Democratic Legislators Reflect on Tribal Relations Day and State of the Tribes


January 10, 2024

Wednesday, the South Dakota State Capitol celebrated Tribal Relations Day. Lawmakers heard from several tribal leaders about the beauty of their culture and the issues that need to be addressed to help tribal members thrive in South Dakota.

Democratic Sen. Shawn Bordeaux and Rep. Eric Emery, both of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, were part of a flag installation ceremony for the Standing Rock and Rosebud Sioux Tribes. Sen. Bordeaux spent years working to get tribal flags displayed in the Capitol rotunda. Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe Vice President Cyndi Allen-Weddell delivered the State of the Tribes. The day also included dazzling performances from young tribal members.

Sen. Red Dawn Foster of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and Rep. Emery released the following statements about Tribal Relations Day and the State of the Tribes.

Rep. Emery

“I’m glad the address focused on tribal economic opportunities globally while also supporting the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA),” said Emery. “Vice President Allen-Weddell also urged state-tribal unity, citing successful collaboration with the State-Tribal Relations committee during summer sessions. She also highlighted tribal leadership in the cannabis industry locally, regionally, and internationally, emphasizing its positive impact on community cohesion.”

Sen. Foster

“Today was a good day,” said Sen. Foster. “Wopíla Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe Vice-President Cyndi Allen-Weddell for your informative and inspirational State of the Tribes address.  Vice-President Allen-Weddell addressed some important concerns and issues as well as spoke about the importance of the tribes and the state working proactively in the best interest of our children, community health, housing and economic development. It was wonderful to learn of the medical and economic benefits of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe Cannabis operation. As always it was great to have the tribal leadership presence here at the capital.”

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Paid for by the South Dakota Democratic Party |