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Regional & Local Briefs


Regional and Local Briefs: January 2015
Tuesday, January 13 2015
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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OGLALA LAKOTA COUNTY SET FOR S.D. LEGISLATURE APPROVAL

PINE RIDGE, S.D. – In the November general election, voters in Shannon County overwhelmingly approved changing the name to Oglala Lakota County, but the new name cannot go into effect without legislative action.

Patrick Weber with the Gov. Dennis Daugaard's office said it's unknown when the South Dakota Legislature intends to pass the needed joint resolution to rename Shannon County.

The county includes the majority of the land on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. It had been named after Peter Shannon, a chief justice of the Dakota Territory Supreme Court who later assisted in land deals negotiations with the Lakota. Shannon isn't well thought of among many Native Americans.

When the name change is finalized, it will mark the first time in more than 100 years that a South Dakota county has undergone a name change, according to the South Dakota Historical Society.

Once the state legislature passes the joint resolution, Daugaard will issue a public proclamation and Shannon County will officially become Oglala Lakota County on the first day of the month following the proclamation. Then the South Dakota Department of Transportation will have to change highway maps and roadside signs.

Oglala Lakota County's new name will have to be recorded at the federal level. The U.S. Census Bureau keeps the official list of county names, according to Lou Yost, executive secretary of the U.S. Board of Geographic Names in Virginia. Changes in the U.S. Geological Survey's mapping system also will be made. The county will need new stationery and seals for all official business.

Ziebach County was created in 1911 when portions of Schnasse, Armstrong and Sterling counties were merged to form Ziebach. And in 1983, Washabaugh County, an unorganized county within the Pine Ridge reservation boundaries, was absorbed by Jackson County.

Regional and Local Briefs: December 2014
Friday, January 09 2015
 
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BOIS FORT BAND RECEIVES NEW CLINIC

TOWER, MN – The Bois Forte Band is celebrating the completion of its new 11,000-square-foot health and dental clinic in Vermilion, which replaces a smaller clinic in the community. Band members and guests gathered on Nov. 20 for the official grand opening of the new Vermilion Clinic.

Along with an increased number of examining and treatment rooms, the new clinic includes a pharmacy, dedicated space for diabetes education, expanded lab services and telemedicine capabilities that will allow clinic providers to communicate directly with providers at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

Funding for the clinic was provided through loans and grants from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, Indian Health Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Iron Ranges Resources and Rehabilitation Board. Clinic equipment was provided by Indian Health Service.


Regional and Local Briefs: November 2014
Saturday, November 01 2014
 
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NUCLEAR WASTE CHALLENGED BY TRIBE

RED WING, Minn. – The Prairie Island Indian Community is joining three states in a lawsuit over the storage of nuclear waste.

The tribe says it will join with New York, Connecticut and Vermont in a lawsuit against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant near Red Wing is just 600 yards from the tribal community. The NRC in August opened the door for on-site nuclear waste storage for 100 years or more.

The tribe says the NRC has failed to do a complete analysis of the risks associated with the onsite storage of nuclear waste.

Prairie Island plant executive Kevin Davison agrees with the NRC assessment that the nuclear waste is safely stored near Red Wing. But, Davison says the federal government still has an obligation to create another storage option.

 

ONLINE NATIVE MEDIA GOES TO PRESS

FT. YATES, N.D. – Last Real Indians, an online Native media and advocacy Web site, unveiled its first print edition in October.

A nearly three year-old endeavor, founded by Chase Iron Eyes (Standing Rock Sioux) in January of 2012, LRI features almost daily content provided by writers from across Indian country. “Our network continues to expand as we inform our own, inform the world, strengthen our ties, shatter stereotypes, protect our image, essence and portrayal against appropriation, objectification & [sic] mascotry and share our stories,” Iron Eyes wrote in the first edition.

According to the mission statement on its Web site, “LRI is a media movement grounded in our pre-contact ways of life. We are independent media with direction. We are an adaptation of our story-tellers. We are content creators of many origins with a vision of returning Indigenous peoples of all

'races' to a state of respect for generations unborn.”

Its first edition features topics on environmentalism, Lakota tribal politics, lacrosse, Lakota language, law and health. The paper is headquartered on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in South and North Dakota.

 

 

Regional and Local Briefs: October 2014
Monday, October 06 2014
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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BAD HEART BULL SELECTED FOR ECONOMIC FELLOWSHIP

MINNEAPOLIS– The Business Alliance for Living Local Economies, an Oakland, Calif.-based organization, announced Jay Bad Heart Bull as a fellow for its 2014 Cohort.

Bad Heart Bull (Oglala Lakota) is the president and CEO of the Native American Community Development Institute, based in Minneapolis.

In a press release, BALLE praised each recipient. "Individually, each 2014 BALLE Local Economy Fellow is a proven leader and innovative local economy connector – someone who represents, convenes, and influences whole communities of local businesses from Boston to New Orleans to Minneapolis. Combined, they are a diverse group of leaders who represent the cutting edge of social entrepreneurship incubation, community capital cultivation, and social justice.”

“These challenging times require a different type of leader who can create the conditions for a new economy to emerge. Developing this type of leader is the purpose of the BALLE Local Economy Fellowship,” said Michelle Long, executive director of BALLE. “With the transformational leadership development, skills and tools, and connections these leaders will receive as part of the fellowship, BALLE Local Economy Fellows will be poised to democratize opportunity, ownership and the economy, and bring real prosperity to more people; fundamentally fixing our global economy from the ground up.'"

NACDI is an American Indian community development intermediary organization. It is an alliance of major Native non-profits and several Native businesses in the metropolitan area, committed to community-building through sector economic development and large-scale development. Its primary goal is to build community capacity and assets within high growth economic sectors as a way to provide resources and infrastructure for the Native community.

 


Regional and Local Briefs: September 2014
Monday, September 08 2014
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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NO WRONGDOING FOUND IN TASERING OF 8 YEAR-OLD ROSEBUD CHILD

PIERRE, S.D. – Two months after an 8 year-old girl was tasered by a police officer in October of 2013, the Hughes County State’s Attorney Wendy Kloeppner released a report that stated “she was satisfied with an independent investigation, deploying a taser was the best viable way to diffuse the situation,” and no charges would be filed against the officer or the child.

Attorneys for the family, Dana Hanna and Patrick Duffy, said the acts committed by the police were atrocious and that they do not believe the report accurately reflects what happened.

In October of 2013, four Pierre police officers responded to a 911 call about an 8 year-old girl wielding a knife. The call came from the girl's babysitter, who told the dispatcher the girl was trying to cut herself. According to the police report, the officers were on the scene for just two minutes before tasering the youth.


NUCLEAR COMMISSION DECISION DISAPPOINTS LOCAL LEADERS

RED WING, Minn. – Red Wing city officials and leaders of the Prairie Island Indian Community say they are unhappy with a recent Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruling that does little to resolve the ongoing dispute over storage of spent nuclear fuel.

The Prairie Island nuclear power plant is on the Mississippi River in Red Wing and is adjacent to the Indian community. According to reports, the NRC ruling opens the door for on-site nuclear waste storage for 100 years or more. The language also lifts a suspension on licensing additional nuclear facilities even without the creation of a national repository for nuclear waste.

Ron Johnson, president of the Prairie Island Indian Community's tribal council, said in a statement, "… the NRC affirmed a new rule and generic environmental impact statement that concluded that spent nuclear fuel – some of the most dangerous and toxic substances known to mankind – can be safely stored 600 yards from our homes indefinitely if no geologic repository is ever built. No other community sits as close to a nuclear site and its waste storage."

According to the paper, Xcel Energy says it has "38 casks containing nuclear waste near Red Wing and is permitted to store waste in 64 casks when the current operating licenses end in 2033 and 2034."


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