As of yesterday evening, Governor Kristi Noem was still ignoring KELO-TV’s request for comment on its Monday story about the Rosebud Sioux Tribe‘s dire need for help in digging out from last week’s snowstorm and getting supplies to weather this week’s hard cold. But her Department of Public Safety made a point Tuesday of releasing a list of all the help the state has given the tribes over the past week:
- Providing situational awareness and regular contact with tribal emergency managers from OEM starting last week before the storm hit;
- Communicating regularly between the tribes and OEM with the Governor’s Office, SD Department of Tribal Relations (DTR), and FEMA;
- Coordinating with the Oglala Sioux Tribe and Black Hills LifeFlight to transport a dialysis patient in critical condition to Rapid City;
- Coordinating with the US Department of Health and Human Services, SD Department of Health, SD Health Care Coalition, and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe to ensure more than 40 dialysis patients could receive treatment;
- Coordinating stranded motorist rescue among the Fusion Center, OEM, the Highway Patrol, and the Department of Transportation;
- Working with the South Dakota Association of General Contractors to determine what contractors could work with local and tribal jurisdictions for snow removal;
- Providing for SD Department of Transportation v-plow to get to critical patients on the Pine Ridge reservation;
- Working with the SD Department of Transportation to clear roads on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations;
- Seding OEM field coordinators to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe on Sunday, Dec. 18, to meet with tribal leadership to further discuss needs and resource requests; and,
- Sending two loaders/blowers to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and coordinating with SD Department of Transportation to deliver propane, firewood, and food to communities [Department of Public Safety, press release, 2022.12.20].
Yay for the state looking out for all of its residents. But boo for a Governor’s Office that can’t do the local media the courtesy of responding directly to relatively simple questions.