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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Ebola, A Nurse’s Perspective

Vi Waln:

An interesting read. Please take precautions!

Originally posted on dtolar:

So a few months ago the country was enthralled with the idea of a few patients, infected with the Ebola virus, coming to the United States. Up until this point, we had been safe from Ebola due to the fact that bats can’t fly over the Atlantic. Some people were completely indifferent, while others had seen Outbreak one too many times. Most were a healthy mix, somewhere in between, but what bothered me the most was both the lack of education and the poor information that was spreading more virulently than the virus could ever hope to.

First, I want to stress that I am a nurse, not a virologist, and hopefully throughout my post you will see that I am not pretending to be one. I have a Bachelor’s in Nursing and am currently a graduate student. I have worked extensively with Infectious Disease Specialists. I have been exposed…

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I am not a “Warrior Princess”.

Originally posted on indigenous visions:

By Sarah Eagle Heart

Cante Waste ya Nape Ciyu zape ye (I greet you from my heart). This morning my Oglala Lakota grandmother called me upset because a group of people in Martin, South Dakota (a town bordered by Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and Rosebud Indian Reservation) intend to bring back the “Warrior Homecoming Ceremony” at Bennett County High School. To hear this news is deeply unsettling, as I believed we had come far in cultural understanding, only to see we are back where we began. But then again tribal nations, along with many secular and non-profit organizations, are still protesting the NFL team Redskins. So this leaves me joining with other voices in explaining why.

This so-called “Warrior Homecoming Ceremony” was 57 years old when my twin sister Emma Eagle Heart-White and I began a protest in 1994 (at that time, we used the paternal side of family’s name of…

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Is it Ignorance or Arrogance?

Richard Rahn refused to obtain a Tribal Business Licence on the Rosebud Indian Reservation

Richard Rahn refused to obtain a Tribal Business License on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. Photo by Vi Waln.

When tribal members travel off our Rez, it’s generally understood that we will be subject to the laws of the tribe, county, state or country which we are traveling through or visiting. Right?

The original boundaries of the Rosebud Reservation, which was illegally established in 1889 through a partition of the Great Sioux Reservation by the federal government, include the counties of Todd, Mellette, Tripp, Gregory and Lyman. Consequently, many Sicangu people were duped into selling their land allotments for next to nothing after the reservation was partitioned.

Still, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe recognizes the five county area as being within the exterior boundaries of the reservation as tracts of trust/tribal land are located within those counties. Consequently, non-Indian business owners quickly forgot the fact that the land their establishment was built on in Todd, Mellette, Tripp, Gregory or Lyman County originally belonged to a Sicangu Lakota. They will also refuse to acknowledge that the acquisition of the land they “own” wasn’t always a fair deal.

Today, the Rosebud Reservation is legally recognized as comprising all of Todd County. So, Todd County is the Rez, even though some of the land here is “owned” by wasicu. Thus, when you are doing business within the boundaries of Todd County you are subject the laws of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe whether or not you are a tribal member.

I attended the Cherry Todd Electric Cooperative Annual meeting in Mission last week. I do realize many of our non-Indian neighbors are ignorant when it comes to the way the Tribe conducts business. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt but I was rudely reminded of the ignorance and arrogance which the wasicu are capable of; the behavior I witnessed at the meeting was truly appalling. All those arrogant and ignorant wasicus need lots of prayers!

An issue which carried over from the 2013 meeting was the fact that an attorney retained by Cherry Todd didn’t have a tribal business license, which resulted in the tabling of a motion last year. The motion was apparently to remain tabled until the attorney obtained a license. Yet, the attorney was ignorant enough to believe he did not need a tribal business license to provide services within the legal boundaries of the Rosebud Reservation. Maybe he skipped class when his law school offered the lesson on the importance of complying with the laws of the local jurisdiction when doing business.

This attorney is not covered by Cherry Todd’s tribal business license because he is not an employee of the cooperative. Attorneys are paid a retainer to provide services. This attorney would only be considered an employee if he was at the cooperative office every day and paid a salary instead of a retainer.

People doing business within the boundaries of the Rosebud Reservation are required to obtain a tribal business license. It’s that simple, yet ignorance or maybe just plain arrogance got in the way of this lawyer doing things according to tribal law.

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Vodka is Killing Our People


When it comes to drug abuse there are people who will tell you that addicts will go to any length to get their drug of choice. And even though it is sold legally by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe on the Rosebud Reservation, alcohol is still classified as a drug. Alcohol acts as a depressant on the drinker’s central nervous system.

There was a time when my Tribe didn’t sell alcohol. There was even a resolution passed by the tribal council which stated the Tribe would make every effort to have an alcohol and drug free reservation by the year 2000. I don’t think that resolution was ever rescinded so basically it is still in effect. Today, the sale of alcohol continues to be a very lucrative economic development venture of my Tribe.

Even though my Tribe enjoys cash profits from their off-sale alcohol stores, the money will never offset the number of lives alcohol has affected. Last week Parmelee residents walked to remember residents who have died from alcohol abuse. Elders, adults and children walked the streets to make a statement that they were tired of people dying needlessly.

We all have free will. Alcohol is still a legal drug and my words probably won’t change the minds of those who are addicted or bootlegging. Still, some of the people who have died from drinking in Parmelee left behind small children. Who is caring for children who have lost a parent to alcohol?

The walk in Parmelee was also held to bring attention to the fact that there are numerous bootleggers in the community. One time I asked my Facebook friends to inbox me names of people who were bootlegging vodka in Parmelee. I was provided with at least thirty names. I turned all those names over to the Rosebud Police Department but I am not sure what action was taken.

I know some of you believe an addict will find and use their drug of choice no matter what. But the sale of vodka in Parmelee has to stop. The vodka sold by many bootleggers in Parmelee is often mixed with other products to make it go further. Some bootleggers will mix alcohol based hand sanitizer into the vodka they buy. Then the mixture is put into smaller containers to be sold to the people who want to drink.

This is wrong. When I think about the number of people who have died in Parmelee because of their drinking, I wonder how many of them bought vodka from bootleggers. I bet all of them did. I’d like to see voluntary manslaughter cases built against the bootleggers in Parmelee. After all, they are the dealing the poisonous mixture which is killing people.

Bootleggers! If you push your deadly vodka mixture in Parmelee, you definitely have blood on your hands because you knowingly sold a poisonous drink to a person suffering from an addiction. The last bottle of vodka you sold them, which you mixed with whatever, cost them their life.

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Bullying is a Fear Based Behavior

KODAK Digital Still Camera

It’s time for all of our students to go back to school. Some schools opened last week. Here on Rosebud our schools are open this week, so watch out for students getting on and off the bus.

Many of our students start out a new school year with a ton of enthusiasm. For some of them, that enthusiasm will last all year. But for others the enthusiasm soon turns into dread because of bullying. There are some students who will not finish the year because of other students who bully.

Teachers, administrators and support staff need to be aware of what is going on in their schools. When a student is terrorized by another student they often do not tell anyone because they choose not to create any more trauma for themselves. Many parents will seek out a teacher or administrator to inform them of incidents of bullying. Oftentimes, the excuse offered by the teacher or administrator is “he/she never said anything to me about being bothered by a bully.”

I am not a teacher, nor am I an administrator. Still, I believe that if you choose to go into a career which involves helping elementary, middle and high school students become educated you have to accept that part of your job is keeping our young people safe while they are on school grounds. If this means hiring more staff to make sure everyone is safe while they are at school well please hire more staff.

For two years in a row I have had family members suffer bullying while they were trying to learn at school. Our experience was the teachers and administrators claimed ignorance about what was going on because no one said anything.

Many people employed by the schools have been there for a while. Most should know how their students really behave by now. Staff must know which students are mean. They should also know which students will choose not to stand up for themselves – these are the young people being are targeted by the big bad bully.

Consequently, bullying isn’t a behavior limited to students. There are teachers, administrators, support staff and even school board members who are bullying students. They will even bully parents!

A bully falsely believes he/she has gained the respect of the people they are picking on. But, they are mistaken in feeling it is respect making people do what they want them to do. Actually, it is really the opposite. People fear a bully so they do what the bully wants. Fear has absolutely nothing to do with respect.

No bully deserves respect. Respect is on the level of love. Fear is a dark emotion, quite the opposite of love. A bully who believes they are respected is a fool.

We always get back everything we hand out. When you are deliberately bullying someone – a classmate, your student, an employee or a coworker – a bigger bully will surely appear in your life to give you an equal dose of fear.

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Rosalie Little Thunder: A Lakota Library of Wisdom

The Late Rosalie Little Thunder makes a point during a recent discussion about Lakota Language and Culture.

The Late Rosalie Little Thunder makes a point during a recent discussion about Lakota Language and Culture.

Lakota women have always been the backbone of the Oyate. Without the strength and resilience of our women, the Lakota people would never have made it this far. The future of the Lakota Oyate still depends upon the strong women of our tribe.

Rosalie Little Thunder, one of our most resilient women, has left this Earth plane to start a new sacred journey along the Milky Way. She’s gone to meet our ancestors!

There is a saying about how when an elder passes on it is akin to a library burning down. Rosalie was one of our libraries.

She carried knowledge which she shared freely with many. She was known for her cultural advocacy. She did a tremendous amount of critical work with the Lakota language. She provided life lessons to people of all ages.

I was very privileged to have worked with Rosalie on several projects. Her determination to help the Lakota people evolve out of the colonized mindset many have succumbed to was inspirational. A Lakota woman of Rosalie’s caliber is hard to find in today’s modern, assimilated society.

While spending time with Rosalie, I witnessed firsthand her compassion for her family and Lakota people in general. Her cell phone would ring non-stop and she would sometimes talk for hours on it, offering advice and encouragement to whomever was on the other end. She would think nothing of dropping whatever she was doing to help someone in need.

Rosalie was admired and known in many circles for her teaching methods which included a process she called Cultural Mapping. She would draw a spiral on a sheet of paper or a white board and expand upon it. The basic terms she used were Wotakuye, Wicozani, Wokicunze, Wicoh’an, Wiconi, Wicoyake and Wokiksuye. Cultural Mapping was a way to remember our Lakota way of being and how to use it to help our relatives.

I always learned something new when I interacted with Rosalie. Actually, I believe we learned from each other. The input she had in the small groups we worked with taught me so much. Sometimes responses offered by the people in meetings would trigger profound comments from her. She always encouraged people to help each other re-learn and remember the cultural wisdom that colonization tried to rob from us.

Rosalie was a Sicangu Lakota woman who wanted to help people work through their differences with one another. Also, despite her health problems, she demonstrated the love of a true Lakota Unci by providing for Calea, her very young Takoja.

Rosalie was an activist. She was involved in issues which affected the people. Several years ago she stood up and spoke out for the buffalo being slaughtered at Yellowstone National Park. She organized a National Day of Prayer on their behalf. Her most recent involvement was with the grassroots movement against the building of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Rosalie was the epitome of how to be a good Lakota ancestor. She will be greatly missed by the Lakota Oyate.

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