Posted by on Jul 17, 2013 in Featured, News

Nepotism: The Scourge of Tribal Employment Practices, By Dr. Erich Longie

Nepotism: The Scourge of Tribal Employment Practices, By Dr. Erich Longie

Two posts that appeared on my Facebook page today prompted me to retrieve an old blog of my mine and rewrite it. The first Facebook post was,  “What we do, who we are, and what we will become is in our very own hands.”  To which I replied, “Agree 100%. Nothing, or no one is holding us back, but our own character defects.” The next post was, “It makes me angry when outsiders come in and take advantage of Tribes. This is why we need our own to get educated and come home and do the work that needs done, and why Tribes need to utilize Tribal member preference.” I agreed whole-heartily with this statement, but it’s just not that simple. I commented, “I agree…however obtaining an education does not necessary mean the person will contribute to the tribe in a positive way. Years ago, when I finished my Masters, an elder came up to me and told me to use my education in a good way. She said,...

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Posted by on Jun 19, 2013 in Featured, News

The IRA Continues to Haunt Tribes, By Dr. Erich Longie

The IRA Continues to Haunt Tribes, By Dr. Erich Longie

We, Spirit Lake Nation, sure have been in the news since our tribal chairman took office two years ago, and none of the news is good. A petition being taken around to force a recall hearing on our chairman should be simple. If the majority of the people want an elected leader gone and follow proper procedure to have a recall hearing, then it should happen. So why is there so much controversy surrounding a recall petition that is currently circulating around the Spirit Lake Nation? To answer that, I need to go back to 1934, when Congress passed the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA). The IRA encouraged tribes to implement written constitutions and charters for the purpose of giving tribes the freedom to self-govern. These new tribal constitutions established a governing council. Many of these constitutions have similar, and tragic, flaws—no separation or balance of powers, no judiciary, and nothing resembling a bill of rights. When unscrupulous tribal councilpersons take advantage of this vague, poorly written tribal document and...

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Posted by on Apr 6, 2013 in Featured, News

Congressman Kevin Cramer called out to make amends. -Dr. Erich Longie

Congressman Kevin Cramer called out to make amends. -Dr. Erich Longie

We Dakotas are easy to get along with, after all; our very name signifies, friends and/or allies. And, we are pretty much assimilated into the mainstream society so we no longer become all war like when a Caucasian verbally assaults our winyans (women) in a meeting. Besides, our winyans are tough; they don’t need anyone’s help to deal with a person who apparently does not have any respect for them as human beings. But, at soon to be sixty years of age I still have some of the old ways in me that were taught to me in my youth. I was raised to respect women and to defend them when they were being mistreated, especially if that winyan is a relative. Therefore, I’m going to speak up on Melissa Merrick’s behalf, as she is a younger relative of mine. I also believe Melissa’s version is the correct version of the conversation between Cramer and her. So I am going to point out the obvious in Cramer’s tactics as...

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Posted by on Nov 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

Honoring Native Veterans: Modern Day Warriors

By : Dr. Erich Longie When I was just 21 years old, my friend, Dan Cavanaugh, told me he was signing up for the Marine Corps. “I am going to Fargo for a physical,” he told me, “Why don’t you ride along?” I had recently been fired from the Sioux Manufacturing Company (SMC) and had nothing else to do, so I went along. All the way down to Fargo, Dan and the Marine Corps recruiter kept asking me to “at least take the physical.” I laughed at them and said, “Even if I did take a physical, I would probably sign up for the navy anyway.” Anyway, to make a long story short, I ended up taking a physical and somehow ended up in the Marine Corps. I am now proud to say that I am a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, and I view my graduation from Marine Corp boot camp 39 years ago, back in 1974, as one of my greatest accomplishments. When I grew...

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Posted by on Nov 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

Who is Going to Teach the Next Generation our Values?

By : Dr. Erich Longie Who’s going to teach the next generation our values? One fall evening when I was around thirteen – fourteen years old, my mother let me use an old single shot .22 rifle (that we somehow came into possession of) to hunt ducks. We lived in an old log cabin close to a lake in the Crow District on the reservation at the time. And every fall, the lake would fill up with ducks for a couple of days. Shells were hard to come by back then, so I remember only taking a couple with me. My siblings and our cousins who lived next to us swam in the lake all summer until it became too cold to swim anymore. Therefore, there was a well-worn path to the lake. I followed this path as I started toward the lake because the part of the lake we swam in was the only part of the lake that was devoid of vegetation. This would allow me to...

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