Ann-erika White Bird is not as lucky. The Lakota Voice blogger has been riding Rosebud Sioux Tribe Attorney General Aisha Uwais-Savage Concha's case since Concha came to town. Last March, Concha announced that local law enforcement was investigating White Bird for misappropriation of official tribal letterhead for use in blog-research on Concha. Nothing appears to have come of those charges.
White Bird's early challenges to Concha's qualifications—including that Concha lied to the tribal council about her tribal status to get the job in 2013—have been disputed by tribal officials and Concha herself. But after a year of blogging, White Bird continues her battle against Concha, contending that Concha has displayed a racist attitude about the Indians she serves and is not doing her job.
Tribal member Troy (Luke) Lunderman tells White Bird he has heard Concha making fun of Indian names:
She kept talking, saying – we deal with a lot. I look in the court records, like the name Kills Plenty, they had to have been serial killers.... Then she goes on to hit some of the Council Reps on their last names. At the time, she said the last name Kills In Sight, that must have been a woman with PMS. That was upsetting, that’s a real sacred name and my daughter is related to them. I thought you really don’t have a clue who you just insulted.... Then she went on to address the name Eagle Bear. She basically called him a mutant [Troy (Luke) Lunderman, quoted in Ann-erika White Bird, "Attorney General Concha Lies about being Indian, Makes Racist Comments Against Indians," Lakota Voice, 2014.11.25].
White Bird then lists instances in which she alleges Concha has failed to offer legal services to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, requiring the tribe to hire other counsel:
Unwilling to work against the KXL Pipeline: AG Concha failed to appear on April 14, when Acting Chief of Police Iver Crow Eagle III contacted her regarding turning KXL trucks around at Rosebud Casino. Due to her failure to work, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe contracted Attorney Matt Rappold to work with Tribal Attorney Eric Antoine.
Unwilling to stand against Indian Health Service’s substandard healthcare: AG Concha failed to draft or help draft the Complaint against IHS. Due to her failure to work, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe contracted Attorney Terry Pachota to represent the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in a lawsuit against I.H.S.
Opposition to following Council instruction to represent the Tribe in the case against Cherry-Todd Electric Cooperative: AG Concha failed to appear in RST Court to represent the Tribe on Friday September 12, as required by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. AG Concha also failed to appear at Cherry-Todd Electric Cooperative’s annual meeting Saturday, September 13, as requested. It is unknown what remedy the Rosebud Sioux Tribe has taken.
Opposition to meeting with Sicangu Veterans regarding Indian Health Services Breach of information: Due to AG Concha’s failure to meet with Sicangu Veterans, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, directed by the Tribal Council, provided funding. On September 22, the Sicangu Veterans hired Attorney Matt Rappold.
Jeopardizing the lives of Sicangu Lakota Children: AG Concha instructed Attorney Lloyd Guy to drop the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) cases in Nebraska after an e-mail from Bureau of Indian Affairs Awarding Official Andrea Waln. “(T)he Agency recommends that the Prosecutor refrain from presenting any further ICWA cases in Nebraska until further notice…” On October 17, Guy presented Concha’s directive to the Judiciary Committee. Due to AG Concha’s failure to understand the Tribe’s role with the BIA, to monitor the funding situation or know the gravity of what it means to “drop” a case, the Council set aside a full day to obtain the knowledge necessary to make a decision in protecting the Tribe’s children. Yesterday, November 25, Council passed a motion to contract two attorneys to appear in S.D. state courts on the children’s behalf.
Opposition to working on updating Tribal Code: a Tribal Member who passed the SOBA stepped forward to do the work. Due to AG Concha’s failure to work, this month the Rosebud Sioux Tribe contracted Maria Lambert to perform the work [White Bird, 2014.11.25].
At last check, White Bird was still free to roam the Rosebud in search of blog stories. Keep your eyes open, Ann-erika!