As healthcare providers and abortion advocates begin to consider that Roe v Wade could be overturned, they're increasingly concerned that terminating a pregnancy will be harder than ever for Native women in South Dakota who already face significant logistical barriers to reproductive services.
Supporters of a movement to improve education of Native American students in South Dakota suffered a setback when a proposed charter school measure was defeated in the state Legislature on March 2. But members of an expert panel convened by South Dakota News Watch say they will push forward on efforts to reform public education and create opportunities for better educational outcomes for Native students.
Standardized test scores and graduation rates remain stubbornly low for Native American children attending South Dakota public schools, but a new effort is underway to incorporate Lakota Indian language, history and culture into state-funded charter schools modeled on successful immersion programs elsewhere.
Sinte Gleska University in South Dakota may work with NASA and experts on 3D design of homes to create a new high-tech curriculum at the college, provide affordable housing in high-need reservation areas and also develop homes that could someday be built on the moon or Mars.
Education, protection of the elderly and upholding Indian history and culture are top issues in the overall agenda of Native American lawmakers during the 2022 South Dakota legislative session. Following bills filed by Native lawmakers and those related to Native issues is one way to see which issues are most important to members of South Dakota's Native community.
A pair of bills now under consideration by the Legislature would allow Native Americans from South Dakota to hunt, fish and visit state parks for free. Supporters of the two bills say passage would reduce financial barriers for South Dakota tribal families and be a show of reconciliation between the state and Indian tribes.
Home heating costs typically rise as winter approaches, but this year, retail prices for propane and heating oil are almost double last year and still rising, placing another burden on South Dakota families already enduring high prices for gasoline, groceries and other goods. Some experts worry that unsafe heating methods could result and that fire risk will increase.
Native American tribes and tribal members in South Dakota may have advantages in entering the legal marijuana market quickly and successfully if legalization becomes final. Sovereign nation status, available land, a ready workforce and nimble government operations have benefited tribes in other states and could also create new economic development opportunities in South Dakota.
After a slow start during the 2021 legislative session, South Dakota lawmakers and state officials are stepping up the pace of planning and preparation for the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana in South Dakota. Both forms are marijuana are set to become legal on July 1 after voters approved a pair of separate ballot measures.
One positive outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic is that more Native Americans living on South Dakota Indian reservations have begun the process to purchase a home, though long-standing barriers remain on reservations to achieving the financial security and family stability that homeownership can provide.
Support Nonprofit Investigative Journalism in South Dakota
South Dakota News Watch is funded by contributions from readers like you. All content is shared, free of charge, with media outlets across the state. To support our public service journalism, please consider making a contribution today.