Scott files injunction to delay Ethics Hearing

Cyril Scott, President of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, was granted a Temporary Restraining Order against several Tribal Officials. The order postponed an Ethics Hearing scheduled for November 17, 2014

Cyril Scott, President of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, was granted a Temporary Restraining Order against several Tribal Officials. The order postponed an Ethics Hearing scheduled for November 17, 2014

By Vi Waln

ROSEBUD, SD – Cyril Scott, President of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, was granted a temporary restraining order against the Tribal Council to delay an ethics hearing which was scheduled for November 17.

The hearing was scheduled after the Ethics Commission came to the consensus that a violation had occurred under Article 1 of the Bylaws of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe which speaks to the duties of officers. Court documents show the recommendation for a hearing was due to Scott allegedly violating Section 1, which reads:

“The President shall manage and administer the affairs of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, including the supervision of tribal employees, subject to the resolutions, ordinances and instructions of the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council. No tribal employee or tribal member shall be subjected to unfair and political repercussions and/or retaliation by the President or any of his/her representatives in any matter. Such action will be documented and referred to the Ethics Commission of the
Rosebud Sioux Tribe. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Tribal Council. The President shall vote only in case of a tie. (Amendment X effective September 20, 2007 – vote 585 for; 150 against; 71 ballots spoiled or mutilated)”

A temporary restraining order was granted to Cyril Scott as the Plaintiff. The defendants listed in the court record include Lorraine Walking Eagle (Chairwoman of the RST Ethics Committee), Julie Peneaux (RST Tribal Secretary, on behalf of the RST Tribal Council) and William Kindle (Vice-Chairman of the RST Tribal Council). The order enjoins “the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Ethics Committee from conducting a hearing on this matter in council chambers on Monday, November 17, 2014.”

Scott, who is represented by Pierre Attorney Al Arendt, alleges that the initial reason for one of the two ethics complaints was already heard in the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Court and dismissed. The two ethics charges referred to in court documents were filed by Tamara Lynn Wilcox and Calvin “Hawkeye” Waln, Jr.

The court record contains an Inter-Office Memorandum signed by President Scott on October 21, 2013 informing a tribal program director that one of his employees “has filed charges against me for making the decision to lay off some of your staff.” The memorandum gave the director a “directive to you to discharge your employee Tammy Wilcox immediately.”

This memo prompted the filing of an ethics complaint on October 30, 2013 by Tamara Lynn Wilcox. She denies filing “charges on President Scott.” Her complaint also states that she did file “a civil complaint on Cyril “Whitey” Scott in his individual capacity on October 15, 2013.” Her ethics complaint also states that she was “not employed by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe” on October 21, 2013 and so was not subject to the RST Personnel Policies and Procedures.

Scott also alleges that he did not receive any documentation in a timely manner regarding the nature of the two complaints. Court documents also state that Scott alleges that his due process rights were violated by not being allowed to be party to an executive session held by the Tribal Council with the Ethics Committee on October 9, 2014. The court documents also read that the executive session was allegedly “out of order” because “Vice President Kindle removed himself from these discussion because of their impropriety. No chairman pro temp, was named to replace him pursuant to Roberts Rules of Order.”

Four causes of action are listed in the complaint filed by Scott. The first one speaks to the alleged violation of Scott’s due process rights. The second speaks to the fact that the complaint filed by Wilcox was already “litigated in tribal court.” The third action alleges that the Ethics Committee refused to give Scott “an opportunity to respond to the complaint initially filed with him.” The fourth cause states that “The RST Tribal Council and Ethics Committee’s attempts to remove the President/Plaintiff are unconstitutional.”

The temporary restraining order on CIV. #14-490 was issued by the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Court on November 14, 2014. The order was signed by Tribal Court Judge AnneMarie Michaels. A hearing on the request for a preliminary injunction has been scheduled for December 5, 2014 at 2:00pm at the Tribal Courthouse.

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Four Directions and SD NDN PAC Host Three Native Rallies Across the State To Increase Voter Turn Out

MISSION, KYLE, AND RAPID CITY, SD – Four Directions Inc. and SD NDN PAC, two organizations dedicated to increasing American Indian voter turnout and participation in the political process hosted a series of three Native Vote rallies this past weekend on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, Pine Ridge Reservation, and in Rapid City. The non-partisan rallies were attended by over 600 enthusiastic voters, and featured appearances by a number of tribal, local state, and statewide candidates, including Senate candidate Rick Weiland.

Headlining the Native Vote rallies were by performances comedy sketch group the 1491s and musician and activist Frank Waln. Four Directions Inc. Executive Director, O.J. Semans said, “American Indian voters are a historically disenfranchised group and it is important that our voices are heard in the political process. Rallies like these help bring awareness and excitement about the power of the Indian vote.”

The American Indian population in South Dakota is the fastest growing demographic group in the state, and has swayed elections in the past, including Senator Tim Johnson’s race in 2002 and more recently the Rapid City Mayoral election. “We know the power of the Indian vote what we can do when we are united,” said SD NDN PAC Director and House Representative Kevin Killer. “We just have to get out and vote.”
The 1491s, a nationally recognized comedy sketch group was a big draw for rally attendees. Group member Dallas Goldtooth said, “It’s amazing that we can bring a message of empowerment to people through our humor.” He went on to say, “the people we elect are going to have a say on issues important to Indian people – issues like the KXL Pipeline.”

The rallies also featured Frank Waln, who was recently dubbed the new voice of Indian country at a concert where he opened for Willie Nelson and Neil Young in front of 7,000 people. “We as Natives have so much to offer, yet we’ve been pushed back for so many generations,” said Waln. “Through our voices, through voting we can make a better life for future generations.”

Senate Candidate Rick Weiland spoke at all three rallies, where he shared his trademark musical message with potential voters. All statewide candidates were invited to the Native Rally. Republican Mike Rounds was unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts, and Independent candidate Larry Pressler did not respond to the invitation.

Four Directions and SD NDN PAC are continuing to increase American Indian voter participation through voter registration, early vote campaigns, voter score cards, voter protection programs, and get out the vote activities.

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Lakota Vote Rally held on Rosebud

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MISSION, SD – Local residents who attended the Lakota Vote Rally were asked to participate in the November 4 Election by telling nine of their friends to vote.

“Go get me nine votes,” stated Rick Weiland, Democratic candidate for South Dakota’s US Senate seat. “Talk to people in the grocery store, make nine phone calls or send out nine emails telling people to get out and vote.

Current representation in Washington, DC have turned down $272 million dollars a year, according to Weiland. That money would have been used to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Weiland also urged those in attendance at the rally to vote yes on Initiated Measure 18, which will raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 per hour effective January 15, 2015. The rate will also be adjusted each year to keep up with cost of living increases and 62,000 South Dakotans would be affected. People could get “a little bit more [in their paycheck] every two weeks if we get out and vote,” he said.

“I am unabashed in my opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline,” stated Weiland. KXL will “cut through the heart of America to ship dirty tar sands through a cheap steel pipe from China. It is going to leak, it will not give us jobs. I will fight to my last breath to stop KXL.”

Weiland has been endorsed by all nine tribes in South Dakota. “We can do better by our tribes,” he said. “We’ve neglected our treaties and tribes, we need to turn that around here in South Dakota. Weiland also gave a musical performance with local artist Skeeter Leader Charge during the rally.

“Until we get a democrat in the Governor’s office there will not be a balance of power,” stated Susan Wismer who is on the ballot for South Dakota Governor.

“It is very important and critical to get out and vote,” stated Wizipan Little Elk. “It used to be that tradition was when we didn’t support something we would walk away from it or not show up. That might have worked a long time ago but now it’s a different world. We have to make our voice heard. We need to develop a culture of voting and participating, instead of turning our backs and not voting.”

“Vote for your interest,” stated OJ Semans of Four Directions. “Vote for what moves you and your people. Our ancestors fought to protect the land and water. We all have an obligation to do the same.”

Entertainment was provided by Frank Waln, Rosebud’s own hip-hop artist. “We need to vote because no one is going to come and save us, we have to do that ourselves,” he said. Waln was also joined on stage by local singer Kodi DeNoyer, who performed with him previously in the Nake Nula Waun group.

The 1491s Comedians also made an appearance and kept the crowd laughing with their hilarious skits. The group has several YouTube videos online. Dallas Goldtooth, Ryan Red Corn and Bobby Wilson also performed at rallies held in Kyle and Rapid City.

“The secret of this election and whether we win or lose, are the votes that will come out of Indian Country,” stated Weiland.

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Sicangu Scribe – Site is now live

Click here to view and check back for updates! Thanks for looking!

Sicangu Lakota Akicita

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The Power of the Native Vote

2014 ballot

The national mid-term elections will be held on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. I want to thank all of the Lakota people who have worked tirelessly to register voters. Many used their own resources to bring you a voter registration form. They did an awesome job.

In order to be sure my vote counts, I made an effort to cast an absentee ballot earlier this month. If you live in Todd County, you can vote early at the County Building in Mission, South Dakota. The last day to vote early by casting an in-person absentee ballot is Monday, November 3, 2014 at 5pm.

I see many Native American journalists ride the fence when it comes to speaking out either in favor of or against political candidates. Yet, I believe we have too much at stake in this election for anyone to ride the fence. So let me give you a little background on Rick Weiland (Democrat), M. Michael Rounds (Republican), Gordon Howie and Larry Pressler (both Independents) who are on the Senate ballot for our state.

A Vote For Sovereignty flyer being circulated on Facebook lists how the candidates for the lone US Senate seat from South Dakota stand on land, water and health. Three examples used are (1) the Keystone XL (KXL) Pipeline, (2) Tribal Land Acquisition and (3) the Indian Health Care Improvement Act which is part of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare).

Weiland opposes the KXL pipeline. The flyer states there is no immediate information available on his stance regarding Tribal land acquisition. He supports the Affordable Care Act, which includes the Indian Health Service Improvement Act. I voted for Rick Weiland.

Rounds supports the KXL pipeline. He fought the Yankton Sioux Tribe’s attempt to prevent the transfer of federal lands along the Missouri River to the State of South Dakota. He wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which includes the Indian Health Service Improvement Act.

Howie supports the KXL pipeline. The flyer states there is no immediate information available on his stance regarding Tribal land acquisition. He wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which includes the Indian Health Service Improvement Act.

Pressler supports enhancing existing oil pipelines. He supported legislation to impose county taxes on newly acquired Indian lands and require Congressional approval to remove the land from county tax rolls. He opposed Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s land acquisition. He believes the Affordable Care Act is flawed but here to stay.

I do not support the KXL pipeline. I am in favor of any Tribe working to acquire land. And for the first time in my life, I can actually afford paying for my own health insurance coverage due to the Affordable Care Act.

You might not agree with the way your tribal, state or federal government operates. But until the Constitutions of these governing bodies are rewritten, the systems will remain in place. So get involved and be an active participant in choosing your government officials. The power of change is in your vote.

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Lakota Vote 2014 Rally

SGU Vote Concert

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Drugs and Money Seized on Rosebud Reservation

On October 15, 2014, the Rosebud Law Enforcement Services received information regarding suspicious activity at the Quality Inn at the Rosebud Casino. Officers responded to a room rented by a male and female. The Officers observed drug paraphernalia in plain view. Upon requesting and receiving a Tribal Search Warrant, the Officers seized approximately 90 grams of methamphetamine. In addition, the Officers seized approximately six thousand United States dollars ($6,000) suspected to be drug related. Also found in the room was paraphernalia, including loaded syringes. The suspects were arrested and are currently incarcerated in the Rosebud Sioux Adult Correctional Facility. Bond has been set at $10,000.00 for each suspect.
The Rosebud Sioux Tribe is working diligently to eradicate the use and sale of drugs throughout the Reservation. If you have any information pertaining to the use and/or sale of drugs on the Rosebud Reservation please contact the Rosebud Sioux Law Enforcement Services Criminal Investigation Division at (605)747.2281.
Contact Information: Iver Crow Eagle, III
Also available on Facebook through the Rosebud Sioux Law Enforcement Services page.

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Nobody can shut us up anymore

Chase Iron Eyes speaks at the Native American Day Treaty Rally in Pierre, SD on October 13, 2014

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Eagle Feathers and Integrity

Tatanka Iyotake or Sitting Bull, is pictured in his eagle feather headdress.

Tatanka Iyotake or Sitting Bull, is pictured in his eagle feather headdress.

Integrity is a term used to describe a person who is impeccably honest. The person who is genuinely honest is an individual who “walks their talk,” so to speak. Personal integrity requires you are honest with yourself first.

In order to be a positive role model for our children, an individual must have honesty and integrity. Again, this starts with the self. That is, if you are deceived by your own lies which you’ve convinced yourself to be true, how can you be honest with anyone else? In Lakota society, there is no room for the attitude of “do as I say, not as I do” if you are to be a positive role model.

Ego is the one thing which will get in your way of being completely honest with your own self. There is that saying about how the truth hurts. This concept also applies to the truths we admit to ourselves. Our own shortcomings are painful to face.

Ego also allows us to judge ourselves and other people, either positively or negatively. Our ego will convince us that someone else is doing something very wrong. We will judge them for whatever they are doing which we perceive as wrong. But what about the self? If you are doing the same thing which you judge another person for doing, why is it not wrong for you to do it? It’s very hypocritical to judge someone for the same thing you are doing as an individual.

I believe people who have been prosecuted for committing crimes have to do much, much more to prove their integrity. Still, their personal integrity is often beyond repair. Their character and reputation are forever tarnished. Society will never look at them the same again. So, some of us tend to judge our people who have been convicted of crimes in federal courts. After all, the crime has to be extremely serious if a person is indicted, tried and convicted in the federal system. And despite the claims of innocence or being set up for federal charges, people who accept a plea bargain are admitting they did something wrong.

Most people convicted in federal courts are sentenced to either a jail term or probation. Many times they will also have to pay a fine or restitution. This is how they make amends to society. Still, despite the fact that they have “paid” for their crimes by serving time in jail, being on probation or paying money, the trust of public is forever gone. The way they carry themselves when they return home from prison is forever scrutinized by the people who know them.

Murderers, rapists and molesters are often forever branded as such by their family and former friends. Many times people will not forget what they have done nor will they ever trust them again. Sex offenders must register with local law enforcement agencies so community members are aware of their record and where they live. Some felony convictions require these people to stay away from children. For example, people with a felony convictions usually cannot work in organizations which serve children, such as schools or daycare centers.

But what about those people who have been convicted or reached a plea agreement for selling eagle feathers? Some Lakota people believe a criminal conviction of this nature should be enough to ban the person caught from forever possessing eagle feathers.

Now that type of ban may seem extreme, it might also seem very judgmental. Still, it doesn’t look right at all when people convicted in the federal system of selling eagle feathers to subsequently wear them in public. But ego tends to prevail when a person refuses to admit to him or herself that what they are doing is wrong. There is also a certain amount of arrogance involved when a person does something like this.

For example, there are those of us who believe an individual cannot be considered a positive role model to our young people when they flaunt an eagle feather headdress after they’ve been convicted of selling eagle feathers. This conveys the message that it’s okay to sell federally protected eagle feathers because you can always wear your eagle feathers when you are finished serving your prison term.

If I had a felony conviction on my criminal record for selling eagle feathers I would be embarrassed to wear even one eagle feather in public. It would be hypocritical to represent myself as someone who respected eagle feathers when I had served a prison sentence for selling them. Now if I allowed my ego and arrogance to overcome my personal integrity, you would definitely see me wearing those eagle feathers like I had done no wrong against the Wanbli Gleska Oyate.

I am aware that many of us do not agree with the United States Attorney having jurisdiction over the major crimes committed in Indian Country. Yet, until the laws are changed, this jurisdiction is something all of us who reside on the Rez must live with.

Also, some will claim it isn’t my place to speak about eagle feathers because I am a woman. Others will accuse me of being judgmental and lacking forgiveness. Still, it was a woman who brought the sacred gift of the Cannunpa to our people. As the caretakers of our children and grandchildren, Lakota women have both the right and responsibility to speak out against behavior we perceive as wrong.

I doubt that any of us want our grandsons to grow up to be arrogant criminals who lack personal integrity. I want my grandson to be able to have a positive role model to look at to see how men should behave properly.

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If you won’t vote, then don’t complain

The Cowboy Indian Alliance is an organization working to protect sacred water for all of us who depend upon the Ogallala Aquifer. Water is Life!

The Cowboy Indian Alliance is an organization working to protect sacred water for all of us who depend upon the Ogallala Aquifer. Water is Life!

The deadline to register to vote in the November 4, 2014 election is approaching. South Dakota residents who want to vote must register by Monday, October 20, 2014. There are many places where you can register to vote. I encourage you to do so.

Many Lakota people living in South Dakota absolutely refuse to vote in tribal, state or federal elections. It’s your choice whether to make an effort to register before the deadline to be able to cast a vote or not. Personally, I want to make a difference in how government operates. I believe the only real way I can do this is to participate in elections by voting. Thus, I have voted in nearly every election since I was eligible to do so.

There are Lakota people who refuse to vote. They blatantly refuse to even vote in tribal elections. They believe it is some sort of protest to refuse to vote. I can understand why they feel the way they do because I share many of those same feelings. Still, I know the politicians will carry on whether I vote or not. So I make a choice to participate in elections.

Voting in the mid-term elections won’t make you any less Lakota. In fact, voting in your own tribal elections will not change who you are either. How would the outcome of tribal, state and federal elections change if all eligible Lakota people in this state registered and cast a vote in every single election?

When this happens it will be akin to awakening a sleeping giant. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary describes the phrase “sleeping giant” as “one that has great but unrealized or newly emerging power.”

Remember the election when the Lakota people of South Dakota were the deciding factor in Tim Johnson’s race for Senate? It was the voters from Pine Ridge who re-elected Senator Johnson in 2002. He defeated John Thune by 500+ votes. This is one example of how our vote can make a difference.

Many Lakota people refuse to vote because they choose not to recognize their status as a citizen of their tribe/state/country. Yet, they vehemently complain about how the government refuses to do anything to help them. When you refuse to recognize your status as a citizen, I don’t think you have any right to complain about what the government does or doesn’t do for you.

Consequently, many Lakota people do not want the Keystone XL pipeline to be built. If you are serious about wanting to stop this monstrous project from happening, I encourage you to make a real effort to stop it by making the time to register to vote. Then you must cast your ballot for those candidates who have made public statements against the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Speaking out and protesting against the Keystone XL pipeline project is great. Now we all must take action and vote for candidates who share our philosophy about protecting our sacred water.

Register to vote today.

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