Another major winter storm has hit South Dakota.
This time targeting East River, snowing in a tribal community.
South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s C.J. Keene has more.
The most recent winter storm brought 27 inches of snow to the community of Lake Andes in Charles Mix County – home of the Yankton Reservation.
Tribal secretary Sam Sully is among those snowed in.
“We had a big storm that took care of all the highways from the communities to the hospitals, so it was pretty tough. Fast as they would plow, some of the roads would be filled back in again. It was just a hell of a night. We do have a few thousand members living in our areas all together, so it does get pretty active.
Sully says 60-70% of the community is Native with separate law enforcements and separate jurisdictions. He said all agencies cooperated to take care of each other.
“I was very glad that we worked together, you can help save the lives of people – not only tribal people but the other people that may need it too.”
Sully says teams are looking at a heavy workload in the days ahead.
“Today we have drifts all over, but our maintenance crews are out doing snow removal, and their priorities are people that are diabetics, people that need to be getting dialysis every other day, people that need to be getting groceries.”
He says it’s personal because they also rescued a family member suffering pneumonia. This person was eventually rescued from their home after a coordinated effort involving a skid loader. He says their condition is improving in a local hospital.
On Wednesday, Canada marked the first National Ribbon Skirt Day.
It’s an event that was inspired by a 12-year-old girl in Saskatchewan who was shamed for wearing a ribbon skirt to school in 2020.
Dan Karpenchuk reports.
Isabella Kulak was 10-years-old at the time of the incident at the rural school she attended.
Kulak is a member of the Cote First Nation about 140 miles east of Regina.
The colorful ribbon skirt is often worn by Indigenous women at cultural events.
Kulak tells what happened when she wore hers on the last day of school before Christmas break.
“I went to school wearing my ribbon skirt and when I got there, different people were wearing dresses. One of the teachers said that it wasn’t formal to her and maybe next time you should dress more like her, and pointed to a different girl in my class.”
The school division later apologized for the incident. But the story sparked an online movement of women sharing photos of themselves wearing ribbon skirts to honor their identity.
Still what happened shocked Kulak’s mother Lana.
“It really broke my heart. And it brought back all kinds of emotions from when I was a little girl. And I couldn’t believe that it was happening in this day and age and to one of my children now.”
It was not long after the incident the calls began to grow for a national day to commemorate ribbon skirts. And last year in Parliament, a bill to recognize the day was passed to mark the day on January the fourth.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in a statement, said Isabella’s story shone a light on the enduring injustices, racism, and discrimination faced by First Nations, Inuit, and Metis in Canada every day.
Trudeau also invited all Canadians to learn from Indigenous peoples about their cultures and histories from languages to traditional ceremonies and regalia to ancestral ties to the land.
The Shawnee Tribe in Oklahoma is seeking ownership of a boarding school site in Kansas, the Kansas City Star reports.
The Shawnee Indian Manual Labor School may contain unmarked graves.
The tribe released a survey of the site this week.
The Kansas Historical Society owns the site.
It’s managed by the city of Fairway.
The tribe’s concerned the site has not been properly taken care of, while the historical society and city have reportedly rejected the idea of the site being transferred to the tribe.
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