Oglala Sioux Tribe

Unofficial results from the Oglala Sioux Tribe show voters in the Pine Ridge Reservation approving medicinal and recreational marijuana.

In the same referendum, voters rejected allowing alcohol sale in casinos.

Preliminary totals show 82 percent of voters approving medical marijuana and 74 percent approving of recreational marijuana. The results will get certified by the end of the month. The tribal council is expected to enact laws regulating the plant around the same time.

Chase Iron Eyes is a spokesperson for Oglala Sioux Tribal President Julian Bear Runner.

Anti Hate-Crime Legislation For LGBT Waits For Approval

Aug 15, 2019

A hate-crime amendment for LGBT people is being proposed for the Oglala Sioux Tribe. But the tribal council won’t vote on it yet because it’s stuck in the Law and Order committee. The push for an hate crime amendment follows recent legalization of same-sex marriage. Proponents of law gave presentations to each of the nine districts to get community feedback. 



In The Moment ... July 17, 2019 Show 617 Hour 2

South Dakota has a $19.4 million surplus for Fiscal Year 2019. The Oglala Sioux Tribe legalizes same sex marriage. Plus, South Dakota Congressional delegates confront racism, accusations of racism, and election season rhetoric.

The Dakota Political Junkies are Jon Hunter, publisher of the Madison Daily Leader, and Jonathan Ellis, columnist and investigative reporter with the Sioux Falls Argus Leader


Earlier this year the Governor of South Dakota did not consult tribes while planning legislation to deal with pipeline protests.

Because of that decision, the Oglala Sioux Tribe banned Kristi Noem from visiting the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Noem says tribes were left out because the proposed Keystone XL pipeline does not cross reservation land.

But a lawsuit filed in Montana federal court by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe says otherwise.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

OST Asks Noem To Stay Away

May 6, 2019

The Oglala Sioux Tribe requests South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem stay away from the reservation until she rescinds support for two pipeline related bills she passed during session.

A spokesperson for the Oglala Sioux Tribal president says the tribe is asserting and interjecting themselves in the discourse of this pipeline.

Chase Iron Eyes says the governor should have consulted and obtained consent from tribes on the issue.

In The Moment ... April 24, 2019 Show 561 Hour 2

What do we need to know about water in the Black Hills? What do we need to do to care for our water resources now and in the future? That's the focus of Wednesday's Where Do We Go From Here? hosted by Chuck Parkinson at SDPB's Rapid City studio and live at SD.Net.

Parkinson is joined by Kyle White, director of the Oglala Sioux Tribe Rescources Regulatory Agency.


Management of the Rapid City Indian Health Services Hospital is in the early stages of transferring from the federal government to area tribes. The Oglala Sioux, Cheyenne River Sioux and Rosebud Sioux Tribes all authorize the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Health Board to operate the facility. 

The Sioux San hospital is a secondary care unit for members of those three tribes. Poor federal inspection results and last year’s proposed closure of the inpatient and emergency departments prompted the tribes to investigate other management options.


In The Moment ... September 26, 2017 Show 185 Hour 1

U.S. Attorney for the district of South Dakota Randy Seiler provides opening and closing remarks this Thursday in Porcupine at the Protecting Our Tribal Communities Conference.  Responding to drugs, violent crime and public corruption are themes at the afternoon conference which features several guest speakers.  The event is sponsored by the South Dakota United States Attorney's Office and the Oglala Sioux Tribe.  What does the Conference hope to accomplish? 

courtesy photo

A federal judge has ordered Seventh Circuit and Pennington County officials to stop violating the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Judge Jeffrey Viken's order affects emergency hearings held within 48 hours of the removal of children from their parent or guardian's care.

The judge's order responds to a lawsuit filed in Rapid City in March 2013 and resolves seven of eight issues. SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports on this latest development.


Lori Walsh talks live with artist/historian/filmmaker John Mollison of Sioux Falls.  On June 3, Mollison will be part of a ceremony at the Pierre Airport to honor WWII hero John C. Waldron of Ft. Pierre.  An Oglala Sioux, Waldron was killed during the battle at Midway.  As a member of the U.S.

Dakota Digest for February 26, 2016

Feb 29, 2016

On this week's edition of Dakota Digest, education remains the top news in Pierre for the legislative session. Also, Governor Dennis Daugaard discusses medical marijuana and Medicaid expansion.

Unemployment Aid To Tribal Members

Aug 18, 2015

The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation is offering assistance to tribal members. The funds are being distributed to members who are now unemployed due to the severe weather damage in May.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance or DUA is now available for the Oglala Sioux Tribe in Pine Ridge. Funds are for anyone who can no longer work or their workplace was severely damaged due to the May storms. Pauline Heier is the South Dakota Director of Unemployment Insurance.

Twila True

Twila True is co-founder, president and CEO of True Investments, a real estate private equity business. She’s also a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Over the past couple years, she’s traveled between her home in Irvine, California and the Pine Ridge Reservation to identify the needs of the Oglala Sioux people and to figure out what she could do to help. She founded the True Sioux Hope Foundation to create new opportunities for the people of Pine Ridge. She joined Dakota Midday and discussed the foundation and its goals.

Along with statewide races yesterday, Oglala Sioux Tribal members elected a new president. John Yellow Bird Steele defeated incumbent Bryan Brewer. And Shannon County residents voted to change the name of the southwest South Dakota county to Oglala Lakota County. The name change now must be approved by the state legislature. Rapid City attorney Charlie Abourezk, who helped organize the get out the vote effort in tribal communities, and SDPB's Charles Michael Ray joined Dakota Midday election results on the Pine Ridge Reservation yesterday.

Badlands National Park Management

Apr 17, 2014
U.S. National Park Service

Oglala Sioux Tribe member Chuck Jacobs is one of the members of the core planning team working with Badlands National Park officials on federal legislation that would turn management of the South Unit of the park over to the tribe.  If legislation is approved, the South Unit would become the first tribally-run national park in the country.  The proposal has sparked controversy on the reservation after tribal ranchers were notified last fall that their grassland leases were being revoked in preperation for the reintroduction of bison on the South Unit.  Earlier this week, Oglala Sioux Tribe

New Bighorn Sheep In Western South Dakota

Mar 4, 2014
National Bighorn Sheep Center

A new sub-herd of bighorn sheep took up residence in the Black Hills this winter thanks to a cooperative effort between South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks, the Oglala Sioux Parks and Recreation Authority and the Midwest Chapter of the Wild Sheep Foundation.  The sheep were transplanted from Montana's Rocky Boy Indian Reservation to Hell Canyon in hopes of increasing the population and existing herd health of the nearby Elk Mountain bighorn sheep herd.  GF&P Regional Wildlife Manager John Kanta and GF&P District 1 Regional Supervisor Mike Kintigh discussed the population restoration

Council Considers Referendum On Prohibition

Jun 11, 2013

The Oglala Sioux Tribal council is slated to debate a referendum on legalizing alcohol on Pine Ridge in Tuesday's meeting.

The Tribal Council is considering approving a reservation wide vote on prohibition.  

The move comes alongside efforts to curb alcohol sales in the nearby border town of Whiteclay.

SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray reports.

Whiteclay Heats Up As Tribe Reconsiders Prohibition

Jun 7, 2013

Activists and liquor store owners are clashing in the town of Whiteclay, Nebraska on the boarder of the Pine Ridge Reservation.   Beer delivery trucks are being stopped and vandalized as men wielding baseball bats are accused of threatening protesters.

Alcohol is banned on Pine Ridge.   But the town of Whiteclay sells the equivalent of up to 5-million cans of beer annually–mostly to impoverished tribal residents.   As the conflict escalates the tribal nation is grappling with the idea of lifting its prohibition of alcohol.   

Law Enforcement Agencies Team Up

Dec 21, 2012

The Lakota Nation Invitational basketball tournament is being held in Rapid City this weekend.  Multiple Law Enforcement agencies are teaming up to make sure the event is secure.  Officials from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety are assisting officers from the Rapid City Police Department with security duties.

Tarah Heupel is the Community Relations Specialist for the Rapid City Police Department.  She says partnering up is a win-win situation.