Lakota brethren.

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nativesunEvery Saturday, Buffalo Post features stories from Native Sun News, published in Rapid City, S.D.

By Randall Howell
Native Sun News Correspondent

PINE RIDGE –– A candidate for the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s Pine Ridge District representative continues to await a response to a complaint he has filed with the tribe’s Election Commission.

Bruce Whalen, a first-time candidate for tribal council representative in Pine Ridge District, said he filed his complaint early last week.

The complaint was filed by Whalen in connection with his inability to get a copy of the commission’s meeting minutes wherein it reportedly altered the candidate filing frame because several “chose by their own free will” to go off-reservation to get the drug tests – decisions that several candidates said would delay paperwork establishing
viable candidacy.

“They are changing the rules … changing horses in mid-stream, changing the rules in the middle of the game,” Whalen told Native Sun News. “Not only did they change the rules, but also they won’t provide me with the minutes of the meeting where it happened.”

Meanwhile, Whalen has charged the commission and the Tribal Council with violating its own open-meeting rules and then meeting to extend the filing deadline to accommodate candidates who went off-reservation for those drug tests. Several candidates reportedly complained that because they did so they could not meet the filing time frame.

Hence, the Election Commission apparently adjusted the time frame to meet the filing needs of those candidates, contends Whalen.

The tribe’s top election commissioner – Francis Pumpkin Seed – conducted the ballot positioning session for the tribe late Wednesday but did not supply minutes of the time-frame-change meeting, though Whalen was present.
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25
Sep

Voter disenfranchisement looms on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

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Every Saturday, Buffalo Post features stories from Native Sun News, published in Rapid City, S.D.

By Randall Howell
Native Sun News Correspondent

nativesun

HOT SPRINGS – Shannon County’s commissioners have extended something of an olive branch to Fall River County’s elected officials.

That olive branch symbolizes an effort on the part of the commissioners to settle their growing list of differences with Fall River County, which for years has been functioning as the government infrastructure for the unorganized Shannon County.

With that peace-talk session scheduled for Friday, Sept. 24 [Buffalo Post will update with results of that meeting], early voting – one of the snarls that has tangled county-level government – got underway on Thursday, Sept. 16, according to Chris Nelson, South Dakota’s secretary of state.

Voter disenfranchisement remains an issue, however, given that more than 95 percent of the Shannon County population is American Indian.

Those Oglala Lakota not only live in the country’s poorest county, but also they lack the resources for travel to a polling place – a place that, in this case, is at the Fall River County Courthouse in Hot Springs.

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25
Sep

Oglala Sioux Tribe – Grave concerns about reservation cell phone service

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Every Saturday, Buffalo Post features stories from Native Sun News, published in Rapid City, S.D.

By Talli Nauman
Native Sun News Correspondent

nativesun

PINE RIDGE – The Oglala Sioux Tribe has “grave concerns” about AT&T’s bid for the cell phone service on the reservation, it told the Federal Communications Commission in a filing Sept. 10.

AT&T petitioned the FCC on July 30 for authorization to take charge of the cell phone service on Pine Ridge Reservation, which is controlled by Verizon.

The officials of the Oglala Sioux Tribe “wish to take this opportunity to advise the commission that they still harbor grave concerns about the provision of service on Pine Ridge by AT&T,” the tribal government says in its most recent filing with the FCC.

The statement comes in the midst of contract negotiations between the tribe and AT&T, which seeks FCC approval to assume Verizon’s status as the Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) on the reservation.

The tribe complained to the commission in an earlier filing on May 24, that transferring authorization to AT&T would void the OST’s contract rights in the Tate Woglaka Service Agreement (TWSA).

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(Photo Texas A&M University)

(Photo Texas A&M University)

Every Saturday, Buffalo Post features stories from Native Sun News, published in Rapid City, S.D.

nativesunBy Randall Howell
Native Sun News Correspondent

PINE RIDGE – Twostripes, you’re out: Out chewing on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation’s vegetation – cheat grass, mostly. But this year’s infestation – reported to be the largest in nearly a quarter of a century – is likely to be nothing compared to next year’s prospects.

Of course, that too depends on so many things, according to Bruce Helvig, South Dakota state plant health director. For one, it depends on the number of eggs that survive the first hard frost to await next spring’s hopper hatch.

“This is the worst I’ve seen it in the 24 years I’ve been in the state,” Helvig said, noting that 1985-86 also climbed the charts of hopper invasion history. From there, he backed up into the history of grasshopper plagues in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Nonetheless, Helvig was on the reservation “about two weeks ago” to check out reports that already had predicted a hopper infestation for Western South Dakota this summer.

And, of course, what’s in the middle of Western South Dakota – none other than the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s nearly 4,000 square miles of trust and non-trust reservation land.

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11
Sep

Introducing Native Sun News Saturday – Elders angry over silencing of KILI news

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nativesunToday, Buffalo Post introduces a new component we find really exciting – a selection of stories from Native Sun News. Each week, Native Sun publishes a newspaper – yes, a real newspaper that you can hold in your hands, take down to the cafe, swat the puppy with. The only thing you can’t do with it is read it online. So each week, Native Sun News e-mails its stories to certain news organizations. We’re thrilled to be included. We’ll run them on Saturdays, starting today with this story about KILI Radio station’s new format. If you’ve ever driven through the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, you know KILI. It’s how you keep up with everything that’s going on – or, at least, it was.

By Randall Howell
Native Sun News Correspondent

KILI Radio station (Native Sun News photo)

KILI Radio station (Native Sun News photo)

PORCUPINE –– Hunger for more local news and less entertainment is part of what’s driving a possible change in the broadcasting board of directors at KILI-FM.

That’s the upshot of the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s Treaty Committee meeting last week. In fact, those attending the Aug. 31 session, showed their intentions with an overwhelmingly positive vote on what perhaps could best be described as a “sense of the committee” proposal to construct an ordinance that, if passed, would significantly change the radio board.
“The current board … it does nothing,” said Cecilia Martin of Evergreen, a 90-year-old tribal elder. “We also need the news back. It’s been gone for three, maybe four, months. That’s how I find out what’s going on. We need to take our radio station back.”

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6
Sep

Hospitality on the menu at Lakota Cafe

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The Lakota Cafe sounds like just the right place to wind up at the end of the long holiday weekend. Especially if you’ve got car trouble.

That’s because the cafe’s owner, Patty Bourne, also owns the Peabody Body Shop, also in the town of Pine Ridge on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

On this Labor Day, the Rapid City Journal’s Steve Miller describes a recent work day for Bourne:

    The Lakota Cafe on the Pine Ridge Reservation (Flickr photo from JustifyMyWar)

    The Lakota Cafe on the Pine Ridge Reservation (Flickr photo from JustifyMyWar)

    A bundle of energy, she was wearing a ball cap, gray sweatshirt and black sweatpants the day I stopped at the Lakota Cafe for lunch. She had just come from the auto body shop, where she was putting a windshield in a pickup.

    It wasn’t a typical day for Bourne because she usually arrives at the cafe at 7 a.m. and doesn’t leave for the body shop until 4. If she has a car to work on, she’ll generally work until 7 p.m. before going home to Rushville, Neb., to take care of her two kids, dogs, cats and fish.

Bourne, who is 37, came to her twin businesses from the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s Department of Public Safety, as well as a second job at the tribe’s Prairie Wind casino.

Miller says the food is good, the staff is friendly, the place is spotless – and then there’s Bourne herself.

“If people walk in and they are crabby because somebody just yelled at them, I hope I could help make them feel better by being polite and courteous,” Bourne said. “When I hire my employees, I make sure they have a positive attitude.”

Sounds like a great business plan.

Gwen Florio

9
Aug

Native American tribe gets say in proposed uranium mine near reservation

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Here’s the full story from the Associated Press:

EDGEMONT, S.D. – The Oglala Sioux Tribe and others have been named official parties in the permitting process for Powertech Uranium Corp.’s proposed mine near Edgemont.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission agreed Friday that the tribe, three individuals and two citizens’ groups raised valid arguments about the Dewey Burdock project and would be allowed to weigh in.

Powertech wants to inject chemically treated water into holes to dissolve the uranium, then pump out the solution and collect the uranium for processing. Company representatives say the process is safe.

But some environmental and Native American groups fear it would harm underground aquifers and disturb sacred and burial sites. The land is about 60 miles from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

(Republic of Lakotah image)

(Republic of Lakotah image)

See Debra White Plume’s post about the proposed mine on the Republic of Lakotah blog, here.

2
Aug

Oglala Sioux tribe gets new ‘one-stop shopping’ justice facility

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The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs is funding a badly needed new justice facility – jail, courtroom, administrative offices, an electronic record-keeping system, the works – for the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Roxanne Two Bulls, the tribe’s grants and contracts manager, tells the Journal’s Holly Meyer that the Rapid City Journal that the $42 million facility is “kind of like a one-stop shopping place.”

The funding was secured with the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, something Two Bulls termed “quite the victory.”

“It develops base criteria and a design handbook for justice facilities in Indian Country,” she says. “This one is creating those documents for future detention facilities, justice facility.”

The tribe’s eventual plans include a new communications tower and staff quarters for law enforcement near five schools: Loneman School in Oglala, Porcupine School in Porcupine, Little Wound school in Kyle, Crazy Horse School in Wanblee and American Horse School in Allen.

Gwen Florio