Tuesday, April 20, 2021


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Political Voices: Bordeaux’s Veto Day Report


Hau mitakuyepi na mitakolapi, iyuha cante wasteya nape ciuzapelo.   Hello relatives, friends and neighbors, I extend my hand to you with good feelings from my heart and report to you on the 96th legislative session in Pierre.  We finally wrapped up this session on Veto Day, the 37th legislative day of the session.  Now we are done with the daily sessions and will possibly have a quarterly meeting or two, depending on committee appointments.

The governor brought us back for Veto Day to vote again on HB1217.  We first voted on wheth-er it was a form and style veto, as the governor claimed it was before going into recess.  The House voted to send it back — rejecting the notion that it was a form and style veto and would require two-thirds of the body and not the majority vote she was hoping for in order to get this hurtful bill (aimed at our transgender community) passed by any means necessary.

Hours later about 4:30 p.m. we were brought back together and a vote was taken. The bill died just short of the two-thirds needed to make it become law.  Tricky stuff. But our team of bipar-tisan legislators held together and made sure this bill didn’t become law.  I don’t understand such terrible bills.  

The governor then went to work on developing questionable Executive Orders. These again were aimed at an issue which does not affect one person in the state.  No boys are participat-ing in any girls’ sports. And we don’t need false prophets trying to make a stand for the girls in the state who suffer from this indignation.  Let’s see real leadership start doing the job of a governor by helping people who need it; like the thousands of native people who live in third world country situations all across this lovely state. We can’t have that discussion in Pierre.

Also, we don’t see any legislative efforts coming from the governor to improve the lives of our people who live in seven of the poorest ten counties in the U.S.; right here in the shadows of Mount Rushmore, where we are reminded of our wealth that has been illegally taken from us.

Funny thing is, I can’t say any of that on the floor or in committee because it is off the topic. I have been gaveled down or warned to keep my comments to the bill rather than drawing com-parisons to our native communities.  They can’t keep me from speaking truth to power here for the people who don’t have a voice.  But we need to step up our efforts and represent our peo-ple by voting, because we will get walked on if we don’t use our voice to be heard. Trust me, they see people of color coming and they are scrambling to change 250 laws in 40 states and make it harder for us to be heard here and across the country. 

We have one job to do: To stand up for the generations that suffered to see you make it here in the flesh and blood.  Let’s honor them and show that we have the fighting spirit that carried us through generations of persevering oppression and genocidal attitudes towards our people.  We need to vote and we need for our people to start filling in these leadership roles locally and regionally by running for tribal, county and state office in the elections coming up soon.  My tribe will start putting names up on the board in May for ten tribal council seats up for election, and the Chairman and Vice Chairman seats as well.  

I would like to thank all of you for your time and attention you have given me.  I appreciate be-ing able to represent folks up in Pierre, not only for my district but for anybody that needs a voice in Pierre.  Contact me if I can do anything for you at my office in Mission at 605-856-8241 or email me at the Shawn.Bordeaux@sdlegislature.gov.  Thanks to the good folks at the West River Eagle for allowing me to report to the public.

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