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Native Sun News Today: Lawmakers in South Dakota honor legacy of Sitting Bull

Sitting Bull in 1885. Image: Library of Congress

State lawmakers pay tribute to Sitting Bull
By Talli Nauman
Native Sun News Today
Health & Environment Editor

PIERRE –– With a March 10 deadline in view for South Dakota legislators to pass bills to the executive branch, several new laws and resolutions favoring members of the state’s nine federally-recognized tribal jurisdictions are waiting for Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s approval.

One of them is HCR 1011, “recognizing and honoring Sitting Bull, Tatanka-Iyotanka, a courageous warrior, statesman, dedicated leader, one of South Dakota's first ambassadors to the world, and a man who remains an essential figure in South Dakota and United States history.”

It passed unanimously in the Senate on Feb. 28, after also passing unanimously in the House of Representatives.

The tribes’ ranking state lawmaker, Dist. 27 Democratic Sen. Kevin Killer, thanked Dist. 19 Republican Sen. Stace Nelson for being the prime sponsor and speaking out for the resolution in the upper chamber of the Legislature.

“I applaud Sen. Nelson for taking the time to do that,” Killer told the Native Sun News Today. “In his floor speech, he mentioned there hasn’t been a lot of recognition of leaders from the 1800s.”

The resolution highlights Sitting Bull’s role in history, noting that “he gained the respect of the Lakota people as both a leader and a warrior and earned the title of Chief of the Lakota Nation.”

“By telling an accurate story at that level of government, it’s kind of bridging a gap,” Killer said.

Also passed unanimously in both chambers was SB 74, “to exempt the elected members of the governing board of any federally recognized Indian tribe from the requirement to register as lobbyists.”

Originating in the governor’s office, the exemption puts tribal council members and chairs on even footing with members of other elected posts, such as city council or county commission, when it comes to lobbying.

It eliminates the requirement for the tribal representatives to pay a fee for a lobbyist badge, even though tribes are not a part of the state’s structure as are cities and counties.

The legislation applies to elected officials of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, Oglala Sioux Tribe, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and Yankton Sioux Tribe.

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: State lawmakers pay tribute to Sitting Bull

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