Published January 30, 2017
EAGLE BUTTE, SOUTH DAKOTA — Tomorrow, at the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman Harold Frazier will propose a resolution authorizing American Indian tribes to negotiate functions of state governments with the United States.
“In a time when the states are running deficits in their own budget they are more concerned with proposing legislation throwing Tribal relations back 100 years,” Chairman says in a news release issued on Sunday night. “It’s obvious the states are not in a position to move forward.”
Tribes can negotiate with the federal government to contract services that affect services provided to the tribe by the United States. This process known as a “638 Contract” refers to the 1975 Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, Pub. L. 93-638, gave Indian tribes the authority to contract with the federal government to operate programs serving their tribal members and other eligible persons. The proposed resolution will suggest developing a mechanism to supplant state governments.
Chairman Frazier added “Laws submitted by States allowing motorists to murder pedestrians for being on the street is madness. What kind of a world have they created where a car is more important than a person’s life? The States have not been effective protectors of this planet or the lives of its citizens. We can do better.”
The Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association is made up of the 16 tribal chairmen, presidents and chairpersons in the states of North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska. The tribal leaders of the sovereign American Indian nations meet quarterly to take action on various matters affecting the tribes. The primary purpose of the association is to unify to defend the tribes inherent rights under our treaties, to come together in a forum to promote the welfare of the people, take up matters affecting the tribes, and to protect the sovereignty of each tribe.