1. Lonnie Wright, a second year student at University of South DakotaD law school, was elected president of the National NALSA (Native American Law Students Association). USD’s NALSA chapter was also named the 2010 Chapter of the Year. The group received the award at the 35th annual Indian Law Conference earlier this month in Santa Fe.

    Lonnie Wright is a graduate of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, S.D., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. He also served as the president of the SDSM&T American Indian Science and Engineering Society president.

    Lonnie Wright says he will use his position with the Native American Law Students Association to attract more American Indians to the legal profession. Wright is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and has served as a board member for the association.


    The USD chapter worked with the Indian Wills Project, organized a food drive to benefit the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and coordinated a toy drive for children of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

    According to USD NALSA Chapter President Lonnie Wright, several toys were donated at the collection box at the USD School of Law; purchased online directly from Amazon.com and delivered to USD NALSA; and purchased using monetary donations. “Many of these families living in poverty lack even the most basic items and don’t have much hope of toys under the tree at Christmas,” added Wright, who is also a National NALSA Executive Board Member. “As a student organization, we are very thankful that the toy drive was an overwhelming success. We could not have done it without the generosity and support of so many.” NALSA members traveled to the reservation days before Christmas where the delivered toys to 175 children of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

  2. Interior secretary approves Cape Wind, Nation’s first offshore wind farm”

    Salazar’s decision – first expected a year ago – was delayed because of complaints from two Wampanoag Native American tribes that the turbines, which would stand more than 400 feet above the ocean surface, would disturb spiritual sun greetings and possibly ancestral artifacts and burial grounds on the seabed. Nantucket Sound was once exposed land before the sea level rose thousands of years ago.

    Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal chairman Cedric Cromwell said he was pleased Salazar would reopen “government to government consultation,” but argued that “no amount of mitigation will change the fact that this is a site of great historical and cultural significance for our Tribe.”

    Another opponent is US Sen. Scott Brown.  

    “With unemployment hovering near ten percent in Massachusetts, the Cape Wind project will jeopardize industries that are vital to the Cape’s economy, such as tourism and fishing, and will also impact aviation safety and the rights of the Native American tribes in the area,” he said in a statement.

  3. “Dem. Scott Heidepriem Believes he has a Good Chance in South Dakota’s Governor Race.”

    Under former Governor William Janklow the Native American job position in the Capitol was a cabinet level position, but it was reduced to a liaison position. Theresa Two Bulls, president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, suggested to me that it be returned to a full-cabinet position again in order to elevate the profile of that position and I agree with her,” Heidepriem said.

    He said he intended to visit every Indian reservation in the state and hold listening sessions with the tribal leaders. “I think it is time for the tribal leaders to speak and for the candidates to sit and listen to their concerns,” Heidepriem said. “And by the way, I like my odds of overcoming my opponent and I will follow in the path of George McGovern so you can expect me to pop up at drugstores, supermarkets and city events across South Dakota right up until election day,” Heidepriem concluded.

    Trailing Daugaard in the most recent polls, Heidepriem expects that he will start closing the gap as we get closer to the Primary Elections in June. The Natives of the nine Indian reservations of the state could make the difference.

    “Tribe seeks study of casino site – Flandreau Santee Sioux say Iowa land might be burial ground”

    Blood Run was a Native American site that is widely thought to have been a central trading area. Natives lived on the site for several hundred years and, at certain times of the year, the site could have drawn thousands of Indian traders. The site was inhabited until about 1714, Hannus said. It’s considered one of the oldest sites of human habitation in the United States…  Blood Run also has been designated a historic landmark, but that designation has not protected it from the encroachment of modern civilization. Unless the proposed casino site harbors burial areas, there is nothing that can stop its development, even if there are other archaeological findings, Hannus said. That’s because it’s on private land.

    Twenty years ago, on the 100th anniversary of the Wounded Knee massacre, Gov. George Mickelson proclaimed a Year of Reconciliation among the races and cultures in South Dakota. This February, Gov. Mike Rounds commemorated what Mickelson began with a proclamation of a Year of Unity.

    One suggestion relates to the story above:

    Linda Boyd, owner of Prairie Star Gallery in Sioux Falls, thinks East River needs to catch up with West River in touting its Native American sites and culture. Her examples … range from returning the falls of the Big Sioux River to their original name, Minnehaha, to creating a permanent museum of Native American art at the Pavilion or, if possible, to promoting the Blood Run village site if the state exercises its option to turn that into a state park.

    Includes photo of ceremony in Feb., a list of events, and a reading list for adults and children…

  4. Oglala Tribal President Theresa Two Bulls okays a visit by National Guard helicopters to educate occupants about the history of the Wounded Knee Massacre, she doesn’t properly inform the historically traumatized residents. The residents get wind of the visit and are waiting for the helicopters to protest their landing. It is too traumatic for the descendants of Wounded Knee to see the military land near the sacred gravesite, they resist and one helicopter touches down but then all leave because of the resistance.


  5. As the oil leak at the floor of the Gulf of Mexico continues to gush, at the rate of about 210,000 gallons a day, Alaska Native groups are demanding the halt of oil drilling in the Chukchi Sea and Camden Bay in the Beaufort Sea, which is supposed to begin this summer, until the federal government knows what caused the spill in the Gulf and can guarantee that kind of accident does not occur in the waters off Alaska.

    In a call to action sent out this week, the Native Village of Point Hope, located on the coast of the Chukchi Sea, has created a sample letter asking Ken Salazar, Secretary of Interior, to stop Shell Oil’s exploratory drilling in the Arctic.

    The letter states: “The impacts of a major spill in the Arctic would be widespread, long-lasting and disastrous. At risk are endangered whales, polar bears, seals, walruses, birds, fish and the Inupiat people’s subsistence culture.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.