top of page
  • Writer's pictureGreat Plains Tribal Chairmen's Association

Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Association Endorses Dakotans for Health

Updated: Jun 23, 2021

You can donate to support this effort HERE.

Rapid City, South Dakota

The Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Association (GPTCA), made up of 16 Federally recognized Native Nations from South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and Nebraska has endorsed Dakotans for Health and its efforts to fight voter suppression and expand Medicaid. Announced Dakotans for Health Tribal Spokesman Remi Beautiful Bald Eagle and GPTCA Executive Director Gay Kingman.

What you need to know

Dakotans for Health has been leading the effort to expand Medicaid to 42,000 South Dakotans and tribal members. Dakotans for Health released a tribal impact study earlier this year.They are also leading the effort to refer the recent voter suppression act, HJR 5003. The measure was passed in March by the South Dakota State Legislature. It targets the citizen initiated constitutional amendment petition to expand Medicaid by requiring a supermajority vote of 60% to pass.

How you can help

Right now the top priority is recruiting petition circulators and raising funds to fight HJR 5003 and qualify Medicaid expansion. You can circulate petitions and or make a 2X MATCHED donation via ActBlue.

Official Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Association Resolution Endorsing Dakotans for Health's Medicaid expansion and HJR 5003 Campaigns:

Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association, Inc. Endorses South Dakota Medicaid Expansion Efforts and Supports Dakotans For Health

Resolution No. 04-04-16-21

WHEREAS, the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association, Inc. (GPTCA) is composed of the elected Chairs and Presidents or their duly appointed representatives of the sovereign Indian Tribes and Nations recognized by Treaties with the United States that are within the Great Plains Region of the Bureau of Indian Affairs; and

WHEREAS, the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association, Inc. (GPTCA) was established by the 16 Indian nations and tribes of the Great Plains Region with its mission to support Indian sovereignty, self-determination, self-government, Indian lands, treaty rights, and to promote tribal economic opportunity ensure that Indian lands are “livable homelands” for our Native people; and

WHEREAS, the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association, Inc. was formed to promote the common interests of the Great Plains sovereign Indian Tribes and their members in the states of ND, SD, and Neb.; and

WHEREAS, Tribal Nations within the United States have entered solemn and sacred treaties with the United States in which their sovereign status is recognized, as provided in the United States Constitution; and

WHEREAS, the GPTCA recognizes its responsibility to act to advance the goals of its Tribes and their members and to promote improvements to the health, safety, welfare, education, economic development, and preservation of the spiritual, cultural, and natural resources of its member Sovereign Tribes and Nations; and

WHEREAS, Dakotans For Health began circulating petitions in November of 2020 in a grassroots effort to expand Medicaid in South Dakota to 138% above the poverty level for single adults earning less than $17,000 per year; and

WHEREAS, the GPTCA understands this would provide health care insurance coverage to over 42,500 low-income adults in South Dakota, including enhancing the Oceti Sakowin people’s access to better healthcare on and off the nine reservations in South Dakota; and

WHEREAS, the 2021 South Dakota state legislature voted in favor of House Joint Resolution 5003, a proposed state constitutional change, which would require a 60% supermajority vote for future ballot measures that increase taxes or fees. Or that require the state to appropriate $10 million or more in the first five fiscal years; and

WHEREAS, HJR 5003 as amended would force a vote of the people in the June 2022 Primary Election with lower traditional voter turn-out, which would cause injurious electoral harm to native people who already face constant voter suppression; and

WHEREAS, Dakotans for Health has filed a request to refer HJR 5003 to a vote of the people in the General Election in 2022, which was denied by the SD Secretary of State; and

WHEREAS, Dakotans For Health currently is suing the SD Secretary of State in SD Supreme Court on behalf of all people in South Dakota to retain ballot measure rights and oppose the potential of legislative power imbalance.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the GPTCA stands in solidarity with Dakotans For Health and endorses their efforts to pass Medicaid expansion including the acquisition of nearly 37,000 validated South Dakota registered voter signatures required to place Medicaid Expansion on the 2022 General Ballot; The GPTCA also stands with Dakotans For Health in opposing the 2021 state legislature’s efforts to substantially diminishing the peoples’ right to the already rigorous South Dakota ballot measure process and supports Dakotans for Heath’s effort to defeat HRJ 5003.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, this resolution shall be the policy of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association, Inc. until it is withdrawn or modified by a subsequent resolution.

Resolution No. 04-04-16-21

GPTCA-resolution-Dakotans-4-Health 04
Download 16 • 168KB

Tribal Chairmen Statements of Support

Chairman Harold Frazier

Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Association Chairmen Harold Frazier described a "movement" heralding the group as a "true friend" of Indian Country:

"We know Dakotans for Health can be trusted to do what is right for Indian Country. That is why the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen are proud to support their effort to expand Medicaid and fight voter suppression."
"We call on all friends of Indian Country to get behind this important movement"

President Rodney Bordeaux

The group has received widespread praise from tribal leaders and member alike including Rosebud Sioux Nation President Rodney Bordeaux who extolled grassroots group's 'reliability' and deep commitment to Indian Country:

“"I would like to thank Dakotans for Health for taking on this important effort to expand Medicaid. We know they can be relied on to be a strong voice for Indian Country"
"A strong voice for Indian Country"

Chairman Bob Flying Hawk

Other leaders echoed Bordeaux sentiment including Yankton Sioux Tribal Chairman Bob Flying Hawk who, along with Bordeaux, was an early supporter of the effort:

Dakotans for Health values America’s diverse middle class, and the union workers who built and preserve it. SMART and the Eastern South Dakota Building Trades are proud support their effort to extend health insurance to 42,000 people who need it. It is what Build Back Better is all about.-mark rogers
"People's lives literally depend on it"

Chairman Clyde Estes

Lower Brule Sioux Tribal President Clyde Estes lauded Flying Hawk's sentiment citing the critical importance of health insurance and the tribes familiarity with the organizers at Dakotans for Health:

The folks involved at Dakotans for Health have lived in or worked with Indian Country their entire lives. We know they can be trusted to do what is right and are proud to support their important campaign to expand Medicaid" -Chairman Clyde Estes
"They can be trusted to do what is right"

Chairman Peter Lengkeek

Crow Creek Sioux Tribal Chairman Peter Lengkeek who is a former combat veteran, agreed:

Dakotans for Health has a deep commitment to the earth and to the well being of Indian Country. I am grateful for their efforts to improve our healthcare systems."-Chairman Peter Lengkeek
"A deep commitment"

President Tony Reider

The show of support from Indian Country has been resounding for Dakotans for Health, but it is to be expected said Santee Sioux President Tony Reider:

Dakotans for Health and the people who run it are longtime friends to Indian Country. That is why you see such deep support for their efforts. We know they will do what it takes.
"Longtime friends"

A note from Co-Founder

Dakotans for Health Co-Founder Rick Weiland he was thrilled to see such a strong showing of support from the Association and all sixteen of the tribal chairmen.

“We are humbled and honored to have the support of the Great Plains tribal chairmen's association. Working class people deserve access to quality healthcare and affordable prescription drugs. Let's roll.” Dakotans for Health Co-Founder, Rick Weiland said.
"Honored to have the support of our Native Nations"

The endorsements represent all of the federally recognized tribes in the midwest plains states and come on the heals of several others groups has received from the leadership of the Great Plains Tribal Leader's Health Board, the states spiritual institutions, rural organizing networks, and the AFL-CIO.

The non-partisan South Dakota Legislative Research Council has estimated that 42,500 people would be eligible for Medicaid health insurance if the ballot measure is successful. South Dakota is one of 12 states that has refused to participate in the program.


About Dakotans for Health

Dakotans for Health, an emerging group of public officials, caregivers, health care advocates, and concerned citizens supporting the expansion of Medicaid. We have released COMPREHENSIVE MATERIALS for our volunteers to start circulating a petition for a Constitutional Amendment to expand Medicaid. Get yours today!


Help Secure Ballot Access for Medicaid Expansion and Defeat HJR 5003

Support the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Association. Make a donation to expand Medicaid and defend voting rights in South Dakota.

Obama Campaign Manager Steve Hildebrand on the importance of Grassroots Organizing and Dakotans for Health's campaign to expand Medicaid:

You can watch the full episode with Steve HERE

Message from Montana Governor Steve Bullock to Dakotans for Health petition circulators:

You can watch the full episode with Governor Bullock HERE

One neighbor. Helping another. That's something Tom Daschle understands.

You can watch the full episode with Senator Daschle HERE

Get involved. Volunteer, start circulating a petition, and donate! Text "Medicaid" to (772) 577-2336

Dakotans for Health volunteer QR code.
Join our Grassroots Network (open your camera app and point)

Circulate a Medicaid Expansion Petition (How to)

Want to circulate a petition? We have been on the streets since November of last year! You can find everything you need HERE.

HHS Deputy Secretary Mary Wakefield supports Dakotans for Health and you can too!

You can watch the full episode with Secretary Wakefield HERE

Earl Pomeroy knows a thing or two because he's seen a thing or two.

You can watch the full episode with Congressman Pomeroy HERE

KELO: League of Women Voters Medicaid Expansion Petition Signing Event With Dakotans For Health

You can view the full KELO story HERE

380 views0 comments


bottom of page