The Oglala Sioux Tribe is a sovereign tribal nation, controlled by its own governing body. The executive committee is comprised by a tribal president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, fifth member, and sergeant of arms. The president and vice president are elected while the remaining executive positions are selected by tribal council.
Tribal council members are elected from their respective districts. Pine Ridge has nine council districts: Pine Ridge, Oglala, Wakpamni, Porcupine, Medicine Root, Eagle Nest, Pass Creek and La Creek. Each district elects two tribal council members except for the Pine Ridge District which elects three.
Elections for tribal president, vice president and council are held every two years in November. Election terms are not overlapped. All tribal members living on the reservation who are 18 years of age or older may vote in tribal elections. Newly elected officials are sworn in at the first tribal council meeting in December following the election.
More information regarding the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s governing body can be found in the Constitution of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
A list of current tribal leaders and council members can be found on the South Dakota Department of Tribal Relation’s website.
Oglala Lakota County - Government & Citizenship
Oglala Lakota County does not have its own county seat or administrative center. Instead, neighboring Fall River County provides county services to the residents of Oglala Lakota County. The County Commission includes five members who represent individual districts within the county. Commissioners meet on Floor 3 in the Fall River County Courthouse in Hot Springs, S.D. Meeting minutes are available online.
Thunder Valley: The Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation received a $996,100 Sustainable Communities Planning Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2010. Working with tribal agencies, non-profits, subject matter experts and the Oglala people, the group will work to develop a blueprint for investment decisions, public and private, that will support a more sustainable future for the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota.
In April 2015, the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation was named a Promise Zone by the Obama Administration. In areas designated as Promise Zones, the federal government works alongside local leaders to promote economic and educational activity. In June 2015, the United States Department of Agriculture awarded Thunder Valley $1.97 million for a new community center.
For more information, check out Oyate Omniciye (Oglala Lakota Plan).