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Tribal chairman addresses South Dakota lawmakers on COVID, training

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The Sioux individuals are the bedrock of South Dakota historical past, the chairman of the Sisseton Wapheton Oyate informed lawmakers Thursday, who’ve loved a sovereign relationship via treaties with the US for greater than 100 years.

“That’s not vital race. That’s historical past and humanity,” Delbert Hopkins Jr. mentioned in the course of the Legislature’s annual State of the Tribes Deal with.

Hopkins informed lawmakers his tribe is making an attempt to be extra self-reliant relating to producing meals and vitality. However that requires good roads, culverts and bridges, and he requested lawmakers to collaborate with transportation planning.

Tribes might assist alleviate crushing poverty and unemployment charges that exceed 50% in some locations by selling “cultural tourism.”

“Native nations should take the lead,” he mentioned. “In any other case it’s not cultural. It’s not tourism. It’s exploitation.”

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