District 21 candidate for South Dakota House of Representatives Faith Spotted Eagle takes her granddaughter River Marie Spotted Eagle (Anpetu Duta Ataya) to a pow wow. Photo courtesy Amelia Spotted Eagle
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Native Sun News Today: Spotted Eagle promises 'Faith, Hope and Leadership'

Spotted Eagle promises ‘Faith, Hope, and Leadership’

By Talli Nauman
Native Sun News Today
Health & Environment Editor

LAKE ANDES – “Faith, Hope, and Leadership” is the campaign slogan for Faith Spotted Eagle, candidate for South Dakota House of Representatives in the June 5 Democratic Party primary elections for District 21. A strong sense of place dictates her priorities for the office.

“I grew up with a wonderful father who, after his military service, worked for a farm irrigator who was a good steward of the land. They lamented that much of our land was being taken by corporate interests, which are not always connected to tradition,” she said.

“I remember early one morning with my father and his farmer friend who said, as we stood by a freshly plowed field: ‘When I smell the fresh earth, this is the closest that I get to creator’,” she said. “I understand that, and at the same time, I see the need for preservation of native grass lands and buttes, which contain the sacred sites of our ancestors.”

Due to her “cultural inheritance and the necessary thriving of indigenous peoples,” she is “dedicated to the preservation, promotion and enhancement of the Dakota culture,” she told the Native Sun News Today.

She showed her commitment by founding the Brave Heart Society in 1994. Inspired by many years she and her daughter were trainers against girl-on-girl violence, the group revives the figure of a traditional Dakota women’s society, with its mission: “To enhance and preserve the Dakota-Nakota-Lakota culture for coming generations, thereby creating strong, competent, worldly families with a strong foundation of values, morals, and worldview.”

Likewise, her tireless commitment to the Ihanktonwan Treaty Steering Committee, which was recently reflected in her tribe’s agreement to sign on to the International Treaty to Protect the Sacred, has earned her many a pidamaya.

She notes, “Our state is impacted by the need for a stronger bridge between tribal and state relations that can heal and create safety for all people. Our entire country is wracked by continuing historical trauma, not just native people; as evidenced by school violence.” Spotted Eagle’s experience as a student in country school was, to her mind, “the best kind of education.” Now, as a former teacher and principal, she says she feels “a special connection to the need to place a higher value on the salaries and support of teachers in tribal, private and public schools.” She is a firm believer in the importance of “local community input” for good education.


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Contact Talli Nauman at talli.nauman@gmail.com

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