PINE RIDGE, S.D. (AP) – The Oglala Sioux tribe in South Dakota says it is still feeling the effects of the 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government that ended a week ago.
Nearly 200 furloughed workers on the Pine Ridge Reservation are still out of work, and 192 employees are still working with reduced hours, the tribe said. The furloughs affected about 7 percent of the tribe’s employees.
It could be a month before the government approves funding to resume tribal programs and services, Tribal Secretary Rhonda Two Eagle told the Rapid City Journal.
Tribal members who are suffering from cuts to programs such as food assistance and suicide prevention programs are frustrated and do not think the federal government has lived up to its treaty obligations, Two Eagle said.
“When they are doing cuts I don’t think they should even affect us in that sense,” she said. “But they do it straight across the board, so they just go against the obligations that they agreed to by treaty.”
Other American Indian tribes around the nation also furloughed employees during the shutdown, but some used their own money to keep crucial programs running.