PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – The president of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe is urging South Dakota lawmakers to expand Medicaid and work with tribal officials to fight the opioid and methamphetamine epidemic.
President Rodney Bordeaux on Thursday gave the fourth State of the Tribes message, asking legislators and Gov. Kristi Noem to promote higher education tuition waivers for Native American students and to make the availability of mental health services in rural areas and reservations a priority.
He recommended a government-to-government summit on meth and opioids.
Bordeaux says the Keystone XL oil pipeline gives his people “great anxiety” and says he watched with regret as lawmakers passed a measure in 2017 to address potential oil pipeline protests.
He says tribes believe the law was enacted with an eye for “limiting our people and our right to protest.”
Bordeaux also urged South Dakota’s federal delegation to do what they can to end the partial government shutdown.