Sunday, November 23, 2014

Kevin Killer face of tribal representation in SD Legislature

South Dakota’s Native vote generated a lot of media attention in the run-up to Election 2014. State legislator Kevin Killer, of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, ticked off the successes: On November 4, Jim Bradford, of Pine Ridge, was re-elected to the state Senate, where he will be joined by Troy Heinert, from the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, who had been in the House. Shawn Bordeaux, of Rosebud, will take over Heinert’s House seat. Meanwhile Rex Conroy, of Pine Ridge, earned the sheriff’s badge for newly renamed Oglala Lakota County, and Oglalas were re-elected county commissioners. “All politics is local,” said Killer, who held onto his House seat. “These results show voters what’s possible when they assert their rights as citizens.” [Stephanie Woodard, Indian Country Today Media]
Now that Kevin Killer has won another term in the South Dakota Legislature, the Pine Ridge representative hopes expand Medicaid and to repeal a statute passed in 2011 that limits the amount of time victims of horrific crimes committed at the hands of clergy can sue their attackers. Brandon Ecoffey of Native Sun News reported from indianz:
To many South Dakota constituents, the bill seemed to directly target Native Americans, who were victims of abuse during their time in church- and state-run boarding schools. Killer — who voted against the bill — told Native Sun News: “I am definitely in favor of repealing the bill. Here is a bill that doesn’t really explore the history of the abuse that was going on. If you are going to think about any type of bill that pertains to any type of tragedy you would think that there would be a conversation with the aggrieved party — and that conversation never happened at all with this.”

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