Rep. Shawn Bordeaux (D-26A/Mission) says his ride in the Legislative rodeo gave him a chance educate his fellow lawmakers about tribal issues:
Joint Appropriations chairman Rep. Justin Cronin (R-23/Gettysburg) acknowledged Rep. Bordeaux’s work on that budget-writing committee in helping the appropriators develop an awareness that there are “two peoples” in South Dakota. (Perhaps sensing they need more awareness, Rep. Bordeaux then voted against the budget.)
Rep. Bordeaux said he sees many opportunities for tribal members and tribal governments to work with Pierre to improve services and economic opportunities in Indian Country. He brought three unsuccessful bills on funding for tribal colleges and tax compacts this session; expect more legislation from Rep. Bordeaux on related fronts next session.
After my conversation with Rep. Bordeaux, the Senate honored the 2015 Legislature’s interns for their service to the state. Lt. Gov. Matt Michels, presiding over the Senate, lauded the “diversity” of this year’s intern corps. Now apologize for judging books by covers, but I’m not sure I noticed any Indian kids among the interns present last night. I check the list of intern coordinators and find officials from public and private campuses across the state but none from Sinte Gleska, Oglala Lakota, Sitting Bull, or Sisseton Wahpeton colleges.
Hmmm… perhaps connecting with our tribal colleges to recruit more Indian youth to our Legislative intern corps would be one more positive step in Rep. Bordeaux’s effort to educate our legislators to South Dakota’s fullest diversity?