Editorial: Lower Brule Sioux Tribe should be open about funding

A sign at the entrance of the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. Photo from Rolf Blauert / Wikipedia

South Dakota newspaper criticizes Chairman Michael Jandreau for not being more forthcoming about the finances of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe in the wake of a report questioning the use of $25 million in federal funds:
Our reporters and members of this editorial board have traveled to the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe and have seen the poverty-stricken area. More than 40 percent of members of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe live in poverty, which is more than three times the national rate, and unemployment on the reservation is at 29 percent.

Over a seven-year span, from 2007 to 2013, think of the improvements and aid $25 million could have done for the tribe. That's an average of $3.57 million per year to help tribal members, which would go an extremely long way to help many impoverished tribal members.

Jandreau did not return The Daily Republic's calls for comment on the report, but he later issued a statement condemning the "biased, error-ridden, defamatory attack on the Lower Brule Sioux leadership."

We wonder, though, why Jandreau did not cooperate with Human Rights Watch when the organization sought information about the tribe.

Arvind Ganesan, the primary author of the report and director of business and human rights at Human Rights Watch, told The Daily Republic's editorial board that members of the tribal council refused comment on the report.

Get the Story:
Editorial: Tribal leaders should be open about report's accusations (The Mitchell Daily Republic 1/15)

Human Rights Watch Report:
Secret and Unaccountable: The Tribal Council at Brule and Its Impact on Human Rights (January 2015)

Related Stories:
Leader of Lower Brule Sioux Tribe blasts report as 'baseless' (1/13)
Group accuses Lower Brule Sioux Tribe of widespread corruption (1/12)

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