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Posted: April 30, 2020

Photo courtesy Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe


April 30, 2020

Chairman Harold Frazier statement on Bureau of Indian Affairs letter regarding roads on the reservation.

Eagle Butte, SD – Thank you for taking a sudden interest in the roads on the Cheyenne river reservation. The Bureau of Indian Affairs has shut down route 9 at mile marker 12.2 for two years now because you failed to live up to your trust responsibility. This route has been closed to the people of the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe with no sign of being reopened in sight.

 Why are you accusing us of closing roads when you have done that to us? We have not closed any roads but are monitoring and directing traffic on the roads on our reservation. 

Your sudden concern for roads on the reservation should start with the hundreds of miles of roads that are severely underfunded and poorly maintained. Your sudden concerns for roads should begin with coming up with an equitable way to fund road construction and maintenance on large reservations instead of funneling money to state or county governments.

I am happy we are beginning the discussion of roads on reservations. I have traveled to many large reservations with poor transportation infrastructure that is your responsibility. I think a happy discussion could start with the fact that you are charged with protecting our assets and not that of any state. In case you forgot, here is the mission statement of the Bureau of Indian Affairs:

“The Bureau of Indian Affairs’ mission is to enhance the quality of life, to promote economic opportunity, and to carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes and Alaska Natives.”

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