A South Dakota Senate committee is rejecting an effort to rename the Scalp Creek Lakeside Recreation Area in the state.
South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s C.J. Keene reports.
State Sen. Shawn Bordeaux (Sicangu Lakota/D-SD) from Rosebud says it’s time for the state to move away from hurtful names.
“Scalp Creek Recreation Area is a beautiful place, often visited by families and children. Such a place should not be marked by an association with such terrible history. South Dakota should take the initiative here and change the name to fit the place.”
Bordeaux proposes the area be named “Naca Topa”, which translates to “Four Chiefs.”
State Game Fish and Parks oppose the bill idea.
Scott Simpson is deputy secretary with the department.
He says the name change should not appear in state statute.
“This legislation is not necessary because South Scalp Creek Lakeside Use Area is not named in statute. I think that should be a much more public process. There’s no official process for the naming of a lakeside use area. We believe that we have an open palate and I’ve visited with the sponsor about this. I visited with the sponsor about this. I think there’s some different directions we can go and maybe come up with an appropriate alternative.”
Simpson says a name change public input process could take as long as a year, but couldn’t offer a firm timeline.
Sen. Bordeaux says he will work with Game Fish and Parks officials through the process.
The leader of an effort to create an inter-tribal network of electric vehicle charging stations says the project is rolling along.
Chuck Quirmbach of station WUWM reports.
Bob Blake heads Native Sun Community Power Development, a non-profit in Minneapolis that promotes renewable energy.
Blake is also a tribal citizen of the Red Lake Nation.
He says a few years ago he was protesting the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline in the Upper Midwest and staring down law enforcement officers that he respected.
“I’m sitting there and I’m protesting, and they’re looking at me, and I’m thinking ‘There’s got to be a better way to do this.’
So, in an attempt to reduce the demand for oil, Blake says he got the idea of creating an inter-tribal electric vehicle charging network.
With financial help from the U.S. Department of Energy, about ten charging stations have been built on tribal lands and electric vehicles have been delivered to the Red Lake and Standing Rock communities.
Blake says twenty to thirty tribes, mainly in the Upper Midwest seem interested in creating the charging network.
So, he’s fired up.
“I am pretty excited, because tribal nations are always the last to get this sort of technology. For us to be able to be the first, it’s a big thing.”
Blake says having charging stations on a lot of tribal lands should also help draw tourists, if electric vehicle use continues to grow. He says he hopes to expand the inter-tribal charging station network to the West Coast.
On Monday, the New Mexico Senate confirmed Josett Monette as cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department.
She had served as deputy secretary of the department, and prior to joining the state, she was in the legal field and in education.
Sec. Monette is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in North Dakota.
She has raised three children as a single mother.
In a statement, Sec. Monette says she’s committed to advancing the priorities of the governor’s administration in support of the 23 tribes in the state and all of New Mexico’s Native people.
She’s replacing a cabinet secretary who was criticized by Native women advocates for past abuse charges.
The governor’s office also faced criticism for ending a missing and murdered Indigenous relatives task force.
In a statement, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) said Monette’s extensive background in serving Indigenous people uniquely positions her to address the challenges facing tribal communities and realize the opportunities.
Sec. Monette was unanimously confirmed by the Senate.