The vice president of the Oglala Lakota Nation reacted to former President Donald Trump’s visit to Rapid City, S.D. on Friday by saying her tribe was not invited to a rally by the Republican Party featuring President Trump, as Antonia Gonzales reports.
She reflected on his time as president of the United States as difficult for Indian Country.
Vice President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe Dr. Alicia Mousseau told National Native News in Rapid City during an interview, hours before the rally, that she was not in tribal leadership during the Trump administration, but says it was hard working with the administration in her capacity addressing youth issues with federal funding through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).
“My previous work under OJJDP grants providing training and technical assistance for tribal communities was very difficult. We couldn’t say certain words, including the word ‘trauma’. I was working for the National Native Children’s Trauma Center at the time, so it was kind of hard not to say the word ‘trauma’, but we were censored and it’s hard to do work when you’re censored, do good work in our communities when you’re censored from saying certain things. So it was it was a little difficult, a little concerning. That was the experience that I had when that administration was in.”
Dr. Mousseau says she’s not surprised Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) welcomed President Trump to the state.
“The Oglala Sioux Tribe still has a banishment on (Gov.) Kristi Noem. That was from COVID when we had our borders up and one of our banishments was taken back, but then another banishment was put on. It’s been very difficult of the state of South Dakota understanding tribes, our sovereignty, us as a nation, the things that we have to deal with, and also our status as a political entity. So it’s been kind of difficult considering ICWA [the Indian Child Welfare Act] and those types of issues that we face every day. It would be very nice if the state of South Dakota understood those a little bit better.”
The Oglala Sioux Tribe has had a rocky relationship with Gov. Noem, even telling the governor to keep off the Pine Ridge Reservation.
President Trump’s visit was part of fundraising for the state GOP, but many speculate it was also to boost his campaign for president.
There was also talk on statewide and national media that Gov. Noem could likely play a part in his campaign, or if he takes another term in office.
Dr. Mousseau says, if that’s the case, she hopes Gov. Noem would understand tribes, especially coming from a state with nine tribal nations.
The University of Alaska Board of Regions has unanimously approved a $53 million fundraising campaign for an Indigenous studies center at its Fairbanks campus.
Troth Yeddha’ in the Athabascan language means “wild potatoes on a hill”.
Troth is also a word used for wild carrots.
The root vegetables are a staple for interior Alaska Natives.
Charlene Stern, the University’s Vice Chancellor for Rural, Community, and Native Education, believes the new center could be a game changer for Alaska.
She says it will help address both present day and historical inequities for Alaska’s Indigenous students.
Currently, Alaska Native Studies courses are scattered across different campus buildings, but the center would bring them together under one roof.
It will also be a home to the university’s Native language program, which has grown from three to 12 instructors.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks is the only university in the world to offer bachelor’s degrees in Yup’ik and Inupiaq.
As of July, the university has raised $5.5 million for Troth Yeddha’.
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