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USDA Official Marks State Tribal Relations Day in South Dakota

South Dakota USDA Rural Development State Director Elsie Meeks and J.R. LaPlante, Secretary of Tribal Relations for the state of South Dakota mark State Tribal Relations Day at the South Dakota State Capitol.

South Dakota USDA Rural Development State Director Elsie Meeks and J.R. LaPlante, Secretary of Tribal Relations for the state of South Dakota mark State Tribal Relations Day at the South Dakota State Capitol.

The South Dakota Department of Tribal Relations hosted State Tribal Relations Day at the South Dakota Capitol on Monday, March 19, 2012.  South Dakota USDA Rural Development State Director Elsie Meeks took part in the day; attending the Tribal Listening Session and ceremony.  Meeks was impressed by all of the tribal representatives as well as the students that attended from across the state.  “The listening session was an important part of the day with government to government interaction where ideas and solutions were shared.”

The ceremony was held in the South Dakota Capitol building with tribal business enterprise booths lining the halls and the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate singers and dancers giving a live performance.   A lunch of buffalo barbeque, Wigli Aguyapi (Sioux fry bread) and wojapi (fruit pudding) was sponsored by the Intertribal Bison Cooperative and South Dakota Indian Business Alliance.

“It’s important to have a day during the legislative session that recognizes the accomplishments of tribal governments and tribal members,” Secretary LaPlante said.  “This event gave state and tribal leaders the opportunity to learn about each other and exchange ideas that can lead to improved intergovernmental relations.”

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