MONTHLY REPORT TO TRIBAL EXECUTIVES, TRIBAL COUNCIL & THE OYATE – OCTOBER 2021 Submitted by Myrna Thompson, Tribal Secretary Tuesday, November 2, 2021
Last updated 11/21/2021 at 9:27pm
Greetings to Executives, Tribal Council & the Oyate ~
The month of October began on a very positive note. There was a Dignity Day Inaugural Event held at the Dignity sculpture near Chamberlain, South Dakota, on Saturday, October 2nd. As always, it is a joy to see the 50-foot sculpture of a Native American woman created by sculptor Dale Lamphere to honor the cultures of the Dakota and Lakota people. The Chairman had a conflicting meeting and asked me to attend and read the Proclamation on behalf of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate. It was my honor. I enjoyed visiting with the women who organized the event. My staff were also able to attend and partake in this empowering event. Women are sacred life-givers and it was an important reminder to all in attendance that respect is the foundation for our people. This event will be held for four years, this was the first year.
A small delegation traveled to Upper Sioux Community, Granite Falls, Minnesota, and met on October 22nd with their Tribal Council to discuss the issue of dual enrollment. The Enrollment Office is charged with enforcing the Enrollment Code and will be following the guidelines as outlined in the Code. A friendly reminder to the elders that receive your food gift cards in the mail: You must have selfaddressed, stamped envelopes on file with the Elderly Resource Coordinator (ERC). If you have not received your gift card for 1-2 months, you may need envelopes; the ERC usually sends a note out with your card if it’s the last envelope. Also, should you have any concerns about anything related to your food card, please do not hesitate to reach out. There are 2,266 elders listed for the month of October. Elderly Appreciation Casino Day was October 12th from 11:00am to 7:00pm; 1,374 elders attended. We wish to thank the Dakota Magic staff for your assistance and keeping it organized for a safe experience for the elders.
There were 301 people that came to the Tribal Secretary’s Office for various reasons for the month of October, not including Program Managers and/or Tribal Council. We logged in and responded to 343 phone calls; signed/approved/processed 1,062 documents. There were no complaints received this month. There were 63 scheduled meetings with Tribal Executives, Council, Program Managers and others, including the virtual meetings with federal partners as well as the National Indian Health Board.
The Warming House was scheduled to open on November 1st but because the South Dakota State Inspector cannot be here until the November 2nd to give clearance on the electrical work; it will open one day late. The work was completed timely, thank you to Breon Lake for getting things done!
The Wacinyanpi Tipi (House of Hope) homeless shelter is in dire need of much needed renovations in order to bring the living situation up to standard. For health and safety reasons, this investment would be a great act of humanity. As our people come here because of a life situation, a hardship that they are experiencing, they have a period of time where they can save their money and get on their feet financially. They are able to get enough saved for rent, deposit, electricity, etc.. There are success stories; families do exactly that, some don’t. It isn’t long-term. And our people aren’t fussy, it is what it is and they make it work. But a much-needed upgrade where they don’t all have to share two showers, would be an answered prayer. Where the babies and little ones can actually have a bathtub; and, women and men have separate bathrooms, is huge! They are worthy and it will give them a sense of pride if the tribe invested in their temporary living situation. There’s usually 15-24 children in the shelter, the bus picks them up there. Giving this whole area a face-lift is an investment the tribe would not regret. I am asking the SWO to invest in the renovation of the Wacinyanpi Tipi, the House of Hope. (See the handout of estimated cost.) Thank you to Jim Pearson and Thomas (Sonny) LaBlanc for the donation of beds! The Wacinyanpi Tipi had none, now they received 30 new twin-size beds; the DPC Halfway House received 5; and, the Warming House received 5! We are very thankful and also thank you, again, to Breon Lake and whomever helped him go pick them up and deliver them to these programs!
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!”