Tribal Chairman To Deliver State Of Tribes Address
For the first time the South Dakota Legislature is gathering in joint session to hear an address from a tribal leader. Chairman Harold Frazier of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe is giving a State of the Tribes Address.
State Representative Kevin Killer says the State of the Tribes Address is an historic step for state and tribal relations.
“I’m really excited to hear what Chairman Frazier from Cheyenne River has to say,” Killer says. “And just to help add a Tribal Chair’s perspective on what he thinks, on behalf of the tribes, the role the state should play. But also, working in partnership and rebuilding that relationship, that’s been a long time coming.”
Killer says this session he’ll focus on keeping education a top priority and building the relationship between the tribes and state.
Representative Shawn Bordeaux says there are gaps that exist between tribal and state government. For example, he says last year the legislature approved a transportation bill, but his county won’t fully benefit because it doesn’t have a wheel tax agreement set up with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.
“Just looking to see what differences are out there,” Bordeaux says. “And then I can go back and work the tribal communities to say ‘we need this bill,’ or ‘we need this law changed in tribal government.’ So hopefully I can effectively bring both sides to the middle and make it more of a working government, having both sides work together rather than two usually opposing sides to every issue.”
Bordeaux says he hopes the State of the Tribes Address calls attention to longstanding issues like education and economic development.