Monthly Archives: November 2014

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.

AMERICAN INDIAN VOTER RALLIES A SUCCESS

KODAK Digital Still Camera

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.

Lakota Vote Rally held on Rosebud

KODAK Digital Still Camera

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.

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.