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Pandemic threatens fragile rural health-care system in South Dakota



Editor’s note: This article is the second of three parts of a special report by South Dakota News Watch called “Small Towns, Big Challenges.” See the entire series at sdnewswatch.org. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a significant and unexpected financial burden on rural health-care providers who were already struggling to maintain hospitals and clinics that help keep small-town residents — […]

To feed the people: Tribal meat stockpile


On March 13, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic, and since then, the Tribe has implemented an intricate system of protecting residents on the reservation. That web of protection and care includes providing food for the people. Pre-pandemic, the Tribe’s Food Distribution Program and Food Pantry provided free food for tribal […]

Census data and American Community Survey drives Tribal road funding


The Census count is very important to the funding of maintenance, repair and new construction of roads on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation. According to Dakota Longbrake, CRST Director of Transportation, Cheyenne River receives Federal funding for transportation through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which uses Census data and data from the American Community Survey to calculate […]

Small towns in South Dakota facing big challenges amid pandemic and historic declines



Editor’s note: This article is the first of three parts of a special report by South Dakota News Watch called “Small Towns — Big Challenges.” The COVID-19 pandemic could not have come at a worse time for many of South Dakota’s small towns. The deadly virus has further complicated the already herculean task of keeping cherished rural communities vibrant and […]

Coronavirus and Wi wang wac’i (Sundance)


In May, Chief Arvol Looking Horse, Keeper of the Sacred Bundle issued a statement that sundances should not occur this year due to the pandemic. “The C’anupa was brought here for the health and well-being of our Nation. If someone ignores these warnings of large gatherings, it will be a challenge that is not of good intention or outcome,” wrote […]

Dupree election sees new mayor and school board member


Voters turned out to the elections for the City of Dupree and Dupree School Board on June 9. There were five polling places for the School Board election with Donald Farlee and Mandi Smith running for an open seat. In the end, Smith garnered 156 votes to Farlee’s 116 votes. Smith, a self-described “native of the community”, grew up south […]

Veterans benefit from job placement, mental health support


“Having a job makes people feel like they have dignity, that they have purpose in life. That’s sometimes a challenge for veterans when they transition into civilian life,” said Derek Howard, Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist with the Veterans Administration. A former Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Specialist in the United States Army, Howard knows just how important it is for […]

State of COVID-19 on Cheyenne River


There are two new cases of COVID-19 on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, reported CRST Chairman Harold Frazier during his radio address on Monday, June 15. The cases were linked to a previously-known case and infection occurred within a household that was under quarantine, said the chairman. The new cases bring the total number of positive cases to six as […]

Healing and solidarity gathering in Dupree


Sioux YMCA of Dupree held a special healing gathering last Thursday to honor those who have lost lives due to the protests around the world and to show support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Members of the YMCA used chalk to write messages on the sidewalks up and down Main Street. Lakota drum group, Wakinyan Maza, performed healing and […]

Census operations to launch June 15 on Cheyenne River


Activities for the 2020 Census are ramping up on Cheyenne River and other reservations across South Dakota. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused changes to traditional ways of census-taking; nevertheless, the importance of the Census to tribal populations means that activities must go forward. Tribal Census-takers are passionate about the work they do for the benefit of the people. Dew Marie […]


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