There is a first-of-its-kind agreement between the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office and the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety.
The new arrangement helps the organizations work together more effectively.
South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s C.J. Keene has more.
The memorandum of mutual support is described as “historic” and a “force multiplier” for both offices, as violent crime rates continue to rise.
Oglala Sioux Tribe President Kevin Killer says the agreement will tighten jurisdictional gaps.
“It’s going to mean people can feel safe at night and they can understand when the chief reaches out for partners he doesn’t have to worry about going through all these jurisdictional loopholes to get some arrest warrant once they flee the reservation. Because they know – they know once they leave the reservation it’s a different jurisdiction, and it’s a different relationship.”
Killer says the reservation’s public safety budget is $5 million a year, while Pennington County has a budget approaching $45 million, not including Rapid City.
Algin Young is the chief of police for the tribe. He says the agreement formalizes a long-term working relationship with the sheriff’s office.
“We’ve seen an increase in violent crime and we’ve seen a shortage in police officers – people wanting to be police officers. This is a force multiplier and us collaborating with the Sheriff’s office for public safety.”
Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom says the agreement also respects tribal sovereignty.
“This agreement is an acknowledgement of the tribe’s sovereignty. It’s government to government, signing agreements. We’ll come when asked, we’ll do what you ask, we’ll leave when asked, it’s really that simple, but it gives us the ability to better protect our communities.”
The agreement acknowledges cultural differences between the communities and commits to develop an understanding between departments to better serve the public.
Five years after the passage of Senate Bill 13, which mandated teaching Oregon students about Native Americans, new curriculum materials are rolling out.
KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.
K through 12 educational materials are being developed by the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and the state’s nine federally-recognized tribes.
The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians are the latest to roll out their curriculum.
“I know when I went to school, the only Indians we heard about was Sitting Bull.”
Delores Pigsley is the Siletz Tribal Chair.
She’s hopeful that by sharing her tribe’s history, culture, and practices, Native youth can feel empowered and visible, while non-Indians can appreciate their Indigenous neighbors more.
“I think it’ll be a challenge to teachers to adopt the curriculum, and to give it their best shot. So it’s gonna be important how it’s taught, and how it’s accepted.”
An ODE official says all nine sovereign tribes of Oregon are in different stages of development with their lesson plans.
Western Oregon University has announced it will offer in-state tuition to Native Americans.
The tuition is for undergraduate students who are enrolled members of any federally recognized tribe.
In-state tuition for 2022-23 is $8,730 for 15 credits. Out-of-state tuition is more than $28,000.
The exhibit at the tribe’s national history museum examines the history of slavery in Cherokee Nation.
Stories, images, and documents of Cherokee Freedmen are featured, alongside nine original artworks by Cherokee Nation artists.
The exhibit is part of the Cherokee Freedmen Art and History Project, established in 2020, which seeks materials and stories to broaden Cherokee Nation’s understanding of Freedmen.
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