Native Sun News: Tribes honor author of Indian Child Welfare Act

From left: Oglala Sioux Tribe President John Yellow Bird Steele, Attorney Charlie Abourezk, Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Association Executive Director A. Gay Kingman. Photo by Richie Richards

Former Senator Jim Abourezk honored
By Richie Richards
Native Sun News Staff Writer

RAPID CITY –– The author of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 and former-South Dakota State Senator, James Abourezk was recognized and honored this week by the Tribal Interior Budget Council (TIBC) in Rapid City.

The TIBC met during the quarterly meeting of the Coalition of Large Tribes (COLT) at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center from July 12-14.

Presented with a traditional gift of a Lakota-made star quilt, Senator Abourezk’s son Charles Abourezk received the gift on behalf of his father who due to a “recent illness” was too frail to travel to the honoring ceremony in person.

Rapid City-based attorney, Charles “Charlie” Abourezk read from a statement provided by the former-SD State Representative and Senator during the special honoring ceremony.

Oglala Sioux Tribal President John Yellow Bird Steele introduced Charlie Abourezk to the tribal leaders and called his father, James, a “champion” for Indian Country for having been an advocate and friend of the tribes of South Dakota and the United States during his political career and life.

“First of all, I want to thank Gay Kingman, who has done such an admirable job of representing the Indian Tribes throughout this country. And I want to congratulate the gathered tribes for their willingness to stand up for their tribal members against those who would try to stop the Tribes of their efforts to make life better for their members,” the Senator said in his written statement.

“I want to thank the Tribal representatives for their honoring of me for what work I’ve done over the years on behalf of the Tribes,” said Senator Abourezk.

Born in Wood, SD on Feb. 24, 1931 to parents Charles and Lena Abourezk, Senator Abourezk grew up on the Rosebud Indian Reservation and has spent most of his life living in South Dakota.

Read the rest of the story on the all new Native Sun News website: Former Senator Jim Abourezk honored

(Contact Richie Richards at

Copyright permission Native Sun News

Join the Conversation