Commentary

Bison once roamed North America, from coast to coast, from Alaska to Mexico. Several groups, including the Nature Conservancy, have been working to re-establish the native grazing animals to lands owned and managed by Native Americans.

‘So many things not right’ with proposed social studies standards

BY: - November 18, 2022

I am an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and a retired educator with 30 years experience as a teacher and administrator, most of which was spent guiding gifted and talented students. I have served on numerous education boards locally, regionally and nationally. I have been through many state curriculum standards reviews, including this […]

In this aerial view, a destroyed apartment building is seen next to an area of heavily damaged houses on April 21, 2022, in Borodianka, Ukraine. (Photo by Alexey Furman/Getty Images)

Refugees, immigrants to South Dakota need our compassion

BY: - November 17, 2022

During the past two months, I have emceed three benefit concerts to raise awareness of a statewide effort to bring 5,000 to 10,000 Ukrainian war refugees to our state. The concerts in Watertown, Rapid City and Sioux Falls raised about $50,000 to support a fund that will help defray expenses for those who sponsor refugees. […]

The Dignity sculpture near Chamberlain, SD, as pictured on Nov. 2, 2022.

Social studies standards a new version of ‘kill the Indian, save the man’

BY: - November 15, 2022

What does it say when, during a time of deep and troubling news on the high number of deaths at the boarding schools used to assimilate D/N/Lakota children, that Gov. Kristi Noem would hire a Christian-school consultant to shape a working committee for new South Dakota social studies standards?  This reads as a violation of […]

The South Dakota State Capital, pictured on Nov. 2, 2022.

South Dakota social studies standards are meaningful, challenging, empowering

BY: - November 11, 2022

As an experienced classroom educator, I am excited about the potential of South Dakota’s proposed social studies standards. They provide a framework for students to gain critical knowledge, vocabulary, and understanding in key areas of history, government, geography, and economics. A strong foundation in social studies is necessary to prepare productive citizens for the future. […]

Yard signs supporting Initiated Measure 27, piled up in the IM 27 campaign office in Sioux Falls on Nov. 4, 2022. IM 27 sought to legalize adult cannabis use in South Dakota. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Johnson: Colorado experience doesn’t square with legal pot fears

BY: - November 7, 2022

Marijuana legalization in Colorado has not had the negative societal effect that opponents of Initiated Measure 27 say it will have on South Dakota if voters pass it on Tuesday. The group against marijuana legalization insinuate that out-of-state drug interests, not South Dakotans who signed petitions, are waging a campaign to endanger our children, families […]

A Montana view in Yellowstone National Park.

Hats off to a determined woman who scored a win for Native Americans

BY: - November 2, 2022

Elouise Cobell Day will be celebrated on Nov. 5 in Montana, but many people in the West may not recognize her name. They may not know the story of her almost 20-year struggle to win justice for Native Americans from the U.S. government, which for decades botched the management of natural resources owned by individual […]

Gov. Kristi Noem showed this image of a state-owned airplane in 2021 when she proposed selling two older planes and buying a new one as part of her annual budget proposal. (Image from Gov. Noem's FY22 Budget Slides)

The key words and missing definition in the Noem airplane controversy

BY: - October 31, 2022

When authorities announced the conclusion of a recent investigation into Gov. Kristi Noem’s use of a state airplane, their news release included a potentially key phrase. The news release said, in part, “there were no facts to support a criminal prosecution under current law.” Those last three words – “under current law” – leave some […]

Gov. Kristi Noem attends an event Oct. 12, 2022, at a Sioux Falls grocery store. (John Hult/SD Searchlight)

Noem’s sales-tax promise shows panic during a campaign that should be easy

BY: - October 30, 2022

Kristi Noem’s sudden interest in repealing the sales tax on groceries seems like a desperate campaign tactic for a governor who should be coasting to reelection. It shocked legislators, and her onslaught of advertising saying she will repeal the sales tax belittles a Legislature responsible for funding state government.  One has to wonder why Noem […]

Monae Johnson waits to welcome potential voters at an October 2022 meet-and-great in a Rapid City coffee shop, during her campaign to become South Dakota's secretary of state. (Seth Tupper/SD Searchlight)

The trouble with Monae Johnson and Jell-O

BY: - October 28, 2022

I was interviewing U.S. Sen. John Thune several years ago when he used a phrase I’d never heard in a political context. He said rounding up votes in the Senate was like “nailing Jell-O to a tree.” Lately, I’ve been thinking the same description applies to something else: interviewing Monae Johnson about the 2020 presidential […]

(Illustration by Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Shining a new light on South Dakota

BY: - October 25, 2022

When I was in journalism school more than 20 years ago, a professor arranged a conference call for a group of students with a national magazine editor. I asked for career advice. The editor replied, “I’ll tell you one thing: I wouldn’t get a job at a newspaper.” That was probably not the answer my […]

(Getty Images)

Research shows potential positive results of Medicaid expansion

BY: - October 25, 2022

Expanding Medicaid in South Dakota will create better health, stronger hospitals and more vibrant schools and businesses, supporters of Amendment D claim. Apparently, South Dakotans agree as recent polls show up to 62 percent favor expansion. The issue is on statewide ballots in the Nov. 8 general election. Nearly all of the state’s medical associations, […]