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Opinion
Tim Giago: Doors opening to Indians in South Dakota


"Twenty years ago South Dakota had the national reputation among American Indians as the “Mississippi of the North.” Having grown up in this state I know that this assessment rang true.

But in the ensuing 20 years a dramatic change has taken place. Doors that were once closed to Indians have opened. Political seats once held by “whites only” have become a forum for Indian politicians.

Theresa “Huck” Two Bulls is a state senator from the Pine Ridge Reservation. Tough politicians like Representative Paul Valandra of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Senator Tom Van Norman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, are bringing a different perspective to the House and Senate in Pierre. They are causing the die-hard politics of the white conservatives to look at and analyze a point of view that was totally foreign to them 20 years ago. In other words, they are causing heretofore-closed minds to open by presenting logical political arguments from an Indian approach. They are intelligently representing a minority that 20 years ago, had no representation to speak of."

Get the Story:
Tim Giago: Twenty years of change in race and political relations in South Dakota (The Native American Times 10/3)

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