"Dorreen Yellow Bird of The Grand Forks Herald interviews Ron His Horse Is Thunder, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for her "Prairie Voices" feature. His Horse Is Thunder talks about the challenges facing the tribe, including a high rate of suicide and loss of traditions, culture and language.
Q: You've been Standing Rock tribal chairman for two years. How do you
look at your position? Are you more like the king of a small kingdom or
a chairman of the board?
A: Most definitely like the chairman of the board. The tribal chairman's powers are limited. The power to get things done actually lies within the tribal council. As chairman, you are a consensus builder. You may have ideas you want to implement in terms of making the reservation better, but you can't just dictate it and say this is how it's going to be. You have build consensus with the tribal council to convince them that your ideas are worth trying."