Great Sioux Nation leaders plan event for same day that S.D. secretary addresses Legislature

Capitol News Bureau

FORT PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Chairmen and presidents of tribal governments in South Dakota are planning an event for the same afternoon that the governor’s tribal relations secretary speaks to state lawmakers.

The Wakpa Sica building in Fort Pierre, on the west bank of the Missouri River. will host the gathering, tentatively set to start at 1 p.m. CT, according to Cheyenne River Sioux spokesperson Remi Bald Eagle.

State Tribal Relations Secretary David Flute, the past chairman of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe, is scheduled to address the Legislature at the state Capitol in Pierre that afternoon.

The purpose of the Fort Pierre event is to provide tribal leaders’ perspectives on challenges their members face in the coming year, Bald Eagle said.

The U.S. government, starting in the 1850s, formally recognized all land west of the Missouri River’s east bank as the Great Sioux Nation. The area later was carved into smaller separate reservations.

Last year, South Dakota legislators accepted two measures from Governor Kristi Noem after the bill-filing deadline and, despite protests from tribal leaders and others, approved the pipeline laws within days. A U.S. district judge later struck down parts of several laws on free-speech grounds.

Noem in December sent new drafts for comment and advice ahead of the 2020 session that opens January 14.

Elected tribal leaders gave the legislative addresses in past years.

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