Tribal Affairs

More on Tribal Affairs

October 8, 2021 Weekly Column

This guest column is written by Shawnee Red Bear, who works in Congressman Johnson’s Washington DC office

This Monday, October 11th, marks the 31st year South Dakota will celebrate “Native American Day”. South Dakota is one of just 14 states that observes Native American Day instead of Columbus Day.

September 24, 2021 Weekly Column

If you turned on the news this week or scrolled through social media, it is likely that you came across the tragic story of 22-year-old Gabby Petito whose body was found in Wyoming this week. A little less than two weeks ago, Petito’s family filed a missing person’s report when her fiancé returned home to Florida from a cross-country road trip without her.

July 7, 2021 In The News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Representative Dusty Johnson visited the newly designated Ben Reifel Post Office in Rosebud on Wednesday.

Rep. Johnson introduced the legislation in May 2019 as a way to honor Ben Reifel’s legacy in the state. The legislation was signed by former President Trump in 2020.

May 18, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today the U.S. House passed legislation led by U.S. Representatives Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) that connects Native veterans to VA services and vocational training by extending the VetSuccess on Campus (VSOC) program to Tribal Colleges and Universities in South Dakota. The Native VetSuccess at Tribal Colleges and Universities Pilot Program Act also provides high-tech field training for veterans to ensure they are placed in well-paying, long-term jobs. 

May 13, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Tom O’Halleran (R-AZ-01), and Tom Cole (R-OK-04) reintroduced the bipartisan, bicameral, Repealing Existing Substandard Provisions Encouraging Conciliation with Tribes (RESPECT) Act.

March 16, 2021 In The News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Indian Health Services officials said Tuesday that a former pediatrician sentenced for sexually abusing boys on two reservations has been stripped of his estimated $100,000-a-year pension.

Stanley Weber was convicted in Montana and South Dakota on numerous charges, including aggravated sexual abuse, for incidents that happened three decades ago on the Blackfeet and Pine Ridge reservations. He is serving life without parole at a federal prison.

March 16, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – The Indian Health Service (IHS) announced they will be stripping former Capt. (ret.) Stanley Patrick Weber of his federal pension and benefits. This announcement comes after a U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Board of Inquiry completed its review of Mr. Weber, who was convicted of multiple felony charges of aggravated sexual assault of minors while he was on active duty as an officer of the U.S. Public Health Service and assigned to IHS.

December 11, 2020 Weekly Column

Congress gets a bad rap for never getting anything done. It’s not completely undeserved, but every single day bills pass out of the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate.

This week was no exception. My legislation to honor former Congressman and Rosebud Sioux tribal member Ben Reifel passed the U.S. Senate and is headed to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

December 4, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, legislation authored by U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) to honor former Congressman and Rosebud Sioux tribal member Ben Reifel passed the U.S. Senate and will head to the president’s desk for his signature. The bill designates the United States Postal Service building in Rosebud, South Dakota, as the Ben Reifel Post Office Building.

September 30, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, legislation sponsored by U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) to designate the United States Postal Service building in Rosebud, South Dakota, as the Ben Reifel Post Office Building passed the U.S. House of Representatives.

September 21, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, legislation sponsored by U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), which will divert millions back to tribal students’ education, passed the U.S. House unanimously. The Tribal School Federal Insurance Parity Act (H.R.

July 28, 2020 In The News

A presidential task force says the Indian Health Service still needs to improve its child sexual abuse prevention methods after investigating the “institutional and systemic breakdown that failed to prevent and stop” a pediatrician from sexually abusing children on the Pine Ridge Reservation and in Montana for decades.

July 27, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and Greg Gianforte (R-MT) urged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to hold convicted pedophile and former Indian Health Service (IHS) pediatrician Stanley Patrick Weber fully accountable for his actions. The Representatives demanded HHS take quick action to revoke Mr. Weber’s government pension after an investigation reported the felon, convicted of child sexual abuse, was still receiving his pension.  

March 27, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) today issued a statement following the bipartisan passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Previously, Johnson supported two legislative packages to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 and provide federal reimbursement to small employers for paid sick and emergency leave provided to their employees. Rep.

March 27, 2020 Weekly Column

Q: Will I receive a $1,200 check from the federal government to help with the economic stress of COVID-19?

January 15, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Natural Resources Committee unanimously passed the Tribal School Federal Insurance Parity Act (H.R. 895), which was introduced by U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) earlier this year.

December 13, 2019 In The News

This week, South Dakota Representative Dusty Johnson became just the second member of Congress to speak Lakota on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Johnson spoke the language as a way to advocate legislation that would advance the practice of Lakota languages.

He emphasized the importance of indigenous languages as the life-blood of cultural understanding.

The last member to speak Lakota on the floor was Representative John Kyl of Iowa. He used a Lakota phrase on the floor in 1963.

November 18, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) today applauded the Trump administration for approving a major disaster declaration for several South Dakota counties, including Aurora, Brookings, Brule, Charles Mix, Davison, Douglas, Gregory, Hanson, Hutchinson, Kingsbury, Lake, Lincoln, McCook, Miner, Minnehaha, Moody, Sanborn, Turner, Union, and Yankton, and the Yankton Indian Reservation and Flandreau Santee Indian Reservation following severe flooding and tornadoes from September 9-26.

July 16, 2019 Press Release

Click here or on the photo above to watch the video.

May 8, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – This week U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) introduced legislation that would designate the United States Postal Service building in Rosebud, South Dakota as the Ben Reifel Post Office Building. Click here for full speech.

May 3, 2019 Weekly Column

When Professor Sean Flynn, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, released his book Without Reservation: Benjamin Reifel & American Indian Acculturation, I was quick to snag a copy. I was fascinated by the story of the first Congressman of Lakota Sioux descent, Ben Reifel. 

Throughout Ben Reifel’s career at the Bureau of Indian Affairs and for a decade in Congress, he worked tirelessly to further economic opportunity for American Indians. He celebrated education, hard work and self-determination.

February 15, 2019 Weekly Column

I came to Congress to solve real issues for South Dakotans. This office has awarded me the opportunity to meet and engage with constituents that perhaps I would not have otherwise had the opportunity to know. Every meeting that comes through my door is important, but I am particularly impressed by the intentionality of South Dakota’s tribal members.