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Tatewin Means Seeks Democratic Nomination for Attorney General

I’ve mostly given up answering calls from numbers I don’t recognize. Even 605 numbers, more often than not, turn out to be vocal spammers.

But I picked up one mystery 605er this afternoon and was glad I did. I learned that the caller, Tatewin Means, is running as a Democrat for attorney general.

(Tatewin—say /ta – TAY – wee/, but note that ending n isn’t silent; it’s a Lakota nasal n, akin to the n in the French Martin.)

Wait a minute—isn’t Randy Seiler still running for that same nomination? I check the Googles… and sure enough, Seiler now has a campaign website.

Well! A convention battle! Means told me she’s calling the declared Democratic candidates, since we are all automatic delegates. County parties will choose their delegates next month—expect calls, delegates!

Means beat Seiler to my phone. She told me she’s ready to fight for “transformative change” and will work to stop the childhood trauma that leads young people into crime and drug abuse. She said she’ll use her experience working with multiple levels of government as Oglala Sioux Tribe attorney general (a position she held from 2012 to 2017) and as a member of the child maltreatment panel that grew from the Jolene’s Law Task Force to bring stakeholders together to make law enforcement work better for all South Dakotans.

Means is a single mom with two kids. She chairs graduate studies at Oglala Lakota College. Here’s an OLC promo she video’d in January:

Means told me she wants to offer South Dakotans a candidate more interested in problem-solving than politics. She also emphasized her status as a first-time candidate (the Oglala Sioux Tribe attorney generalship is appointed by council). I believe this will also be Seiler’s first election.

So Democrats, if you’re wondering whether you should come to convention on June 15, the answer is now, clearly, yes! We won’t just be coronating Billie Sutton and his running mate; we’ll get to hear two lawyers tussle for our attorney general’s nomination and pick the winner! Call your county party (or form one!) and get yourself on the delegate list!


  1. Mary Perpich 2018-04-20 17:42

    She phoned me this week. I am impressed by her experience in tribal law and her plans for the state. We will meet and talk more at McGovern Day. The Brookings Dems will join that discussion. I am impressed by her reaching out to us. She is the only one who has.

  2. leslie 2018-04-20 19:45

    WAY TO GO Tatewin!! Can u imagine Billy, Tim, Tatewin along with Killder, Bordeaux and Heinert SHIFTING the balance of decision making for middle and lower class SD? It is as it should be

    By the way DNC sues Russians/Trumps and Wellsfargo escapes jail for criminal systemic (to quote that new libertarian:) fraud of millions of people

  3. Jason 2018-04-20 19:55


    Do you think just the upper class is voting for Republicans?

  4. Roger Cornelius 2018-04-20 20:35

    “poorly educated” South Dakotans vote republican.

  5. Debbo 2018-04-20 22:02

    Ms. Means sounds like she has actual plans for making life better for citizens. No boilerplate rhetoric, she said she’d “work to stop the childhood trauma that leads young people into crime and drug abuse.” Bingo! That would have a huge positive ripple effect on all levels of the state. I’m not talking a sudden reduction to zero, not gonna happen. But a significant lessening is really worthwhile.

    It will be very interesting to hear more about her plans. Good luck Ms. Means!

  6. Darla Drew 2018-04-20 22:26

    Tatewin is the woman for the job. Let us know how we all can help.

  7. Jason 2018-04-20 22:58


    What childhood trauma is she referring to?

  8. mike from iowa 2018-04-21 08:36

    What childhood trauma is she referring to?

    The “Jason the Hijacking Troll” trauma. Makes one extremely, aggressively disagreeable and obnoxious. The “Jason” traumatic doesn’t follow simple rules and does not play well with others. In short – a typical right wing nut case.

  9. Porter Lansing 2018-04-21 08:48

    Hello, Ms. Means. I met and became a follower of your Father when I lived in Eagle Butte during the crisis of Wounded Knee in ’73. I believe you are a God Send to finally give South Dakota an identity. Being known as “the people who stole the land” hasn’t worked out well. Electing you will be a large step towards long deserved recompense.
    Good luck.

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-04-21 09:05

    Worth documenting—Tatewin is Russell’s daughter:

    Project Extra Mile, an organization dedicated to preventing alcohol related issues across Nebraska, hosted its 2017 Recognition Ceremony Thursday. The focus of this year’s event, largely surrounding the unincorporated village of Whiteclay, Nebraska.

    The town used to sell millions of cans of beer each year, predominantly to the Pine Ridge Reservation, until a historic decision in 2017 ended those sales.

    “It’s a first step in the process of a long road of healing for our people, our nation,” Tatewin Means, former Oglala Sioux Attorney General said.

    Means received the Law Enforcement Officer Award for her work.

    “It’s not just a personal award. It’s really a representation of everyone back home,” Means said, “The many leaders before me that have been working on this issue for decades and decades, one of them being my father, Russell Means, who passed away five years ago” [Alexandra Stone, “Project Extra Mile Recognition Ceremony honors work in Whiteclay, Nebraska,” KEVN-TV, 2017.11.10].

    Working successfully to reduce law enforcement issues by fighting exploitation by Nebraska beer sellers in Whiteclay—that seems like another good example of trying to stop crime by dealing with the factors that lead to crime rather than just locking up more people.

  11. Debbo 2018-04-21 15:13

    Mikey and Cory, childhood trauma leads to prison. According to corrections, more than 90% of the women and 80% of the men imprisoned were abused as children. Most people who were abused as children do not end up in jail, but it’s the biggest predictor of criminal legal trouble. That trouble is rarely of a sexual offense though.

    Therefore, if those incidences of child abuse can be reduced, SD will have fewer people in prison and probably more productive, tax paying, contributing citizens.

    BTW, anecdotally speaking, most of the people in subsidized housing endured childhood trauma and that reduced their earning potential and ability to contribute to their community. (I’ve worked many years with people who lived in low income/subsidized housing.

    Reducing childhood trauma is a solid, 3 dimensional win on every level, in addition to simple human decency.

  12. Steve Hickey 2018-04-22 08:36

    Dear Democrats, Please nominate Tatewin Means for AG. Probably not a great chance of a general election win but I’d sure support her loudly. No one on the GOP side cares about the things we should be caring about. This would be a welcome change in the right direction.

  13. OldSarg 2018-04-22 10:34

    “and will work to stop the childhood trauma that leads young people into crime and drug abuse”. . . No government can cure this. No money, no programs, no propaganda, no torture. Only a cultural change can change what ails communities that have succumbed to media’s onslaught of “being cool, hip, gangsta” crap.

    The people must take a stand and make the hard decision of being intolerant of drugs in their communities. The people must punish those, within the community, who hurt children and commit crimes against the elderly and innocent.

    Locking up the criminals only removes them for a while. At one time the Native Americans had a method, they would ostracize and remove the criminals from their communities, ban them from returning. A criminal is morally corrupt and cannot be cured. Only the threat of obvious banishment will ever change these immoral behaviors and the same should apply in our communities today.

  14. Roger Cornelius 2018-04-22 10:39

    Why does Beatle Bailey think that Ms. Means as talking strictly about Indian communities.
    Childhood trauma exist in all communities and in all cultures.

  15. Porter Lansing 2018-04-22 12:55

    OldSarge is an unknown person, to me. I don’t know what’s in his heart. What he writes is but a tiny window into the person as a whole. What I do know is the statement he posted assumes white people to be superior to the Indian communities. Roger is intuitive in pointing that out.

  16. bearcreekbat 2018-04-22 16:20

    Porter, OS is also personally unknown to me. Although his above comment seems somewhat off topic, I am not surprised by it.

    I have debated with OS on more than one thread and have learned that he does in fact want to ostracize and remove targeted people from their communities and ban them from returning. He labels one group of these these men, women and children as “illegals” because these folks did not comply with an administrative rule (e.g. overstayed a visa) or committed a misdemeanor (e.g. crossed the border without first obtaining documentation). The rest of their history seemed irrelevant to OS. Any positive contributions to the community, or the lack of other transgressions simply didn’t seem to matter.

    In one such discussion with OS I confessed that I, and many of my family members, have at one time in our lives committed various misdemeanors (e.g. speeding, DUI, or whatever) and have likely violated a state or federal administrative rule on occasion (e.g. didn’t shovel the snow and ice off our sidewalk, or didn’t file a timely report with the BLM required for mining claims, etc) hence our past behavior would qualify us as “illegals,” just like the folks OS desires to ostracize, remove and ban for committing a misdemeanor or administrative failing.

    When OS learned that my family and I were “illegals” OS decided we too should be sent elsewhere and banned from our home community.

    I guess we got lucky, however, as he apparently couldn’t figure out where he would require us to go, since I, and most of my family, was actually born right here in SD. But even upon learning this, OS did not back off his written demand we be banished to some other location. I sure hope whoever is chosen for AG does not share OS’s attitude about labeling, ostracizing, and banning us “illegals.”

  17. mike from iowa 2018-04-22 16:53

    Porter, OldSalvo was Jason before Jason became Jason. Just not nearly as annoying. Perhaps Jason stole OldScrimshaw’s thunder.

  18. Porter Lansing 2018-04-22 17:29

    It is ironic that one who chose a career defending freedom offers so little to others. Perhaps his choice of job where he was told what to do day and night was indicative of his inability to choose right from wrong without constant outside discipline. Conflating the minor misdemeanor of immigration violators with serious criminals is a systemic sign of low self esteem.

  19. OldSarg 2018-04-22 18:26

    Potter and Bare… if you cannot accept the morals and values of our culture you can leave. I wish we had a program that would allow us to ban criminals from our communities. That does not make me racist or bigoted except against those who do not bring value. As far as calling any of you illegals, I don’t remember but I really don’t care if you think I did or not.

    But if you want to speak of illegals explain to me how of all the immigrants in US prisons why are 94% of them here illegally? My bet. . . They were driven from the communities they lived in before for their less than “civil” behavior and came here.

  20. Debbo 2018-04-22 19:07

    [Uppercase for emphasis only, not shouting]

    “OUR culture”, OS? I tried to make a quick count of individual commenters only on this post and I think there are 10. No one else seems to share your opinion, so it looks like it’s only YOUR culture. OUR culture is welcoming people based on their character and attitude, not their paperwork. That would be YOUR culture.

    In addition, nationwide polling has repeatedly revealed that OUR culture represents the majority of Americans, not YOURS.

    So. Enjoy OUR culture and have a nice day. 😊

  21. grudznick 2018-04-22 19:25

    In MY culture (caps are emphasis for Ms. Geelsdottir, not shouting), no Person is compared to an entire Culture. That’s just stupid. The idea, not the people who espouse it.

  22. Porter Lansing 2018-04-22 19:32

    What an egotistical horse’s ass you are OS. You’re allowed to determine what the morals and values of American culture are? Wrong! You’re not racist or bigoted because you say you’re not? Wrong! Every racist and bigot says that same thing so you’re guilty just by that stated association, according to your guidelines. You’re the one who determines a person’s value? Wrong! If a horse had an ass on both ends, you’d be both.

  23. leslie 2018-04-22 19:43

    Jason u kno (‘evrybodyknos” as trump trumets ad nauseam) republicans r masters at propaganda, fooling lower, middle class and others w/o time /resources to stay up on multitudes of political complexities and created controversies.
    Roger nailed it. they fooled u and I assum u are middleclass :) I kno dems who voted for Kristi because of her looks and supposedly for trump, tho I don’t kno any. am fairly certain u voted for trump, daugaard/jackley (if u r old enough), rounds/Krebs ect.

    Jason have u met ol’sarge? u’l like him. got yer clocks cleaned here though, I see!:) (speaking of idiocy of winning-at all costs. burning the ballroom down.) I don’t kno why I both w/u two

  24. Jason 2018-04-22 19:44

    I will await the answer to my question from Tatewin.


    Before I destroy you in the science thread, let’s discuss the suicide rate on reservations vs non-reservations in SD.

    Please explain in detail what she can do that Government isn’t doing already?

  25. Jason 2018-04-22 19:49


    From your post it is very apparent I care about children and you use them for your politics.

  26. Porter Lansing 2018-04-22 19:54

    Jason … This is the second time I’ll tell you. I don’t consider you honest enough for a discussion. Your links are continually from fake news sites or don’t support your assertions.

  27. grudznick 2018-04-22 19:58

    Mr. Lansing, that young Mr. Jason fellow sure is rounding up a large herd of your goats, eh? #jasongotyergoat

  28. Jason 2018-04-22 20:00


    Want to bet your house NASA changed the temps on their graphs in prior years?

    I posted the proof. Do you think a newspaper article from the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s. 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s is fake news?

    You lost Porter.

    The NASA fraud has been proven. The only problem is you can’t sue NASA for the fraud.

  29. Jason 2018-04-22 20:03

    Sorry Grudznick,

    Porter is losing the science and he knows it.

    If he wasn’t losing he would have much more support than you on this site. I do applaud the smart people that don’t want to go down with him.

  30. Porter Lansing 2018-04-22 20:07

    Boy, Grudz … he sure is. He’s like a super-genius, huh? Beats me and takes my goats. Do you think he’s really Jason Glodt?

  31. Jason 2018-04-22 20:07


    Why are you afraid to answer this question?

    Please explain in detail what she can do that Government isn’t doing already?

  32. Roger Cornelius 2018-04-22 20:08

    Ms. Means is not going to come on DFP and answer questions from a pest, she’s above that, so give it up.
    Tribes and tribal schools have taken a very active role in reducing teen suicides through education and how to handle bullies. Prayer groups sponsored by churches and traditional ceremonies and talking circles all play important roles in keeping the young alive.
    There is never a one size fits all solutions to the problem of suicides and the government can’t solve them, but government through proper funding of necessary programs can help reduce the suicide rates.
    Ms Means, like Tim Bjorkman, have identified problem areas and offered sound solutions that should be implemented in all societies and cultures.
    Saying “I care more about children than you do”, is childish and can’t be proven.
    If you truly care about children and members of your communities, you will support candidates that can offer a hand and not the candidate that criticizes their work.

  33. Curt 2018-04-22 20:10

    Down in the gutter … again. The topic here is Tatewin Means and her attempt to secure the nomination for AG. NASA is stratospherically off the topic.

  34. Roger Cornelius 2018-04-22 20:11

    This being Cory’s blog, he can delete comments that are off topic.

  35. Jason 2018-04-22 20:13


    She is above speaking to citizens?

    What I want to know is what her new ideas are.

    I do care more based on Leslie’s political post about children.

    These problem areas have already been identified.

    Does anyone not want to discuss why suicides are higher on reservations.

    Not one of you has yet. That tells us all we need to know about you.

  36. Jason 2018-04-22 20:15


    Porter wanted to discuss the science in this thread. That’s why I said before destroy you in the science thread.

    Don’t blame me. Porter is to blame.

  37. Jason 2018-04-22 20:17


    You going to get around to talking about the children?

  38. Jason 2018-04-22 20:25

    Suicide prevention starts in the home.

    Please explain how Government can make that happen?

    Sadly, there is nothing Government can do to prevent child abuse.

  39. Roger Cornelius 2018-04-22 20:30

    grudznick my old friend,
    If I may borrow one of your famous quotes, Jason is “insaner than most”.

  40. Jason 2018-04-22 20:30

    I will dumb it down for you Roger,

    If she is running on something that is already being done, than……..

  41. Roger Cornelius 2018-04-22 20:34

    No one knows whether or Jason is a citizen of South Dakota or not. He sounds like he’s from Mississippi or Alabama. He can not prove he is a citizen of South Dakota.
    Jason needs to call Lalley and arrange for a debate with Ms Means.

  42. Porter Lansing 2018-04-22 20:40

    Folks. If you have a teenager or an employee who exhibits the characteristics of Jason right now (trying to carry on four conversations with four people about four different topics) get one of those home methamphetamine testing kits and demand they take the test. All involved will be better in the long term.

  43. Jason 2018-04-22 20:41

    If you can’t win, just attack Jason. That is Roger’s mode of operation.

  44. Jason 2018-04-22 20:42


    Can’t win against me so he attacks me.

    It doesn’t surprise me.

  45. Jason 2018-04-22 20:44

    I’m ready do discuss the facts with you Porter when you man up?

  46. Roger Cornelius 2018-04-22 21:05

    Prove me wrong, Jason, prove your South Dakota citizenship.
    If you don’t, I’ll assume you are from another state or planet.

  47. Jason 2018-04-22 21:14


    YOU just proved you don’t give a crap about children.

    Thankfully, most Democrats do.

  48. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-04-22 21:17

    I wish people who insist that government can’t solve anything would just stand aside and let the rest of us work together to give it a shot.

  49. Jason 2018-04-22 21:18


    Please explain how Government can prevent child abuse?

  50. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-04-22 21:19

    Could we get more Republicans like Steve to weigh in? Tally up the Republican votes, then vote the opposite?

  51. Jason 2018-04-22 21:23


    The Government can solve some things. Reagan stopped the cold war despite the CIA saying he couldn’t.

  52. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-04-22 21:25

    Register as a Democrat, get your county party to select you as a delegate to convention, and come ask Tatewin Means, Randy Seiler, and Tim Bjorkman about government policies than may help reduce childhood traumas.

  53. Jason 2018-04-22 21:26

    The CIA said the USSR economics were awesome. Reagan brought in private outside experts and they said the USSR econ was a disaster. Since Reagan listened to private experts, the US won the cold war and many people were freed

  54. Roger Cornelius 2018-04-22 21:37

    Fortunately we live in a small state where people know each other or know someone we know.
    For decades now, whenever I wanted to talk to a political candidates I simply picked up the phone and tried to make contact with them. For the most part, it has always worked and the candidates were glad I called.
    It is easier now to make contact with all the resources the internet has to offer. This is how I met Cory, Joe Lowe, Billie Sutton, and so many others. It isn’t necessary for me to whine about not being able to talk to candidates when all I have to do is take the tools available and use them.

  55. Roger Cornelius 2018-04-22 21:43

    The 2018 Mid-terms will be here before we know it, Cory and all Democratic candidates have an almost insurmountable task in front of them, but this time around Democrats have right on their side.
    I’m inspired by the nationwide voter registrations happening that were inspired by the surviving kids at Parkland. Voter registration and calling out politicians that have taken Putin/NRA blood money. They have a workable plan.

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