Harold Frazier
Chairman Harold Frazier of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe is seen at the “Indians Allowed” rally against racism and discrimination in Rapid City, South Dakota, on March 26, 2022. Photo by Kevin Abourezk
Chairman Frazier statement on South Dakota Governor executive order
Thursday, April 7, 2022
Chairman, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

EAGLE BUTTE, South Dakota — On April 5, 2022, the Governor of the state of South Dakota has made it clear that the United States is not responsible for any of its actions. In true dictator fashion she is forbidding the educators of our children to hear, speak or discuss critical issues that would enable our future generations to solve the problems in which we have failed.

I condemn the recent executive order issued by the Governor of South Dakota for all the polished ugliness that it represents. I can go on being critical of the statement but I would like to tell you what it means for us. The style of leadership which dictates thought and restricts educators from encouraging critical thinking is not the leadership my people deserve.

This executive order [PDF] is divisive and contributes to the very political indoctrination that it professes to prevent. Under the cover of great virtue, the Governor is promoting a great evil by dictating the thoughts of our teachers and children.

This may earn her the title of champion to those who believe that the people are not responsible for their nation but as we have seen on the other side of the world when the people can claim ignorance of their governments actions, the government can attack other countries and commit atrocities. We must be critical of our leadership and own our governments as that is the everyday work of democracy.

Any law or order meant to restrict our freedom to teach and learn is a restriction on freedom.

This executive order tells every minority in the state of South Dakota that you do not care what you have done, what you are doing or what you will continue to do.

The truth must be taught and told.Hecetu elo.


Harold Frazier is serving his second consecutive term as chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, an Indian nation based in South Dakota. He also serves as president of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association. He previously served as chair and vice chair of his tribe and as an area vice president for the National Congress of American Indians. His Lakota name is Ta Hunska Luta (His Red Leggings).