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Publication of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribe of the Lake Traverse Reservation since 1968

Candidates for Executive positions in the 2018 SWO elections prepare to answer questions at last Wednesday's forum. The public 

forum was sponsored by the Tribal Elderly Affairs Board and Martha Renville served as moderator. Photo by Tamara St. John.

Inside this Sota

2018 SWO Primary Election this Tuesday; Watch for official results next week

Tribe awarded two-year opioid response (TOR) grant

SWO Executive candidates forum held last week

Planning office holds hemp field day

Report and photos from SWO Fall Harvest Festival

August 2018 Tribal Council proceedings

Reminder: Deadline for receiving copy is noon on Friday

October - Ape Cancan Wi - “Moon of Horns Shedding” -  Anpetu Iyamni - October 3, 2018

Vol. 49


No.  40

Change service requested

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api, P.O. Box 5, Wilmot, SD 57279

Contents  –  

Time-Dated News/Do Not Delay

Mailed at Ortonville, MN, Monday, Oct. 1, 2018



Ballots will be counted at the Administration Building afterwards. Preliminary results will be available online 

on KXSW-Radio’s Facebook page, and on the Sota website. Watch for official results in next week’s Sota.

Oyate gathered at the Tribal elderly center for a meal followed by the candidates forum. Photo by 

Tamara St. John.

Exec candidates forum

Continued on Page 2

T

ribal Planning organized an industrial hemp field day last Thursday, September 27th. Interested Tribal members were asked to RSVP 



to participate in a tour of the demonstration plot in North Dakota. Tom Wilson, KXSW announcer, provided a live broadcast over the 

internet, and John Heminger took these photo highlights.

The lead University of 

Minnesota researcher, Dr. George 

Weiblen, was the main presenter for 

the broadcast.

George began by thanking 

those who had come, and 

introducing himself.

“It’s an honor and a privilege 

to be assisting Sisseton-Wahpeton 

Oyate with the SWO Hemp 

Economic Feasibility Study.”

He recalled the kickoff meeting 

at Dakota Magic Casino, “when 

there was still snow on the ground 

last spring.”

“And here we are today, 

September 27, 2018.”

“Who would’ve thought that 

we would be standing here on SWO 

land with a field of industrial hemp 

cannabis standing behind us?” he 

said.


“It’s really a pleasure to be 

here to have the opportunity to 

demonstrate what industrial hemp is 

and where we see its potential in the 

future.”

He spoke about the 

demonstration project, “There are 

many unique aspects of this study 

and this project and a wonderful 

group of people who’ve come 

together from very, very diverse 

backgrounds and perspectives to 

bring this plant into the mix here.”

He said, “… you have an 

incredibly rich biodiverse natural 

environment, where hemp has the 

potential to add jobs, economic 

opportunities, new materials, new 

products that can take us away from 

our dependence on fossil fuels and 

towards renewing our land and our 

health with what nature offers us.”

“I’m here to learn from 

nature,” he said.

“I’m here to learn from you 

but she was very diligent.”

“She spoke to the state’s legal 

counsel and then they came back 

with absolutely the Tribe is an 

eligible applicant.”

“From there I developed a 

proposal and went after the funding.

“So it’s been a long journey 

from that first day in February of 

2016. It was actually February 16, 

to this day, to when we actually see 

the hemp growing.”

“For me this is a milestone in 

our development.”

“It’s a fulfillment of what was 

just an idea and an idea that many 

people in our Tribe have had for 

many years in our goal of being 

good land stewards.”

LeeAnn said, “To see it actually 

come to fruition and to see that 

we can grow the crop and to do it 

in a way that I think is in the best 

interest of the Sisseton-Wahpeton 

Oyate … that’s to take careful, 

measured steps and to make sure 

that we don’t waste our Tribe’s 

resources by trying to rush in to 

development too quickly.”

The Tribal planner spoke about 

haven taken “a very conservative 

approach.”

“We’ve learned from other 

people’s mistakes.”

“Obviously, I read about 

everybody else that went into trying 

to produce hemp or … tried to rush 

into it … or recreational marijuana 

… or whatever it was, medical 

marijuana … and tried to learn 

from those mistakes.

“Because,” she added, “that’s 

our responsibility as a planning 

department … to do the research 

SWO hemp day

Continued on Page 2

and also share what I’ve learned 

about studying hemp for the 

past 16 years at the University of 

Minnesota.”

“And I’m grateful that SWO 

reached out to me to enlist our team 

in performing this study.”

George asked Tribal Planner 

LeeAnn TallBear to take the 

microphone.

She thanked him, and said, 

“For me this journey really began in 

February of 2016 when I was asked 

to write a grant to try to raise some 

money to do a hemp study.”

“So I began my research back 

then and because the Tribe was 

looking for other ways of economic 

development as well as ways that 

responded to our mission of 

sustainable development, we wanted 

to go about this in the right way.”

As I did my research I 

reached out to the North Dakota 

Department of Agriculture and 

at that time the North Dakota 

Industrial Hemp Pilot Study 

director was a woman named 

Rachel Seifert.”

“She was very supportive and 

very helpful, but my first question 

was because it was a pilot study 

that was mainly targeted by USDA 

to individual farmers, my first 

question is, can a tribe ... can a 

tribal government participate in the 

program?”

“And so it took her some time, 

probably not more than two weeks, 



Charlene Miller, SWO 

Natural Resources Manager.

Crystal Owen, Community 

Planner.

LeeAnn TallBear, SWO Tribal 

Planner.

A portion of the 

demonstration plot has been 

cut.

Industrial hemp plant photo 

taken during hemp field day last 

week. Photo by John Heminger.

The UM research team, from left: Dr. George Weiblen, lead 

researcher; Dr. JP Wegner; Dr. Dean Current; and Dr. Eric Gassings. 

Photo by John Heminger.

A look at the industrial hemp plants still standing, waiting to be 

harvested as the UM researchers want to study different methods 

of harvesting for different potential uses. Photo by John Heminger.

T

he Tribal Elderly Affairs Board sponsored an Executive 



candidates public forum last Wednesday evening, Sept. 26, 

at the elderly nutrition center. Martha Renville served as 

moderator, presenting candidates with questions provided by the 

audience. The following is taken from audio recorded at the event.

Shannon LaBatte asked the 

first question, before Martha began 

reading them from the audience.

“From each of you, what 

kinds of criteria are 

you going to use to 

analyze whether the 

Tribe should go after 

a business venture 

or a certain project 

and what kind of criteria, based on 

your analysis of that future project 

or business, what criteria are you 

going to use to move that project 

or business forward or put it in the 

garbage can?”

Michael Selvage answered first, 

with an introduction.

“My name is Michael Selvage 

Sr. and as you know I’ve 

been an elected official 

before.”


“I’ve served 

three terms as Tribal 

Secretary, two terms as 

Tribal Chairman, three terms as a 

District Chairman, and three terms 

as a Councilman.”

“The question that Shannon 

has asked is one that comes up 

whenever the Tribe gets into 

economic development and looking 

at businesses that we are either going 

to build, or get into.”

“A good example was our 

experience, or my experience, with 

Dakota Magic Casino financing.”

“We went in front of several 

investment bankers and they asked 




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