Rosebud Sioux Tribe

Wolakota Buffalo Range

The first hooves have hit the ground at a new buffalo range that could eventually host the world’s largest Native American-owned herd.

Wizipan Little Elk, the CEO of the Rosebud Economic Development Corporation, said there’s a deep meaning underlying the project and its Lakota-language name.

“Our project is called ‘Wolakota.’ And what that means in our language is to live the Lakota way of life,” Little Elk said. “Our identity is linked to the health and welfare and well-being of buffalo, and when they’re strong, we’re going to be strong again as well.”

Montana Federal Court briefs

A Montana federal judge has again declined to issue an order to stop construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

But that denial does not mean TransCanada has the green light.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Fort Belknap Indian Community asked for the order as part of their lawsuit against President Donald Trump.

Victoria Wicks has this story for SDPB. Listen here for more.

Paramount Network: Take Action/ Protect Our Land

Two tribes are suing the South Dakota Secretary of State and three state agencies for violating federal voter registration laws.

The Rosebud and Oglala Sioux Tribes filed in South Dakota federal court on Wednesday, Sept. 16.

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 requires certain state agencies to offer unsolicited help with registration. A lawyer with the Native American Rights Fund says South Dakota simply doesn't do it.

A request for comment from the SD Secretary of State has not yet been acknowledged.

World Wildlife Fund

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe wants to create the largest Native American-owned and managed bison herd in North America. 

Wizipan Little Elk is CEO of the Rosebud Economic Development Corporation. He said the plan includes building a herd of 1,500 bison and possibly constructing a processing facility to provide food and economic development for tribal members. 

Rosebud Sioux Tribe's Preparedness Plan

Apr 29, 2020
Rosebud Sioux Tribe

In The Moment ... April 28, 2020 Show 806 Hour 1

U.S. District Court Montana

A pivotal hearing in the ongoing Keystone XL saga was conducted Thursday, April 16, in Montana federal court.

Lawyers for President Donald Trump say he has inherent power as commander in chief to issue a permit unilaterally.

Lawyers for tribes and environmentalists say Congress has power over foreign commerce, and the president violated standing presidential orders when he issued a new permit in 2019.

All parties appeared remotely in response to COVID-19 restrictions.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

According to news reports, TC Energy plans to start preconstruction of Keystone XL pipeline in mid to late March. That's at least two weeks before a Montana federal judge will hear arguments from tribes and environmentalists asking for a preliminary injunction.

TC's activities include bringing in crews to mow and grade the sites of pipe yards in Montana at the point of crossing the U.S.-Canada border.

A lawyer for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Fort Belknap Indian Community says TC is jumping the gun.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

Native American Rights Fund

In another round of briefings in Montana federal court, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe says the Keystone XL pipeline route crosses land where the tribe holds mineral and surface rights. And it says TC Energy's own maps show that encroachment. But the Department of Justice says the presidential permit doesn't apply to the pipeline as a whole, so any encroachment is the problem of state and local authorities. SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

NARF staff photo

TC Energy has reported to a Montana federal court that it intends to start construction on the Keystone XL pipeline next month.

Trenching won't begin until April. But in February and March, the company plans to move heavy equipment to sites for worker camps, pump stations, pipe yards, and the first crossing at the U.S.-Canada border.

An attorney for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe says TC is jumping the gun.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Bison Escape Again From Black Hills Pasture

Jan 10, 2020

  Some bison have escaped again from their mountain-meadow enclosure in the Black Hills. 

A federal judge in Montana has refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought by two tribes against President Donald Trump.

The suit claims the president's unilateral permitting of the Keystone XL pipeline in early 2019 violated treaties and the U.S. Constitution.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Fort Belknap Indian Community say federal agencies have a duty to consult government-to-government with tribes.

In South Dakota, during water management hearings, a Rosebud official outlines the inadequacy of tribal involvement to date.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

Montana Federal Court

A federal judge in Montana has handed tribes and environmentalists a pair of partial victories in their fight to stop the Keystone XL pipeline.

Judge Brian Morris has denied requests for dismissal of suits against President Donald Trump, the U.S. State Department, and other federal agencies.

The actions were filed by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Fort Belknap Indian Community, Indigenous Environmental Network, and North Coast Rivers Alliance, et al.

Chris Laughery

In The Moment ... December 17, 2019 Show 721 Hour 1

Roads and highways around the state are in rough shape - with some still flooded from heavy rains and last winter’s ice melt.  Reservation roads face the same challenges but some tribal leaders say they don't have the money to make required fixes.

“I’m here at Lake Andes next to highway 18. The afternoon sun is glistening off water that’s covered up a good stretch of the highway. Sandbags are piled up in some sections to try and keep the water from reaching anymore of the town. The Yankton Sioux Tribe says flooding like this has been a problem in the area for months.” 

A lawyer for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe says the Keystone XL pipeline presents the same threats to Indian Country as did wagon trains and the transcontinental railroad.

Rosebud and Fort Belknap Indian Community have sued President Donald J. Trump for violating treaties when he issued a permit for the pipeline earlier this year.

A hearing on the issue has been set in Montana Federal Court for Sept. 12.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this story.

In other Keystone XL news, the Nebraska Supreme Court has upheld that state's granting of a permit for the pipeline.


A federal judge in Montana will hear arguments on Sept. 12 on the merits of a lawsuit brought by tribes against President Donald J. Trump.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Fort Belknap Indian Community hold that the president unconstitutionally violated treaties when he issued a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline earlier this year.

TC Energy, formerly TransCanada, filed a motion asking Federal Judge Brian Morris to dismiss the case.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.


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.

Oglala Sioux Tribe officials are asking the public to prepare for evacuations near the White Clay and Oglala dams.

Floodwaters are drenching the Pine Ridge Reservation and have washed out waterlines in several communities.

Meteorologists say the worst flooding in the area should be over.

Officials say seven communities in the Pine Ridge reservation are without water. Over the weekend Governor Kristi Noem activated 13 members of the South Dakota National Guard to distribute water.

Construction on the Keystone XL pipeline remains on hold until an appeal to the Ninth Circuit plays out. That order came out Friday, March 15.

The pipeline was stopped late last year, when a Montana federal judge put an injunction on the project until the U.S. State Department does more work on the permit.

TransCanada appealed that order to the Ninth Circuit and asked that the injunction be lifted while the appeal proceeds. The appeals court has turned down that request.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has more.


The Keystone XL pipeline has landed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. That court has opened five cases stemming from a Montana federal court order issued in November and amended in December and again on Friday, Feb.15. Those orders stop pipeline construction until the U.S. State Department receives an environmental impact statement that conforms with the National Environmental Protection Act, or NEPA.

RST Chairman Says Shutdown Affecting Tribe Budget

Jan 14, 2019

The Chairman of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe says he and other tribal leaders are heading to Washington DC this week to talk with lawmakers about ending the government shutdown.

Chairman Rodney Bordeaux says seventy-four percent of their budget revenue is federal money.

Bordeaux says the tribe has reserves that will fund operations for roughly another month.

Victoria Wicks

A high school class at the St. Francis Indian School is learning about the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868.

The treaty isn't just a part of a general study of history. Students are devoting an entire semester studying the words and meaning of the treaty.

Teacher Leta Brandis couldn't find a syllabus for teaching that kind of class, so she had to develop a curriculum from scratch.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this story.

To read the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, click on the link below:

Photo courtesy of REDCO

There is a growing movement in Indian Country to raise healthy food on site, and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe has joined that initiative.

The Rosebud Economic Development Corporation (REDCO) hosts a food sovereignty program. It focuses on the health of the community and the autonomy of the tribe.

Coordinator Michael Prate explained the program at the Oceti Sakowin Treaty Conference held this week in Rapid City.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this story.

PEN America

In The Moment ... September 19, 2018 Show 425 Hour 1

People are stories. Author, teacher, and craftsman Joseph Marshall has written novels, screenplays, essays, short stories, and nonfiction books. He's also a storyteller.

Joseph Marshall is in South Dakota for the Young Readers Festival this week. An enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, he was raised in a traditional Lakota household.

His book "In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse" tells the story of a boy and his grandpa as the travel together on a quest to know Crazy Horse.

Native American Rights Fund

The Keystone XL pipeline is facing another federal lawsuit in Montana. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe has joined with the Fort Belknap Indian Community to challenge the Trump administration's permit for the pipeline. The tribes say the Trump state department violated the Administrative Procedures Act as well as federal laws protecting environmental and historical sites. This suit joins two others filed in Montana, now consolidated, since the Trump administration approved he pipeline in March 2017. SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this story.

Rosebud Economic Development Corporation

For the third year in a row, the Rosebud Economic Development Corporation’s business operations are turning a profit. Now REDCO is using some of those profits to provide grants for four college students. 

Wizipan Little Elk is the C-E-O of REDCO.  He says the $2,500 “micro-grants” are a way to invest in the community’s future workforce. The grants are available to enrolled Rosebud tribal members attending college or technical schools for the first time this fall.

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 ... March 8, 2018 Show 292 Hour 1

As the 2018 Legislative Session winds up its final week of business, we talk with state Senator Kevin Killer and state Representative Shawn Bordeaux about the triumphs and disappointments of the session. We also discuss the drive to rename Todd County to Sicangu Oyate County.

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.

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.