Native Americans

SD Dept. of Social Services

The state of South Dakota will pay $350,000 to settle allegations that its Department of Social Services discriminated against Native Americans.

In The Moment ... April 30, 2019 Show 565 Hour 1

Native Voices: Native People's Concepts of Health and Illness explores the ties between wellness, illness, and cultural life for Native Americans.

The exhibit, on display through June 5 at South Dakota State University, shares stories drawn from both past and present to examine how health for Native people is tied to community, land, and spirit.

Emmeline Weber, Operations Manager of the Hilton M. Briggs Library at SDSU, visits about the exhibit.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Participants in the Women's March in Sioux Falls have different reasons for demonstrating. Some say it's political; others say the gathering was not about how a person votes. Others say they gain inspiration from being around people who stand up for women's rights, gay rights, Native American rights, and more. In this discussion, SDPB's Kealey Bultena talks with In The Moment's Lori Walsh.

Melissa Hamersma Sievers / SDPB

The Yankton Sioux Tribal chairman says understanding the misunderstanding between native and non-native cultures is a first step in closing the gap between the two. Robert Flying Hawk addressed the South Dakota legislature Thursday during the second State of the Tribes address.

Flying Hawk calls for unity between state government and the tribes. He says teaching more Native American history will help bridge the cultural divide.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

One report shows the number of South Dakota families without homes increased in 2016.  Federal officials say there are many variables at play when considering homelessness in South Dakota.             

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development 2016 Homeless Report is based on a single night in January of this year.

On that night, over one thousand people experienced homelessness throughout the state. That’s a nearly 47 percent increase from 2010.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Governor Dennis Daugaard says South Dakotans should not expect millions of dollars from IHS. A deal with the Indian Health Service would have covered medical care for Native Americans who qualify for IHS and Medicaid. The governor says that can’t happen for now.

Indian Health Service leaders agreed to cover millions in medical costs that South Dakota picks up using Medicaid. Governor Dennis Daugaard says that arrangement hinged on the state’s expansion of Medicaid. Because that isn’t happening, does the deal still work?

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakotans don’t have answers to many of their health care questions. Between federal administration changes and decisions at the state level, the issue of delivering quality, cost-effective health care is bathed in uncertainty. Local advocates say patients should not panic; instead they say people can better understand the factors at play nationally and within South Dakota – and know that people are fighting for their wellness.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Medicaid expansion in South Dakota may not happen, but many health care providers say they’re not giving up on reforms that could help the working poor. Some health leaders are looking for other ways to deliver medical care to thousands of people.

Doctor Tim Ridgway says the point of the complicated medical system is to take care of people and improve the health of all individuals in communities.

Ridgway says navigating those elements and figuring out how to pay for all of it is an intricate process.

Dakota Midday: Frank Fools Crow

Oct 11, 2016

One of the most famous of the Native American "Holy Men" is Frank Fools Crow. He was born on the Rosebud Reservation in 1890 and lived his entire 99 year life in South Dakota. Gary Enright, Director of the 1881 Courthouse Museum in Custer, says Fools Crow was one of the most famous of the Native American spiritual healers in this week's Images of the Past feature.

South Dakota Public Broadcasting

The Executive Director of the South Dakota High School Activities Association is retiring at the end of the next school year.  Wayne Carney has been with the association since 2001, after a coaching career in three state school districts.  One of the most contentious issues in his time as executive director was the switching of the girls volleyball and basketball seasons.  At one time, girls played basketball at the start of the school year, with volleyball going on in the winter months.

Rapid City Police Work To Increase Force Diversity

Apr 18, 2016

In Rapid City the police force is made up primarily of Caucasian men. Police officials want the force to better reflect the diversity in the community.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

State leaders are talking weekly with federal officials as they work on a change that could prompt Medicaid expansion in South Dakota. Governor Dennis Daugaard says federal leaders need to settle their policy before South Dakotans can decide whether the state can financially support as many as 55,000 more people on Medicaid.

The Medicaid expansion discussion typically falls along party lines. Democrats push for the state to accept federal dollars and change the rules to make more people eligible for the program, while Republican lawmakers and the governor says it’s too expensive.

Dakota Digest for November 6, 2015

Nov 6, 2015

On this week’s edition of the Dakota Digest podcast, President Barack Obama has rejected a permit that would allow the Keystone Pipeline to cross the Canadian Border. Also on this week’s episode, the high school football semi-final round is this weekend and the US House of Representatives passed a transportation bill.

Dakota Digest for October 2, 2015

Oct 2, 2015
Kealey Bultena / SDPB

On this week's edition of Dakota Digest, the Harrisburg School shooting and the death of former South Dakota Governor Walter Dale Miller are the headlines. Be sure to visit our website, for complete coverage and programing from South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

Follow our twitter accounts: @SoDakPB, @SDPBNews, @SDPBSports, and @SDPB

Google Images

Leaders of the Flandreau Santee Sioux tribe are legalizing marijuana on the reservation. The executive board has approved the ordinance after examining how other areas handle legalized marijuana. Members are planning for an operation that grows marijuana for medicinal and recreational use.

The Flandreau Santee Sioux executive board is making marijuana a tribal business. President Tony Reider says leaders are working to create a secure environment to cultivate the crop.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Candidates for United States Senate are weighing in on the federal government’s role in Indian Affairs. The four men running for South Dakota’s open seat met Monday at a Sioux Falls Rotary Club lunch for a panel discussion. Candidates agree that something needs to change for sovereign Indian nations.

Gordon Howie is running for US Senate as an Independent. He says poverty and dysfunction exist on Native American reservations because politicians claim they champion Indian communities and don’t follow through on their support.

Lincoln's Bishop

Jul 2, 2014

In August and September of 1862, violence erupted in southwest Minnesota in what is often referred to as the U.S-Dakota War. The deadly attacks by the Dakotas against white settlers exploded out of frustration and anger over starvation and broken promises. In the aftermath of the conflict an Army court sentenced 303 Dakota men to death, 38 of whom were executed.

A group of lawmakers wants to better understand economic development in South Dakota’s Indian Country. House Bill 1213 establishes a task force under the supervision of the legislature’s executive board, but the Senate amended the bill on the floor to put the task force under the Governor’s Office, rather than the legislature.

Representative Don Haggar is a member of the conference committee and prime sponsor of the measure. He says it’s important to have tribal leaders and legislators working side by side to improve economic development on reservations.

Tribal Leaders Discuss Parolee Pilot Program

Feb 26, 2014

South Dakota tribal leaders are in Pierre Wednesday discussing issues affecting Indian Country. Tribal Relations Day starts with a listening session focused on public safety. Part of the discussion is how Senate Bill 70 passed last year is affecting the tribes.

The criminal justice reform includes a pilot program to help decrease recidivism of Native Americans on reservations. Shaun Eastman with the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate is helping implement the program. She says when Native Americans return home from prison, there will be task forces of volunteers to keep them on track.

The State House of Representatives passed House Bill 1213 Thursday, to establish a task force to analyze and promote economic development for Native American’s in South Dakota. Republican State Representative Don Haggar says improving the quality of life for the Native American population is a must.

The Senate Local Government killed a measure dealing with outside election money. South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant brought the bill to the committee, at the request of the State Elections Board.  

Gant says members are trying to keep outside groups from dictating where polling places and other items are placed. Gant says it doesn’t stop groups from encouraging all residents to vote.

Medications Aim To Reduce Heart Attacks

Nov 22, 2013

SDPB's Charles Michael Ray speaks with Dr. James Walder about a new study looking at medications that aim to reduce heart attacks in Native American patients. The set of drugs act as platelet inhibitors to reduce the chance of blood clots that can cause heart attacks. The drugs may have different effects based on genetic background. Dr. Walder is the Principal Investigator for this research study and a cardiologist with the Heart Doctors in Rapid City and the Medical Director of the Black Hills Cardiovascular Research Group.

Trahant Speaks About Native American Health Care

Nov 7, 2013

Mark Trahant is a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe of Idaho and former president of the Native American Journalists Association.  He presents the 2013 Joseph Harper Cash Memorial Lecture at the University of South Dakota tonight (11/7) at 6:00 p.m. at the Al Neuharth Media Center.  Trahant’s presentation, “Money in the Cup: The Affordable Care Act and American Indian Health Care,” explores how the Affordable Care Act impacts the Indian Health Service.  



Four Directions Requesting Use Of HAVA Funds

Aug 5, 2013

The group Four Directions has requested the use of Help America Vote (HAVA) funds for an additional absentee voting location in Eagle Butte, Fort Thompson and Wanblee. The three towns have high percentages of Native Americans and are far from towns that have courthouses where early voting takes place. The State Board of Elections voted against a resolution supporting Four Directions' request. As Secretary of State, Jason Gant says it's his responsibility to oversee the administration of HAVA funds in South Dakota.

The Chamberlain School Board plans to vote tonight on whether to include a Lakota Honor song at the school’s graduation ceremony. It’s the second year in a row the request has been made. It was turned down last year in a decision at least one member of the community is calling racist. But while many in Chamberlain would like the song to be added, they say racism is not at the heart of the decision.



History Of The Hiawatha Asylum

May 7, 2013

Sioux Falls Argus Leader reporter Steve Young talks about the history of the Hiawatha Asylum. The institute near Canton receive its first patient in December 1902. Over the next 31 years, the asylum housed hundreds of Native Americans from across the country. In its lifetime, the asylum had two superintendents. The first, a former Canton mayor and U.S. congressman, O.S. Gifford, had no medical training and preferred hiring local residents over the best civil servants, even though the locals lacked experience in dealing with mental illness. Gifford was removed in summer 1908, and Dr.

Tribal Relations Day Addresses Housing on Reservations

Jan 24, 2013

Governor Dennis Daugaard established the Tribal Relations department when he took office two years ago and South Dakota is the only state to have it on the cabinet level. Since the beginning, tribal relations Secretary J.R. LaPlante has traveled the state, meeting with tribal officials and Native Americans to discuss the issues facing them. For the second year, LaPlante and Governor Daugaard hosted the State’s Tribal Relations Day at the capitol. This year’s topic is housing on reservations and in Indian Country.

American Indian Activist Russell Means

Oct 23, 2012

Robert Warrior, Director of American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois and Elizabeth Castle, Native Studies assistant professor at the University of South Dakota, talk about American Indian activist Russell Means. Hollywood actor and American Indian activist Russell Means died early Monday morning at his ranch near Porcupine on Pine Ridge. Means was 72 years old and had battled cancer for the past few years.

Feature film seeks Native Americans

Oct 5, 2012

Casting for a major feature film is taking place across Western South Dakota over the next few days.

The film “Lee” is a Native American coming-of-age story in the tradition of the motion picture classic “Stand By Me”.

Producer Mollye Asher says the story centers on three Lakota teens on the Pine Ridge Reservation.