Rosebud Sioux Tribal President Rodney Bordeaux delivers the State of the Tribes Address the South Dakota Capitol Building in Pierre on January 10, 2019. Photo courtesy South Dakota Department of Tribal Relations

Rosebud Sioux Tribe issues statement about White House listening session

President Rodney M. Bordeaux of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe issued the following statement on February 15, 2019, in connection with the White House listening session and the involvement of the National Congress of American Indians.

I write this statement on behalf of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in response to the events occurring on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 at the Winter Session of the National Congress of American Indians (“NCAI”) held in Washington, D.C.

Julian Bear Runner, President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe had made statements criticizing NCAI’s role as acting as a liaison between the United States Presidential Administration officials and Tribal nations. NCAI President Jefferson Keel stated to the Oglala Sioux President Bear Runner “if he didn’t want to be there he should leave.”

White House listening session with William F. Crozer- Special Assistant to President Trump & Deputy Director at the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Tara Sweeney- Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, NCAI President Jefferson Keel. President Bear Runner spoke the truth for our Oglala Lakota Oyaté✊

Posted by Julian Bear Runner for Oglala Nation President on Wednesday, February 13, 2019

NCAI President Keel should treat each leader of a Tribal Nation in a professional manner showing proper respect. President Bear Runner’s point about government-to-government relations is valid one.

Meaningful government-to-government relations should be direct discussions between the elected leaders of each Tribal nation and the President, not lower level White House staff members and officials from other Tribes purporting to represent the views and policy positions of member Tribes, especially the Oglala Sioux Tribe, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, and other Tribal Nations of the Great Plains Region. NCAI officials should encourage White House officials to revive the White House Council on Native American Affairs established during the Obama Administration to ensure the federal government engages in meaningful government-to-government consultations with Tribal nations.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe supports the statements and shares the views of OST President Bear Runner. If NCAI officials cannot treat the elected officials any Tribal nations with the proper respect and in a professional manner, then the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and all other Tribes should evaluate whether to continue our support for NCAI and whether or not NCAI membership in in their best interests.

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