Hearing focuses on Standing Rock public safety
The Senate Indian Affairs Committee held a field hearing on Wednesday to discuss law enforcement on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

Chairman Ron His Horse Is Thunder said the tribe saw progress as part of Operation Dakota Peacekeeper. The Bureau of Indian Affairs, sent as many as 37 officers to the reservation to combat high crime rates.

But the tribe is back down to 12 officers for the 2.4 million-acre reservation, His Horse Is Thunder said. "All the progress we've made is going to get reversed if we don't get additional resources out there," he told the committee, The Rapid City Journal reported.

His Horse Is Thunder said the lack of law enforcement threatens tribal youth because they don't feel safe. He cited nine suicides and 50 suicide attempts since January.

"Some may think it inappropriate to discuss suicide in the context of public safety," His Horse Is Thunder said in his testimony. "But for me, suicide is not only a tragedy robbing us of our future, it is the miner's canary foretelling what lies ahead for us as a community and a nation if we do not act to address our public safety needs in Indian Country."

Get the Story:
Standing Rock tribal chairman warns of a crisis re-emerging (The Rapid City Journal 7/'2)
Not Enough Tribal Police (KFYR 7/1)

Committee Hearing:
FIELD HEARING to Examine Lessons Learned from Operation Dakota Peacekeeper (July 1, 2009)

Related Stories:
Witness list for Senate Indian Affairs field hearing (7/1)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee field hearing (6/29)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe loses police officers (6/26)
Senate Indian Affairs hearing on Law and Order (6/25)
Witness list for hearing on Law and Order Act (6/24)
In The Hoop: Uhh, good luck with that testimony... (6/24)
Senate Indian Affairs hearing on Law and Order (6/22)
Indian Affairs hearing on Law and Order Act (6/18)
Tribal law and order bill introduced in Senate (4/6)