Indigenous voting rights group Four Directions did solid work fighting voter suppression and getting out the Native America vote on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota and the Navajo Nation during the 2018 election. Now the Mission-based organization is speaking up about the flimsy white-wing plot to steal the Legislative election in District 27, where voters elected Lakota women Red Dawn Foster to the Senate and Peri Pourier to the House. Legislators received the following letter by e-mail yesterday from Four Directions leaders OJ and Barb Semans:
Four Directions has fought the State of South Dakota on voter suppression in the past, but we have found ways to work together to create equality at the ballot box. We are proud to have worked on the Help America Vote Act Task Force with the South Dakota Board of Elections and the Secretary of State to open satellite voting stations with HAVA funds. Together we have removed barriers to Native voting and increased voter participation on reservations across South Dakota.
The individuals behind “Native Integrity” couldn’t stop our work with the State of South Dakota in providing equality, so now they are attempting to steal the vote and the voice of the people in District 27, by asking you not to seat two Native American Indian women whom the voters chose to represent them.
…Foster and Pourier are qualified to take office. Their most important qualifications are the thousands of vqtes they received on November 6, from Native and non- Native South Dakotans alike.
Four Directions stands behind the voters of District 27 and will provide any and all assistance needed to Foster and Pourier to ensure they are seated on January 8th, 2019 [OJ and Barb Semans, Four Directions, letter to South Dakota legislators, 2019.01.03].
Four Directions has won numerous battles with South Dakota to protect American Indian voting rights. Now they are ready to defend the vote of everyone, Native and non-Native alike, to see their qualified and legally elected representatives take their seats and do the people’s work in Pierre.