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Todd C. Fast Horse follow-up: Election Issues on the Rosebud Indian Reservation

Todd C. Fast Horse
Tribal Member
PO Box 416
Rosebud, SD 57570

Howard B. Hanson
Resource Sentinel Organization
26 W St. Albans Road
Hopkins, MN 55305

July 9, 2009

RE: Election Issues on the Rosebud Indian Reservation

Dear Mr. Hanson:

Thank you for your assistance in attempting to bring attention to our serious issues the Lakota people face here on the Rosebud Indian Reservation located in south central South Dakota. Since my return to the reservation in 2001, I have witnessed the tribal corruption from our government and been outspoken concerning the third world government tactics used to control every aspect of our daily life on our reservation.

My family, supporters, and I have attempted to bring positive change to one of the poorest counties in the United States of America. But for every attempt we make, our tribal government persecutes us and have our backs turned on by federal officials, as well as our Congressional Delegation.

I had an opportunity to share some of my stories with you in Washington, DC at the Citizens Equal Rights Alliance Conference. As I stated there, "The most important issue our people face is honest, fair and impartial elections." As a poll watcher in every tribal election since my return, I have witnessed the same tribal leaders steal election-after-election, while denying tribal members their civil, constitutional, and due process rights.

A few months ago, I received a call from an individual tribal member who is from a very large family in the Solider Creek Community and he wanted to inform me of his actions during the 2007 elections in his district. The incumbent tribal council representative approached Mr. (Name withheld by request) and offered him a large sum of cash to threaten and/or intimidate voters in his community to support his bid for another term and the current President Rodney M. Bordeaux. Mr. (nw) said he regretted his actions, but money is hard to come by and he wanted to get this off his chest because it was bothering him for a long time. This is not a lone example, but appears to occur in every community, to include my community.

Those that are intimidated choose to stay away from the polls and not participate in the election process for fear of retaliation. I must remind you that the tribe controls every aspect of tribal government, programs, entities, federal funding, revenue, jobs, and appointments down to the donated food received from organizations. One just has to look at the statistics to see how desolate and poor we really are. If you are blacklisted by one of the tribal officials, you can be assured that you will not work, receive assistance from the tribe, program or entity, such as housing, law enforcement and the local gang will retaliate against you and your family.

As an example, my Mother, Lucinda Shields-Ellert requires oxygen to survive and other medical equipment powered by electricity. Besides being terrorized day and night by the local gang b y throwing things at her trailer house i.e., food, beer cans/bottles, feces, rocks, fireworks and killing or beating her dogs, during the night the local gang finds it in their spare time to bust he r electrical meter so she has no electricity. Trust me, she has called law enforcement, but the gang members are politically correct families of tribal leaders. Those that value their jobs as law enforcement officers will continue to make every excuse as why not make an arrest, which o f course is a denial of equal protection of the law. I am not sure how you would feel about you r Mother being terrorized, but it has to stop at some time.

I can go on-and-on about the criminal activity here on the Rosebud Indian Reservation committed by our tribal officials, but some has been reported to the United States Attorney, Marty J. Jackley, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations approximately two years ago.

In closing, I want to inform you of my personal experiences with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Election Board. Although the Election Ordinance #86-10 is clear in authorizing the counting of ballots in public, the local community election board chooses to deny poll watchers the right to do so. Instead, they force you to sit across the room or risk being ejected from the polling place. It is during that time that the same individual(s), year-after-year, count the ballots and declares the winner. Lo-and-behold, it is always her family that wins the elections for tribal president and tribal council positions. This happens in all twenty recognized communities on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. After the local community elections board delivers the ballots and tall y sheet to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Election Board, they support declaring the winners and the next day proceeds into executive session to ensure the ballots match what has been announced by the local community election board. Thereafter, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Election Board certifies the winners. Due to the civil rights violations by the election board(s), cases were filed in tribal court against those officials, only to have them thrown out of court without a hearing provided or reason for dismissal.

I remain steadfast in my commitment to end tribal corruption and the elections associated with corruption on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. Without honest, fair, and impartial elections, we will continue to be one of the poorest counties in America. I want to leave you with some words from President Barack Obama sent in an e-mail this 4th of July "Today, all Americans have a hard-fought birthright to a freedom which enables each of us, no matter our views or background, to help set our nation's course. America's greatness has always depended on her citizens embracing that freedom -- and fulfilling the duty that comes with it.

As free people, we must each take the challenges and opportunities that face this nation as our own. As long as some Americans still must struggle, none of us can be full y content. And as America comes ever closer to achieving the perfect Union our founder s dreamed, that triumph—that pride—belongs to all of us."


Todd C. Fast Horse


Comments (1)Add Comment
I am a regitered Rosebud Souix, and very Proud to be!!!!!!
written by Todd Andrews, December 29, 2011
I am sorry about your happening's, I want so bad to move back home and stand by someone like you,!!! but as of right now i am in New Mexico right now, and cannot believe that the officials are so naive to think that the people will continue to stand down, theirs got to be someone to believe in. To go further than before it sounds inspiring and painful but maybe you can make the difference.

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