Oglala Sioux Tribe

Health Programs Page


Health & Human Services Committee


Chair - Sonia Little Hawk - Weston

Vice - Joseph Rosales

Jim Meeks

Kim Clausen

Stanley Little White Man

Lydia Bear Killer

Ella “John” Carlow

John Mousseau

Robin Tapio

Anthony Wounded Head, Sr.

Garfield Little Dog

Coordinator:  Lisa Brooks

Secretary:  Dawn Black Bull

Meeting Date:  Tuesday’s  @ 10:00 a.m.

      Oglala Sioux Tribe Enrollment Department
      Joan Decker-Two Bulls, Director
      P.O. Box 2070
      Pine Ridge SD 57770
      Phone (605) – 867-1321
      Fax (605) – 867-2901

      Mission Statement:
      To identify and enroll all eligible person’s as members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

      Location The Oglala Sioux Tribe Enrollment Department is located in the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) building next door to the Tribal Office in downtown Pine Ridge SD.  The program is under the oversight of the Oglala Sioux Tribe Health & Human Resources Committee.

      Services Provided:
      The Oglala Sioux Tribe Enrollment Department provides many services to the people of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

      Verifies Membership with the tribe
      Provide genealogy charts upon request.
      Issue Tribal Identification (ID) cards
      Maintain vital statistics for Tribal Membership

      Goals of the Oglala Sioux Tribe Enrollment Department & Committee are to complete some changes in the Enrollment Ordinance No. 79-08 such as dual enrollment , relinquish of rights (there is no reinstatement) when paternity is in question. We would like to establish a provision for DNA testing.  Revise qualifications for enrollment.

      It is very important that our Department seek and find additional funding (permanent) to assist in accomplishing our administrative goals. To update the computer systems and add additional staff and larger work areas to the Enrollment Department.  We hope to have a crew in the field daily to provide Tribal Identification )ID) Photo cards for those in the Districts and assist each District with maintaining census counts.

      The OST Ambulance Service provides numerous services to the Lakota people such

      as:  transportation for medical appointments on and off reservation on a daily basis, all patients needing transportation must provide an appointment slip and call the ambulance service 24 hours in advance so they may be put on the schedule.  The program has recently added a Training/Education Coordinator position to assist the Continuing Education Units (CEU) needed by the EMT's and to also teach the general public basic first aid and CPR.  Five Emergency Medical Units are located reservation wide and are located in Wanblee, Kyle, Oglala and two units in Pine Ridge.  Among the Native American IHS funded ambulance services nationwide, the OST Ambulance Service comes in third, responding to a total of 6,200 calls per year on average.   For this rate the program has dedicated 867 – 5999 telephone number for emergency traffic.

      The future goals and accomplishments are that the Ambulance service has successfully held the first Intermediate – 99 course in the State of South Dakota.  The Program is working on creating Standard Operating Procedures and has recently updated all of the Emergency Medical Protocols and the process is being started to create another medic crew to be stationed at the Pine Ridge ER due to the high of reservation referral volume.


      “Our peoples generational trauma manifests itself in addiction.  Addiction, therefore, reflects our loss and grief.  Healing from addiction must include our cultural norms and healing practices.”

      The Anpetu Luta Otipi has offices located in Kyle, Wanblee and Pine Ridge to provide their services to members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.  Terri Blue – White Eyes is the director.

      Specifically designed for the Lakota Oyate, a culturally based curriculum which utilizes the Lakota values to assist the Oyate in realizing how their use of chemicals negatively affects all parts of themselves and their families. 

      The program offers early intervention, out – patient for youth and adults, inpatient residential services and continued care/aftercare.  When the Oyate leave the program they leave with information and knowledge on how alcohol and drugs affect them physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  Also a sense of self worth, a foundation of self respect and willingness to make the effort to “Live a Red Day” without alcohol or other drugs.

      “Burial assistance means financial assistance payment made in behalf of an indigent Indian who meets the eligibility criteria and to provide minimum burial expenses according to Bureau payment standards established by the Assistant Secretary.”

      The Director of this program is Pat Janis and his Office Assistant is Chris Roubideaux.  This office is located in the Old Hospital in Pine Ridge, SD. 

      The program offers burial assistance package through the Sioux Funeral Home for $2,500.00 this is equal to most $5,000.00 funerals elsewhere; plus another $200.00 for wake assistance and $225.00 for rough box expense.

      •  Caregiver Advocate

      • CHR Program

      The CHR Program was implemented to improve the health knowledge, attitude and practices of Indian People by promoting, supporting and assisting the IHS in delivering a total health care program.  The efforts of the CHR program staff have produced an American Indian and Alaska Native health service delivery system which provides for follow – up and continued contract with the health care delivery system at the community level, thereby meeting the most basic needs of the American Indian and the Alaska Native population.

      The goal of the CHR Program is to address health care needs through the provision of community – oriented primary care services, including traditional Native concepts in multiple settings, utilizing community – based well trained, medically-guided health care workers.

      Some services that the CHR Program provides to the Tribal members residing on the Pine Ridge reservation are to provide direct patient health care services in all health areas.  Reduce the high rate of teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), with strong emphasis on the awareness and prevention tactics against HIV and AIDS through education and awareness.  Provide transportation to health care facilities for patients who posses or have no viable means or form of transportation.  (Transportation Policy is strictly enforced).  Promote education and awareness of proper diet, exercise and health care practices to the public.  Monitor and educate the public in basic, fundamental, safe and sound environmental health practices.  Establish quality gerontology for the elderly population for the elderly population and assist IHS in elderly health care clinics and flu immunizations.  Provide animal care services to dogs and cats, and this is enforced with OST Ordinance 96 – 13.

      Mission Statement
      “To provide quality outreach health care services and health promotion/disease prevention services to American Indians and Alaska Natives within their communities through the use of well – trained CHR's as mandated by Section 107 of P.L. 100 – 713, dated November 23, 1988.”

      The Sioux San Public Health Nursing Program initiated the Rapid City CHR project in the late 1960's.  The Rapid City Indian Health Board lost the 638 funding and the program retro ceded back to the control of Indian Health Services.  The Oglala Sioux Tribe entered into contract with IHS under resolution #98 – 77 and assumed responsibility for the three 93 – 638 Master Health Contracts in 1998.

      The CHR Program was implemented to improve the health knowledge, attitude and practices of Indian People by promoting, supporting and assisting the IHS in delivering a total health care program.  The efforts of the CHR program staff have produced an American Indian and Alaska Native health service delivery system which provides for follow – up and continued contract with the health care delivery system at the community level, thereby meeting the most basic needs of the American Indian and the Alaska Native population.

      The goal of the CHR Program is to address health care needs through the provision of community – oriented primary care services, including traditional Native concepts in multiple settings, utilizing community – based well trained, medically-guided health care workers.

      “To enhance the affordability & availability of child care services for eligible families.”

      •  Children's Village

      •  Clinical Lab

      •  Diabetes Prevention

      •  Emergency Youth Shelter

      • Environmental Protection

      The OST Environmental Protection office began back in 1996.  The primary goal is not only to protect the quality of the environment within the Pine Ride Reservation, bit also to look at ways to prevent the constant threat to the health and humanity of this reservation.  As the Director of this program it is my responsibility to look for and write grants for funds that become available each year that will help sustain the quality of work that goes into each project operated our of this office.  We operate and are funded under several grants.  The GAP grant is the core grant for this program and is applied for every 4 years.

      The Environmental Protection Program office consists of several different programs.  There is the 106 program, whose Director is Delinda Simmons. She has been working for 8 years in this program and throughout the years she has developed extensive maps and a bulk of information regarding the different waterways throughout this reservation.  Delinda is also responsible for the implementation of the collection of chemical water quality, biological sampling of benthic invertebrates and collection of physical and habitat water quality data on surface waters of this reservation,  Shawn Patton works within this program and it is his responsibility to gather all the data from sampling the waters throughout the reservation to gathering the samples of different vertebrae and transport them into the Lab for analysis to guarantee that the waters are able to sustain aquatic life throughout the reservation. 

      There is the Underground Storage Tank (UST)/Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) program which is coordinated by Randy Bettelyoun and has been operating since the beginning of this office.  The overall purpose of this program is to find and eliminate or replace all leaking underground storage tanks.  This reservation has been brought into complete compliance, because of this program and it now monitors all the UST and LUST projects which it has listed in its' records.  The Tribal Response/Browns fields program began this past 2003 with Lana Johnson as the coordinator.  Because of this program this office was able to install a data base program for the inventory of potential Browns field sites which are located throughout this reservation. 

      We are working in a contract with KILI for public announcements for the publics and concerns within each of the communities.  This office also has a 106 Water Pollution Data Manager, Ron Patton is the Coordinator for this position and through his efforts the tribe now has the capability for doing all Engineering/Land Surveying, AutoCAD Drafting and map making.  This office has done Environmental Assessments for individual homeowners and business and construction sites.  This office also assisted with the design and construction of the Baler Building and 10 transfer sites located throughout this reservation.  Without Leslie Ferguson as the administrative Assistant this program would be hard pressed to keep all the information regarding the funding and amounts of dollars that we are handling as it numbers are in the high thousands most of the time.  Because of her capabilities, we are current in our financial status and constantly are able to monitor the flow of the monies into and going out of this program.  The Integrated Waste Management Grant and the BIA 638 Grant have both been funded and used exclusively for the development and implementation of a new Solid Waste System and Program within the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  Because of these larger grants our office along with the Indian Health Services, Oglala Sioux Lakota Housing Authority, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe has been able to not only design a state of the art RCPA sub-title D landfill, but we are also to completion of the new Solid Waste Code and the Waste Management Plan for this reservation.  Bobby Sullivan has worked extensively with both these programs in developing the proposals, codes and the plan.  We worked with the Rural Development office out of Rapid City in obtaining the funding for some of the projects in order for them to have newer equipment and machinery for the operation of the 10 transfer sites and one baler building as well as the Landfill built and operated north of Pine Ridge about 4.5 miles.  All reservation waste is baled at Pine Ridge and then brought to the Landfill for disposal.

      A public record system has been established and will be located in the Archives Office in the Tribal building.  This is accessible to the public.  We are also acquiring training towards learning the GPS system as well as Phase I and Phase II Environmental Assessments. We are also continuing to survey the reservation for potential Browns field sited and through public participation and information gained from other tribal departments and programs we will enter new inventory or response action information into the data base as well as the public record binder.  We are also developing a ranking system to move inventoried sites into sire assessment and eventual cleanup as appropriate.

      •  Food Assistance

      •  Food Distribution

      Mission statement
      “To provide nutritious and healthy food to people of the Pine Ridge reservation who are in need.”

      Mr. Joe Blue Horse is the Director of the Food Distribution Program.  The program distributes actual food instead of food stamps and delivers these items to the districts so individuals who do not have transportation can receive the benefits of the program in their own district.  The growing concern of Diabetes on the Reservation is one of the concerns of the program so fresh vegetables and fruits are incorporated in the monthly benefits.

      On of the main goals of the program is to continue to provide healthy and nutritious food and to try to provide more and better healthy foods for the people of the Oglala Lakota Nation.

      •  Health Administration

      •  Health Education

      “To continue to encourage and emphasize the active participation and self – responsibility of American Indians and Alaska Natives in the promotion and maintenance of good health, prevention of disease, adoption of healthy lifestyles and assisting people to assume responsibility of their healthcare through participation and community involvement.”

      The Health Education office is locates in highway 18 just north of the old hospital in Pine Ridge.  The other office is located in Porcupine.  The office staff includes Mary

      Tobacco – Director; Arlene Iron Cloud – Assistant; Lisa Waters – Fitness Trainer and Karen Red Star – Fitness Trainer.

      The program currently offers health education in healthy lifestyle and collaboration of teamwork to accomplish goals.  To assist people in adopting healthy lifestyles, develop teams to promote health, contract experts to provide education, develop educational material, teach skills to accomplish goals, obtain funds and create programs to reach mission statement and influence change through legislation such as the second smoke ordinance.

      One of the main goals of the program and staff is to help the development of fitness centers in each of the nine districts located in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

      •  Homeless Veterans Shelter – Dennis King 605-867-2466

      • Human Resources

      Mission statement
      “To provide Human resource services to all OST programs and all nine (9) districts. ”

      Debbie Blue Bird is the Personnel Director and has done and excellent job at revamping the Personnel Department and with the Policies and Procedures of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.  Her staff consists of Marquise Two Lance-Office Manager, Glenda Hopkins and Mona Brave-Rating Specialist, Lanita Palmier and Levena Poor Thunder-File Clerks and Brandi Apple-Secretary.

      The department handles all advertisement, rating, and hiring of permanent positions for the Oglala Sioux Tribal programs and districts.  The process for hire is upon permanent hiring for the Tribe the Personnel office works with the Drug Testing program to uphold the Drug Free Workplace Act, “all applicants tentatively selected for positions with the OST will be required to submit to urinalysis for illegal drug use prior to appointment.  A drug test must be done within 24 hours of notice of selection and the selection letter will not be given to the applicant until the results of the drug test are received in the Personnel office.  The individual that is hired must also go to the Benefits office and sign all appropriate documentation for benefits and the 401 (k) program that is offered through the tribe.  Also, when directed by the President or Vice president the Personnel will issue notices on Holiday or administrative leave due to hazardous weather conditions.

      One major goal of the program is to fill as many temporary positions as permanent employees of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. 

      •  Meals for the Elderly


      •  Native Women's Health

      •  ONTRAC

      Mission Statement
      “Pursuant to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1979, (Public Law 95 – 608), the Oglala Sioux tribe in exercising its exclusive jurisdiction for all enrolled or eligible children, requires that states give notice to the OST in any removal of children from homes.”

      The Oglala Nation Tiospaye Resource & Advocacy Center (ONTRAC) is directed by Bernadine Tallman.  Her staff includes William Cross – Social Worker I, Theresa Wilcox – Social Worker II, Maria Provost – Family Preservation Coordinator and Monica Tuttle – Office Manager/Data Clerk.  The office is located in the Old Hospital in Pined Ridge, SD.

      with IHS under resolution #98 – 77 and assumed responsibility for the three 93 – 638 Master Health Contracts in 1998.

      •  Oral Health

      •  Personal Development

      •  Pesticide Enforcement

      “To ensure that pesticides can be used without resulting in unreasonable adverse effects to human health or the environment.”

      Irving Provost is the Director of the Pesticide Enforcement program and this office is located across from the OST Property and Supply in Pine Ridge, SD.

      The program offers certification of pesticide applicators as required by Tribal Pesticide Code and Certification Plan.  The main goal of the program is to investigate pesticide applications on the reservation.

      •  Rural Water ~ Kyle

      •  Rural Water ~ Pierre

      •  Safety of Dams

      •  Solid Waste

      •  Substance Abuse Healing

      Staff members are:  Nanette Twiss – Assistant Director, Verlyn Long Wolf – Adult Counselor; Cedric Broken Nose – Family Counselor; Troy Geraldsen – Intake Counselor; Chuck Birdshead – Youth Counselor and Duane St John – Evening Tech.  The program has a 30-day Chemical Dependency treatment, 10-day co dependency and a 4-day inpatient aftercare.  They also do referrals to other treatment centers and there are youth referrals and aftercare and also drug and alcohol assessments.  The Substance Abuse program recently passed a program review with flying colors.  The program is in total compliance with IHS expectations and is #1 in the Aberdeen area.  Many of the staff are young but the program so they can carry on with what the older counselors know.

      The program has recently undergone an administration change, the program director was advertised and also some of the changes occurred internally with the counselor positions and in spite of the above the program continued to operate in a very positive way.  This alone tells a lot of where the staff are in their commitments with the program as well as on a personnel level.  On September the Substance Abuse Healing program had their annual program review and was told by George Buffalo the Review Administrator that the program has achieved a status of being the #1 program in the Aberdeen area.  George Buffalo commended Nanette Twiss on her exuberant level of effort and knowledge as the Assistant Director.  He was very pleased with all of the expected information all compiled into one workbook with different access to the different parts.  He asked permission from Nanette to use the workbook as an example with the other programs.  Mr. Buffalo also commended the staff for their effort to make the program what it is and that he was very proud of the staff.

      • Support Services

      “To be a profession in our work force and to be reliable when anyone ask for our staff.”

      The Director of OST Support Services is Ramona Lafferty.  The Support Services Office is located at the Old Hospital building in Pine Ridge, SD.  The program offers protection and security for OST employees from vandalism & harassment, including political situations.

      The goals of the program are to have all of the staff certified as security officers, including the janitor staff.  Support Services staff will also have to be certified in maintenance for running the boilers.

      •  Veterans Office

      •  Vocational Rehab

      •  Water & Sewer

      Hello Oglala Lakota Nation, my name is Samuel O'Rourke and I am the Director the OST Water and Sewer Co.  I have a staff of nine (9), my Administrative assistant is Ride Hill, a maintenance Foreman Justin Little, and three Water and Sewer Operators – Travis Big Crow, Marvin Provost and Robert Hernandez.  We also have a part time employee, Dale Vocu who monitors the Kyle lagoon lift station.

      The Water and Sewer Co, is based in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.  Our mission is to provide safe potable drinking water and wastewater disposal (lagoons system) to our customers within the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  We have water or wastewater systems in all nine (9) districts.  We are responsible for operation and maintenance of these water and wastewater systems.

      Our drinking water systems are Pine Ridge Village, Calico, Wolf Creek, Wakpamni, Wounded Knee, Allen, Potato Creek, Wanblee and Kyle.  Potable water is accomplished by disinfection with chlorine.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates public drinking water systems.  The EPA also has water sampling requirements for every year.  Each water system is water sampled by us and analyzed by a certified EPA laboratory for total coli form (bacti) monthly.  The remaining samples are taken yearly.  They include lead and copper, nitrates, asbestos, radio nuclides, Synthetic Organic Chemicals (SOC), Inorganic chemicals (IOC), volatile organic chemicals (VOC) and disinfection by-products.  We then send the results to the EPA for further data analysis.  They determine whether or not the samples are exceeding maximum contaminant levels.  If they are, then they will help us remedy the situation.  After a sampling year, a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) is required by EPA to be distributed to Water and Sewer's customers reflecting the year's results.

      Our wastewater lagoons systems are Red Shirt, Oglala, Pine Ridge Village, Wolf Creek, Wounded Knee, Wakpamni Lake Housing, Allen, Wanblee, Potato Creek, Kyle, Sharps Corner, Manderson, Evergreen, Martin (Sunrise Housing), Batesland and Porcupine.

      We are not a federally program.  We operate on revenues generated from water and sewer fees.  Our primary customers are Oglala Lakota Housing (OLSH), IHS, BIA, tribal programs, businesses and individual customers.  We also do water and sewer line construction and repair for revenue, septic and drain field installation, sewer line auger jobs, and sewer main jetting are also means of revenue for our program.  We are tribally based and represented, but we are an enterprise.  We are always out to generate revenue for Water and Sewer.  My budget for 2005 in approximately $484,000.00, this is a projected budget based on the revenues accrued in 2004.  My 2006 budget will be based on the same principle.  Other factors in determining this budget are water and sewer rate increases and the number of construction projects that we will undertake and the revenues generated from other small jobs.  However, this situation does not forbid me to go out and search for federal funding.  I am in the process of pursuing EPA Indian Ser Aside funds for water and wastewater projects.  This could be for new or to repair existing systems.  There's also Homeland Security Funds available from the government.  This funding became available after 9/11.  I have drinking water systems to protect from the threat of terrorism.  Such funds could be used for fencing water storage tanks, well pump houses.  Public health is a big issue and needs to be protected from threats.  The USDA has grants also for water and wastewater entities called Rural Development grants.  Their funds are geared for equipment.  These types of funding are in the beginning process for Water and Sewer and will be worked on in 2005 for 2006 funds.

      My goal here is to build infrastructure.  We need more staff, equipment and a new facility.  This can't be accomplished without major federal appropriations.  With the Mni Winconi pipline completion nearing in 4 or 5 years, our wastewater lagoon systems will be overloaded with the wastewater produced by this pipeline.  Our lagoons are in serious need of renovation and even new systems will need to be built.  This needs to ne addressed immediately.

      If anyone should have any questions regarding Water and Sewer, feel free to contact my office at the above number.

      •  Water Maintenance & Construction