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Most reservations in the United States are small and home to fewer than 10, people and Lower Brule is among the smallest. More than 40 percent of the population on the reservation lives in poverty. Many tribal members lack access to employment opportunities or an acceptable quality of basic services. This report describes patterns of debilitating financial mismanagement by the Lower Brule Tribal Government and how these problems are entrenched by its ability to avoid any kind of public ability.

Funds desperately needed to address profound social needs and advance the basic rights of tribal members are instead channeled into highly questionable projects Xxx personals lower brule south dakota diverted away from essential services like education or water without explanation. A small circle of political elites with stark conflicts of interest between their public responsibilities and personal interests runs the Tribal Government in an environment largely devoid of transparency. Tribal Government institutions are unresponsive to public concerns about these problems and largely resist meaningful ability.

Meanwhile, external actors with the capacity to mobilize pressure to address some of these problems, including the federal government, have done little to encourage change. While the Tribal Council is democratically elected, the chairman of the Tribal Council, Michael Jandreau, and his ruling majority have held power for more than 30 years.

This report shows how Tribal Council members have systematically withheld information from the public in order to avoid ability. That led to a situation in which harmful patterns of mismanagement were able to thrive in secrecy. Funds for key social services were inexplicably diverted Xxx personals lower brule south dakota the expense of the human rights of tribal members, while tribal members lacked effective mechanisms to hold members of the Tribal Council able for their actions. The lack of transparency and ability has created serious human rights problems at Lower Brule.

Changes in the composition of the Tribal Council after the September elections may have created an opportunity to break with the past and introduce badly needed reforms. It remains an open question whether the council will fulfill these responsibilities and make itself able to the tribe. Although the Lower Brule Tribal Government rebuffed virtually all of our requests for information, Human Rights Watch was able to assemble a fairly detailed picture of mismanagement, human rights abuses, and impunity through dozens of interviews and hundreds of s of documents, including federal and Tribal Government documents and financial reports.

Almost that entire amount had been earmarked for programs meant to provide essential services, alleviate poverty, or promote much needed economic development. The Westrock affair serves as a clear illustration of the broader patterns of mismanagement and impunity that plague the government. The council abused its authority by withholding information about the deal. This information should have been made public according to the Tribal Constitution and Bylaws.

The Westrock affair is emblematic of the broader crisis of governance that the Lower Brule Tribal Council precipitated by exploiting a lack of federal oversight and the absence of any way for tribal members to hold their government able. Additionally, the economic and social rights of people on the reservation have been undermined because millions of dollars meant to pay for essential services such as education, water, or key poverty alleviation programs have been diverted by the government without explanation.

Tribal members lack an effective remedy for these violations. Because of the legal contours of tribal sovereignty in the United States, tribal members can only challenge their government in federal courts under very limited circumstances. At the same time, no effective remedies are available through the Lower Brule Tribal Government, which ignores its duties of open government under the Tribal Constitution.

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Although the right to an effective remedy is protected under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the US is a party, the federal government has limited jurisdiction over tribal internal affairs, and cannot compel a tribe to institute remedies through tribal courts or other institutions. Under international human rights law, governments are obliged to invest in essential social services commensurate to their available resources.

Human rights norms do not prescribe exactly how much governments should invest in these areas relative to other competing public priorities. However, when large sums intended to provide basic services are simply lost through mismanagement or corruption rather than allocated to some other legitimate government purpose, it leaves governments in breach of their human rights obligations.

The Tribal Council has regularly diverted funds intended to provide essential services such as water and education, assistance to the poor, and economic development that would alleviate poverty and provide the sources of revenue to help pay for social services. As such, millions of dollars in desperately needed resources on a very poor reservation have been lost, often without any explanation. The federal government has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute those credibly implicated in the misuse of federal funds and prosecute other federal crimes on reservations, including crimes involving tribal government officials.

But it does not have jurisdiction over matters considered to be under the exclusive purview of sovereign tribal governments, such as the questionable allocation of tribal land, unexplained payments, or other uses of tribal resources. While Human Rights Watch recognizes the importance of tribal sovereignty, sovereignty entails human rights responsibilities. The way the Lower Brule Tribal Council has exercised its sovereignty has left tribal members with little way to secure a remedy against official misconduct, secrecy, or abuse. Due to limited resources, the Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI tends to prioritize a heavy caseload of crimes involving drugs, violence, or sexual offenses over corruption-related criminal investigations.

There are only about 85 OIG investigators nationally and just a handful of investigators for the region that includes Lower Brule and at least 13 other reservations in South Dakota, North Dakota, and parts of Montana. Despite these barriers, the demonstration of political will on the part of tribal governments and the federal government to address these issues could improve human rights and increase ability, while preserving tribal self-government and control.

Tribal sovereignty means that the principal obligation to protect the rights of tribal members rests with tribal governments. It also requires that tribal governments ensure adequate mechanisms exist to protect those rights. Such reforms are urgently needed at Xxx personals lower brule south dakota Brule and would set an important precedent. Until reforms are made, the opaque and unable activities of the Tribal Council will continue to restrict the ability of tribal members to enjoy their human rights.

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This report describes patterns of debilitating financial mismanagement by the Lower Brule Tribal Government and its ability to avoid any kind of public ability. Funds desperately needed to address profound social needs and advance the basic rights of tribal members have instead been channeled into highly questionable projects or diverted away from essential services like education or water without explanation.

The report shows how for many years Tribal Council members have systematically withheld information from the public in order to avoid ability. Lower Brule is a very small community under the same government leadership since This leadership has been extremely resistant to openness or other reforms. As such, the situation on this reservation presents a clear example of what Human Rights Watch has documented in many other parts of the world: the lack of governmental transparency and ability can severely undermine the rights of the governed.

Investigating this required individual interviews with persons involved and documentary evidence to show monetary flows, relationships, and legal responsibilities. That is in contrast to other tribal governments, such as the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians that have numerous rules and regulations to ensure financial transparency and ability. In that respect, the situation at Lower Brule is a stark example how protecting the rights of the governed is contingent on transparency and ability within government. Human Rights Watch interviewed more than 50 tribal members, including former Tribal Council members and former government employees who have direct knowledge of the activities detailed in this report.

Human Rights Watch notified all interviewees about the purpose and intent of our research, and all interviewees but three agreed to be identified. Those three people are referred to in this report by pseudonyms. Most interviews were conducted individually in person or by telephone. No compensation or Xxx personals lower brule south dakota benefits were provided to interviewees. Human Rights Watch interviewed the four former council members about the complaints they had submitted to federal authorities.

One of those individuals, Sonny Ziegler, was subsequently re-elected to the Tribal Council in September Human Rights Watch also reviewed letters and other submissions to federal authorities Xxx personals lower brule south dakota wrongdoing by the Tribal Council and interviewed three tribal members who recounted how they met with federal authorities and submitted complaints. Human Rights Watch obtained hundreds of s of Tribal Government documents, including federal audits of its activities.

Human Rights Watch also obtained the official criminal records of Paul Pomfret and Mark Casolo, who were respectively convicted by federal and state cases. Those two individuals were involved in some of the transactions involving Westrock, and their criminal cases relate to these activities. These records provided valuable insights into Tribal Government activities. The tribe and its businesses have been subject to several lawsuits in state and federal courts related to the acquisition of Westrock, a now-defunct Wall Street firm. The Tribal Government has aggressively tried to seal much of the evidence in one key lawsuit related to the Westrock acquisition.

Nonetheless, Human Rights Watch obtained some documents from the Westrock cases, including evidence the Tribal Government submitted about its businesses, sworn affidavits by the principals involved, and court rulings citing such evidence. We also interviewed Dr. Human Rights Watch also obtained key documents from two federal bankruptcy proceedings relevant to the Westrock deal. Human Rights Watch repeatedly sought to meet with the Tribal Council, including in Aprilwhen the author of this report was in Lower Brule. At that time, council members were unavailable to meet. In those conversations, she initially said that the Tribal Council would provide the information Human Rights Watch requested, but has since refused to provide any information to Human Rights Watch.

In SeptemberHuman Rights Watch sent detailed letters to each Tribal Council member requesting comments on each of the specific issues detailed in this report. We also notified Ms. Adamski of our requests and repeatedly contacted the Tribal Government for a response to our letters to the council. At this writing, no one from the Tribal Council or any other representative of the government had responded to any requests for information or for comment.

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Human Rights Watch repeatedly and unsuccessfully tried to contact federal government officials to discuss allegations of wrongdoing, including officials at the Department of Interior and the Bureau of Indian Affairs BIA. At this writing, only some agencies had provided information. In one instance, the Department of Housing and Urban Development gave information despite Tribal Government efforts to prevent disclosures.

At time of writing the US Department of Treasury had not responded to requests for audits or information about Tribal Government programs. At least three people in three different vehicles followed or monitored Human Rights Watch activities during various trips to the reservation. Human Rights Watch was told by tribal members present when that surveillance occurred that it was likely undertaken by the Tribal Government or their associates. For these reasons, Human Rights Watch interviewed people individually and in private to minimize the possibility of retaliation or other adverse consequences if they criticized the government.

The documentary information for this report has been posted on the Human Rights Watch website for reference. Like Native Americans throughout the United States, the Lower Brule Sioux have borne the brunt of centuries of hardship, repeated conflicts with the US government, and brutal and misguided US policies, including policies of forced assimilation that began in the early 18th century when European explorers and traders first came into contact with the Lower Brule tribe along the Upper Missouri River.

Tensions between the US government and the Sioux continued through much of the 19th century. The first documented case of open conflict between the US government and the Lower Brule tribe occurred in Disagreement over the ownership of the Black Hills is still a contentious issue between tribal governments and the US. The last two decades of the 19th century spawned brutal federal policies towards Native Americans. The Dawes Act of established disastrous land seizures and forced assimilation that effectively gave the US government complete control over Native American lives, culture, and livelihoods by removing traditional land and placing it in trust held by the US.

In the following decades, residents fell further into poverty. In the s many resorted to selling their land to meet basic needs. In the s, US policy Xxx personals lower brule south dakota Native Americans began to reject assimilation, and the Indian Reorganization Act of authorized limited tribal government. InLower Brule was one of the first tribes to have their constitution and government recognized. Its request was never granted for reasons that are still unclear. Termination was tragic for Native Americans.

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By the time it was ended under the Johnson and Nixon administrations, tribes had already been terminated, almost 1. Presidents Johnson and Nixon ultimately opposed termination, in part due to strong pressure from Native Americans. A new series of laws and policies followed that promoted greater tribal sovereignty. The Indian Civil Rights Act of April enshrined certain rights to individual tribal members derived from the US Bill of Rights, and inPresident Richard Nixon articulated further policy changes that repudiated termination.

These changes coincided with increased activism on behalf of Native American rights and serious confrontations with the federal government, including the day siege in by the American Indian Movement AIM at the Pine Ridge reservation. The new laws, policies, and court decisions have defined modern tribal sovereignty in the US and relations between the federal government and tribal governments.

The absence of meaningful government transparency and ability compounds this risk. It operates in secret and has withheld key information from tribal members and other key constituencies.

Xxx personals lower brule south dakota

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