Darla Black, then serving as vice president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe addresses a rally for the Violence Against Women Act at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on September 11, 2019. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Oglala Sioux Tribal Council votes to impeach Vice President Darla Black

PINE RIDGE – Darla Black who was elected in 2016 and again in 2018 to lead the Oglala Sioux Tribe as their Vice- Chairwoman was ousted during a tribunal held at the Prairie Winds Casino on November 25.

Black was accused by four former employees of abusing her position as Vice-President and creating a hostile work environment. The writing was on the wall since October 29, when a majority of council members voted to suspend Black with pay after receiving the women’s complaints.

A hearing was scheduled for November 25 at Prairie Winds which was broadcast live via Facebook. Thousands tuned in to watch the public spectacle in which the tribe’s second highest public official’s position would be abruptly terminated.

Tom Poor Bear was sworn in as the Oglala Sioux Tribes Vice President this morning at the OST Justice Center in Pine Ridge. Welcome back, VP Poor Bear and enjoy your first day back in office.

Posted by Oglala Sioux Tribe - OST on Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Three of the women, Santana Young Man, Duwana Twobulls and Louise Desersa testified at the tribunal, before the tribal counsel and special judge Paula Langworthy, a member of the Cherokee Nation from Oklahoma. Langworthy formerly served as Chief Judge of the Oglala Lakota Tribal Courts in 2011 and 2012.

The women presented evidence that alleged Black called and texted them late at night, verbally abused them, made them do non-work related errands and inappropriately talked about relationship issues.

Black vehemently denied the accusations and questioned the evidence and asked for an opportunity to review the documents which she said she had not seen.

However Black would not get that opportunity as a motion was made by Lydia Bear Killer to accept the complaint and impeach Darla Black and remove her from office for malfeasance. The motion was seconded by Valerie Janis.


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