|The following story was written and reported by Karin Eagle, Native Sun News
Staff Writer. All content © Native
Sioux Addition has been a recognized community in Rapid City for generations, with its own board of directors. It seeks to help better the lives of the Native Community.
Sioux Addition speaks up on trust land issue
By Karin Eagle
Native Sun News Staff Writer
RAPID CITY — At the North Rapid Town Hall Meeting, Rapid City Mayor Sam Kooiker, U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, and South Dakota Secretary of Tribal Relations J. R. LaPlante were on hand to answer questions from the standing room only audience. The audience was a blend of Native and non-Native community members living in North Rapid City.
The meeting was held at the Oyate Community Center at Lakota Homes in an effort to draw in more of the Native community that lives in North Rapid.
One of the questions asked was if the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) would have any effect on the Native population, a concern echoed across Indian County in recent months. Secretary LaPlante says he's been trying to find that out for two years, without any luck.
“Native Americans have a treaty-right to health care; we're the only people in the U.S. with a birth right to health care. It's not an entitlement, it's a birth right and yet we can't get a straight answer on how this is going to impact us," said LaPlante.
The members of the Sioux Addition Indian Community board of directors were in attendance, and raised several of the questions.
Sioux Addition was established in 1954 and incorporated in 1966. At that time the community was located more than three miles north of Rapid City.
The Sioux Addition board chairman, Tad Montgomery spoke with Native Sun News about their presence at the town hall meeting.
“Our intention of being at this Town Hall Meeting is to notify these levels of government that our Sioux Addition Board of Directors still claims that the Sioux Addition Lands are trust lands under the 1868 Black Hills Treaty, that we the Lakota People own the rights to Lakota Homes.”
“All we ask from the city government of Rapid City is to restore our Sovereignty, our Trust Land and Rights they illegally took from us, that we are entitled to and have a legitimate claim to. In no way we intended to be divisive or negative this is simply a restorative approach on the long overdue discrimination and mishandling of our Indian Affairs here in Rapid City by the city government.”
On Friday Nov. 22 at 1 p.m. at the Woyatan Church on Anamosa Street, the board will be holding a meeting to discuss many of the issues and concerns that community members have brought to the board’s attention.
The meeting is being sponsored by the Sioux Addition Board, the Lakota Homes Board, the Oglala Sioux Tribe Vice President, the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council, and the American Indian Movement.
See Tad Montgomery’s letter to the editor detailing his understanding of the history of Sioux Additions presence in Rapid City on the Editorial Page 4 of this issue.
(Contact Karin Eagle at firstname.lastname@example.org)Copyright permission by Native Sun News