American Indian

2018 Black Hills Powwow

Oct 2, 2018
Chynna Lockett

In The Moment ... October 2. 2018 Show 434 Hour 1

The Black Hills Powwow has become one of the premier American Indian cultural events in the United States, attracting thousands of dancers, singers, artisans and several thousand spectators from across several U.S. states, Canadian provinces and beyond.

Stephen Yellow Hawk, president of the Black Hills Powwow, accompanied by Karen Mortimer and Whitney Rencountre, members of Mniluzahan Okolakiciyapi Ambassadors, joined In The Moment with a preview of the festivities.

In The Moment ... June 4, 2018 Show 350 Hour 2

The Hiawatha Indian Insane Asylum housed nearly 400 Native inmates from across the U.S. during its 30 years of operation. It was a keystone of federal Indian policy in the early 1900s. However, more than half of the residents died of curable diseases.

Anne Dilenschneider and Jerry Fogg are South Dakota Humanities Council Scholars and Keepers of the Canton Native Asylum story.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

An Eagle Butte woman is encouraging Native American leaders in 23 tribal governments. The Bush Foundation is dedicating resources to Native Nation Building. A woman from Cheyenne River is six months into the job of supporting and promoting Indian leadership.

Eileen Briggs is the Bush Foundation’s director of Native Nation Building. She says the work includes a handful of large investments to empower American Indian communities instead of prescribing solutions.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A United States Senator and a state lawmaker agree that the federal government is failing to provide adequate health care to Native Americans. United States Senator John Thune and South Dakota State Senator Troy Heinert see different solutions to ongoing problems with the Indian Health Service.

U-S  Senator Thune has legislation in Congress aimed at comprehensive reform for federal health services for Native Americans. He says the bill makes it easier to fire ineffective IHS leaders, examines whistle-blower protections, and requires fiscal accountability so patient care funds actually make it to patients.

Crazy Horse School is receiving a federal grant worth $107,631 to help students cope with suicide on the Pine Ridge Reservation. This is the third grant from the US Department of Education to Pine Ridge schools after tribal leaders declared a state of emergency following a string of suicides.

Project SERV grants target schools where kids experience significant violent or traumatic events. The latest funding adds two counselors at Crazy Horse School in Wanblee to help restore the learning environment.

Secretary John King leads the US Department of Education.

Jenifer Jones / SDPB

Lawmakers in Pierre support two programs aimed at Native American education. One measure seeks to help people who want to finish college courses so they can teach in Native American schools. The other sets up a pilot program to combine innovative cultural teachings with standard subjects.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Each legislative session, some major issues seem to take the spotlight in Pierre – and education is dominating this year’s conversation. Much of SDPB’s coverage relates to funding schools and teachers, because lawmakers are trying to find ways to fairly and adequately fund education. Despite a goal to provide the same opportunity for all kids by doling out the matching funding for students, children walk into classes facing a wide range of challenges. A visit to one Sioux Falls school reveals some of those differences.

Bill Ends Offensive School Names, Mascots

Feb 22, 2016
Jenifer Jones

A bill that creates a process to ban racially charged school or athletic team names, mascots, or nicknames, is moving forward in the South Dakota Legislature.

This year’s State-Tribal Relations Day at the South Dakota State Capitol focused on honoring veterans. The event is intended to expand cooperation between the state and tribes, but it’s not the first time that Native American issues have been at the forefront this legislative session. There is discussion about how Medicaid expansion could benefit the Indian Health Service, and earlier this session a tribal chairman delivered the first State of the Tribes Address. Leaders say state-tribal relations are moving in the right direction.

Jenifer Jones

A state Senate panel is endorsing education plans that focus on supporting Native American students. One of those measures funds programs that focus on incorporating Indian culture and language into standard subjects. 

Kealey Bultena / SDPB News

A visible member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe says work between Indians and the rest of the state is not done. While much of the country took Monday off for Columbus Day, South Dakotans celebrated Native American Day. Leaders made the decision to change the holiday years ago. One man says some people still don’t use the holiday’s proper name.

JR LaPlante spent nearly four years as South Dakota’s first Secretary of Tribal Relations. He says changes made in 1990 were not answers to Native-white relations, but starting points. He says issues still exist.

The Indian Health Service is giving nearly $1 million to prevent methamphetamine use and suicide in South Dakota. The funds are part of more than $13 million awarded nationwide.


One of South Dakota’s US Senators says he wants provisions in a new education bill that help address suicide among Native American populations. Senator John Thune says he’s introduced two amendments to the Every Child Achieves Act. 

US Senator John Thune says suicide on American Indian Reservations is an epidemic. He says the death rate for Native American youth is four times the national average. 

Third Annual CRCAIH Summit

Jun 12, 2015
Sanford Health

Dr. Amy Elliott, director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Prevention at Sanford Research, visited about the Third Annual Collaborative Research Center for American Indian Health Summit.  In 2013, Sanford Research and its partners received a $13.5 million grant, the largest in its history, from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Minority Health and Disparitites to create CRCAIH.

A Conversation With Mark Tilsen

May 22, 2014

Mark Tilsen is co-founder of Native American Natural Foods, that company that makes the Tanka Bar.  The company is headquartered in Kyle on the Pine Ridge Reservation.  The company's vision includes staying on Pine Ridge to help create jobs and improve economic development.  This spring, Tilsen was invited to speak before a Congressional committee in Washington, D.C.  He discussed the challenges of creating business in Indian Country.  SDPB news producer Charles Michael Ray visited with Tilsen after he returned from the nation's capital.

The Untold Story Of Red Cloud, An American Legend

Jan 22, 2014

The Oglala-Lakota warrior-statesman Red Cloud was the only American Indian in history to defeat the United States Army in a war, forcing the government to negotiate for peace on his terms. At the peak of Red Cloud's powers the Sioux could claim control of one-fifth of the contiguous United States and the loyalty of thousands of fierce fighters. But the fog of history has left Red Cloud strangely obscured.

Craig Howe At The SD State Arts Conference

Sep 17, 2013

Craig Howe earned a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, and taught at Oglala Lakota College, Washington University in Saint Louis, Grinnell College, the University of Michigan, and the University of Saskatchewan. Howe served as Deputy Assistant Director for Cultural Resources of the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and Director of the D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian History at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

ICWA Summit

May 16, 2013

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has been covering the Indian Child Welfare Act Summit this week in Rapid City.  The summit was organized to delve into controversial issues of the welfare of children on South Dakota's Indian Reservations and the large number of American Indian children who are relocated from their families on the reservations to non-Indian families off the reservation.  Dakota Midday guest host Joe Tlustos visited with Wicks on today's program.

Casting Director Rene Haynes

May 2, 2013

Casting director Rene Haynes is leading a casting seminar at Hill City High School Sunday morning in conjunction with the Black Hills Film Festival.  Haynes is a two-time Emmy Nominee for the TNT/Dreamworks mini-series "Into the West" and the HBO feature "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee."  She is recognized in the entertainment industry as one of the foremost experts in Native American and First Nation casting and consulting on projects both foreign and domestic.

Pine Ridge Pilgrimage Of Trust

Apr 19, 2013

A stage in the "pilgrimage of trust on the earth" will be held in Red Shirt, a tiny village at the edge of the Badlands on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation from May 24-27.  The outdoor gathering will include meditative prayer three times a day, Bible study, workshops, small group sharing and meals together, provided by the local Lakota people.  Rev.

Human Trafficking In South Dakota

Apr 11, 2013

When Hannah Miller decided to examine the growing issue of human trafficking in South Dakota, she decided to look at the issue first-hand.  She blended into the crowd during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally to conduct undercover research.  Miller said South Dakota is among the top six worst states for human trafficking.  Miller is Friday's Augustana College Thought Leader Forum speaker when she presents "The Dirty Little Secrets: Human Trafficking in South Dakota" at 11:30 a.m. at C.J. Callaway's in Sioux Falls.

USDA's O'Brien In South Dakota

Apr 10, 2013

Doug O'Brien, Deputy Under Secretary at the United States Department of Agriculture, is meeting with Tribal leaders and economic development officials across South Dakota to discuss ways the USDA can help strengthen local economies and create jobs.  He joined Karl Gehrke Wednesday on Dakota Midday.

FRONTLINE "Kind Hearted Woman"

Apr 1, 2013

In a special two-part series, acclaimed filmmaker David Sutherland has created an unforgettable portrait of Robin Charboneau (now Robin Poor Bear), a 32-year-old divorced single mother and Oglala Sioux woman living on North Dakota's Spirit Lake Reservation.  Sutherland followed Robin over three years as she struggled to raise her children, further her education, and heal herself from the wounds of sexual abuse she suffered as a child.  Sutherland and Poor Bear joined Dakota Midday Monday to discuss "Kind Hearted Woman," a special co-presentation of FRONTLINE and Independent Lens.  It airs M

Author C.M. Wendelboe

Mar 29, 2013

C.M. Wendelboe is the author of the Spirit Road Mysteries series.  Wendelboe entered the law enforcement profession when he was discharged from the Marines as the Vietnam War was winding down.  In the 1970s he worked in South Dakota towns bordering three Indian reservations.  He revisits the Pine Ridge Reservation for research and recreation and has developed an awareness of Lakota people's culture, spirituality and perspectives on historical and contemporary issues that is reflected in the themes of his Spirit Road Mysteries.

South Dakota Center For Enterprise Opportunity

Mar 28, 2013

The South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity at Black Hills State University provides training and business assistance to current and aspiring entrepreneurs from start-up to expansion.  SD CEO Director Helen Merriman said that while services are available to anyone interested in business, the Center has a special emphasis on women, Native Americans, socially disadvantaged, youth entrepreneurs and women veterans.

Indian Health Issues

Mar 19, 2013

Dr. Jeff Henderson discussed health issues in Indian Country.  In 1998, Henderson founded the Black Hills Center for American Indian Health, a community-based, non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the wellness of American Indians through research, service, education and philanthropy.  The Center has met with considerable success, garnering over $26 million through 19 peer-reviewed health research grants and contracts.

Native American 40 Under 40 Recipient

Dec 20, 2012
Huffington Post

Nick Tilsen, co-founder and executive director of the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, was recently selected as one of the "Native American 40 Under 40" award recipients.  Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation is a culturally-based organization on the Pine Ridge Reservation.  Earlier this month, President Obama hailed Tilsen during the White House Tribal Nations summit as someone making great strides among Native Americans.

Author Susan Power

Sep 28, 2012

Standing Rock Sioux author Susan Power has written several books including the 1995 novel, "The Grass Dancer," which received the 1995 PEN/Hemingway Award for Best First Fiction.  Her short fiction has been published in the Atlantic Monthly, Paris Review, Voice Literary Supplement, Ploughshares and Story.  She began her writing career by earning an MFA from the Iowa Writer's Workshop.  Power currently teaches at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

"Dammed Indians Revisited"

Sep 28, 2012

Michael Lawson's work over three decades, including his classic work, "Dammed Indians," provided the factual basis for Congressional legislation establishing tribal recovery trust funds totaling $385.8 million for five Sioux tribes in the Dakotas and Nebraska in compensation for reservation infrastructure lost to Federal dam projects.  Lawson's book "Dammed Indians Revisited" is a 2012 One Book South Dakota Selection.  He visited with Karl Gehrke at Barnes & Noble in Sioux Falls Friday during the Festival of Books.   He  


Sep 27, 2012

Dr. Gary Moulton is the keynote speaker for the Encounters on the Prairie Chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation's regional meeting and symposium celebrating the life of Sacagawea.  The meetings are September 28-30 in Ft. Pierre.  Moulton is Thomas C. Sorensen Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  He's known for his work as editor of the award-winning Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  This December marks the 200th anniversary of Sacagawea's reported death in present day South Dakota.