Lakota

All Lakota Language News Website Launches

Mar 24, 2016
www.woihanble.com

If you like to get your news in Lakota you can now do so online. A new all Lakota language website called Woihanble.com is now up and running. The word Woihanble translates to dream in English. The site is written completely in Lakota. It features news stories from tribal nations across South Dakota.

The website Woihanble is one of the latest efforts to in South Dakota revitalize the Lakota language. It translates local stories from news outlets that cover South Dakota reservations from English to Lakota.

Two Lakota Women Among Bush Fellows

Mar 22, 2016
Courtesy Bush Foundation

The Bush Foundation is announcing its 2016 Fellows today. Among the 24 winners from 3 states and the 23 Native Nations in those areas are 2 Lakota women from the Cheyenne River Reservation.

Eileen Briggs has been executive director of Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Ventures for 10 years. The program is a poverty reduction plan created to encompass the voice and spirit of the people of Cheyenne River.

Photo by Jim Kent

The village of Whiteclay, Nebraska has long had a reputation as being the primary location for alcohol purchases by members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. The image of vehicles driving from the Pine Ridge Reservation across the Nebraska border and returning to the dry Native American land has appeared in media outlets around the world. It’s an image that has fueled controversy over the indiscriminate sale of alcohol to residents of a neighboring community where alcohol abuse and addiction run rampant.

Community Conversations Celebrates 1st Anniversary

Feb 24, 2016
Charles Michael Ray

Rapid City’s Community Conversations group is hosting an Innovation Summit on Thursday.  The event marks the group’s one year anniversary. Chas Jewett, a group organizer, says the event celebrates the changes and relationships developed in Rapid City over the past year.

Native History Bill Fails, Opponents Say Issue Still Important

Feb 22, 2016

Legislation to require more teaching of tribal history in South Dakota schools failed its first committee hearing in the State Legislature.  
 
Some educators say an effort is already underway to increase the teaching of Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota culture in the state.  Those backing the bill say more needs to be done.

 

New BHFCU TV Commercial In Lakota

Jan 31, 2016

If you live in the Black Hills area you may have seen a recent commercial entirely in Lakota on TV.

It’s an advertisement for the Black Hills Federal Credit Union and it’s airing on every broadcast and cable TV network in the Hills area

Credit Union officials say they want to reach out to Lakota people in their own language.

Two Lakota versions of the BHFCU commercial are circulating, one with the Lakota female dialect and one with the male.  A third version of the commercial is in English.

Lakota Filmmakers At Sundance Film Festival

Jan 27, 2016
Courtesy Sundance Institute

The Sundance Institute’s annual film festival takes place in Park City, Utah this week. Among the hundreds of filmmakers in attendance are a Lakota documentary producer and a Lakota screenwriter. A visit with both examined the benefits of being part of the Sundance Institute while pursuing a career in films as a Native American.

Jesse Short Bull’s interest in filmmaking was sparked in 2006 when he attended his first film festival in Rapid City.

Giago Starts Non-Profit To Buy Wounded Knee Site

Jan 26, 2016

An Oglala Lakota newspaper publisher has started a campaign to buy 40 acres of private land near the Wounded Knee Massacre site.

The land is held by a non-native owner who is asking nearly $4-million for the property.   Those backing the plan to buy the land say it needs to be held by the Lakota people and used in a positive way.

Newspaper publisher Tim Giago says he wants to see a museum and arts and trade center built on the property once it’s acquired.

Dakota Midday: Voices of Rapid City Anti-Racism Rally

Jan 25, 2016
Charles Michael Ray SDPB

The Stand Strong Against Racism Rally in front of the Rapid City Civic Center drew a crowd of roughly 350 people Tuesday night. The rally was in response to an incident at a January hockey game in which students from the American Horse School on the Pine Ridge Reservation were reportedly showered with beer and racial slurs.

Legislative Podcast: State Of Tribes Address In Pierre

Jan 14, 2016

The Legislative Podcast for January 14th, 2016 includes highlights of the first ever State of Tribes Address in Pierre and a look at one bill that sailed out of the State Senate Commerce Committee.

Chynna Lockett

In 2015 tribal officials declared a state of emergency on Pine Ridge following a sharp increase in the number of suicides. Officials say last year there were more than 20 young people who took their own lives on Pine Ridge.

The Bear Program is a grassroots group on the front lines of the suicide epidemic.   The volunteer group takes part in both direct crisis intervention and in powerful staged performances that address suicide head on.  

First Nations Sculpture Garden Moves Toward Goal

Jan 1, 2016
First Nations Sculpture Garden

A new installment in a downtown Rapid City park aims to recognize the history of Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people in this region and highlight contributions of 20th century Native Americans.

 The First Nations Sculpture Garden has broken ground in Halley Park in the center of Rapid City and organizers are now working toward their fundraising goal in order to finish the project.

Teach For America Forges New Partnerships

Dec 28, 2015
Teach for America

Teach for America has announced new agreements with two tribes and one school that aims to get more teachers into reservation schools.
 
Teach for America recruits top young professionals, often right after college, and puts them in classrooms around the country.
 
South Dakota is facing a teacher shortage and schools on reservations like Standing Rock and Rosebud are areas of critical need.  
 
Jim Curran with Teach for America says the agreement helps recruit more Native teachers to come back home and teach in classrooms close to where they grew up.

Dakota Midday: OST President John Yellow Bird Steele

Nov 23, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

John Yellow Bird Steele is the President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe who is serving his 7th non-consecutive term in office. Steele served his first term as president starting in 1992.  He is a Vietnam Veteran who has nine children and 23 grandchildren.  

SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray caught up with President Steele after he spoke at a forum in Rapid City.    Here is that interview.

Congressional Officials Meet With Pine Ridge Youth On Suicide

Nov 20, 2015
Chynna Lockett

Congresswoman Kristi Noem spent a day on Pine Ridge listening to the concerns of Lakota youth who are dealing with the tribes suicide epidemic.  Twelve Pine Ridge students have committed suicide this year.
 
Tribal officials are concerned that one key effort in combating suicide,  The Sweet Grass Program, is about to run out of funding.  
 
Tribal leaders praise Noem for her efforts to help the youth of Pine Ridge, but they say more much needs to be done.

FBI Offers $5,000 Reward In Homicide Case

Nov 2, 2015
FBI

The FBI is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction in a homicide case on the Cheyenne River Reservation.

On October 20, 2015, the body of 20 year old East  Lee was discovered near Eagle Butte.  Investigators say Lee died from a single gunshot wound to the head.  

Kyle Loven is with the FBI in Minneapolis.

Police Plan To Release Study In Open Forum On Race Relations

Nov 2, 2015
Rapid City Police Department

The Rapid City Police Department is planning a community meeting aimed at improving race relations.  

Police officials intend to reveal the findings on a recent study completed by University of South Dakota researchers and commissioned by the Police Department.   

Police Chief Karl Jegeris says he is working hard to find a positive way forward.

Rolling Rez Arts: An Art Bus Bank On Pine Ridge

Oct 27, 2015
First Peoples Fund

Pine Ridge has a new bank, financial literacy hub, and art space and it’s all on wheels.
 
Rolling Rez Arts  is a mobile creative space, business training center and bank all in one bus that is crisscrossing Pine Ridge in part to help spur art based economic development.

Investigators say they believe Scott  Westerhuis a Platt resident and Administrator for the Mid-Central Education Cooperative, committed suicide in mid-September after he shot and killed his family and set his home on fire.  
 
The incident followed the termination of a $4-million dollar state contract with the Mid-Central Education Cooperative that oversaw the GEAR UP program.    
 
Those who formerly worked with GEAR UP now question what will happen to the six-thousand Native American students served. 

Rapid City Police Shoot Man Following Domestic Violence Call

Sep 30, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

Rapid City police shot and killed a man they say was attacking a female victim in a domestic violence dispute.

Patrick Stephen Lundstrom, a 46 year old Native American man, was killed by police after they were called to a residence in the Star Village neighborhood.

Rapid City Police Chief Karl Jegeris says when officers arrived  they found a trail of blood to the residence. Jegeris says officers could hear a violent dispute occurring inside.  

SD Secretary of State

Efforts to improve tribal state relations and new economic development in Indian Country are continuing in South Dakota.  
 
The Secretary of State Shantel Krebs is reaching out to tribes and forming new memorandum of agreements that help tribal governments maintain commercial codes that are a foundation for economic development.
 
Tribal business leaders say they welcome the efforts but add that much more work is needed to boost tribal sovereignty, smooth state relations, and pave the way for improved economic development.

Settlement Aims To Fix 25 Years Of Tribal Funding Shortfalls

Sep 17, 2015
Antonia Gonzales / National Native News

The federal government is offering a $940-million dollar settlement in a decades long case over federal contracts with tribes.
 
The class action lawsuit that began in 1990 alleges the feds shortchanged tribes in contracts for items like law enforcement, road maintenance, forest management, housing, and education.
 
The Oglala Sioux Tribe on Pine Ridge brought the initial suit.  Tribal officials allege that for years the feds would promise to cover costs for approved projects, then not come through with full payments.

CO Based Organization Opens New Food Bank in Oglala

Sep 9, 2015

Residents of the Pine Ridge town of Oglala have a new food bank. The Boulder Colorado based organization Conscious Alliance has opened its second location on Pine Ridge.   Organizers say they’re focusing on food security for the youth.

Lakota Student Attends Princeton Program

Aug 17, 2015
Courtesy Morgan Mesteth

A Lakota student from the Pine Ridge Reservation has just returned from a select summer program at Princeton University. The rising senior learned about a lot more than just preparing applications for college. 

Morgan Mesteth was one of 100 students…and only 2 Native Americans…to be chosen to take part in the Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America program at Princeton.  

Lakota Hemp Farmer Fights For The Right To Plant

Jul 30, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

A Lakota farmer is fighting for the right to plant a new crop of industrial hemp on Pine Ridge.
 
Alex White Plume began growing hemp in the late 1990’s after the Oglala Sioux Tribe legalized the crop for industrial use.   
 
But drug enforcement agents soon seized the White Plume crop.   He spent several years fighting in federal court and is under an injunction restricting his ability to plant again, despite new provisions in the Farm Bill that open the door for the crop.

Red Cloud was the only American Indian leader to win a war against the United States Army. What's called Red Cloud's War was armed conflict over control of Powder River Country in present day Wyoming. Later he was committed to preserving his people’s traditions and culture as they were moved to reservations.

Chynna Lockett

  The defense attorney in the trial of Trace O’Connell rested his case Thursday morning without calling any witnesses.

O’Connell is charged with disorderly conduct. He’s accused of shouting racial slurs and dousing a number of Native American students with beer during a hockey game in January.

Both defense and prosecuting attorneys made closing arguments in the case.

O’Connell Trial Wraps Up Day One--Protest Follows

Jul 22, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

The trial of Trace O’Connell is underway in Rapid City this week.  
 
O’Connell is accused of disorderly conduct after a group of Lakota children from American Horse School were doused with beer at a hockey game in January.  
 
During the incident, the group of school kids and chaperones were allegedly told to “go back to the rez” by those in a corporate box seated above the stands. The school kids and chaperones left the game early.  
 
The city prosecutor made his case Wednesday, with the defense up Thursday.
 

US Attorney’s office / DOJ

The US Attorney’s office and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have come to a new agreement that aims to help inmates transition back into life outside prison.

The overall goal is to reduce crime and recidivism by helping newly released inmates integrate back into tribal communities.  

Troy Morley is the Tribal Liaison  for the US Attorney’s office in South Dakota.   He says currently the halfway houses used by former prisoners are outside the reservation.   Morley says this causes problems for those just released who want to visit home.    

Rainbow Gathering Incites Argument But Campers Remain

Jun 26, 2015
Chynna Lockett

The arrival of the Rainbow Family to the Black Hills has caused some controversy in the community. The Lakota group United Urban Warriors Society is protesting the gathering taking place on treaty land. But, other Lakota people support the group.  Conflict erupted near the gathering campsite in the Central Black Hills.
A thunderstorm blew in as members of the Rainbow Family and Native Americans in support of their presence met up with members of the United Urban Warriors Society on the highway, near their campsite. The groups collided and argument soon broke out.

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