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Tom Poor Bear
Poor Bear talks about resolution banning Duffy and RC Journal
By Native Sun News Staff
RAPID CITY –– A resolution passed by the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council erroneously listed Rapid City Attorney Patrick Duffy as a writer for the Rapid City Journal and advised stores selling the Journal on the reservation to refrain from doing so. The resolution also called for the Rapid City Journal to be banned from the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Tribal Vice President Tom Poor Bear was not comfortable with the contents of the resolution.
“First of all, I don’t like to be told what I can or cannot read,” Poor Bear said at a meeting of the LNI Board held at the Prairie Edge Trading Post last week. “Second, Patrick Duffy is a lawyer and he doesn’t pick his clients, they pick him. Every one accused of a crime has the right to choose a lawyer and an attorney cannot be held responsible for the alleged crimes of his client. He is only there to defend him.”
Poor Bear said he would be glad to meet with Shannon Brinker, publisher of the Rapid City Journal, to discuss the situation with her.
Several phone calls to the office of Native Sun News came from residents of Pine Ridge Village complaining about their inability to buy the Rapid City Journal. The owner of one store in the Village decided that since they were a privately owned business they would continue to sell the Journal as a service to their customers.
According to the publisher of Native Sun New, Tim Giago, freedom of the press is guaranteed under the U. S. Constitution.
“I can understand perfectly why members of the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council are angry. An event at a Rush hockey game should have been a time of fun for the 57 students from American Horse School and instead it turned into a disaster for the children," Giago said.
Giago believes that common sense needs to prevail and that reconciliation is the best approach.
“When a bad situation is addressed in anger and retaliatory measures are taken to get back at anyone even remotely associated by the racist event, sometimes things can get out of hand and banning a qualified attorney from the reservation for defending a client who came to him looking for legal defense and banning a newspaper for making a few mistakes is extreme in my estimation,” he said.
A separate resolution by the OST Council also called for moving the Lakota Nation Invitational Tournament from Rapid City to another location. The LNI Board took that under advisement and decided to address the situation using diplomacy and voted to keep the tournament in Rapid City.
Former OST President Bryan Brewer was at the Prairie Edge meeting and worked the room shaking hands with Rapid City business owners and city officials. Brewer, a longtime educator on the reservation, was especially angry over the alleged slurs and beer spilling at the Civic Center, but as the originator of the LNI, he understood how well all of the visitors to the LNI tourney had been treated in the past and wanted to work with the city business owners to keep the tournament in the City.
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