Oyate News - News For The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Community



Last updated 5/17/2021 at 4:35pm



Submitted by Myrna Thompson, Tribal Secretary

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Greetings to Executives, Tribal Council & the Oyate of the SWO.

UPDATE TO THE ELDERS: I previously reported to you that the Buche Elderly Food Coupons would be reloadable; however, beginning this month (May), cards will be issued monthly. As before, we will provide our list of elders within a 65-mile radius to R.F. Buche monthly for the purposes of additions/deletions. YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO PICK UP YOUR CARDS AT BUCHE FOODS/DAKOTA CROSSING AND MUST PRESENT AN IDENTIFICATION TO DO SO. Please see letter from RF Buche posted online to Tom Wilson’s Facebook page and to the Sota Iya Ye Yapi. The remainder of the elderly food gift cards will be mailed as usual. There are 2,218 elders listed for the month of May.

There were 78 people that came to the TSO for assistance for the month of April, not including Program Managers and/or Tribal Council. We logged in and responded to 186 phone calls; signed/approved 148 documents. There was one complaint received this month. There were 76 scheduled meetings with Tribal Executives, Council, Program Managers and others, including the WebEx or Zoom meetings; and, conference calls. Although I attended several important conference calls and virtual meetings with agencies such as, the Census Bureau, Department of Interior, GPTCA, DHHS, and, Casey Family Foundation, etc., the highlight of this month was attending the 3-day, 39th Annual “Protecting Our Children” National Indian Child Welfare Association Conference, #NICWA2021. It was a virtual conference but they still had the Color Guard, CIVA (Comanche Indian Veterans Association), as well as break-out sessions, it was great. I will list the key messages from the conference: 1) Data is Indigenous: Information Interpretation - Are you asking the right questions; read your data, it tells a story of our families and community; 2) Data helps communicate the program’s growth, progress and accountability to Tribal leadership and the community; (This was important to me and is the reason for the data-driven program reporting every month under the TSO.) 3) Data comes from culture and community and can empower Tribal sovereignty; 4) Data can help us identify and build on our strengths as well as learn from our mistakes. Part of the conversation also was that it’s important to involve our tribal research department when it comes to data collection.

There was so much more but ultimately we need to empower families and the community we live in to move from a culture of punishment to one of treatment and healing. One of the initiatives of the Tribal Secretary’s Office has been and is, to continue to seek & offer training in Trauma Informed Care, so that we can become a trauma-informed community; including in the schools and programs. The third day was very valuable and interesting regarding the Amber Alert in Indian Country. A Mom shared her story regarding the abduction of her two children; one never came home. She brought Amber Alert to Indian Country; although many tribes still do not have a system in place. Tribal Nations can now apply for funds not just States. There will need to be a conversation to determine our next steps to prepare for and implement the Amber Alert system on our reservation; we can plan to bring the technical assistance and training here.

Lastly, our closing session was entitled, “Working Together for Meaningful Change”. We discussed the student homelessness and the funding available in the ARP to ensure that youth have access to safe, wrap-around services; regarding the Brackeen v. Haaland case, the federal court upheld Congress’ authority to enact ICWA, (see following graphic); Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) was discussed and real healing from childhood trauma and reducing behaviors by addressing the root cause. There is a lot of work to be done in our community and the staff in my office and I are super busy every day. But I want to remind you all that the Tribal Secretary’s Office is open daily, and staff are available to assist you, including during noon for those wanting to do business during their lunch break. But please continue to call the office ahead of time so, if needed, we can direct you to the appropriate office if we can’t assist you and to prevent an unnecessary trip if it’s something we can handle over the phone.

If you would like to schedule an appointment, feel free to do so, call: 698-8323.

“Stay Positive; Test Negative; and, Wear a Mask!”


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2021