22.942.10 97th Legislative Session 596
Introduced by: Representative Pourier
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION, urging the federal government to fulfill treaty obligations by fully funding the Oglala and Rosebud Sioux Tribe Departments of Public Safety for the public safety crisis on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Sioux Reservations.
WHEREAS, the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservations are located within the boundaries of South Dakota and are home to the Oglala Lakota and Sicangu Lakota peoples, two of the largest tribal nations in the United States, with a combined geographical size comparable to the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island; and
WHEREAS, the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation has experienced seven homicides and 69 missing person reports in the last six months. Presently, the Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) Department of Public Safety is grossly underfunded by 40 percent due to the federal government leaving treaty obligations unfulfilled. The substantial lack of funding cripples the current capacity of 33 federally funded positions and 19 grant and tribally funded positions. The needs of the OST Department of Public Safety exceed 100 law enforcement officers given the population and land base area of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, yet only 48 positions are filled; and
WHEREAS, the OST Department of Public Safety is unable to meet the grueling demands of 131,000 emergency calls received from October 2020 to September 2021. The demand has overwhelmed staff, decreased response time in life and death scenarios, and ultimately undermined the confidence in law enforcement and rule of law; and
WHEREAS, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe experiences similar effects of the lack of resources; and
WHEREAS, due to the overwhelming need, severity of crimes, and lack of support of the tribal departments of public safety, violent crimes have become far too familiar, thus resulting in unsafe living conditions for elders, children, and community members. Little hope of meaningful change is evident without considerable investments in resources and manpower for these departments:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the House of Representatives of the Ninety-Seventh Legislature of the State of South Dakota, the Senate concurring therein, that the President of the United States, his delegates, the South Dakota Congressional delegation, and members of the United States Congress fulfill treaty obligations by adequately funding the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Departments of Public Safety by amending the current federal funding formula for tribal nations.
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