Hate Crime Charges Possible After Incident At Rush Game

Jan 28, 2015

An incident at Saturday night’s Rush hockey game in Rapid City may result in hate crime and assault charges.

57 students from American Horse School were on a trip from Pine Ridge to attend the game as reward for good behavior and academic achievement.  
But in the third period a group of white men in a rented suite above the children’s seating area allegedly poured beer down on to the students and shouted racial slurs.   

The school group left the game early out of concern for student safety.

You can hear the rest of the story by clicking play below.

Racism Alleged At Rush Hockey Game

Jan 26, 2015

An incident of alleged racism at a weekend Rush hockey game against a group of Native American school children has angered many in the Rapid City community.

The group of about 50 students and chaperones from American Horse School on Pine Ridge were attending the game with their principal.  The outing was a reward for good behavior and academic achievement.

But a group of men in a VIP corporate box allegedly threw beer  on some of the children and then shouted racial slurs, the students and chaperones reportedly left the game early after the incident.

Bill Streamlines Name Change Process

Jan 21, 2015

An effort to streamline the process of changing a county name has cleared its first legislative hurdle in Pierre.

In the November election residents in Shannon County overwhelmingly approved a measure to change the name to Oglala Lakota County.   But under current law that new name must be approved by the legislature and announced by the governor.   

Yellow Bird Steel Vows To Continue Prohibition

Jan 7, 2015

Pine Ridge will stay dry if the new Oglala Sioux Tribal President has his way.

President John Yellow Bird Steele says he is opposed to legalized alcohol on Pine Ridge.  He adds that he also opposed legalizing marijuana on Pine Ridge even if the federal government gives tacit approval.

Click play below to hear more.

Native Community Organizes Following Tragedy

Jan 7, 2015

Several members of Rapid City's Native American community are coming together to form a new organization aimed at improving race relations.

The move follows a police shooting last month involving Allen Locke, a Native American man in Lakota homes.  The shooting occurred about 24-hours after Locke attended a rally against police brutality.

Laughter And Learning At The Lakota Language Bowl

Dec 23, 2014
Red Cloud Indian School /

The Lakota Nation Invitational concluded last week.  It’s one of the biggest events of the year in Rapid City featuring 2,500 students from schools across the region competing in everything from basketball to an art show.

LNI also incudes a Lakota Language Knowledge Bowl.  Organizers say it makes preserving the language fun for kids.

(Click play below to hear more.)

Agreement Reached On Anti Police Brutality Rally

Dec 18, 2014

An anti-police brutality march and rally now has a green light from city officials. 

Police Brutality Protest Permit Denied

Dec 16, 2014

Rapid City Police officials say they received a request for a permit for a “Police Brutality Awareness Walk”  through downtown.   The event was set to take place this Friday starting and ending at the Rapid City Civic Center.

The Lakota Nation Invitational is also taking place at the Civic Center.  In a press release Chief Karl Jegeris says the demonstrators planning this event also organized a past protest against the Regional Hospital. Police officials say numerous public safety issues arose at that event.  

The new film, We Are a Horse Nation, is a documentary about efforts to revive connections between the Oceti Sakowin (Lakota, Dakota and Nakota) peoples and Sunka Wakan Oyae (Horse Nation). It tells stories of how closer relationships with horses are helping children and young adults on reservations in South Dakota, North Dakota and Nebraska.

The Native Vote And Future Elections

Dec 10, 2014
Matika Wilbur

The 2014 election is well over.   But for some it’s not too soon to start thinking about 2016 or even 2020 and beyond. This is especially true if your goal is to get school age kids interested in voting.

An effort to increase voter turnout in tribal communities in South Dakota is continuing–and some say the 2014 election shows past efforts paid off.

You can find out more about Sicangu Lakota Artist Frank Waln at his website here.

Elders Take Stand Against Dog Roundups

Dec 4, 2014
Photo by Jim Kent

As the Oglala Sioux Tribe announced plans to begin rounding up dogs on November 29, elders across the Pine Ridge Reservation began gathering to discuss how to counter what they felt was a knee-jerk reaction by tribal leadership to the recent death of 8-year old Jayla Rodriguez.

Although everyone seems to agree that there’s an overpopulation of dogs on Pine Ridge…arbitrarily choosing to shoot any dog that’s not confined isn’t the traditional Lakota way.

Native American Cowboys and Dancers

Oct 15, 2014
Courtesy Clarice Lakota

 A Lakota teen from Rapid City is the first person in the history of the Black Hills Pow Wow to introduce the “Hat and Boot Dance” into the annual event’s huge arena. The dance style pays homage to the long Lakota relationship with the horse along with their link to cowboy hats, chaps, lariats and boots…which traces back more than one-hundred years.

Yellow Bird Steele Leads Pine Ridge Primary

Oct 15, 2014

The Oglala Sioux Tribe Election Commission is verifying the results of Tuesday's primary election.   
Unofficial tribal presidential primary results have Harold Eagle Bull in third place with 512 votes, incumbent Tribal President Bryan Brewer with 944 votes, and former Tribal President John Yellow Bird Steele leading the field at 1465.

But the results could change as the numbers are finalized.  

On Pine Ridge the top two candidates in a presidential primary don’t automatically advance to the general election.

Lakota Man Awarded Carnegie Hero Medal

Oct 13, 2014
Courtesy Carnegie Hero Fund Commission

A Native American man and a non-Native teen who gave their lives trying to save a small boy from the swirling waters of the Big Sioux River have been posthumously awarded the Carnegie Hero Medal. The recognition is a prestigious honor that isn’t bestowed upon many.

Move To Rename Harney Peak

Oct 7, 2014
Wikipedia file photo

Lakota tribal members from the Pine Ridge Reservation are calling for a name change of the highest point East of the Rocky Mountains. The designation “Harney Peak” has been offensive to Native Americans across the region for more than a century.

General William S. Harney was “honored” by a fellow U.S. Army officer in 1857 by having a 7.000 foot-high peak in the Black Hills bear his name.

The dedication came as a result of Harney’s actions in the 1855 Battle of Ash Hollow, in Nebraska, where more than 80 Lakota men, women and children were killed.

Sharing Lakota Heritage and History

Oct 2, 2014
SDPB Television

In a broadcast from Oglala Lakota College on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Wilmer Mesteth and Mike Her Many Horses joined Dakota Midday and discussed stories, songs and legendary leaders from Lakota history. Mike Her Many Horses is a tribal historian who is also executive director of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and a member of the Lakota Fund board of directors. Wilmer Mesteth is a spiritual leader, musician and instructor of Lakota Studies at OLC. He is a direct descendent of Chief Red Shirt, who fought in the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

University of South Dakota

Oglala Lakota College is one of the first tribally-controlled colleges in the country. It was first chartered in 1971 as the Lakota Higher Education Center. In 1983 the college was accredited as a four-year degree granting institution. The Pine Ridge Reservation institution is dedicated to rebuilding the Lakota Nation through education by teaching Lakota culture and language and preparing students to live and work in a multi-cultural world.

Tower Restoration On State's Tallest Point

Oct 1, 2014

South Dakota is celebrating 125 years of statehood. SDPB honors that milestone with stories that explore the state’s identity and heritage through unique ideas, people and places.

Harney Peak sits at the core of the Black Hills uplift and has likely been the highest point in the hills for millions of years.   For Lakota the peak is a sacred place.   White settlers named it for William S. General Harney.  The lookout tower on top of Harney Peak was completed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1939.  

Bush Fellow Preserves Lakota Peacemaking Traditions

Aug 20, 2014
Bush Foundation

If you’ve spent much time listening to the news lately, you’ve heard plenty of stories about conflict. That includes the unrest in the Middle East, Africa, and not to mention Ferguson, Missouri. Richard Iron Cloud is a peacemaker who has spent years working on the Pine Ridge Reservation to improve the tribal justice system and keep alive traditional Lakota ways of resolving conflict. He's a 2014 Bush Fellowship winner. The 100-thousand dollar grant is awarded to community leaders.

Photo by Jim Kent

A financial institution on the Pine Ridge Reservation is giving Lakota tribal members the opportunity to conduct banking transactions within close proximity to their homes for the first time in history. The Lakota Federal Credit Union also allows tribal members to not only save money, but to invest in fellow tribal members.

But you can’t save or invest unless you open an account and make deposits.

December 29, 1890 was one of the darkest days of South Dakota and American history. In a clash with U.S. Army soldiers, some 200 innocent Lakota men, women and children were massacred at Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Reservation. 124 years later, the horrific tragedy still haunts.

Rosalie Little Thunder Mourned In SD

Aug 11, 2014

Prominent Lakota language teacher, activist, author, artist and elder Rosalie Little Thunder died on August 9th at the age of 64.    Little Thunder’s work ranged widely from Lakota language preservation to restoring buffalo on the Great Plains.

Lakota Funds Grows

Aug 1, 2014
Courtesy Lakota Funds

A community loan fund based in Kyle is taking steps to build its internal capacity to serve the needs of growing and larger businesses on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

The goal is to increase awareness of business financing solutions on the reservation and ultimately impact the creation or expansion of 30 businesses.

Lakota Funds has assisted in the start-up of hundreds of small businesses on the Pine Ridge Reservation since it was founded 28 years ago.

Hoka Coffee Creates Rez Brew

May 30, 2014
Courtesy Hoka! Coffee

The Lakota are known for their strong cultural beliefs and traditions, their respect for all creatures – especially the buffalo, their sense of humor and their love of gatherings – large and small – that revolve around food. Always present at these gatherings – regardless of the season, is coffee.

Today we visit with a young woman on the Pine Ridge Reservation who decided to honor her own love of the coffea shrub – and that of the Lakota people – by establishing her own coffee company.

Istinma / To Rest

May 1, 2014

Scott Means plays the role of the son in "istinma/to rest," a short film about a Lakota man who finds forgiveness for his father and reconciles with him while breaking the cycle of trauma in the family.  It's the first of a three-part trilogy set on the Pine Ridge Reservation.  Jesse Short Bull co-wrote and co-produced "istinma/to rest."  He's from Interior and a member of the Native Youth Leadership Alliance.  He discovered his passion to make films about the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people while attending Oglala Lakota College.  Means and Short Bull discussed "istinma/to rest" which show

Wicoti Tiwahe - Family Camp

May 1, 2014
image from family camp in gregory county
Brian Gevik / SDPB

A non-profit organization on the Rosebud Indian Reservation hopes that a revival of traditional Lakota life skills and values will give kids with an alternative to alcohol, drugs and gangs.

The Native American Advocacy Program offers outdoor experiences designed to help preserve Lakota culture and language. In today's Dakota Digest, SDPB's Brian Gevik reports from a Gregory County youth camp where young people learn the old ways.

Lakota Federal Credit Union Raises Loan Limits

Apr 14, 2014
Courtesy Lakota Federal Credit Union

The Lakota Federal Credit Union has announced an increase in its secured loan limit from $5000 to $25,000. The move allows members to raise their credit rating as well as purchase much-needed vehicles to travel the remote reaches of the Pine Ridge Reservation.

The Lakota Federal Credit Union was created in 2012 and is the first bank available to residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation within the reservation’s boundaries.

Frances Morgan lives in Kyle. She says banking wasn’t an option for her before the Lakota Federal Credit Union.

Courtesy Lakota Children’s Enrichment

Representatives of Lakota Children's Enrichment are on the Pine Ridge Reservation this week for a three-day Youth Summit. The non-profit organization’s primary mission is to empower Lakota youth through opportunities in education and the arts, as well as assistance in creating community volunteer programs. 

Anniversary Of "Warriors' " Deaths

Mar 14, 2014
Courtesy Wallace family

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the deaths of Madison Wallace and Lyle Eagle Tail. The Lakota man and the non-Native teen drowned in Sioux Falls as they attempted to save Madison’s younger brother from the Big Sioux River’s churning waters.

Native Americans in the community are holding a memorial dinner tonight to remember Wallace and Eagle Tail and to honor all those who helped in attempting to save and then recover them.

Warrior Bar Joins Tanka Lineup

Mar 13, 2014
Courtesy Native American Natural Foods

A South Dakota-based Native American health food company has announced a new product aimed at the high performance athlete market.

The “Warrior Bar” is the first joint development in what’s expected to be a long-term partnership with Onnit Labs of Austin, Texas.

It’s been more than six years since the Tanka Bar was first introduced at the Black Hills Pow-Wow by Native American Natural Foods.