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Native Sun News: Senate candidates accept invitation to debate

The following story was written and reported by Brandon Ecoffey, Native Sun News Managing Editor. All content © Native Sun News.

Rick Weiland, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate with Oglala Sioux Tribe President Bryan Brewer. Photo from Facebook

Native Sun News and United Tribes Technical College to sponsor senate debate
By Brandon Ecoffey
Native Sun News Managing Editor

RAPID CITY—Native Sun News has teamed up with the United Tribes Technical College in Rapid City to host a senatorial debate in Rapid City during the height of the campaign season.

The debate will take place September 12 at 6:00 p.m. at the college’s Black Hills Learning Center located in downtown Rapid City. The inspiration for the debate came from an observation by Tim Giago that issues relevant to Indian Country are often ignored by candidates running for congress. According to Giago, the debate will allow for Native American voters to hear candidates speak on topics that have real impact on their lives.

“A Native American can go to debate after debate and if there is ever a question pertinent to them as Indians, you never hear that question asked,” Giago said. “There is an old saying that goes ‘If the mountain won’t come to Mohammed, Mohammed will go to the mountain,’ and that is exactly what UTTC and the Native Sun News is doing, we are bringing the mountain to us,” Giago said. Giago went on to thank Laurette Pourier and Kathlene Thurman at UTTC for their support of the debate.

Larry Pressler, an independent candidate for U.S. Senate in South Dakota.

Invitations to the event have been sent out to Mike Rounds, Gordon Howie, Rick Weiland, and Larry Pressler. Pressler has been the only candidate to publicly accept the invitation and feels that it is an opportunity to hear from Native Americans in the state and for him to show his knowledge of Indian issues.

“I commend the Native Sun News and the United Tribes Technical College in sponsoring this debate, and I hope they will set an example for many more across South Dakota,” said Senator Pressler in a release.

Recently, Pressler has stepped efforts to court Native American voters as he made a campaign promise to sponsor a bill that would create a memorial museum near the site of the Wounded Knee massacre.

Gordon Howie, an independent candidate for U.S. Senate in South Dakota.

The topics covered during the event will be provided by UTTC students with a moderator to be named at a later date. So far Pressler, Weiland and Gordie Howie have agreed to attend. UTTC and Native Sun News are waiting for Gov. Mike Rounds to respond.

Mike Rounds, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in South Dakota.

For more information you can contact Native Sun News at (605) 721-1266.

(Contact Brandon Ecoffey at

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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