By turning a South Dakota spotlight toward Aaron Huey's disturbing photo essay and commentary on our Pine Ridge Reservation, Dr. David Newquist generated some valuable conversation about one of the biggest and most ignored problems in South Dakota. (His post also provoked some predictable hot air.)
Among some of the noteworthy comments elicited:
U.S. House candidate Thad Wasson wins the award for gutsiest politician in South Dakota by declaring he supports returning land to the Sioux Nations. Not just a few more scraps of land in or around existing reservation boundaries, but prime turf like the Black Hills. "[T]he reason no politician wants to address this is greed," says Wasson. The man from Piedmont (yes, Wasson lives in the territory he would consider giving back) may have guaranteed himself expulsion from the South Dakota GOP, but he has proven he can shake up any political discussion.
Pastor Steve Hickey, who is to me as ACESA is to John Thune (i.e., something I fight with every fiber of my being), points to some good things happening in Indian country. He also celebrates—yes, celebrates—the formal apology to American Indians Congress has passed. "I'm sorry" may not seem like much after five centuries of cultural decimation, but Pastor Hickey says the apology "will have spiritual implications that few realize." Pastor Hickey never ceases to surprise me... sometimes in a good way.
Dr. Newquist himself follows up with more commentary. The Brown County Democrat supports the Pennington County Republican's call to give back the land.
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