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The tribal government creates, enforces, and adjudicates laws pertaining selectively to native people on the confines of the reservation.
However, Bruce Whalen of the Law and Order Committee comments that the structure lacks some Oglala authenticity: “They said it was an Indian design…I don’t see anything Oglala about it.” __________ Now, with a consolidated justice center, the tribe continues to stare down persistent deficiencies and conflicts on the reservation.
Richard Jensen, a veteran Oglala police training official of 10 years, as well as a veteran of the US military, describes the building as something like a cultural mantle passed down from more experienced public servants such as Duke.
“To see something like this building actually come to life—I think it gives [Chief Duke] an extreme sense of hope that people like me will carry on not only the traditions of what we’ve learned here in this culture, but implement those into this building and what transpires from this point on,” Jensen says.
The tribe now receives grants from the Department of Justice and the Office of Justice Services for maintenance.
“It’s the first ever contract where a tribe has gotten full funding and has hired our own design company, our own architect and engineering firm—the first tribe ever,” Terkildsen says.
Employees perform “smudging” rituals by burning sage and cedar some days in the workplace, says Rae Ann Red Owl, an accredited attorney with the tribe and a former nurse.