• Unofficial tribal election results reported



    It’s a pretty sure bet that Theresa Two Bulls is the new president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, but results of the vice-presidential race won’t be certain until official election results are released this week.

    For the Oglala Sioux Tribe Election Commission, last week’s snowstorm threw a wrench into determining results of the Nov. 4 tribal election. Votes are counted by hand, which generally takes a few days. In addition, tribal enrollment officials must verify challenge votes to make sure the person voting is a registered tribal member. There were 491 challenge votes cast in the election, officials said.According to unofficial results 
    released by the Oglala Sioux Tribe Election Commission, Two Bulls received 2,277 votes to Russell Means’ 1,918. The vice-presidential race was closer: Incumbent William “Shorty” Brewer received 2,139 votes and challenger Alice Perkins had 2,021.

    The current tribal president, John Yellow Bird-Steele, finished third in the primary election.

    Other unofficial election results follow. All districts elect two council members except for Pine Ridge District, which elects three.

    Porcupine District – Anthony Wounded Head Sr. (310) and incumbent Phillip Good Crow (223) finished ahead of Beverly A. Tuttle (206) and David Pourier (157) but there were 41 challenge votes in the district.

    Medicine Root District – Joseph Rosales (306) was the top vote-getter. Preliminary results showed Emma Featherman-Sam with 273 and Stanley Little Whiteman Jr. with 272 votes. Incumbent Austin Watkins had 219. There were 82 challenge votes.

    Pine Ridge District – Robin Tapio and incumbent Ella “John” Carlow each received 358 votes and John Mousseau was close behind with 356. Gary Janis received 307 votes, Bette Goings 280 votes, and Lawrence “Larry” Eagle Bull 243 votes according to unofficial results.

    Oglala District – Ivan Starr (305) and Barbara Dull Knife (271) were elected. Valerie Janis-Kills Small had 182 votes and incumbent Floyd Brings Plenty had 160. There were 40 challenge votes.

    Wakpamni District – Incumbent Sonia Little Hawk-Weston was elected with 380 votes. Ricky Gray Grass was second with 283 votes. Maxine Lakota had 257 votes and Dan Rodriguez Sr. had 238 votes according to unofficial results.

    Eagle Nest District – Incumbent Jim Meeks (219) and Billy Amiotte (191) were elected over James Red Willow (127) and Wayne Randall (102). There were 42 challenge votes.

    Wounded Knee District – Phillip Jumping Eagle was elected with 284 votes. Incumbent Garfield Steel-Little Dog was second with 218 votes. Eugenio White Hawk Sr. had 199 votes and Garfield Apple had 178. There were 54 challenge votes.

    Pass Creek District – James Cross defeated Anna Salomon, 165-107. Lydia Bear Killer was elected by majority vote in the primary.

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    This association is registered at the Préfecture des Alpes Maritimes N° 0062022884.

    Publicized in the Official Newspaper at March 10th 2001 N° 58.

    The Pine Ridge Rez is the poorest reservation of the United States.

    The unemployment, the deseases and the alcoolism are at the highest rates.

    The life condition are very bad in this extremely rigorous climat.

    Our aim is to improve the life condition of the children on the rez

    as well as to send warm clothes and school supplies (see also our website).

    Moreover we need every support we can get for the children.


    If you want to help us in this humanitarian activity, please contact us at:

    Mail : contact@pres-asso.org

    Phone : ++33 (0)


    Let us be not for ourselves alone but also for that Other who is our deepest Self.”

    Leonard Peltier

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      Photo courtesy Tamra Brennan -- The two-story bar at the Broken Spoke Campground is one of many developments that have popped up around sacred Bear Butte over the last two years.  
    PIERRE, S.D. - A group of impassioned Indians gathered at South Dakota's Bear Butte State Park June 21 to pray for healing and to highlight what they call ''horrifying'' commercial developments around their revered mountain.

    The gathering was attended by more than 40 Natives, with some traveling from as far away as Canada to pray and honor the lands. Bear Butte is considered sacred to dozens of Native nations, including the Cheyenne, Lakota and Arapaho tribes, some of which own small sections of land near the mountain.

    The 4,422-foot peak has been used for thousands of years as a religious and commemorative place for vision quests, ceremonies of passage and renewal, spiritual offerings and medicine gatherings.

    In recent years, economic development in the form of bars, concert venues and campgrounds has become increasingly upsetting to Indians who have long made religious pilgrimages to the site. About a dozen developments currently operate in close proximity to the mountain, many of which have been built since 2006 in an attempt to lure bikers and tourists to the area.

    Tamra Brennan, founder of the grass-roots organization Protect Sacred Sites Indigenous People, One Nation, lives near the base of the mountain. She said that noise from motorcycle rallies and drunken partiers, as well as fireworks and flashing strobe lights that are sometimes shone onto the mountain, have disrupted the sacred lands.

    ''The struggle has gotten difficult over the last few months,'' Brennan, Eastern Cherokee, said. ''It's been hard to keep people informed on new developments. The issue is a lot more critical now than even a few years ago.''

    Brennan and others are urging the Meade County Commission to deny alcohol licenses for the Broken Spoke Campground, which they say is one of the most disruptive developments in the area.

    Originally called Sturgis County Line Bar, the two-story, 25,000-square-foot venue is in transition to be operated by Boston-based Target Logistics, an international company that provides housing, transportation, life support and hospitality services. The property was previously under the sole management of developer Jay Allen, who lost his alcohol license last year due to character issues.

    Developers with Broken Spoke recently expressed interest in offering helicopter rides over the mountain, which further angered Natives in the area. The Native American Rights Fund has consulted with local Indians on helping to legally stop the rides under the American Indian Religious Freedom Act.

    Developers have also pursued plans to build a concert stadium and an RV park in addition to the bar already on the grounds.

    ''It's going to make it practically impossible to pray in peace,'' Brennan said.

    Target Logistics President Joe Murphy has said in the past that he is ''happy to sit down and listen to our critics'' and that he is ''respectful'' of his critics' religious views. He could not be reached by press time for further comment.

    The commission's meeting to determine whether the campground will get its alcohol license is scheduled for July 1. Brennan's organization is encouraging tribal members from throughout the region to make their voices heard prior to meeting day. Organizers believe that visitors will be discouraged from frequenting the venue, if liquor cannot be served.

    The National Congress of American Indians is opposed to the alcohol license application submitted by Broken Spoke.

    ''Both the location and the character of the applicant are unsuitable for any alcohol licenses,'' according to a letter sent by NCAI to the Meade County Commission.

    The organization also recommended that county commissioners ''use their broad discretion over alcohol licenses to begin government-to-government consultation with affected local Indian tribes to establish notification and consultation procedures for decisions that affect religious practice at Bear Butte and all American Indian sacred sites.''

    Republican Gov. Mike Rounds and some state legislators have also tried to conserve and protect lands around Bear Butte, but have been unsuccessful to date.

    Alberta Fischer, a Montana-based Northern Cheyenne elder, said she is hopeful that the damages she's seen as a result of the developments will one day end. She first started making treks to the mountain as a young girl when she watched her grandparents and parents pray and perform religious ceremonies there.

    ''I grew up with it. I know the true significance of that mountain. It's been a part of my life, which is why I'm opposed to any development. I'm not afraid to speak on behalf of the mountain.

    ''There's going to be somebody who will listen to us one of these days. And that's what I pray for.''

    Bear Butte was listed as a National Natural Landmark in 1965, as a National Historical Place in 1973 and as a National Historic Landmark in 1981. It has been on the National Historic Landmarks threat level watch list since 2004.

    For more information, visit www.ProtectBearButte.com.

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  • LOGO: Lakota Country Times 



    PINE RIDGE - Theresa Two Bulls, the two term incumbent, defeated challenger Jim Bradford 1,179 to 1,153 for the Democratic nomination for the District 27 State Senate slot.Two Bulls will face Craig Hanrahan of Phillip in the November election. Legislative District 27 includes all of Shannon County and portions of Haakon, Jackson and Bennett counties.
    In the state House of Representatives race, Kevin Killer with 917 votes and Edward Iron Cloud III with 912 won the two Democratic nominations over Joseph White Bear Claws with 691 and Robert Fogg Jr. with 478. Larry Lucas, the incumbent in District 26A won handily with 914 over Paul Joseph's 302 and Calvin Jones with 239. Dean Schrempp, manager of the Eagle Butte Airport, defeated Richard Zacher 878-441 for the District 28A democratic nomination.
    "This is one step of the way, I really want to work hard to make sure our voice is heard in the state legislature," said Ed Iron Cloud III, "if I make it this the fall, it will be an honor and a privilege to serve the people of District 27.
    Senator Two Bulls has just completed her second term in the State Senate. She served as Secretary and Vice President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe before running for state office and currently works as a prosecutor in the Oglala Sioux Tribal Court. Bradford, a retired educator, completed four terms as a State Representative before challenging Two Bulls for the Senate nomination; Bradford was unable to run again for the Representative position because of term limits.
    Senator Hillary Clinton defeated Senator Barrack Obama in the South Dakota Democratic primary 54,014 to 43,574; earlier in the day on Tuesday, Senator Obama picked up the necessary delegates to win the Democratic nomination for President.
    The long Democratic presidential primary brought Senator Clinton and her husband President bill Clinton to South Dakota and Pine Ridge reservation 30 times over the last month.
    Clinton came to Pine Ridge as President in 1999.
    Senator Obama visited a number of communities across the state and inspired hundreds of young volunteers to get new voters registered on reservations across the state.
    In county tallies, in Shannon County, Obama had a 52 percent win over Clinton; in Todd County, Obama had a 63 percent win Clinton; in Jackson County, Clinton had a 58 percent win over Obama's 42 percent and in Bennett County, Obama had 53 percent with Clinton at 46 percent.
    National Native News reported the native voter turnout was exceptional high in Montana and South Dakota this election.
    The Crow Tribe, which usually has a voter turnout of 20 to 25 percent eligible voters had an increase of 40 percent voter turnout this election.
    Joel Dykstra easily won the Republican nomination for U.S. senate over Sam Kephart and Charles Ganyo 34,472 to 13,025 for Kephart and 4,968 for Ganyo. Dykstra will face two time incumbent, Senator Tim Johnson in the November election.wo Bulls defeats Bradford, Killer and Iron Cloud pick up primary

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  • Lakota Youth Ride to Recapture Heritage

    20 May 2008
    Kent report - Download (MP3) audio clip
    Kent report - Listen (MP3) audio clip


    The Lakota Indians of the northern plains have been called a "horse nation" because they have strong ties, culturally and historically, with the animals. A group of Lakota teens recently saddled up for a four-day ride across South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation. This Youth Ride was aimed at reconnecting the group with their culture and with their land. Jim Kent caught up with the young riders in the middle of a spring snowstorm as they neared the end of their expedition.

    Lakota horses show their energy is up for the long day ahead
    Lakota horses show their energy is up for the long day ahead
    It's the last morning of a 160-kilometer journey on horseback across the land of the Oglala Lakota. The weather has been tolerable for the last three days. But this morning, the situation has taken a turn for the worse. The temperature has dropped and rain is turning to snow.

    As firewood is cut, a group of Lakota adults huddles around a small blaze trying desperately to keep warm. Other adults and Lakota youth sit inside their vehicles, motors running. The cars and trucks are hauling hay for the horses and food and supplies for their riders.

    Lakota youth prepare their mounts before breaking camp for the last day of their 160-km journey
    Lakota youth prepare their mounts before breaking camp for the last day of their 160-km journey
    Percy White Plume moves from one group to another, preparing everyone for the start of the last day's ride. White Plume says he organized the event to remind Lakota youth of their traditional connection to their land. "The opportunity to ride across the land is for them a realization that we do have a reservation...this is our home." He explains that many young people never venture into the more remote parts of the reservation, "They don't see the land out there other than what they see from the car driving along the highway. They don't get out and go off up into the hills. And, so, this was an opportunity to give that to the youth."

    Braving wind, rain and snow, 50 young tribal members forged their own trail across the Pine Ridge Reservation over the last three days, climbing hills, negotiating buffalo pastures and crossing valleys as they rediscovered the land of the ancestors. At night, elders passed on traditional stories by the fireside as the group erected tipis under the stars.

    A Lakota youth guides his horse toward "breakfast" before hitting the trail
    A Lakota youth guides his horse toward "breakfast" before hitting the trail
    This morning, the Lakota youth start to break camp. They've spent their last night on the trail in a valley near the reservation town of Manderson. Some are still in their tents, but others are busy preparing their horses for the final leg of their journey. One horse, tethered to a truck, shivers as the wind picks up and the temperature continues to plummet.

    A group of young men fights off the morning cold inside a traditional lodge, or tipi. The air inside is thick with the smell of sage and the previous night's campfire. Like many Lakota youth, they're reluctant to talk. Eventually, Angelo Red Elk, 17, offers a few comments, beginning with the point that no one forced him to go on this long and difficult journey. When asked why he decided to join the Youth Ride, he responds, "Because this is my country," adding that it's an important event "to bring all of us together."

    Sitting in the warmth of her family's truck, Vonna Blacksmith, 16, is a bit more talkative. She's grown up around horses and says she didn't hesitate to take part in the Youth Ride. "It's important 'cause it's our land and we're the next generation that'll be living here." Blacksmith adds that rides like this also help dispel many misconceptions about American Indian youth. "Most of us are staying away from alcohol and drugs," she says. "And we're participating in our culture... riding horses... just getting involved."

    Lois White Whirlwind (left) gives Vonna Blacksmith a few pointers before the Lakota teen joined her peers for the conclusion of their Youth Ride
    Lois White Whirlwind (left) gives Vonna Blacksmith a few pointers before the Lakota teen joined her peers for the conclusion of their Youth Ride
    Lakota elder Lois White Whirlwind has three grandchildren taking part in the Youth Ride. She sees their journey as a positive experience. "The benefit of it is seeing the land... seeing what's out there. Because in today's world it's just town, highway and you see the graffiti. But being out there, you become more observant of [nature]." She recounts how one of the young riders had noticed an eagle flying about the group as they rode through a valley. "You know, those are significant things that are important to us."

    In the end, Vonna Blacksmith says staying in touch with their culture is the best way for Lakota youth to stay on the right path.

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