Tribal chairman gives South Dakota lawmakers history lesson

The Associated PressJanuary 14, 2022News
AP Photo/Stephen GrovesSisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribal Chairman Delbert Hopkins, Jr. speaks to the South Dakota Legislature during the State of the Tribes address in Pierre, S.D. on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022.

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The chairman of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate offered South Dakota’s Legislature a history lesson during the annual State of the Tribes address as he emphasized tribal sovereignty and government-to-government relations.

Chairman Delbert Hopkins Jr. remind lawmakers that treaties with tribal nations have always been a part of the United States government, starting with the Constitution and George Washington.

State and tribal governments have perenially had an uneasy relationship in South Dakota.

The annual State of the Tribes address is meant to foster cooperation.

Hopkins named several areas where the state and tribes could work together, including education, economic development and law enforcement.