A Different Voice Serving the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate

Author

Nicolette Ringer

Nicolette Ringer has 25 articles published.

Banishment – Still a Terrible Idea

in Courts & Crime/Health/SWO Politics by

Chairman Dave Flute of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe with Headquarters located in Agency Village, South Dakota published a Press Release1  announcing new Tribal Code passed by Council that includes “Banishment” of Tribal Members who “contribute” to the methamphetamine problem on the Lake Traverse Reservation.  Here is an excerpt from Chairman Flute’s Press Release:


This new law will give SWST Tribal Justice Department the ability to execute sentences from six months up to three years depending on the offense, and require mandatory treatment for those that continue to manufacture, distribute, possess and ingest hard drugs.

Also, on a third offense of possession, distribution, manufacturing or ingestion Tribal members will be excluded from all Tribal properties. Third offenses carry a minimum three-year jail sentence, a fine of $15,000, mandatory one-year treatment, 320 hours of community service and exclusion from the Tribe and all Tribal property.

However, upon completion of serving time, completion of treatment, completion of community service hours and all fines paid in full the Tribal member will be given an opportunity to be accepted back into the Tribal community and allowed on Tribal properties.


Still a Terrible Idea as Public Policy

The United States has spent considerable time and money on harsh sentences, prisons, and police with zero results, other than having the highest prison population in the world. We’re Number One!

The Atlantic: A Chart That Says the War on Drugs Isn’t Working

First of all the rhetoric used like “an aggressive approach” simply mirrors that of the failed U.S. “War on Drugs”.  It’s only resulted in negative consequences to U.S. Citizens including the highest incarceration in the world, more violence, the creation of a militarized police force, and the systemic disenfranchisement of a significant number of U.S. Citizens. Furthermore, the “War on Drugs” disproportionally affects Minority populations, by giving them a criminal record that affects their ability to get educational funding, housing, and jobs – resulting in more poverty.

This isn’t an Exercise of our Sovereignty

Given the facts that harsher consequences don’t work – Why on Earth would we, the Oyate, enact a similar “harsh consequences” type of public policy? For realz, this policy once again shows that Council doesn’t understand simple concepts like “facts” and “evidence” when making decisions, unless they’re keeping their decision-making skills a secret. Simply mirroring a failed policy is not an exercise of our sovereignty as a Tribal Nation. A true exercise in sovereignty would be implementing innovative and effective solutions that support our Dakotah People – don’t just throw people away like beer cans because they have an addiction.


[The following is an excerpt from my previous article – “Is Banishment Really the Answer?” originally published in April, because it’s still relevant]


Banishment as Public Policy

Before allowing Council to vote “Yes”, the entire Oyate needs to be well-informed about the details of this policy and how it will be applied fairly to all.  Banishment may be the current fad amongst tribes battling meth and other drugs, but there is no evidence as of yet that it would be effective in curbing methamphetamine usage and abuse.  Currently the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Allakaket Tribe, and the Cheyenne River Tribe have all boarded the Banishment Train specific to meth.  Tribal Council singles out methamphetamine for banishment without including other destructive or addictive behaviors like embezzling, gambling, alcohol, nicotine use, other drug abuse, or deviant sexual behaviors like child molestation and rape.

If the Oyate wishes to go forward with banishment, we should do it in a careful, studious way to determine if it really impacts methamphetamine use.  We have many resources to do this including our own Research Office (with an established Institutional Review Board to ensure the rights of the participants), Law Enforcement, Community Health practitioners, and other clinical and ancillary providers in our community. If done properly, a research-based approach would inform all Tribal Leaders on just how effective banishment is, because right now, there is no data to support this action.

Some say banishment is just another way of disenfranchising Tribal Members.  Donna Ellis3 goes so far to state that


Banishment is another form of cultural genocide and an example of internalized oppression


Prior to leaping to banishment, in addition to current efforts, we should try evidence-based approaches to prevention, harm-reduction, treatment, and recovery. Options include increasing funding for youth activities, harm-reduction strategies like needle exchanges, and evidence-based recovery models like SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training).


 

Banishment was originally brought forth as a “Traditional Consequence” by the Elderly Board. I can’t comment on the cultural aspects because that’s not my forte, so while I respect their viewpoint, policies affecting so many people and families should be created around facts and data.  The facts are that harsh consequences don’t affect addiction rates, and Banishment has no data to support its effectiveness yet at all – I assume someone will keep stats?? Drug addiction should be a matter of healthcare and treatment options. The rez isn’t full of big-time drug dealers – those guys live in cities like Minneapolis or Albuquerque (Hey I’ve seen Breaking Bad). I don’t have any data (maybe the aforementioned Research Office does.), but I’m guessing that most “dealers” that get caught will be small-time with little effect on overall consumption rates.

And as a final note, given our recent “Vice-Chair Removal” fiasco, how can we, the Oyate, ensure that the Code is enacted fairly and equally?  Our Council, Tribal Attorneys and Court Systems have already proven themselves incapable of gathering and presenting factual evidence, and reviewing that evidence to hand down a fair and impartial judgment. Do you really think they are capable of enacting Banishment in a fair and equal manner?


SOURCE CITATION(S):

Flute, “Press Release”, Sota Iya Ye Yapi, 9 August 2017, Accessed on 7 August 2017. [Time travel is just one of my many skills.]

“World Prison Populations”, BBC News.  Accessed on 7 August 2017.

Ellis, “The High Cost of Tribal Banishment”, Indian Country Today, 7 October 2014.  Accessed on 25 April 2017.

 

Natural High – A Preventive Strategy for Reducing Substance Abuse

in Health by

Addiction, substance abuse, and suicide are serious issues that afflict many families including the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate. For a number of years now, there have been grassroots efforts at tackling the rates of substance abuse, including methamphetamine, but nothing of substance as arisen from these efforts. Twenty years ago, on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, Iceland faced a high rate of teen substance abuse, and they decided something must be done to reduce usage rates and prevent addiction.

Step one was to measure by asking teens about their usage via anonymous questionnaires.  The results were alarming, and government officials decided to address it through an unconventional method and prevention model developed by Psychology Professor Harvey Milkman, PhD, (now a Professor at Metropolitan State College of Denver) and Gudberg Jónsson, a psychologist from Iceland. Iceland invested in their youth and committed to a long-term longitudinal study named “Project Self-Discovery”. This evidence-based, preventive program was aimed at teens 14-16 years of age, and it focused on identifying a person’s preferred coping mechanism for stress based on their brain chemistry, and on satisfying that coping mechanism through healthy means instead of drugs and/or alcohol – via a natural high.

Factors that Protect Against Teen Substance Abuse

Project Self-Discovery began in 1992 with students, ages 14-16, filling out anonymous questionnaires asking about substance usage and relationships with the community, and their family. Not only did they establish baseline data, but analysis of the questionnaires revealed “strong protective factors” that kept teens from using:

  • Participation in organized activities three to four times a week – especially sports
  • Total quality (not necessarily quantity) time spent with parents within a week
  • Feeling cared about at school,
  • And not being outdoors in the late evening

Preferred Coping Mechanism and Behavioral Addiction

 

The questionnaires also revealed each teen’s preferred coping mechanism, which is how they prefer to deal with the ups and downs of daily life.  Each individual’s coping mechanism reflects his or her individual brain chemistry, which in turn influences the types of usage.  Some people prefer sedation to cope, and this preference correlates with use and abuse of drugs like alcohol or marijuana.  Other people’s brains want a rush, and that group gravitates toward stimulants like methamphetamine, stealing, and other risky behaviors.

Aside from the results, the implications of this study are significant, because it puts less focus on the actual “drug of choice” in AA parlance.  The drug of choice is not what is being abused – the actual addictive behavior is the abuse of one’s preferred coping mechanism.   If you can swap out harmful substances with a healthy activity that provides the natural high the brain chemistry prefers, the rates of usage and subsequent addictions fall.  An important unanticipated side effect was a reduction in suicide attempts.  The following quote shows the results Iceland achieved:

The percentage of 15- and 16-year-old teens who had been drunk in the previous month dropped from 42% in 1998 to 5% in 2016. The percentage of cannabis users has even dropped from 17% to 7%, and those smoking cigarettes every day fell from 23% to 3%.

SOURCE:  “Iceland Knows How to Stop Teen Substance Abuse but The Rest of The World Isn’t Listening“, accessed on 3 May 2017.

A Common Sense Approach

A first step in addressing substance abuse, after identifying the problem is prevention.  Iceland reversed their rates in just one generation – twenty years, by putting into place sensible measures like curfews for teens, and by providing life skills training to develop coping skills.  Parental commitment was also important, and guidance and education was given to parents to encourage them to spend quality time with their children, and to know their activities and who their kid(s) hang out with. The overall goals were to strengthen family, school and community bonds. Most importantly, Iceland committed additional resources and funding for non-school activities to give teens a natural high through participating in sports of all kinds, music, art, dance, and clubs that satisfied their coping mechanism and brain chemistry without substance use/abuse.

Beyond Iceland

Other municipalities and regions are attempting to duplicate these results, and so far this program has been rolled out in 35 communities in 17 countries.  The original researchers still actively participate and assist communities by tailoring the program to their unique needs and situation.  A Community Center may have an Olympic-sized pool, basketball courts, volleyball courts, racquetball courts; dance, music and art studios, and provide space for clubs of all kinds to fit different interests including cultural/traditional activities. It is not outlandish to think that our Tribe could create our own program with goals and strategies tailored to our own situation.

This evidence-based, preventive program has been proven to work – can we make it work for us?

 


IMAGE SOURCES:
Behavioral Addiction Graphic: “Behavioral Addiction Defined“, accessed 3 May 2017.
Community Engagement Cloud Graphic: Community Engagement Funding Resources, accessed 3 May 2017.

Corruption on a Grand Scale

in Courts & Crime/SWO Politics by
High in the Coteau des Prairie hills – “God’s Country” as he often calls it — Former Vice-Chairman Donovan White moves sand and gravel to the beach areas in preparation for the summer season, while his youngest son plays outside on this cool, but sunny spring day. It’s been nearly three weeks since Tribal Council removed him from office, declaring him “guilty” on all nine charges in a tie-vote, 4-4, that was broke by Chairman Flute, 5-4.  Since that time, Donovan published one Open Letter in the tribal newspaper Sota Iya Yapi alleging “lies on a grand scale”, and urging tribal members to demand to see the evidence from their Council person. Unfortunately, their problem is that there is no evidence.

The Timeline

In November, White beat his opponent, incumbent Garryl Rousseau Sr., on a platform of addressing the corruption that afflicts our Tribal Government. He organized a “March Against Corruption”, when Chairman Renville was removed.
There was contention even before White was sworn in, and he was hindered at every turn. The following steps were taken to remove him.
  • Prior to taking office, the lame-duck Council moved all of the key departments from the Vice-Chairman’s office to the Chairman’s office, but Chairman Flute refused to release the new Organizational Chart. HOTOKECA News requested the new org chart in early February, but staff could not release it, stating that Chairman Flute wanted to explain why it was changed.
  • In December, Chairman Flute and Donovan, who was still the Building Manager reporting to the Chairman, have a heated exchange of words that almost came to fisticuffs, with Chairman Flute accusing Donovan of holding secret meetings with the new Council behind his back.
  • The IT Department, now overseen by the Chairman’s Office, failed to set up the incoming Vice-Chairman’s office with basic necessities like computers and phones or logins, and all the former Vice-Chair’s computers were wiped clean of data. It was during this timeframe that political appointee; Michael Roberts requested and received data from Lexi Fancher, the remaining budget office employee, on a jump drive found in the Vice-Chair’s suite. This is normally an acceptable work-around, and the Tribe’s IT Policy doesn’t say anything about jump-drive usage. To make things even stranger, Fancher did not give Michael the documents he requested, which was the Vice-Chairman’s Budget. She downloaded to the drive a spreadsheet containing the Chairman’s Office budget and another spreadsheet that had all three Executives operating budgets on it. Fancher claimed later that she was coerced by Vice-Chairman White into releasing the budget, stating that she didn’t want to because it had confidential information on it. The trouble with her claim is this – The Vice-Chairman not only has the right to see the budget just as every Tribal Member does, he has the Constitutional duty to view and manage the budgets. Fancher’s hindering of the Vice-Chair’s ability to perform their duties is insubordination on her part since she reports directly to the Vice-Chairman.
  • Council jumps on this “misuse of a flashdrive” charge as a reason for the Vice-Chair’s removal, even though he was not involved in the “flashdrive” transaction.
  • Seven people at the Old Agency District Meeting make a motion that passed to remove the Vice-Chairman. The motion was made by Jerome Renville, Sr. who now holds the position of Building Manager, Donovan’s old job. No other Districts make the same motion, but somehow Council interprets this to warrant a Removal Hearing.
  • A Council Roundtable about a pending deadline for Barker Hill was scheduled. Chairman Flute was in Washington DC on travel.  According to Donovan, a couple of Councilmen ask to meet in Council Chambers because they didn’t like meeting in Council Suite.  While in Council Chambers, Big Coulee Councilman Alvah Quinn, Sr., makes a motion to go into a Special Session and the motion passed.  The Vice-Chair oversees the session per the Constitution.  When the Chairman returns, he questions each Council Member if they requested a Council Session and all say “no”.  Later during the hearing Mr. Quinn retracts his “no”, stating that he does now remember making that motion.
  • The Vice-Chairman and staff are removed pending a hearing. Council refuses to release the charges to the public.
  • The Vice-Chairman files an injunction against the Removal Hearing for several reasons, with the main reason being to ask that the Chairman and Long Hollow Councilman Justin Chanku be recused from voting in the Hearing because of their direct involvement in the Vice-Chair’s allegations of the Chairman overspending his authority without Council approval. Injunction denied by Judge Jones.
  • The Vice-Chairman is removed, despite no wrong-doing and despite Council providing no evidence or cause to the People who voted him in.
  • Donovan files an appeal, but as of today, the appeal has not been addressed, and the deadline for their response is days overdue.  Just another example of our Tribal Law not being followed.

Conclusion

Nothing in this fiasco has been legal according to our codes, policies, and past history. There was no widespread outrage over “misuse of a jump drive”, and the only evidence brought forth was that which exposed the depth and breadth of the organized crime and entitled arrogance that exists within our Tribal government.
Even so, Donovan remains committed to his mantra of “Anything for the People” as he awaits a response on his appeal. Early on during this removal, one twice-indicted Tribal Member offered a steak dinner on a bet that the Vice-Chairman was going to be removed.
The Oyate lost out on more than just a steak dinner.

Addressing HIV/AIDS: 3 New Cases in Quarter One

in Health by

According to the recently released “South Dakota Health and Disease Summary”, The Northeast Region of SD had only 3 new HIV cases in the first quarter of January-March 2017, and the number of cases in Roberts, Marshall, Day, and Grant were five (5) or less for each county.  Codington County has 8 cases of HIV/AIDS.  All health care practitioners and entities are required to report new cases of HIV/AIDS to the Department of Health within 3 days, so the data on the DOH website is current.

If you have concerns about your status, Get Tested! Twenty-five percent (25%) of people do not know they have the HIV virus, and can unknowingly pass it on via sexual encounters or sharing needles.  Along with preventing new HIV Cases, early diagnosis leads to early treatment and better outcomes over the course of the patient’s life. So Get Tested!

 

 


 

Sources:  South Dakota Department of Health:  https://doh.sd.gov/statistics/hiv-aids.aspx

FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT:  http://ugandajournalistsresourcecentre.com/uganda-hivaids-country-progress-report-201516/

The Passage of Time

in About Us by

I have climbed this steep hill many times. The day is near its end. My lungs take in the cold, clear air. I pause in my ascent to gaze at the weather-beaten barn. The building has stood valiantly at the crest of the hill since 1918. The boards, creaky with age, are crumbly and dank. The few remaining shingles are hanging askew. Boards, with rusty nails intact, are littered around the barn.

The sight of the barn, however, is not my goal. The goal I seek is the beautiful, end-of-the day view from the top of the hill. From here, the snow glitters coldly as if sunlight is being reflected from the tiny ice prisms. The hills form a ravine in which a bubbly spring flows, and the ice of the pond at the end of the ravine reflects the glare of the setting sun. There is no sound except the plaintive wailing of the wind between the power lines.

Moments pass, and as I watch, the snow slowly turns gray; the ice is once again flat and dead. The life-giving sun has set, and the hills and valley have lost their majestic quality. I suddenly notice how cold it has become, and after one last glance at the darkened valley and reddened sky, I turn and start for home.


For my father, Franklin Ringer, who passed away on this day 19 years ago.  I still miss you.

Is Banishment Really The Answer

in Courts & Crime/Health/SWO Politics by

Chairman Flute advocates “Banishment” as a traditional way to tackle the use and abuse of methamphetamine on the Lake Traverse Reservation.  In the 26 April 2017 edition of The Chairman’s Corner1, he proposes three (3) levels of banishment with penalties ranging from banishment from “all Tribal property” for first time offenders, all the way to a 25-year-to-life banishment for third offenses. He fails to state clearly which offenses would count for his three strike policies, although the article begins with “increasing penalties for those that continue to manufacture meth and smoke meth in our community.”  There is a big difference between smoking meth to manufacturing meth. Furthermore, he offers no evidence to support that banishment will decrease meth use and abuse.

Banishment as Public Policy

Before allowing Council to vote “Yes”, the entire Oyate needs to be well-informed about the details of this policy and how it will be applied fairly to all.  Banishment may be the current fad amongst tribes battling meth and other drugs, but there is no evidence as of yet that it would be effective in curbing methamphetamine usage and abuse.  Currently the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Allakaket Tribe, and the Cheyenne River Tribe have all boarded the Banishment Train specific to meth.  Chairman Flute singles out methamphetamine for banishment without including other destructive or addictive behaviors like embezzling, gambling, alcohol, nicotine use, other drug abuse, or deviant sexual behaviors like child molestation and rape.

If the Oyate wishes to go forward with banishment, we should do it in a careful, studious way to determine if it really impacts methamphetamine use.  We have many resources to do this including our own Research Office (with an established Institutional Review Board to ensure the rights of the participants), Law Enforcement, Community Health practitioners, and other clinical and ancillary providers in our community. If done properly, a research-based approach would inform all Tribal Leaders on just how effective banishment is, because right now, there is no data to support this action.

Some say banishment is just another way of disenfranchising Tribal Members.  Donna Ellis2 goes so far to state that

Banishment is another form of cultural genocide and an example of internalized oppression

Prior to leaping to banishment, in addition to current efforts, we should try evidence-based approaches to prevention, harm-reduction, treatment, and recovery. Options include increasing funding for youth activities, harm-reduction strategies like needle exchanges, and evidence-based recovery models like SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training).

Chairman Flute touts banishment as “Traditional”, but is stripping Tribal Members of access to their identity and culture really the Dakotah Way?


SOURCE CITATION(S):

Flute, “Chairman’s Corner – Updating the Oyate”, Sota Iya Ye Yapi, 26 April 2017, Accessed on 25 April 2017. [Time travel is just one of my many skills.]

Ellis, “The High Cost of Tribal Banishment”, Indian Country Today, 7 October 2014.  Accessed on 25 April 2017.

IMAGE CREDITS:
Meth Paraphernalia: https://www.pinterest.com/juliaogles99/speed/?lp=true, Accessed 25 April 2017
Policy Stages: http://www.giarts.org/article/tools-support-public-policy-grantmaking, Accessed 25 April 2017

From Analog to Digital – The First Digital Revolution

in Digital Universe/Economic Development by

What is Data?

Data is any kind of observation, measurement, facts, calculation, or statistic that a person would use to make informed decisions.

So how about this weather?

Every morning, I check the actual current temperature and the predicted highs and lows for the day to determine how to dress – t-shirt?  sweater?  shorts/pants?  Layers? (This is South Dakota after all – I may need shorts and a parka – IDK).

The data in this example is the temperature values, and my brain (hopefully) processes that information based on previous experience, to make my decision on how to dress for the day.

Old School Sciencing

Here’s another example of data using the same measurement – temperature.  My dad wrote the morning temperature on the calendar every single day for years.

(Image credit: http://www.takepart.com/photos/7-alternatives-wrapping-paper/doilies-or-coffee-filters)

When my parents passed and we cleaned their house, we found years and years of calendars, and on nearly each day, my dad’s handwritten observation was present.  This added up to decades worth of data, but how can it be made useful in case someone wanted to look at all of the temperature values to look at trends, highs/lows, etc?

The First Digital Revolution

The temperature data my dad created was in what we would call “analog” form.  It still has value, but to really use those numbers, I would have to somehow standardize and put it into a form that can be easily manipulated.  I can read each date and type all the data into a spreadsheet or database – I will have recreated my dad’s analog temperature readings into a digital form – a string of ones and zeros (more later).  There is beauty in the analog calendars, but digitizing makes it easier to use if I have questions. Alas, my dad missed it because he didn’t make it past the Industrial Age, but he would have found it amazing what we could do now and learn from his daily notation.

This Digital Revolution of converting data from analog to digital made the manipulation, analysis, transmission, and storage of data much faster and efficient.  This kicked off the Information Age.

The Future is Digital – Welcome

IMAGE CREDIT: https://www.santanderpyme.com.mx/detalle-noticia/guia-uso-twitter-pyme.html

Mission, Vision and Values – Where does the SWO Stand?

in Economic Development/Performance Improvement/SWO Politics by

What is our government’s Mission? Where does the SWO want to be in 20 years? What are our Values?

I’ve looked at our Tribal website at http://www.swo-nsn.gov/ and I don’t see any mention of Mission, Vision or our Values.  This is part of our problem and dysfunction.

Without these definitions that steer the organization in a positive direction, all we have is chaos. You may think of Mission, Vision and Values as something only a business or corporation needs, but every organization – even tribal government – needs direction and a solid understanding of what we, the Oyate’s Tribal Members expect from our Leadership and employees.

Without a Vision, we have no direction and cannot set goals or create a strategic plan for the future. We have a Planning Department, but what is their purpose?  It’s not their fault because they have no direction.  Are we going to shoot for becoming a Premier Grocery Store Chain in South Dakota/the Upper Midwest – cool, let’s do it!  But, why did we buy Councilman Beaudreau’s property – fondly known as the Blue Stump Inn? How did that fit into our Mission, Vision and Values or overall Strategic Plan?

Mission, Vision & Values

The Mission, Vision and Values statements are the very core of an organization.  They define scope of the organization, inspire employees to future goals, and clearly state the values of how the organization does business.

  • The Mission Statement describes the reason and focus of the organization’s existence.  Have you ever wondered why you come to work?  Employees should know why their work is important to the organization.  In fact, every employee should know by heart the Mission of the place they work.
  • The Vision statement provides inspiration for future goals. Where are we going?  What will we look like in 20 years?
  • Values are a framework for how the organization will behave and describes the beliefs of the organizational culture.  The stated values of a charity or not-for-profit organization would have very different values than a corporation looking to maximize profits.

Examples

 

 

Potawatomi Business Development Corp has a neat paragraph that simply states “Our Mission”, but you can find all the elements of Mission, Vision and Values, and the statements are well-defined.  Here’s the paragraph broken down into the three components.

Mission:  To generate wealth and improve the quality of life for the Tribe by making strategic investments, acquisitions and prudent asset management decisions.

Vision:  Resources generated by PBDC and its holdings will help diversify the tribal economy that supports Forest County Potawatomi’s tribal government and helps improve the lives of tribal members… [by] building an economic engine that supports the Tribe for generations to come.

Values:  Trust – Support – Integrity – Mutual Respect

 

IMAGE CREDIT AND LINK: http://www.winnebagotribe.com/Diverse and talented Tribal workforce has helped to grow our capabilities and uphold our traditional values. They solve the most complex problems with a forward-thinking power.

As “Ho-Chunks” (Winnebago) working together nothing can prevent us from achieving our dreams and visions to once again be self-sufficient and economically self-reliant.

HONOR – TRADITION – PRIDE:  proud heritage, a unique culture, an illustrious history, a distinct language and beautiful music; these are the foundations upon which our lives as Ho-Chungra are based.

Looks like Mission, Vision, Values to me.

A Strong Foundation

These three statements are absolutely important to creating a solid organizational foundation within which to develop strategic plans, to create operational performance metrics and goals, and to creating a strong and positive culture. Without them, decisions have no clear direction, objectives, or goals, which means no future to aspire to, and no values to guide leadership and employees in their decision-making process. The organization needs these three statements to create short-term and long-term strategic plans, and the organizational culture is shaped significantly by these underlying principles.

Submit your ideas for Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate’s Mission, Vision, Values in the comments either here or on HOTOKECA’s Facebook page.  Be bold!  We can do whatever we want – truly.  We’re an innovative, talented Nation of people. Let’s go from “Blue Stump” to something more ethical and innovative that benefits all of the Oyate.

YOUTUBE VIDEO:

First Annual Dakota Truth-Telling Gathering

in Cultural Events by

What: First Annual Dakota Truth-Telling Gathering
Where:  Fort Snelling, Minnesota
When:  May 4-7, beginning at 9am each day

 

On May 4th of 1863, Dakota people who had been imprisoned at a concentration camp below Fort Snelling at Bdote were taken by steamboat and exiled from Mnisota Makhoche. To mark our return & assert our continued presence on this sacred land where the rivers meet, we invite all Oceti Sakowin Oyate to return home, unify in peace, and share community knowledge, teachings, and stories with one another.

This event will begin with prayer, include three days of hands-on cultural workshops, teachings, and presentations from various members of our communities, and will culminate in a fourth day of prayer.

Phidaunyayapi ye/do.

Adhipiwin, Sisoka Duta, k’a Chantewastewin
(Kate Beane, Joe Bendickson, & Michelle Mills)

 

 

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