Wakpa Sica threatened by dwindling funds

The Wakpa Sica Reconciliation Place is supposed to be a major Sioux cultural, educational and legal resource but lack of federal funding has kept the $25 million center in South Dakota from fulfilling its mission.

Former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota) championed the project as a way to promote Sioux culture and economic development. The center would house the Sioux Nation Supreme Court, which supporters say will encourage business on reservations by providing a stable judicial system.

During his time in the Senate, Daschle secured $13 million for Wakpa Sica. But after he lost his re-election in 2004, funding fell to $350,000 and then to zero. The current request is for $150,000.

Members of South Dakota's Congressional delegation support the project. Other priorities, such as the war in Iraq, are preventing the center from receiving funds, they say.

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Earmark Gone, Indian Project Is One-Winged (The New York Times 9/12)
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Relevant Links:
Wakpa Sica Reconciliation Place - http://www.wakpasica.org

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