Tribe says shutdown could lead to furloughs, suspension of aid, prisoner releases

2013-10-10T18:00:00Z 2013-12-11T08:02:06Z Tribe says shutdown could lead to furloughs, suspension of aid, prisoner releasesDaniel Simmons-Ritchie Journal staff Rapid City Journal
October 10, 2013 6:00 pm  • 

The partial government shutdown will force the Oglala Sioux to release prisoners, furlough hundreds of tribal employees and suspend heating assistance to elderly tribal members still struggling after Friday's blizzard, the tribe warned Thursday.

While the Oglala Sioux has already said the shutdown would severely impact its members on the Pine Ridge Reservation, the statement is the first time the tribe has officially criticized Congress and fully described the shutdown's impact.

"It is a devastating situation, not a political debate," President Bryan Brewer said in the statement. "Our people suffer the worst poverty in the country. It is unthinkable to have to close programs, stop services and turn people out of their jobs. In an area with 80 percent unemployment, furloughs are a humanitarian disaster."

The shutdown was caused after House Republicans, including U.S. Rep Kristi Noem, R-S.D., declined to pass a resolution to fund the government unless Democrats weakened or delayed parts of President Obama's Affordable Care Act. Democrats have refused to make concessions over the law.

The tribe's statement warned that more than half of their programs are affected by the shutdown: a USDA food distribution program would be terminated, a suicide prevention program would be cut, emergency programs for homeless veterans and homeless youths would be suspended, and a lack of funding from the Department of Corrections would force the tribe to release prisoners.

In addition, the tribe added, an energy assistance program for low-income people has been cut, which will imperil some of the tribe's most elderly and vulnerable members who are still recovering from Friday's blizzard.

The statement also said that Brewer and other tribal members are in Washington this week to press Congress to reopen the government.

"We need Congress to do its job," Brewer said. "Fund the government."

At present there is no clear sign when that might happen. House Republicans have passed a series of bills to reopen certain services, like national parks, but Senate Democrats have rejected those bills, arguing that Republicans should reopen the entire government.

South Dakota's Republican representatives, Noem and U.S. Sen John Thune, have issued repeated statements this week that those House bills show that Republicans are trying to end the shutdown.

Democrats, including U.S. Sen Tim Johnson, argue that the easiest way to end the shutdown would be for House Republicans to pass a resolution, with no extra policy provisions, that would fully fund the government.

Copyright 2015 Rapid City Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(29) Comments

  1. B-Rock
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    B-Rock - October 14, 2013 8:55 am
    Person A leaves the reservation. They are able to find a job. They earn money while working their job.
    Person B stays on the reservation. They are not able to find a job because there are none available. They have family tiwahe.
    Which person is able to buy groceries?

    "Look what SD has done to our children in foster care" Like keeping them safe? Children in foster care off the reservation are far less likely to be abused than children on the reservation.
    "and how much revenue they generate" Weren't you just saying family and traditions are more important than money? Why does your argument come back to money?
  2. Rhudedog
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    Rhudedog - October 14, 2013 8:45 am
    You the man - capitalism is the answer to poverty!
  3. ScreamingEagle
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    ScreamingEagle - October 14, 2013 6:32 am
    I am sorry to say, that this is the way, when we depend on the government for everything. It is the position the government wants people in...DEPENDENT. The only way out is self reliance. Leadership, is the key for both governments. Learn to stand up on your own two feet, not lean on the government. Having a proud past is one thing, building a proud future is another.
  4. farmer
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    farmer - October 13, 2013 8:25 am
    you are saying that opinion should be based on a movie ? You must be kidding!
  5. Fire47
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    Fire47 - October 13, 2013 7:41 am
    Dang! Who would have thought that elections have consequences? Heck, we still have Treaties. How do we protect our Treaty rights? Only one Party is trying to disarm the country. Anyone one out there in Indian Country dare to quess? A disarmed Indian is no Warrior. The lack for Capitalism results in crushing poverty and creates Wards for the State and a people with no Pride left in them and easy prey for Liberalism.
  6. Buck
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    Buck - October 13, 2013 7:23 am
    "Socialism sound like a good idea but eventually you run out of other people's money." – Margaret Thatcher
  7. farmer
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    farmer - October 12, 2013 6:44 pm
    This is a problem, but when you let yourself become dependent on a Government you are at the risk of these things. What would happen if out debt got so high that this was a permanent thing?
  8. yezzus
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    yezzus - October 11, 2013 7:01 pm
    I think everyone that has a disagreement with the health care law needs to watch John Q with denzel washington.
  9. yezzus
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    yezzus - October 11, 2013 6:21 pm
    The start of my family was encouraging bear/horn chips/chipps. He was the medicine man and best friends with crazy horse and is the only one who knows the location of crazy horse's grave. He has is noted for saving the lakota tradition. So I guess I do know that im talking about. My mother was born and raised in wamblie and would have never raised us there. There is a medicine man in county for crimes I won't disclose whom is my relations. How have we not lost our power? I here the stories from the bia, emt,police down there which over half is never told to the greater public. The only people who I care for is the children at this time. The ones I pray for, the suicide rate has gone through the roof over the past decade. Not a noble way for a lakota to die but seems like a good choice for a few. So ya we were forced to live there but have the opportunity to leave. The men and women need to make the tribe bloom like it did before, not the tribal counsel who embezzled the money that was ment for the children cause the parents are to lazy to do anything about it. I'M PROUD OF OUR PAST, NOT OUR PRESENT.
  10. Buldog
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    Buldog - October 11, 2013 6:07 pm
    rudedog, your misery meter must be about peaked out. Take two aspirin and chill out, it is not nearly as bad as all your teapub outlets are telling you. In fact if you would do some actual research on the ACH you would be surprised at what it might even do for you. I will list some of the benefits that you may be elgible for and please tell us which of these you disagree with. • Cost assistance to individuals, families and small businesses through the marketplace. • No annual or lifetime limits on healthcare. • Insurance companies can't drop you when you are sick or for making a mistake on your application. • You can't be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions. Learn More About Healthcare and Pre-existing Conditions. • You have the right to quickly appeal any health insurance company decision. • You have the right to get an easy-to-understand summary about a health plan’s benefits and coverage. • Young Adults can stay on their parent's plan until 26. • A large improvement to women's health services. • Reforms to the healthcare industry to cut wasteful spending. • Better care and protections for seniors. • New preventative Services at no-out-of pocket costs. • Essential health benefits like emergency care, hospitalization, prescription drugs, and maternity and newborn care must be included on all non-grandfathered plans at no out-of-pocket limit. • You can't be charged more based on health status or gender. • Plus one benefit that you will probably really be interested in is a Great Mental Health Benefit. Which of the benefits above do you not agree with?
  11. Observer
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    Observer - October 11, 2013 10:44 am
    "give back the land and we will make ourselves self sufficient!!!"

    Wasn't that experiment tried at Victoria Lake. How did that work out?
  12. Observer
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    Observer - October 11, 2013 10:39 am
    So your culture is not dependent on the people it is dependent on a piece of land?
  13. Observer
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    Observer - October 11, 2013 10:36 am
    "dead wood took that from our people"

    I've heard this song before. Is it possible to put some heads together and figure out a plan to get customers in, or is it just easier to lay down some blame?
  14. hopeful
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    hopeful - October 11, 2013 9:11 am
    this is not a race thing; everyone is getting cuts. the people that are working in this family are already paying very high taxes and we just don't have anymore money! as they say we are tapped out! what happened in this state in this country is in the past; many things over the years have been promised to everyone and yes those promises have been broken.
    its just time to re think our election process and as they say again====clean house!
  15. brtgrd
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    brtgrd - October 11, 2013 8:19 am
    Although you may think living off the reservation is a key idea......that is exactly what the government thought when they moved Indians off of the reservation with the Assimilation Act. However we would be lost without our culture, our ways, our traditions. Many have been lost to a west-thinking society and not in a positive way.....many were in boarding schools abused for being Indian and many times sexually abused. There may not be much in the way of accessibility on reservations but there is far stronger ties than, money and that is FAMILY TIWAHE!!! Ultimately look at what South Dakota has done to our children in foster care and how much revenue they generate from the government by taking Indian children. You seriously need to look at some facts or federal Indian law and history to make a judgment. We are more than what the outside world thinks we are.......
  16. Rhudedog
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    Rhudedog - October 11, 2013 8:13 am
    You might be a liberal if you think the shutdown is racist. We've had enough of Obama's lies, haven't you? Obamacare is the largest tax hike in U.S. history, will increase men’s individual insurance premiums by an average of 99 percent and women’s by 62 percent. Obamacare is turning America into a part-time nation. 97% of all jobs added to the economy so far this year have been part-time jobs. Contrary to Obama’s promises, it turns out: You can’t keep your doctor, you can’t keep your insurance — you can’t even keep your job. Let's be clear our President hasn't been willing to work with anybody and this is only one topic
  17. Ironshield34
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    Ironshield34 - October 11, 2013 8:04 am
    I'm sorry but in our treaty signed with the US it states for these things!! We were promised these things we were told these words are set in stone!! If you don't want to do what u promised then give back the land and we will make ourselves self sufficient!!!
  18. Funk_Spunk
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    Funk_Spunk - October 11, 2013 7:17 am
    Telling people that already struggle to move out if their homes no matter where they live, or what race, is not reasonable. Rapid City and throughout Western south Dakota the lack of affordable housing already is a major issue. Yes we have minimum wage jobs, alongside every other community, where are you going to live, eat, and learn? A solution to poverty is not to ignore it. Simple answers do not solve the problem!
  19. yezzus
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    yezzus - October 11, 2013 5:34 am
    I'm native too, skin color doesn't keep people from being successful. What makes me upset is the fact that just about every elder has to take care of there grandchildren. What makes a 10 year old want to kill themselves? There is no hope, now that they're legalizing alcohol I feel for the children I really do. We have lost our way and it's the children who are paying the cost. So the children fall into the same habits and become alcoholics before there adults. If it was up to me I would move people out of the reservation and nuke it...
  20. Hot Springs SD Transplant
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    Hot Springs SD Transplant - October 11, 2013 2:54 am
  21. Hot Springs SD Transplant
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    Hot Springs SD Transplant - October 11, 2013 2:40 am
    Thank you for reading the others comments and I agree with you. Many of us have these concerns, but many of us are focused on the contested Powertech Uranium Mining of the Dewey-Burdock area, near the already contaminated area of Edgemont, SD, Hearings currently before the Mining and Water Boards. BTW, there are currently 3 other mining companies, mining uranium in South Dakota. After 500 years, Non-Natives have joined the Natives, with compassion, passion, and respect for the Planet Earth. Another, publication, the {Huffington Post}, has pages of articles of the results of Uranium mining and several advertisements, encouraging the mining for PROFITS !!! This is a global issue and the People of South Dakota can turn this around, here and now.
    One of the reader's made comments about the current Pow-Wow currently, being held at the Rushmore Civic Center, in Rapid City. it is 2:30 am 10/11/13 and it is raining~ it has been my intention to come to this gathering for further reconcillation of the cultures.
  22. hotshot 4
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    hotshot 4 - October 10, 2013 11:33 pm
    and no they done have much gaming revenue ,their casinos are not a 4 seasonal and they also don't get the traffic because they are so far off . dead wood took that from our people !
  23. hotshot 4
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    hotshot 4 - October 10, 2013 11:31 pm
    and how do u supposes thy do that hear in SD. Id myself would be glad to hear what you have to say it to be done !
  24. hotshot 4
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    hotshot 4 - October 10, 2013 11:30 pm
    well I know for a fact they do go to training and education and the tribe dosnt pay for everyone to go to the pow wow , rapid city make quite a penny off those .
  25. oyate win
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    oyate win - October 10, 2013 11:02 pm
    Wow a series of comments here stupid and good. I say stop racism, stop intentional acts of hate, stop ignoring the problems they cause and some indian leaders need to stop acting like Indians can't help themselves either. By the way I am indian. I try to be fair because I lived there and here and a lot of places and there is no racism like the Midwest. This 3..5% unemployment consists of whom? Indians mainly. As far as terroristic threats, what happened in Wounded Knee in the 70's when we did stand up? We had the military come in to stop us so see what they'll do now that our worst can't be funded via our casino to keep then trapped. And yes move us out and watch how great this 'integration' goes - wait it's evident in Rapid City, SFalls and almost every Midwest town. It just not how you choose to see it or point that finger. I'd hate to be hated too for those who say that's funny. Me I just like the ugly looks and crappy treatment I guess because for every 100 I get a smile and get to see a better nonnative who gives me hope.
  26. positive thoughts
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    positive thoughts - October 10, 2013 7:31 pm
    If this is all true why is the OST still sending employees to rapid city for the pow-wow/ so called meetings and trainings that most wont attend? get the money to go blow it as a lot of employees do, As for the OSTPS O well that's a whole different laugh, pick on the ones that drink and the less fortunate that's who OSTPS goes after, do a crime and odds are you will get away with it.. It's a who you know thing, sad thing to say cause we do have a lot of people who really do try hard for the OST but anyone one has ever worked for the OST will know how bends all the rules and gets a vacation and spending money.
  27. cprichard
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    cprichard - October 10, 2013 6:56 pm
    thought they independent nation
  28. yezzus
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    yezzus - October 10, 2013 4:58 pm
    Or maybe the tribe(s) should become self sufficient. I understand the need for help but after a hundred years we shouldn't have to rely on the government. I wish everyone would move off the reservation, there is nothing there. With the unemployment rate at 80% but rapid city at a rate of 3.5% . Maybe the tribe should use the federal assistance to move people out of the poorest county in the country. Just my opinion, not trying to offend anyone.
  29. gramps2007
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    gramps2007 - October 10, 2013 1:03 pm
    This sounds a lot like a terroristic threat to me. "Give us money or we will unleash criminals in your back yard." Really? Seems as though they could come up with a different solution than to free prisoners. Don't they have gaming revenue to get by on?
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