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DPS: State Super-Helpful to Tribes with Snow Removal

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.


  1. Nick Nemec 2022-12-21 10:17

    “Coordinate” is kind of a squishy feel good word. I still wonder about the extent of the assistance. How many miles of road were plowed? How many hours of work were completed with which machines?

  2. Eve Fisher 2022-12-21 10:46

    Simple answer is, she’s not interested in helping the tribes. At all.

  3. WillyNilly 2022-12-21 11:15

    Nick, I also have an issue with the squishy words. I’ve read a lot of reports in my time so I look for such words that seem to be a promise of action but very few genuine measurable actions. When will that information be available, DPS?

  4. Jake 2022-12-21 12:28

    Only time when “squishy words” by top pols in our state really benefit someone is when $$$ or favors are given to friends of those pols in power-cementing their power to be in place as they expect some of those $$$ back in campaign donations when trying to convince voters (with tax free advertising) to vote for them.

    She (Noem) so reminds one of that French person (“Let them eat cake”) but to starving native Americans “let them eat snow” might be of the thinking….

  5. Richard Ojeda 2022-12-21 13:05

    Whole lot of communications going on but no action. Right.??

  6. bearcreekbat 2022-12-21 13:16

    I wonder if “weasel words” might be more informative and accurate than “squishy words.”

    A weasel word . . . is an informal term for words and phrases aimed at creating an impression that something specific and meaningful has been said, when in fact only a vague or ambiguous claim has been communicated. . . . Weasel words can be a form of tergiversation and may be used in . . . political statements to mislead or disguise a biased view or unsubstantiated claim. . . .

    The expression first appeared in print in Stewart Chaplin’s short story “Stained Glass Political Platform” . . . in which weasel words were described as “words that suck the life out of the words next to them, just as a weasel sucks the egg and leaves the shell”.

  7. Mark Anderson 2022-12-21 16:02

    The DPS sure has alot of blowers don’t they?

  8. Loti 2022-12-21 17:02

    My Native American son at one time was in the National Guard and he spent hours on a Snowplow. He said little visibility but kept driving. It was a long time ago but the Guard did help SD out back when.
    We believe DPS helps alot but is that not their job? Good information from them. Big thanks to everyone who helps others. It takes a community.

  9. Doresse Little Spirit 2022-12-22 11:05

    Dorm-we are survivers from the 1800’s I feel we shouldn’t depend on government,Look my people she’s the 3rd coming of custer!!do you believe in her?it’s out faith and our culture,and our spirit our medicine shall over come,And we will all rise once again with Lakota,Dakota,Nakota,blood I believe all of us Bond together and help each other make our own way !!Hou

  10. e platypus onion 2022-12-23 09:31

    The witch queen finally declares state of emergency and sends out National Guard. Did she finally order them away from the Texass Riviera and fun in the sun?

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