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The failure of a bill in South Dakota means there will be no task force studying the welfare of Native children in the state.
South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s C.J. Keene checks in on what’s next.
Native children make up a disproportionate number of children in the state’s foster care system, which led to the initial interest in the study.
State Rep. Peri Pourier (Oglala Sioux/D-SD), in a recent appearance on SDPB’s In the Moment, says this has been on lawmakers minds for some time.
“This has been a longstanding issue, for as long as I could remember, at least documented about 20 years. It’s been at sixty percent of children in the system are Native children. They wanted to come together and address it; the Oglala Sioux Tribe declared a state of emergency last year.”
Rep. Pourier says the issue requires involvement from state government.
“What do we do now? Well, we go back to the drawing table. The fight never ends until positive outcomes happen for Native children. A lot of people will probably say, I hear this time and time again ‘why don’t the tribes just fix it on their own?’ We are South Dakotans as well. Yes, we have tribal nations, but there are Native children all across the state of South Dakota who are tribal members, and who are South Dakotans.”
It’s an issue that touches every corner of South Dakota’s Native community.
Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Chairman Clyde Estes thanked the bills sponsors. He says he doesn’t expect this issue to go away after this session.
“With some of the sponsors of the bill and the support we have in tribal and state supporters, we’ll bring this issue back up again. The fact of the matter is that tribal and state leaders need to find a better path forward to work together to put aside our differences and do what’s best for all South Dakota children.”
SB191 died on the floor of the state House, just one step away from the Governor’s desk.
Opponents raised concerns over costs and the members making up the committee.
A bipartisan bill in Congress aims to bolster tribal law enforcement and combat the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous people.
As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the effort would enhance access to data and increase officer retention.
The BADGES Act is designed to increase tribal access to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System and conduct training and information gathering to improve the resolution of missing persons cases. Tribal police often face roadblocks because of a lack of access to federal crime data. The bill would also allow the Bureau of Indian Affairs to conduct its own background checks to improve the process of hiring officers.
U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) is a co-sponsor of the bill.
“We need to empower these communities to protect themselves and give them their opportunity to really bring safety to their community and it doesn’t necessarily just have to happen from us at the federal level.”
Rep. Gallego hopes the bill will help with officer recruitment and retention on tribal nations by offering more access of culturally appropriate mental health and wellness programs to BIA officers and tribal police, and by mandating a report on tribal law enforcement needs.
As of Monday morning, three Alaska Native Mushers were battling it out for the top spot in the Iditarod, the 1,000-mile sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome.
Rhonda McBride from our flagship station KNBA has more.
Ryan Redington, an Inupiat with roots in Unalakleet, has been out in front in this last stretch of the race.
He told Alaska Public Media he’s confident his team has the training to maintain their fast pace to the end.
2019’s Iditarod champ Pete Kaiser remains in second place, but cut short his rest in Koyuk to close the gap between his team and
Kaiser, who is a Yup’ik from Bethel, left Koyuk about 26 minutes behind Redington, driving a team of eight dogs to Redington’s ten.
Richie Diehl (Dena’ina Athabascan) from Aniak was the third to pull into Koyuk, which is about 126 miles from Nome, where the trail follows the coast and mushers must endure punishing winds.
All three mushers have been clocking average speeds of more than eight-miles-an-hour, with Kaiser’s team moving slightly faster.
Redington’s late grandfather, Joe, founded the Iditarod, and while many members of this mushing family have raced in the Iditarod, none have claimed the trophy for the race, which features a giant bust of Joe Redington.
A fourth Native musher, Mike Williams Jr., a Yup’ik from Akiak, remains in the back of the pack, keeping a steady pace.
Williams, who has previously finished in the top ten, took a break from the Iditarod and is in the process of rebuilding his team.
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