Rounds may help the state’s native peoples


Tasiyagnunpa Livermont

Even through this bitter cold of late, spring is in the air. There is an expectancy, a pulse which seeps into your heart.

Though the calendar says winter just officially started, the days are getting longer, Christmas is over and Easter is nearer. We just celebrated the New Year, with its endings and beginnings.

A similar expectancy could be felt in the inaugurations on Saturday, particularly that of new South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds.

Many of the American Indian people who heard Rounds’ inauguration speech express hope in the governor’s promise of reconciliation. Learning from the past mistakes of the generations and moving ahead with a positive outlook is an important part of the reconciliation process.

Dennis King, vice president of the Oglala Sioux tribe, told me on Monday that he was very impressed by Rounds’ speech on Saturday.

“I think the opinion of South Dakota is changing about Indians and it makes me feel good,” he said.

During his inauguration speech, Rounds said that he would try to build on the late Governor Mickelson’s year of reconciliation.

“I think it is a positive step forward for the state to have a governor say that,” said King.

One thing going for Rounds is his personality.

Unlike the last governor, Rounds has a personality that leaves people willing to give feedback.

“I think there’s going to be a lot less division now,” said Lenora Hudson, an Oglala Lakota SDSU doctoral student.

I hope that my elders are right, and that our new governor and his office will pave the way for better communication between the tribe and the state.

Tasiyagnunpa Livermont is the Collegian’s web editor. Write to her at [email protected].